There's plenty of big news this week in Dallas dining, including a highly anticipated opening from the Gemma team and surprising news that one of Dallas' biggest chef is making a foray into poke:
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- Chef-owner Stephen Rogers and his wife, Allison Yoder, the duo behind Gemma, have announced the open date for their new Mediterranean restaurant, Sachet: Wed., Sept. 20. "Sachet will be a fun, warm and inviting restaurant with a fresh, light menu that’s inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean coast, drawing from a broad array of countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Tunisia, and Morocco," according to a press release. "Menu items will include lamb, seafood, poultry, house-made pastas, legumes and grains, salads, and more than 20 vegetable-based meze, or starters, sourced from the best seasonal ingredients possible." Many of the shareable dishes will be cooked in a "Mugnaini wood-fired oven, custom-made in Tuscany and built in Sonoma" and served in an airy, modern, 110-seat dining room with a full bar. The restaurant is at 4270 Oak Lawn Ave. in the Shops of Highland Park.
- In a move that surprised many in the Dallas dining scene, the forthcoming Malibu Poke — a new poke restaurant from Jon Alexis (owner of TJ’s Seafood Market & Grill) and partners Ben and Eric Kusin — has hired a serious heavy hitter to be the restaurant's culinary director: Matt McCallister, chef-owner of FT33. "McCallister is still refining Malibu’s signature bowl menu where diners can enjoy 'classic' poke bowls or explore even bolder flavors such as smoked bonito aioli, yellow curry, black garlic 'mayu,' sweet and spicy sambal, asian pear, puffed rice, marinated shitake mushrooms and more," according to a press release. McCallister says this new role will not mean he spends less time in the kitchen at FT. "This was just fun," McCallister said. "Jon is a good friend of mine, and I like to play around with food."
- Asian fusion restaurant Asian Mint opened its third location, this one at Inwood Village, today, Sept. 15. "Celebrating 12 years of serving New Bangkok style cuisine, the Inwood location (in the former Café Istanbul space) is a welcomed addition to the original on Forest Lane and a sister location on Oak Lawn," according to a press release. "Diners can expect the 70-seat restaurant to have the same bright green interior with clean lines and fresh modern art." The restaurant at 5450 W. Lovers Lane is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
- A new restaurant opened yesterday at The Star in Frisco: Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar, a Southern food franchise based in Asheville, North Carolina. "Tupelo Honey features lunch, dinner and weekend brunch with menus changing seasonally and by location," according to a press release. "The Frisco restaurant will feature both traditional and revitalized Southern dishes like honey dusted fried chicken (a half-bird, brined and fried and sprinkled with signature 'bee dust'), Tex-Mex inspired offerings such as huevos rancheros, and an extensive steak program of 100% Texas beef featuring Akashi (essentially American Wagyu) and Certified Black Angus." This is the largest location of Tupelo Honey, and it's at 6725 Winning Dr. in Frisco.
- A Portland restaurant has signed on to open in Toyota Music Factory, formerly known as Irving Music Factory: Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill, "known for its from-scratch cooking and seasonal menus with fresh and local ingredients and extensive craft beer menu," according to a release. The restaurant opens Tuesday, Oct. 24. Another franchise restaurant at the music venue opened today, Sept. 15: Bar Louie, which will have an extensive beer and cocktail program and will serve easygoing dishes such as flatbreads, burgers, salads and sandwiches.
- Houndstooth Coffee has announced plans to open a third Dallas coffee shop, this one at The Hill Shopping Center in North Dallas. "The location, being constructed on property at sustainable home improvement store TreeHouse, will be powered by solar energy and employ renewable and sustainable building materials and practices," according to a release. "Located at 9730 N. Central Expressway, the new cafe will be the third in Dallas and fifth overall for Houndstooth." The cafe will be situated in "two Lake Flato-designed tiny porch houses" next to TreeHouse and is slated to open this fall.
- A popular West Village poke spot is no longer accepting cash. As of Sept. 1, Pok the Raw Bar is fully cashless. "The trendy poke spot has been planning to go full plastic since it opened in February of this year," according to a press release. "According to owner, Brandon Cohanim, only 5 percent of the restaurant’s orders are paid for in cash, so he doesn’t anticipate a significant disruption for guests. 'There are so many pros to going cashless,' said Cohanim. 'Not having large amounts of cash in the restaurant reduces the chance for burglary, and alleviates the need for team members to be touching cash. It also allows us to take orders faster, and better serve our guests.'"