Food News

Private Social May Multiply, but Will People Come if Tiffany Derry's Not in the Kitchen?

Eater dug up a scoop on Uptown's Top Chef destination, Private Social. A post on the restaurant's Facebook page hints at expansion plans, asking applicants to send in their resumes. Chef Tiffany Derry has yet to release any details on what she's planning on doing with her expanded staff, but rumors about subsequent locations fueled by aggressive investors have been circulating since the restaurant opened last fall.

That opening was to much fanfare. A red carpet event catered to Dallas' who's who, and preceded a gushing four-star review from the Dallas Morning News. Leslie Brenner praised Derry's inventive cooking and called Private Social "quite a fine restaurant."

I happen to disagree.

I found inconsistent plates, cheap bread and a dining room so loud I couldn't hear myself think. (Brenner noted "punishing acoustics, too.) Some of my food was great, but when the cost of my meal was factored in, I lost all enthusiasm for Private Social.

Later this spring Nancy Nichols upped the ante in D. Not only did Private Social disappoint, but Marquee Grill in Highland Park Village was a waste of time, too, she wrote. Nichols called into question the efficacy of the entire Top Chef model in her review, saying nothing she has eaten in any of these restaurants has blown her out of her chair. "They are only above-average chefs," she wrote.

Yet Dallas is still smitten with the glitz and glam. Yelp reviews and blog posts filled with glowing praise and exclamations -- Tiffany. Derry. Actually. Came. To. Our. Table. -- hint at a sizable customer base more influenced by celebrity than quality cuisine. It makes me wonder what the draw would be for a second Private Social. After all, Derry can only work one dining room at a time, and if she's working two or more dining rooms (I'm picturing a Tupac-style hologram), who's searing those scallops?

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Scott Reitz
Contact: Scott Reitz