When it was announced that Julian Rodarte, the “and son” of the successful Beto and Son Tex-Mex restaurant, was taking over as CEO of Trinity Groves, the restaurant incubator project in West Dallas, it was apparent that some significant changes would follow. Since the pandemic put a damper on the previously packed space, which was always teeming with people, Trinity Groves has badly needed some new life.
Trinity’s owners believe that Julian Rodarte, who is 29, is the young visionary who can reinvigorate the 10-year-old restaurant park. But there weren’t a lot of folks factoring in what his wife, Alexa Rodarte (the namesake of Lexy’s, the new American restaurant with locally-sourced food inside the incubator space), who is now marketing director for Trinity Groves, might also bring to the table.
Collaboratively, the duo has opened Lexy’s, which boldly brings something to the Dallas dining scene that many restaurants shy away from: femininity. The restaurant space is full of light pink, which is rare in the city even though it’s a popular trend nationally, and flowers. There is even a Moet champagne vending machine, a touch Alexa Rodarte conceived from knowledge gleaned in her previous marketing roles in the spirits industry. And that was one of the focus points for attendees at the VIP opening, who lined up to get a photo standing next to it.
The idea for Lexy’s came to them while they were at a food show in San Antonio. “We connect on on a very deep level in our relationship, just talking through ideas and concepts. This idea for Lexi’s came up in a conversation. We were inspired by an elegant feminine cocktail that we were sipping on,” Julian Rodarte tells Eater Dallas. “The conversation transitioned from that one cocktail into an entire concept that embodied Alexa as an individual, the colors she likes, and the food and drinks that we both enjoy and get from our travels.”
Stepping into Lexy’s makes it glaringly evident that other restaurants shy away from decor that reads as overtly womanly. Our beloved steakhouses are primarily dark wood or industrial affairs, save Georgie and its orange and gold midcentury modern decor. Other trendy restaurants cite a millennial aesthetic as inspiration for their marble-topped tables, botanical decor, and gold fixtures — all of which Lexy’s also has. But they largely shy away from feminine colors, reading as gender neutral inside a romantic industrial design.
The Rodarte’s knew they wanted a menu that matched the interiors; something timeless and classic but connected to the experience. There’s a tomahawk steak for two on the menu, which doesn’t have to mean a date night meal — besties can share steak too. It is, however, carved tableside for a specific experience that fits the vibe.
“When I was a kid, I loved playing with teapots,” Alexa Rodarte says to Eater Dallas. “So I essentially took my favorite childhood pastime and incorporated it into the cocktail menu by adding spice, alcohol, and CBD to call it high tea. It will also come with dry ice inside the pot, as if it were hot. That’s is our signature cocktail.”
Another particular favorite on the menu is the whole red snapper, tempura fried on one side and roasted on the other and served with Lexy’s aioli sauce plus a citrus bur blanc. “It’s like getting one dish that people are able to experience several different ways,” Julian Rodarte tells Eater Dallas. “You can mix and match the sauces.”
Julian Rodarte says that the space, which takes up a large portion at the end of the complex, is a bit of an anomaly. While most of the other areas will stay small, in part due to construction constraints, with Lexy’s, they were able to join two spaces together and easily combine the kitchens. And, Julian Rodarte adds, they will be opening another new restaurant at the end of September or October.
Lexy’s is at 3011 Gulden Ln., Suite 114 in Trinity Groves. It opens on Monday, August 15. After that, it will have service on Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.