After two years of work, Tracy Moore Rathbun and Lynae Fearing are preparing to open their third restaurant in Inwood Village. The restaurateurs behind Shinsei and Lovers Seafood and Market will open a coastal Mediterranean restaurant called Dea, Italian for goddess, on September 26.
General manager Anthony Valiani tells Eater Dallas the menu will have a fresh pasta program and heavy Italian influences in the dishes. But it will also feature Mediterranean seafood dishes, including scallops, halibut, and a casarecce with octopus pasta that its chef, Roman Murphy (formerly of North Italia and the chef de cuisine at Lovers Seafood), calls his favorite.
Several Italian spots have opened in Dallas this year, but Valiani says with certainty that the market still has room for more. “Because we have a Mediterranean twist, and we’re doing some things that are a little bt outside of the norm…I think will set us apart from the traditional upscale Italian,” Valiani says.
Murphy’s other choice pick from the menu is the mussels from Prince Edward Island, which he calls a play on a romesco with roasted bell peppers, Marcona almonds, and Thai basil and tomatoes. The menu also features housemade focaccia, wood-roasted bone marrow, and a burrata salad.
Dea will also have a wine program written by beverage director Kelly Newman, who oversees the other properties in the portfolio, and a cocktail program developed by Valiani. The domestic wines Dallas diners love to order, from California cabs to Chardonnay, are on offer. Newman has also put together a list of wines from the Mediterranean region that Valiani says includes “off the beaten path” options, which include Falanghina, an Italian white wine grape and eclectic Grecian and Italian reds, including a Xinomavro that should pair nicely with its pasta. The star of the cocktail menu will be the Mediterranean gin and tonic, but look for a duck fat washed Old Fashioned and cocktails with a twist, including one that utilizes mascarpone. Textures and acid are the themes of their drinks, Valiani says.
The vibe is a neighborhood restaurant with no dress code, Valini says. And the location is the former Fireside Pies in Inwood Village, which the owners have split into a downstairs bar that seats 23 and an area with couches and a few two and three high-top tables. The dining room holds 70 to 80, with a private dining room upstairs that holds another 20 to 30. The decor focuses on Mediterranean colors: blues, greens, and oranges. “We went down that road of having a lot of more feminine parts of the Mediterranean and the decor, with some masculinity,” Valini says. “There’s brick but then we’ve got these beautiful drapes that have a nice floral print. The bar has a dark blue back bar but the front is set in light blue fabric with brass overhangs.”
Dea is accepting reservations through its website now.
Dea is at 7709 Inwood Rd. in Dallas.