The Cedars Social, taken over this past February by lauded restaurateur Monica Greene, will soon get a new moniker and menu following the departing of chef Anastacia Quiñones last month.
There weren’t many details given around Quiñones’ highly publicized split, other than Greene wanted to take the menu in a more approachable direction. “We had to adjust,” she tells Eater. “Every food has an evolution, and we’re going to serve cuisine that brings the right kind of attention to Mexican food and also serves the community.”
Changes include adding more dishes familiar to Dallas diners like enchiladas, queso, and fajitas. “We didn’t have enchiladas before,” Greene tells Eater, citing the solid enchilada offered at Nick Badovinus’ Neighborhood Services as an example of how to appeal to the masses. “You walk in there at 6 p.m. and they’re packed,” she says. “They offer an incredible array of dishes. I don’t understand some chefs who say, ‘I don’t want to serve an enchilada or a taco.’ Some of the best restaurants in the world offer enchiladas and tacos.”
Greene is currently manning the kitchen and redeveloping the menus herself. Recent additions include jalapeño vermicelli pasta with chicken, shrimp, garlic, pico de gallo, whole roasted corn, black beans, and cilantro bechamel; a vegetarian risotto with three kinds of mushroom, sherry-based mushroom sauce, garlic rice, and calabacitas; redfish with sauteed fresh veggies in a light white lemon caper sauce, alongside chicken enchiladas with tomatillo, poblano, or mole sauce, plus fajitas grilled with peppers and onions. Greene will also roll out a new brunch menu. Each week she plans to replace three or four menu items with new additions.
“I understand Mexican food, what ‘modern’ Mexican is, and I understand what people like about Tex-Mex. We’re going to offer all of that,” she says. Greene will turn over the reins to a new head chef when she finds someone who shares her vision, she tells Eater. “They need to have a balance between good, quality food and a responsible attitude towards economics.”
Greene isn’t quite ready to announce The Cedars Social’s new moniker, but stay tuned to Eater for that information.