The Most Notable Restaurant Openings Of 2012

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What. A. Year. My most notable closings post was an interesting compilation , but looking at the restaurants that have opened this year is even more illuminating. We've gained a lot of great restaurants. (And some not so great ones, too.) Here are some of the more notable spaces. See Also: The Biggest Restaurant Closings of 2012

Sundown at Granada (pictured above) The restaurant and beer garden is owned and operated by Granada Theater owner Mike Schoder, and it quickly became one of my favorite places for an outdoor drink. I love watching people walk up and down Greenville Avenue with a cold beer in my hand, and there's a great beer list here, too.

Bridge Bistro Kay Agnew (who opened Margaux's) and her daughter, Margaux, opened this restaurant in a corner spot of an old, but renovated building in the Design District. It's a nice dining room, and everyone who walks through the front door is treated like a regular there. The food is affoardable too.

Oak Oak owners Tommy DeAlano and Richard Ellman hired Plan B (who designed Bolsa and Cedars Social) to create their chic space. The dining room opened and quickly became one of Dallas' most popular spots this year.

Hypnotic Donuts This donut shop opened its new storefront on Garland road after an extended tenure in a pizza restaurant. It almost killed the Observer.

Whitehall Exchange This "bar and bites" spot opened for business in the Bishop Arts District this spring.

The Foundry? Chef Tim Byres, Chris Jeffers and Chris Zielke, co-owners of Smoke, took over the old Jack's Backyard spot, and transformed it into The Foundry. The outdoor beer garden is one of the best bars in Dallas.

Chop House Burger The burger joint on Main Street is not to be confused with the one with an almost identical name in Arlington. Guy Fieri paid no visit here, but Alice did.

Off-site Kitchen Off-Site Kitchen is the breakfast-and-lunch spot from the Neighborhood Services group that opened this spring. Here at the Observer, it's become the official daytime cafeteria.

Sissy's Southern Kitchen & Bar Sissy's Southern Kitchen & Bar is the long-awaited restaurant openeing from Lisa Garza that kept the momentum going all year long. This place is still hot, even after the departure of chef Jeffery Hobbs.

Bikini's Sports Bar & Grill The breastaurant opened early this spring. Then it became a town.

Chicken Scratch Tim Byres' new chicken joint opened in the former Jack's Backyard space, pairing skillet-fried and roasted chicken with booze and music from the Foundry next door.

Manuel's Creative Cuisine The Mexican restaurant opened on Oak Lawn in March, and despite an interesting concept and menu has remained relatively quiet.

Driftwood Oak Cliff got a new "upscale-casual" seafood restaurant. If you're looking for dressed up fish, you might like this spot. John Tesar's recently opened Spoon may be stealing the seafood spotlight in the new year, though.

DaLat The new late-night pho spot, located in the old RedFork Tavern building on Fitzhugh, is still alive and kicking after midnight. If you're craving a hot bowl of Pho and don't want to treck out to the suburbs, this is the place to get it.

Carbone's Fine Food and Wine Julian Barsotti, chef and owner of Nonna, opened Carbone's Fine Food and Wine at The Shops of Highland Park. I still stop if for a quick sandwich now and again. This place serves up the best upscale hoagie in Dallas.

The Standard Pour: Uptown's latest "cocktail den" is open and pouring drinks on McKinney Avenue. Lately I've been hearing a lot about the food they're turning out and I'm excited to see what they're up to in the coming year.

Rosemont Tracy Miller's long-awaited Deep Ellum restaurant is a nice place for breakfast. It's hard to say no to these perfect little cake doughnuts.

ACME F&BThe space that once housed Cretia's is now home to ACME F&B. The restaurant has changed chefs, and then owners, in the few short months it has been opened.

Pepper Smash Chef Vijay Sadhu's restaurant and bar at the Shops at Legacy turns out amazing humus and pita bread. The heart of the restaurant is the hot tandoor oven in the back kitchen. Make sure you order their kebabs, too.

The Oak Cliff Social Club The new Oak Cliff watering hole, located in a historic building, boasts a 40-foot granite bar stocked with 150 bottles of booze.

Nora Afghani food came to lower Greenville this year.

Bowery The Bowery found a home in Uptown, where Lumi used to be.

Ten Bells Tavern This Oak Cliff restaurant and bar opened across the street from The Oak Cliff Social Club. It's a great pace for bar food, and one of my favorite bars in Dallas.

Monica's Nueva Cocina: Monica Greene opened her latest concept to much fanfare, but mysteriously left the restaurant that bears her name this month.

E Bar Eddie Cervantes, the man behind Primo's in Uptown, recently opened the new Tex-mex restaurant and bar on one-way Haskell Ave.

Boulevardier The French bistro is a nice addition to the Bishop Arts District. Go for the oysters, and stay for the burgers and wine list.

Start The new "healthy" Greenville Avenue restaurant opened this year. Something tells me you'll see a few more of them open next year, too.

Sisu Uptown's newest restaurant and bar took over a renovated old house on Maple Avenue.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar The Austin-based restaurant and bar set up shop in Preston Center. The lines have been constant ever since.

Ser Dallas' newest steakhouse, perched on the 27th floor of the Hilton Anatole opened its doors, er, elevator doors, on October 1. They replaced Nana's well respected Italian cooking with meat, meat and more meat.

Matt's Rancho Martinez The Tex-Mex restaurant has moved into its new home on Skillman, and then earned three stars from the DMN.

Havana Café The small, family run restaurant is serving up tasty Cuban fare in Casa Linda Plaza. Try the ropa vieja sandwich and thank me later.

Tried and True Nick Badovinus, the man behind the Neighborhood Services restaurant group, opened his new '70s-themed eatery in the space where Neighborhood Services Tavern once called home. Bring enough money to commandeer the jukebox and enjoy the oysters on the half shell.

East Hampton Sandwich Company The Snider Plaza shop serves amazing (and sometimes very sloppy) sandwiches that look beautiful and taste great, too.

Kung Fu Saloon The new restaurant and arcade bar is opened this year in the heart of Uptown.

Cook Hall The space in the W that once housed Tom Colicchio's Craft has reopened as American gastropub, Cook Hall.

Qariah The Lebanese restaurant opened on Lower Greenville bringing more great ethnic eats to the neighborhood.

British Beverage Company The British-themed pub and eatery is opened in the the Quadrangle.

Spoon Bar & Kitchen Chef John Tesar's latest culinary project is open in Preston Center. They serve seafood. Have you tried it yet?

Bowl and Barrel The new bowling alley, restaurant and bar's menu includes everything from hand-cut fries served with Trappist aioli and curry ketchup, fried quail drumsticks, oysters and a 1/2-pound burger. Maybe you'll get a new pair of bowling shoes for Christmas this year. This could be your new place.

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