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The October 2014 Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

The newest and hottest restaurants around town.

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It's time once again for a fresh update of the Eater Dallas Heatmap, a monthly guide intended to answer the age-old question: "Where should I eat tonight?"

October additions to the map include a walk-up window serving killer sandwiches, a much-appreciated new Indian restaurant and a healthy fast-casual spot delighting kale and quinoa lovers.

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The Blind Butcher

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This dark Lower Greenville bar from Goodfriend owners Matt Tobin and Josh Yingling and chef Oliver Sitrin is a carnivore's dream, especially if you like craft beer and/or whiskey. Get the ever-changing charcuterie plate and/or "big meat board" if it's available, which could include anything from five-animal terrine to bone marrow to osso buco. Housemade sausages are a must, particularly the rotating chicken version. Vegetables are worthwhile, too, particularly the very bacon-y Brussels sprouts.

C. Señor

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Hattie's owner Tony Alvarez transformed the old El Padrino taco stand in Bishop Arts into a tiny walk-up restaurant serving what might just be the best damn Cuban sandwich in town. Yucca fries are a must, and the chorizo burger is also worth trying -- but seriously, that sandwich.
If you're looking to impress a date or out-of-town visitors, Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder's cozy, intimate Henderson Avenue restaurant is a natural choice. Thoughtfully executed dishes like crispy sweetbreads with grainy mustard or duck two ways with barley fried rice are complemented by warm and attentive service. Do not skip dessert by pastry chef Stephanie Childress. Major bonus: Gemma is open till 1 a.m. for night owls who want to eat well.

LYFE Kitchen

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Dallas is apparently starved for healthy food, because people are swarming this recently arrived fast-casual chain where everything's under 600 calories. Health nuts can feast on kale and quinoa and wash them down with fruit and veg-infused "LYFE Waters," but there's also plenty of options for the rest of us: Think grass-fed steaks, parmesan sweet potato fries with aioli, and no shortage of beer and wine. (Psst: There's also a Preston Center location.)

Kitchen LTO

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Kitchen LTO 4.0 debuts tonight with former Central 214 chef Blythe Beck at the helm, and you can bet diners will be flooding in to try her new menu, which is heavy on the Southern comfort: think chicken-fried ribeye with bacon redeye gravy, roasted duck pot pie and Maker's Mark banana pudding.

Knife Restaurant

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Attention carnivores: John Tesar's modern take on the steakhouse at the Hotel Palomar is where you want to be. Start off with a bacon tasting and ground-to-order steak tartare before moving on to a "new school" cut of prime Texas beef like the tri-tip, downright affordable at a mere $26; or simply grab a spot at the bar and order up a cocktail and the $12 Ozersky burger, which comes with a side of awesome onion rings or super-crispy salsa verde fries.

Pecan Lodge

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The crowds are bigger than ever since Dallas's best barbecue moved on up from the farmers market to Deep Ellum, but the line also moves pretty quickly these days, and thanks to three times more pit capacity they rarely sell out of that illustrious brisket. If fried ribs are on the specials board, don't hesitate -- coated in a sweet-and-spicy sauce and topped with scallions and blue cheese chunks, they're a steal at $3 each.

Proof + Pantry

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Misery Loves Co. (that's Driftwood partners Michael Martensen and Sal Jafar II) and chef Kyle McClelland are giving One Arts Plaza a much-needed injection of something new and exciting with a well-edited cocktail menu and shareable plates like roast chicken and a fancy ham tasting. Bone marrow with onion marshmallows sounds strange but tastes delicious.

Shiva's Bar and Grill

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Indian food on Lower Greenville? It's practically a dream come true. Excellent pappadum, samosas and naan make the perfect precursor to entrees, whether you choose to play it super-safe with the old standby tikka masala or get a bit more adventurous. Biryanis are awesome, and vegetarians will be delighted with the many meatless options. Bonus: Unlike many of the city's Indian restaurants, Shiva's has a full bar.

So&So's

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So & So's is serving thoughtfully executed plates like confit pork belly with kimchi sauce, flawlessly cooked fish and a fantastic charcuterie plate in an unlikely location -- right in the midst of McKinney Avenue's bar scene. There are pizzas and wings, too, but it pays to be adventurous here. Cocktails are well-balanced and delivered quickly.

Stock & Barrel

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Former Nosh chef Jon Stevens' first venture is shaking up the Bishop Arts District with a sleek industrial interior and a menu that manages to be simultaneously approachable and adventurous: Think braised pork cheeks with cheese grits, chickpea fries with harissa cream and grilled octopus with green grapes and Marcona almonds, plus one of the more imaginative brunch menus in town.

VH Oak Cliff

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Can VH thrive where Outpost faltered? Former Bistro 31 general manager Victor Hugo and chef Eric Brandt are certainly hoping so, and with a moderately priced menu (think $9 duck taquitos and $24 filet mignon), a laid-back atmosphere and well-priced cocktails, they're certainly on the right track.

The Blind Butcher

This dark Lower Greenville bar from Goodfriend owners Matt Tobin and Josh Yingling and chef Oliver Sitrin is a carnivore's dream, especially if you like craft beer and/or whiskey. Get the ever-changing charcuterie plate and/or "big meat board" if it's available, which could include anything from five-animal terrine to bone marrow to osso buco. Housemade sausages are a must, particularly the rotating chicken version. Vegetables are worthwhile, too, particularly the very bacon-y Brussels sprouts.

C. Señor

Hattie's owner Tony Alvarez transformed the old El Padrino taco stand in Bishop Arts into a tiny walk-up restaurant serving what might just be the best damn Cuban sandwich in town. Yucca fries are a must, and the chorizo burger is also worth trying -- but seriously, that sandwich.

Gemma

If you're looking to impress a date or out-of-town visitors, Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder's cozy, intimate Henderson Avenue restaurant is a natural choice. Thoughtfully executed dishes like crispy sweetbreads with grainy mustard or duck two ways with barley fried rice are complemented by warm and attentive service. Do not skip dessert by pastry chef Stephanie Childress. Major bonus: Gemma is open till 1 a.m. for night owls who want to eat well.

LYFE Kitchen

Dallas is apparently starved for healthy food, because people are swarming this recently arrived fast-casual chain where everything's under 600 calories. Health nuts can feast on kale and quinoa and wash them down with fruit and veg-infused "LYFE Waters," but there's also plenty of options for the rest of us: Think grass-fed steaks, parmesan sweet potato fries with aioli, and no shortage of beer and wine. (Psst: There's also a Preston Center location.)

Kitchen LTO

Kitchen LTO 4.0 debuts tonight with former Central 214 chef Blythe Beck at the helm, and you can bet diners will be flooding in to try her new menu, which is heavy on the Southern comfort: think chicken-fried ribeye with bacon redeye gravy, roasted duck pot pie and Maker's Mark banana pudding.

Knife Restaurant

Attention carnivores: John Tesar's modern take on the steakhouse at the Hotel Palomar is where you want to be. Start off with a bacon tasting and ground-to-order steak tartare before moving on to a "new school" cut of prime Texas beef like the tri-tip, downright affordable at a mere $26; or simply grab a spot at the bar and order up a cocktail and the $12 Ozersky burger, which comes with a side of awesome onion rings or super-crispy salsa verde fries.

Pecan Lodge

The crowds are bigger than ever since Dallas's best barbecue moved on up from the farmers market to Deep Ellum, but the line also moves pretty quickly these days, and thanks to three times more pit capacity they rarely sell out of that illustrious brisket. If fried ribs are on the specials board, don't hesitate -- coated in a sweet-and-spicy sauce and topped with scallions and blue cheese chunks, they're a steal at $3 each.

Proof + Pantry

Misery Loves Co. (that's Driftwood partners Michael Martensen and Sal Jafar II) and chef Kyle McClelland are giving One Arts Plaza a much-needed injection of something new and exciting with a well-edited cocktail menu and shareable plates like roast chicken and a fancy ham tasting. Bone marrow with onion marshmallows sounds strange but tastes delicious.

Shiva's Bar and Grill

Indian food on Lower Greenville? It's practically a dream come true. Excellent pappadum, samosas and naan make the perfect precursor to entrees, whether you choose to play it super-safe with the old standby tikka masala or get a bit more adventurous. Biryanis are awesome, and vegetarians will be delighted with the many meatless options. Bonus: Unlike many of the city's Indian restaurants, Shiva's has a full bar.

So&So's

So & So's is serving thoughtfully executed plates like confit pork belly with kimchi sauce, flawlessly cooked fish and a fantastic charcuterie plate in an unlikely location -- right in the midst of McKinney Avenue's bar scene. There are pizzas and wings, too, but it pays to be adventurous here. Cocktails are well-balanced and delivered quickly.

Stock & Barrel

Former Nosh chef Jon Stevens' first venture is shaking up the Bishop Arts District with a sleek industrial interior and a menu that manages to be simultaneously approachable and adventurous: Think braised pork cheeks with cheese grits, chickpea fries with harissa cream and grilled octopus with green grapes and Marcona almonds, plus one of the more imaginative brunch menus in town.

VH Oak Cliff

Can VH thrive where Outpost faltered? Former Bistro 31 general manager Victor Hugo and chef Eric Brandt are certainly hoping so, and with a moderately priced menu (think $9 duck taquitos and $24 filet mignon), a laid-back atmosphere and well-priced cocktails, they're certainly on the right track.

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