Not much is growing in the dead of winter, but the Dallas restaurant scene is certainly blooming. After an impossibly big year that brought the openings of Uchi Dallas, Matt McCallister’s Filament, and Graham Dodds’ Wayward Sons, 2016 is shaping up to bring plenty of excellent new places to dine throughout the new year.
As predicted, the Dallas suburbs are hot for restaurant openings this year, evidenced by Tre Wilcox’s Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine and Shake Shack, both of which will land in Plano later this year. Southern cuisine, Italian spots, and casual fare continue to dominate the trendier options, while burgers and barbecue are reliable Dallas standbys.
There’s plenty to be excited about this year. Stay tuned here for concrete opening dates, menus, and more updates on these 13 highly-anticipated forthcoming restaurants.
Top Chef contestant Tre Wilcox joins chef de cuisine Jermaine Brown to bring Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine to Plano by the end of January. Expect southern classics like pimiento cheese and roasted Louisiana redfish alongside more modern takes, like pomegranate-glazed pork belly. Julia Pearl should be opening any day now, by end of January at the latest.
The highly-anticipated healthy eating concept from restaurateur Shannon Wynne will finally open its doors at the Dallas Farmers Market in 2016. Look forward to paleo and gluten-free options alongside healthy dishes and a strict no-soda policy. Fortunately, there’s plenty of booze and desserts to completely ruin your diet. Mudhen gets cooking in late January.
The opening of Uchi’s upstairs concept is still largely shrouded in mystery, but we do know that Chef Angela Hernandez will lead the kitchen. Diners can expect a "playful" menu with sharable plates and notes of Uchi’s Asian-influenced cuisine from the chef, whose resume includes stints at Uchiko in Austin and Bazaar by Jose Andres in Los Angeles. Top Knot will open in "early" 2016.
Revolver Taco Lounge’s original Fort Worth location is safe for now, but the most exciting development is the opening of Revolver Taco Deep Ellum and Purepecha. The concept-within-a-concept will serve up traditional Mexican tacos in true Revolver fashion alongside Michoacan-style cuisine prepared by owner Regino Rojas’ mother at Purepecha. Both concepts are expected to open in February or March.
Julian Barsotti is Dallas’ undisputed king of Italian cuisine, and forthcoming Roman pizza concept Sprezza will only expand his empire. As part of Dallas’ continuing Italian food explosion, Sprezza will offer pizza al taglio (a style native to Rome), "handmade and bronze die extruded pastas," and Italian wine and beer. Look forward to the opening on Maple Avenue in spring 2016.
As sad as Dallasites will be to see Stephan Pyles’ flagship restaurant on Ross Ave go, the good news is that Pyles will open Flora Street Cafe shortly thereafter. At least a few of Pyles’ signature dishes, like the tamale tart, will stick around. Expect Pyles’ classic ceviches and housemade corn tortillas in an environment that’s even swankier than Stephan Pyles. Flora Street Cafe will open in April.
Chef John Tesar has been teasing an Italian concept for some time, but Gravy 51 will officially come to life in 2016. Tesar’s new concept will shine the spotlight on fresh pastas in a casual atmosphere. So casual, in fact, that reservations are verboten for small parties. Expect Gravy 51 to open its doors on Turtle Creek in September or October 2016.
John Tesar’s second go at running a burger restaurant will come to Plano later this year. The Royale, no doubt a hat-tip to Pulp Fiction, will bring a variety of meat-topped poutine options along with burgers made from just about anything you can think of, including jerk chicken, lobster, and a vegan quinoa burger. Expect The Royale to open its doors by the end of 2016.