New Restaurant in Addison: Masaryk

Hey, Addison. Not you Bill, the town just north of Beltline. Are you ready for a modern Mexican kitchen and tequila lounge? I hope so because you are getting Masaryk, a contemporary restaurant set to open on Addison Circle around April 1st. The chef/owner is Gabriel DeLeon and he comes from a family of chefs. His father, Juan DeLeon, worked as a chef at the famed Ewald’s on Lovers Lane, with top French chef Jean Lafont, and at the Zodiac Room at the downtown Neiman Marcus. He worked at his uncle’s restaurant Esparza’s in Grapevine before he opened  La Margarita restaurant in Irving, Texas.

Hey Gabriel, do have anything to say to the SideDish Nation?

“I wanted to create a spot which would have a sense of Latin rhythm to the food. My food is traditionally rooted and I am giving new life to classic dishes.  We cook everything from scratch, like an old hacienda. My inspiration is my family, the culture and roots of Mexico, with love and respect,” said DeLeon.

Yow. Zah. Jump for the War and Peace version of a press release that weaves a tale that includes Patricia Quintana, a Metrosexual cocktail, and padded leather chairs. TGIF.

Modern Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Lounge

Opens in Addison Circle East April 1

Chef/Owner Gabriel DeLeon  Expands Family Business at La Margarita in Irving to Dallas

Dallas, Texas-(March 20, 2009)- Masaryk [pronounced “maas-uh-rik“], 5004 Addison Circle East, Addison, TX 75001, 972-701-8500, , will be the first Mexican restaurant and newest “neighborhood dining” option in Addison Circle and will attract those seeking delicious and affordable Modern Mexican cuisine and specialty tequilas in a chic atmosphere.  The contemporary 3600 square foot, 130 person capacity restaurant will feature a contemporary bar and lounge with seating for 15 and a 1400 square foot, a covered patio with a view of the park, bandstand and annual Town of Addison events such as Kaboomtown and Jazz and Summer Salsa Series held on the Circle.

Gabriel DeLeon, Chef-Owner of Masaryk, Modern Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Lounge in Addison, takes much of his inspiration from his passion for travel throughout the world. Hence, Masaryk restaurant is named after an avenue in Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico.  This highly valued street in Latin America was named after the first President of Czechoslovakia Tomáš Masaryk and there is a university named for him in Brno, Czechoslovakia which Gabriel visited.  Masaryk Avenue in Mexico City boasts of the most expensive restaurants and shopping in the world unlike the Addison location which will be very accessible.

“I wanted to create a spot which would have a sense of Latin rhythm to the food. My food is traditionally rooted and I am giving new life to classic dishes.  We cook everything from scratch, like an old hacienda. My inspiration is my family, the culture and roots of Mexico, with love and respect,” said DeLeon.  Gabriel’s restaurant will blend his heritage of Mod-Mex foods with sophisticated international flavors fused with French cooking techniques and ingredients.  Mod-Mex Cuisine is generally typified by its more refined setting, ambiance, presentation and use of key ingredients-dried chiles, micro greens and infused oils prepared with European-influenced cooking techniques.

Juan DeLeon, father of Masaryk owners, Gabriel and Adrian DeLeon, worked as a chef at the famed Ewald’s on Lovers Lane with top French Chef Jean Lafont and at the Zodiac Room at the downtown Neiman Marcus for many years. He left to formulate his own concept at his uncle’s restaurant Esparza’s in Grapevine.  In 1990, he established La Margarita restaurant in Irving, Texas, as a quaint Tex-Mex spot for locals known for its exceptional food, service, recipes and specialty tequilas and signature drinks.  Sadly, Juan DeLeon passed away from brain cancer in 1995 leaving Gabriel to take over all aspects of the business and becoming head of the household at a very young age.  His ambitious efforts have been very successful and with a 20 year history, the brothers carry on their father’s Tex-Mex neighborhood restaurant and are now delving into fusion dining with Masaryk Modern Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Lounge as a part of DeLeon Concepts, Inc.

Masaryk’s location, designed by Jones Baker of Dallas, has eye-catching awnings with its signature ‘M’ adorning the circle with multi-colored glass mosaic tile and a milk glass front entrance with illuminated milk glass panels which fade different colors in and out.  The restaurant is comfortable and stylish, with a trend-setting ‘M’ lounge with sumptuous leather and fabric seating, Italian bar stools, 52” flat screen, organic cypress wood cocktail tables, generous ottomans, exposed ceilings with corkboard, tequila towers set against a custom, swirled, burl mineral composite architectural wall effect, and glass mosaic wall tile. The dining room off the lounge, looks onto the patio and features shaded plum and black modern teardrop chandeliers and dramatic silver metallic chiffon draping with plum, bronze and jewel toned accents on the walls and rich semicircle banquets in ruby brocade with chenille trim.

The main dining room of the restaurant has a clear view of the patio and the busy Addison Circle and is flanked by beige leather upholstered columns, oversized low-voltage dome lighting, ebony wood ladder back, padded leather chairs and textured wood tables.  Setting off the room are custom wrought iron lattice work, art mirrors, modern wall art reliefs and polished stained concrete floors in jade and chocolate tones.  Diners will be able to listen to loungey salsa and meringue music as well as modern Latin pop music.

Gabriel, a passionate Chef, along with Executive Chef Martin Hernandez, is especially instrumental in the orchestration of flavor and presentation at both locations.  Influenced by Rick Bayless, Richard Sandoval and how Douglas Rodriguez elevated Latino cuisine, Gabriel will use his food genius acquired from his many travels cooking, eating and observing the best chefs and restaurants in the world and his stellar customer service to make the dining experience memorable.  DeLeon is inspired by many of his travels to the Frontera Grill in Chicago, and gathered his French cooking influenced by his father and from his most unforgettable dining experiences in such great restaurants in Alsace (Auberge de I’ll-one of the few Michelin three star restaurants) where the great Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten got his start-one of Gabriel’s first fine dining experiences.  He also loves dining in Paris at Guy Savoy and at Restaurant Alain Ducasse.

Personal coaching by Patricia Quintana, one of the foremost authorities of native Mexican cuisine gives Gabriel a head start in the competitive Dallas culinary scene. DeLeon met Quintana at a Texas Restaurant Association show and received an invitation to work with her in Mexico City at her restaurant. Every day, as he walked up Masaryk Avenue to classes, he decided that he wanted to open up his restaurant by that name. He is a graduate of The Art Institute of Dallas.

The menu, which DeLeon says is 75 percent Mod-Mex and 25 percent Tex-Mex, incorporates Juan DeLeon’s recipes with Gabriel ‘s fusion of European techniques and ingredients, tribute dishes to his father and mentor Patricia Quintana and fan favorite dishes and cocktails from La Margarita.  It is divided into seven sections: “Bocaditos” (Latin for finger foods); “Sopas Y Ensaladas” (Soups and Salads); “Nachos Tex-Mex;” “Modern Mexican;” “Tex-Mex”-Create your own combos of tacos, enchiladas, chalupas, flautas, burritos and pork tamales; “Tacos Polanco” with house made corn tortillas; and “From the Grill.”  The majority of dishes are prepared at  a low to medium level of spiciness.  For example the P. Quintana Enchiladas, Gabriel’s favorite from when he first went to her restaurant, hers were stuffed with brie cheese and Masaryk’s version are stuffed with Oaxaca cheese. From his father, there is the Pollo Agave, one of  Juan’s first dishes, Gabriel honors the recipe but adds his own reduction and chanterelle mushrooms. Salmon Masaryk is also from his father but Gabriel incorporated a beurre blanc sauce. Gabriel puts his own twist on ceviche by using sundried tomatoes. His absolute favorite dish is the Duck Tacos. For comfort food, he says to try the Grilled Applewood Smoked Bacon & Chipotle Fajitas.

Both restaurants are a family affair, so patrons will see names of Gabriel’s siblings in the names of certain dishes and names of the Aztec variety in honor of his father’s passion for the Mayan civilization. La Margarita’s signature warmed salsa will also be presented with a Tex-Mex cold salsa for diners.

Gabriel will be rolling out a new menu of Daily Chef’s Specials after Mother’s Day that will include Pan Seared Scallops with Corn Saffron Reduction, Duck Breast with Chile Guajillo Rub and Red Chile Glaze, and Three Chile Crusted Ahi Tuna with Hibiscus Blood Orange Emulsion.

House specialty desserts featured are the family’s house made ice creams and sorbets, flan, pot de crème, and crème brulee made with the French zabayon method.

Addison Circle visitors will be able to stroll by daily and enjoy watching the chefs make corn tortillas and steam banana leaves from the street side exhibition kitchen window.

Masaryk will feature fifty-five tequilas-all 100 percent blue agave-and three and a half ounce tequila flights.  Bar manager Juventino Chavez will host a daily weekday happy hour from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. featuring its House Sangria, Gabriel’s signature Metro sexual made with House Sangria, Tequila, Agave Nectar, Lime Juice and Triple Sec; Masaryk Chocolate Martini; and Hibiscus Margarita on the rocks. There are also a variety of house specialty “Aguas Frescas” infused waters  with mango, ginger, lime, mojito and hibiscus.

Masaryk is open for lunch and dinner daily with continuous service.  Hours of operation are 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday,  11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and Weekend Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Bookings for special groups are available as well as to-go orders. Cash and all major credit cards accepted.  Free two-hour public parking is located behind Masaryk in the retail garage on the corner of Lewis and McIntire Place which is a 30 second walk from the restaurant.