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John Tesar Expands Empire With Italian Restaurant Gravy 51°

The ° is silent.

Turtle Creek

The future home of Tesar's Italian restaurant. [Photo: Shop Cos.]

After more than a year of gossip, it's finally happening: John Tesar is forging ahead with his plans to open an Italian restaurant. (And no, it's not called Fork.) Tesar is partnering with Richard Ellman and Plan B Group for the new project, which is slated for a February 2016 opening.

Gravy 51° — or simply Gravy, as it will likely be referred to — refers to "the exact temperature pasta needs to be extruded out at," Tesar explains. Why Gravy? "Down south we serve it with biscuits, but in the old country they call tomato sauce gravy," Tesar explains. "This will be an authentic Italian restaurant. We'll have shared plates, antipasti, all that — but the focus is around handmade, very technical pastas."

Patrons can also expect an extensive Italian wine list and a menu of "modern but classic Italian desserts" by Knife pastry chef David Collier.

Construction on Gravy will soon be underway at the base of the Park Place on Turtle Creek building, an office tower located just a hop, skip, and a jump away from The Mansion on Turtle Creek (Tesar's former place of work where he gained a reputation as a bit of a renegade, to put it nicely).

Tesar says he and the rest of the Gravy team are currently getting schooled in making extruded pastas (think rigatoni, et al). He'll even be sending one of his chefs to train with esteemed chef Michael White (Marea, Osteria Morini, etc) in NYC.

While the chef certainly has plenty of other projects in the works right now — including The Royale, a burger spot in Plano that will feature a poutine station — he says Gravy will be his baby, proclaiming, "I will be behind the piano there every night."