The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over just yet, but now that more and more Texans are getting. vaccinated and restaurants can operate at full capacity, many diners in Dallas and beyond have fully returned to restaurants.
In this month’s update of the Eater Dallas Heatmap, there’s a bounty of restaurants that are serving diners in a variety of formats, including many takeout and outdoor dining options. Go forth, and break out of the boring dinner rut with cheese-crusted Detroit-style pizza at Thunderbird Pies in East Dallas, creative, shareable snacks at Rye on Greenville Avenue, and so much more.
Roots Southern Table
This new Farmers Branch spot is helmed by lauded chef Tiffany Derry, a Top Chef contestant and food celebrity in her own right. Here, comforting plates like ravioli stuffed with the traditional flavors of a crawfish boil and jerk lamb chops served with hoppin’ john await, alongside lighter fare like stuffed zucchini flowers and grilled hen-of-the-woods mushrooms.
Dallas, TX 75206
Chef Junior Borges, formerly of spots like Uchi and the now-shuttered FT33, is making his triumphant return to the Dallas dining scene at Meridian. His distinctly modern take on Brazilian cuisine brings creative plates, ranging from fusilli verde with pork ragu and whole-grilled octopus, to the table, perfect for pairing with cocktails like the Tiki Batida, a mix of cachaca, coconut milk, pineapple, and lime.
RH Rooftop Restaurant Dallas
Perched atop ritzy furniture retailer RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, this Knox Street rooftop is a spot to see and be seen. At dinner, dig into charred ribeye or brown butter broiled salmon, or swing buy during brunch, when truffled grilled cheese or a smoked salmon platter can be paired with peach bellinis or mimosas.
MANPUKU Japanese Yakiniku Grill
Also new to Greenville avenue is Manpuku, a Japan-born chain where diners can grill top-notch meats right at the table. Diners can order meats individually, or choose from an omakase tasting menu packed with Kurobuta pork, wagyu beef, and gunkan-style sushi stuffed with uni.
This Greenville Avenue newcomer is a bakery by day, and tasting menu destination at night. Wife-and-husband chef duo Amy and Casey La Rue are turning out luxe four or twelve course tasting menus at a price point that belies the quality of the dishes on offer.
Joe Leo Fine Tex-Mex
The menu at this Fitzhugh Avenue newcomer is dedicated to classic Tex-Mex dishes, from beef and veggie fajitas served with jalapeno jumbo shrimp brochette to verde-smothered chicken enchiladas.
The Sporting Club & Blüm
This two-in-one spot makes it easy to dine all day, from brunch to cocktail hour. On the dinner menu, dishes like herb-crusted filet and chicken fried chicken, along with group-friendly party platters loaded down with cheeseburger sliders, wings, and fries.
At this chic new spot inside the Thompson Hotel, chef de cuisine Jeramie Robison has created an eclectic menu of dishes with a range of culinary influences. Start with brussels sprout skewers sauced with chili and lime or pimento pepper dip with jumbo lump crab, then dig into pan-seared filet with pumpkin seed pesto, Japanese fried chicken, or miso-glazed salmon.
This swanky modern Italian restaurant, which recently opened inside The National, is the first in Dallas from lauded Chicago chef Danny Grant. Boasting both sweeping views of Downtown Dallas and stunning dishes like fire-roasted Alaskan king crab, charred octopus, and crispy cacio e pepe pasta, this restaurant is perfect for a date-night splurge.
This luxe sushi spot in Downtown only has 60 seats, which means that a reservation is a must. In addition to the stunning skyline views, find hamachi sashimi, tuna-stuffed maki rolls, and chic cocktails like the Purple Reign, mixed with Westward whiskey, oloroso sherry, honey-jasmine syrup, and lemon.
Milagro Tacos Cantina
Head to this Singleton Avenue taqueria for some of Dallas’s finest tacos. Prepared by taquero Jesus Carmona, the taco fillings here range from classic carne asada to octopus, crispy pork belly, and chicharron-style cod. Birria tacos served with consome for dunking are also on the menu, along with burgers, burritos, and plenty of beer to wash down all of the above.
This Deep Ellum newcomer brings a showy drinking destination complete with intricately prepared cocktails to the neighborhood. On the food side of the menu, look forward to dishes like Burmese tea leaf salad and massive wagyu steaks, plus cocktails like a seriously over-the-top libation called the Barcelona Pick Pocket that’s made with whiskey and over 30 different spices.
This much-anticipated collaboration between pitmaster Aaron Fraklin and sushi whiz Tyson Cole has finally made its debut in East Dallas. The wide-ranging menu includes dishes like crispy chicken karaage, curried brisket rice, and smoky meats like bavette or oak-smoked salmon.
Dallas, TX 75214
A pandemic-era pop-up that grew into its own standalone restaurant, Thunderbird Pies is now slinging its Detroit-style pies in East Dallas. Not familiar with the style? Think thick, focaccia-like crust, Wisconsin brick cheese, and toppings like cupping pepperoni.
Dallas, TX 75206
A second outpost of the McKinney original, Rye is now slinging inventive fare on Greenville Avenue. The menu is packed with small, shareable dishes that range from crispy fried artichokes to charcuterie boards and stunning seared scallops. Don’t sleep on the cocktails, either — there’s a solid espresso martini on the menu.
This McKinney barbecue favorite just made a comeback after a lengthy shutter caused by a fire, and it made a major hire during the closure. Acclaimed Texas pitmaster John Mueller is now in charge of the smokers here, and is introducing new offerings like peach-habanero sausage alongside the barky brisket and super-tender ribs that Hutchins fans have come to love.