When it dropped in January, a longlist from the James Beard Awards honored several Dallas and Fort Worth area restaurants and chefs. Now, the finalists have been announced, and a precious few have made the list.
Lucia in Bishop Arts made the Best Restaurant list. The longstanding Italian restaurant has long been considered one of the city’s finest and has been nominated several times. It’s also well-known as one of the most difficult to land reservations in Dallas (as evidenced by the many, many, many stories written about it over the years), and this honor is sure to make the wait list even longer. In a press conference, the Uygurs who own and operate Lucia told Eater Dallas there is a hack for that: be flexible. “If all you want is pasta and to be with us, there are walk up spots at the bar,” Jennifer Uygur says. “We have full service. When the weather is nicer, we have spots on the patio. I would say be flexible, and know that pasta tastes at good at 6:30 or 8:30. And we’d love to see you.”
Reyna Duong of Sandwich Hag is the only Metroplex chef to make the Best Chef shortlist. The restaurant in the Cedars is right on the Akard Street corridor that is heating up in terms of coolness and interesting new businesses to the area. Duong is well-known in Dallas for standing up for representation for POC and women in the overwhelmingly white and male hospitality industry.
In the Best New Restaurant category, Restaurant Beatrice in North Oak Cliff and Don Artemio in Fort Worth are among the ten finalists.
Restaurant Beatrice was the 2022 Eater Dallas Awards Restaurant of the Year. The restaurant, which serves Cajun and Creole dishes, has a notable program for sustainability, including a partnership with Restorative Farms to use ingredients from a South Dallas urban farm that employs and feeds locals. “It is an honor to be able to represent Dallas on a national level, demonstrating our city’s culinary contributions and advancements and expanding what characterizes Dallas, who makes up Dallas is, and what Dallas food is and can be,” Michelle Carpenter, owner and chef at Restaurant Beatrice tells Eater Dallas via email.
Don Artemio in Fort Worth is the North Mexican restaurant’s second location, and it quickly became one of the most notable eateries in the Metroplex. “On March 9th, 2022 the first day of orientation, we spent 8 hours with our new team..,We also talked about the dream to get recognized hopefully one day by James Beard Foundation...Today’s announcement to be now in the finalist is fantastic news, and now we have a higher commitment to our team, our guests and our community,” Adrian Burciga, general manager and co-owner of Don Artemio tells Eater Dallas in an email.
Its executive chef and founder/owner will be at the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival the weekend of March 31.
La Casita Bakeshop in Richardson and Kuluntu Bakery made it to the list of finalists for Outstanding Bakery. “I am honored to be a finalist with other bakers who I admire and look up to,” Maricsa Trejo, the chef and owner of La Casita Bakeshop tells Eater Dallas via email. “My staff and I are only going to continue to get better from here, we are ready for the opportunities that come from such a prestigious honor. This award isn’t possible without my partner in life Alex Henderson believing in me and pushing me. We are going to Chicago with our heads held high and ready to meet some amazing people in our industry. Si se puede mi Gente!”
Get the full list of James Beard Award nominees for 2023 from all around the country.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Awards. Eater is partnering with the James Beard Foundation to livestream the awards in 2023.
Update: This article was updated on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 at 2:46 p.m. to add quotes from the finalists.