Belly and Trumpet opened this February in Uptown, creating a stir with its fresh take on small plates. Oak owners Richard and Tiffanee Ellman partnered with John Paul Valverde last year, when they opened The Bowery, an upscale hot dog restaurant that belly flopped. The team kept the Belly, added a horn and opened just a few months later as a refined tapas restaurant.
The new restaurant made use of Oak's chef du cuisine, Brian Zenner, who held the executive chef title at Belly and Trumpet but still worked in some capacity at his first restaurant. With a newly minted four star review in The Dallas Morning News, it appears the team is ready to commit to the second concept.
Oak just announced that Thomas Gray has been named the new chef de cuisine at the Design District restaurant that was celebrated as one of the best new openings in Dallas last year. Gray brings experience from his time spent working at Michael Mina in San Francisco, La Folie in San Francisco and Vidalia in Washington, DC.
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Brian Zenner will now focus full time on Belly and Trumpet, turning out what they're calling share plates like seared branzino served with artichokes and Serrano ham, and venison heart tartare.