Loft610_2new Chef Tre Wilcox photography by Kevin Hunter Marple

If you live south of 635, there has to be something great to get you to drive all the way up to Loft 610, in far northwest Plano. Try: buffalo tenderloin—thick slices with edges charred black, a voluptuous rare center, and a texture that’s tender yet resistant, offering just enough chew to make you want more. It comes with sweet potato, puréed so soft and creamy that you forget it’s a root vegetable altogether. Oh, almost forgot. There’s also Tre Wilcox, Top Chef contestant and hunkadelic from Abacus, whose arrival at Loft 610 has put this elegant but remote outpost on the local culinary map. Don’t you worry: Loft 610’s kitchen opens onto the dining room, so you can snap pix of him hunkered down over the stove. Beyond Tre and the buffalo, the rest of the meal was worth the drive, too. Seared lemon sole had a crunchy crust, giving this subtle fish some zip. Its accompanying mélange of buttery gnocchi and baby artichokes in Meyer lemon sauce seemed both luscious and virtuous. Crispy duck tacos and beef short rib pot stickers showed off the manly-plus-Asian sensibility Tre absorbed while working with Abacus’ Kent Rathbun. You can see the Abacus touch in the desserts, as well, since pastry chef Kara Blair is an alumna, too. Her precise chocolate-hazelnut truffle cake came topped with a peanut brittle spiked with bits of bacon—just the kind of trendy concept you’d go out of your way to get.

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