2013 was undoubtedly a banner year for restaurant openings — from Monkey King and Pakpao to The Slow Bone and Mot Hai Ba, not to mention 20 Feet, Casa Rubia, Tanoshii Ramen and countless others, fresh new concepts popped up all over the city to make eating in Dallas better than it's ever been — and progress is certainly showing no signs of slowing, as there are some mighty exciting dining prospects on the horizon for 2014. Without further adieu, here are ten of the restaurants we're most looking forward to so far this year (look for a separate list of upcoming bars, coffee shops, breweries and other ventures soon).
Location: Sylvan Thirty
Description: In what might just be one of the most exciting restaurant ventures to hit Dallas, well, ever, Tei-An master chef Teiichi Sakurai is opening his very own ramen shop. It will be very, very small (just 13 seats), but if the ramen at Tei-An is any indicator, it will undoubtedly be worth waiting for. (Bonus: Ramen will be $10 or less.)
Projected opening date: May
Location: Hotel Palomar
Description: Central 214 is closing, and in its place will rise a new steakhouse from John Tesar that intends to be for red meat what Spoon has been for seafood. (Read about Tesar's vision for Knife here.)
Projected opening date: March
3) Pecan Lodge
Location: Deep Ellum
Description: Since last year's privatization of the Dallas Farmers Market, it seems the entire city has been waiting with bated breath to see what would happen with the best barbecue joint in all of Dallas. Finally in late November it was revealed that Justin and Diane Fourton would be relocating to their own space on Main Street, which means there will be more seating, beer to go along with that brisket, and a patio.
Projected opening date: Summer
Description: Local food bloggers basically lost their shit when it came to light in the fall that chef Tyson Cole's Austin-based Japanese phenom was headed our way with a site secured on Maple Avenue. The latest word from Uchi PR says they're looking at a "late 2014 or early 2015" opening, which could very well mean it won't open until midway through next year — nonetheless, we'll be anxiously waiting.
Projected opening date: Late 2014 or early 2015
5) The Blind Butcher
Location: Lower Greenville
Description: This new "craft everything" spot from the Goodfriend guys Matt Tobin and Josh Yingling is actually already open — sorta. The beer and cocktails are flowing, but they won't officially begin kitchen service for a few more weeks.
Projected opening date: Open now; to officially begin serving food February 3.
Location: Just outside Deep Ellum near Baylor
Description: Folks were understandably excited when it was revealed that The Grape chef/owner Brian Luscher was working on another more casual restaurant on Gaston Avenue just outside Deep Ellum. Not much else has been said about it since, but you can expect Luscher's much-lauded Post Oak Red Hots to be showcased.
Projected opening date: Unknown; was originally intended to open summer 2013
7) Stock & Barrel
Location: Bishop Arts
Description: Former Nosh chef Jon Stevens is striking out on his own with a restaurant slated for the old Safety Glass building on Davis Street. Not much is known about the project just yet, other than it will serve "Americana food" (whatever that means), but with Stevens' talent in the kitchen you can bet it's gonna be good.
Projected opening Date: Early 2014
8) Cane Rosso Fort Worth
Location: West Magnolia
Description: "Empire Builder of the Year" Jay Jerrier continues his quest to dominate the DFW pizza landscape with a Cowtown location that's taking over the old Ryan's Fine Grocery spot on oh-so-hip West Magnolia Avenue. The imported pizza oven has been installed and they started cooking test pies last week, so expect CRFW to open very soon.
Projected opening Date: Soon
9) Off-Site Kitchen
Location: Trinity Groves
Description: Nick Badovinus' best damn burger joint around is opening another location at Phil Romano's mega-development, and this one will be larger, more air-conditioned and have way more parking than the Design District original.
Projected opening Date: Unknown; was originally intended to open fall 2013
10) Crushcraft Thai Street Eats
Description: Chef Paul Singhapong will bring Thai street food to the Quadrangle with a new fast-casual spot that promises both takeout staples like pad thai alongside more adventurous, cheffy fare, plus a full bar with sake, soju and Southeast Asian beers.
Projected opening Date: Mid-January