After a year in a holding pattern (mostly, anyway) and five months into 2021 and the Dallas restaurant scene is busy with new openings. We've rounded up a highlight reel from the past few weeks.
Haidilao9244 Prestmont Place, Ste. 200 (Frisco)
This Sichuan-style hot pot restaurant from Jianyang, China, with more than 150 locations around the world opened its first Texas restaurant in mid-April. Follow Haidilao's Instagram for insight into their “hot pot culture,” which includes a noodle-pulling guy who dances around like those ribbon gymnasts at the Olympics. There’s also a food robot that delivers food to tables like in Wall-E. Sounds fun and so far the reviews are great. Make reservations (469-598-7988) and tag us in the pictures.
Caffé Lavazza8687 N. Central Expressway, Ste. 2172 (Dallas)
Eataly, the Italian food emporium at NorthPark Center, recently opened the final parcel of its full 46,000-square-foot space, Caffé Lavazza, an Italian-style all-day cafe. On their website, they explain that "bar" in Italy means an all-day cafe. In the morning, guests can get a cappuccino made with a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, local milk and made through "a time-honored technique," an espresso with 2.5-ounces each of hot and foamed milk. Caffeé Lavazza has house-made breakfast, lunch and dinner bites, as well as after-dinner wine cocktails and pastries.
Milagro440 Singleton Blvd., Ste. 100 (Dallas)
Milagro is slated to open later this month at Trinity Groves. This new taco spot is from Jesus Carmona, the chef behind Tacos Mariachi, which closed in 2020 because of COVID-19. Carmona then opened Chimichurri in the Bishop Arts District. This new concept is based on Tijuana street food and is, in part, a carryover of Tacos Mariachi but has some new options. A sample of the menu includes mahi-mahi birrria tacos, pork belly al pipil tacos and a Campeona Burger, with a brioche bun, avocado mousse, sautéed shrimp, asado cheese, crumbled chicharron and a jalapeño glaze. The 2,300-square-foot space has an outdoor patio. Mixologist James Slater created the cocktail menu with plenty of tequila, mezcal and fresh-squeezed juices. Watch Milagro's website for opening details.
Tonic7800 Windrose Ave., (Plano)
A full-service cocktail lounge, Tonic, is opening inside Legacy Hall. This space sounds a bit like a staycation to an adult-only resort: “21 and up only, with elevated hospitality.” The second-floor space spills out onto a terrace through large garage doors for an indoor and outdoor experience. From the press release, “Guests can relax on plush lounges while sipping libations created by our professional craft bartenders and served by our knowledgeable cocktail waitresses.” They’re throwing a free “Midsummer Nights” grand opening on May 13 from 7 to 10 p.m. with a build-your-own flower crown station. Because we need more flower crown stations. DJ Blake Ward will be in the house.
Birdguesa1408 Main Street (Downtown)
This new tenders and tots concept opened recently downtown. They serve Nashville hot chicken sandwiches and strips with an “OSHT” spice scale: original, spicey, hot, tap out. The latter serves as the base of the wrestling theme for the concept. There’s a photo of Jack Black in Nacho Libre over the narrow dining room. Vegans will be happy, they have extra crispy fried chicken tenders from Atlas Monroe.
Birdguesa’s Tap Out Tender Challenge, which is touted as "3 million Scoville," is $20 and involves eating really hot stuff, then you get to sign the wall if you complete the challenge. The hot sauce was tested in this YouTube video, which shows owner Jeff Sinelli getting a wee bit sweaty (skip to the 10:30 mark, “I wouldn’t give this to my kids. This is not funny.” He should send that into Hallmark).
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