Chef John Tesar to Open The Spoon Bar and Kitchen in Dallas

John Tesar's Spoon Bar and Kitchen to open in July at Preston Center. He will serve the ingredients he wears in this picture.

Preston Center is hopping. Or it’s about to be. John Tesar is taking some space in the former the 24-Hour Fitness and opening his new signature restaurant, The Spoon Bar and Kitchen. The soon-to-open Hopdoddy Burger Bar will be next door. He plans to have the fine dining restaurant open in July 2012. (Opening menu below jump.)

Tesar also says he will be open two more Commissary’s: one on on Northwest Highway and Midway, Oct of 2012 and one more in FT Worth at Camp Bowie in the Museum Place development in December 2012. Plus, he is consulting on a “busterant” (details below).

Tesar’s current partner in The Commissary at One Arts, Lucy Billingsley, will not be part of the expansion. “I have one new solid money guy,” Tesar says. “Who knows, when it comes time to do the neighborhood burger and wine bar joints we may not call them The Commissary.” (It doesn’t take prescription glasses to read between the lines.)

The press release claims “chef Tesar will remain a consultant to the original Commissary located at One Arts Plaza and in his absence Screen Door executive chef David Macmillan will now help oversee the day-to-day operations.” However, Tesar told me he sold his shares in The Commissary back to Billingsley. “I am focusing on Spoon,” Tesar says. “I want to get back to doing the kind of food and service people expect from me at my days at The Mansion.”

Hold the bus, there is more.

In addition to his grand plan of pollinating DFW with burgers and wine, Tesar will be consulting on a new London Double Decker Bus which will serve signature hamburgers and street fare in Dallas starting April 2012. The “busterant” will feature the same C-Vap technique that the Commissary uses to cook its burgers. The Bus will also have a lounge for diners to frequent on the second level of the bus this added feature allows the bus to serve food in all types of weather and at different locations daily. So far, Tesar is not a partner in this deal; he is only consulting on the food.

The Spoon Bar and Kitchen Menu


1/2 Dz. Raw Oysters

1/2 Chilled Lobster

1/2 Dz. Raw Clams

1/2 Dz. Raw Scallops

Shrimp Cocktail Plateau


Yellow tail, Hawaiian hearts of palm, pink peppercorn and jalapeno yuzu vinaigrette

Big eye tuna avocado creama, micro cilantro and artichoke chips

Great south bay fluke with watermelon, ligurian olive oil and opal basil

Uni and Iberico lardo on crostini

Line caught striped bass mussel and caviar vinaigrette

Nova Scotia lobster, pink sea salt white grapes and mint

Kobe Beef Sashimi grains of paradise maldon salt chili extract and hijiki


Black garlic soup with BURGANDY SNAILS

GULF CRAB gratin

Flash seared KOBE BEEF with black truffle vinaigrette and watercress salad

Red wine braised OCTOPUS AND CRISPY PORK BELLY, fermented black beans, pear and ink verjus

BONE MARROW AND OXTAIL marmalade with brioche toast

ALASKAN KING CRAB, garlic butter and parley garlic foam

PIGS TROTTER Milanese, fried duck egg, marinated tomato and arugala salad

BEEF CHEEK RAVIOLI, CRISPY SWEET BREADS, speck and Parmesan emulsion

Crispy CALAMARI in the style of General Tao

TRIPE parmesan

Toasted GNOCCHI, SHORT RIB “carrots and Peas”


“HAM AND EGGS ” crispy pork belly, chanterelle mushroom and green onion risotto, fried

duck egg and pork brodo

THE BIG STEAK 48 ounce porterhouse to share with tempura onion rings, and sauce au


FUSILLI red wine braised octopus, bone marrow

BLACK SPAGHETTI little neck clams, santa barbara sea urchin, basil

ROASTED FRANS FRYER CHICKEN, vegetable and pazanella salad with celery hearts and chicken liver vinaigrette

RABBITT 3 ways, herb roasted leg and thigh sous vide loin with saba and porcini

mushrooms, braised leg with paparadellle casserole

FAUX VEGETABLE RISOTTO, peas carrots and corn

STRIPED BASS in salt crust lemon, rosemary, and thyme, natural juices and sofrito broth

BAKED SKATE “En Papillote with clam chowder sauce

CONFIT LEG AND BREAT OF DUCK, clover honey sauce, sweet potato hash, smoked

brussel sprout salad

DIVER SCALLOPS, caramelized sun chokes, ramps and black trumpet mushrooms and

chive emulsion

GRILLED BRAISED SHORT RIBS with celery root puree braised collard greens and braising sauce

Pulled LAMB SHANK, toasted potato gnocchi, Barolo sauce and mint gremolata


  • Snack Perkins

    I like Tesar and his food. Hard to see how at least 3/4 of this won’t go down in flames.

  • Charm Offensive

    Part of me wants to care….and, yet….

  • bluebird

    Charm Offensive, awesome

  • Gipson

    The best news in all that for me is the Northwest Highway Commissary. That’s still not close, but the less distance between me and the Farmer Burger the better. Mmmmm…duck egg…

  • Mensch

    So Leslie Brenner beat you to the story, Nancy? Tsk tsk.

  • Borborygmus

    I haven’t read this much pre-hype since Antonovich was in town.

  • Mench, every media outlet in town had this press release at the first of the week. It was embargoed until noon on Saturday. Mike Hiller jumped the gun and posted it early. However, being first doesn’t always make you the best. And Brenner was dismayed by Hiller’s tactic. I was too but that is how the ball rolls in this day and age. And I will bet you dinner at The Mansion that Tesar never opens a burger and wine joint and calls it The Commissary.
    Borborygmus, Matt is actually doing well in Louisville, Kentucky.

  • Mike Hiller

    Woah, wait just a minute, Nancy. I got the story in person from Tesar early this week (which is when I snapped the photo now on Tesar never made any request that I withhold any portion of the story except the Spoon news. In fact, he expected me to publish my post about burgers and the bus on Thursday, but I didn’t. I asked him if he’s giving the same story to anyone else, to which he responded no, not till after my story runs. He specifically denied telling you or Brenner or anyone else about his expansion plans or Spoon. With respect to Spoon, Tesar asked me to wait until “this weekend” to release details of his new concept, then early this morning wrote to say he didn’t mind if I released it immediately. I wrote him to ask if he had told anyone — including Brenner– that I broke some “embargo.” His answer: No.

    Maybe we all got played.

  • Nancy Nichols

    Looks that way Mike.

  • Nancy Nichols

    Text I received this morning:

    Mike Hiller jumped the story .. Sorry so post it if you so desire you have the spoon story sorry bloggers 

  • Borborygmus

    Like I said…………

  • Jimmy Contreras

    McMillan not Macmillan

  • Casey s

    Take a look at the menu from Marea in NYC, Tesar has lifted much of it directly. Great chef.

  • Axe grinder, pile driver

    Be careful and take it easy on the ole boy or we’ll all end up reading that damned resume again!!!

  • Snack Perkins

    @Casey s that uni/lardo crostini specifically.

  • Axe grinder, pile driver

    as well as the bigeye tuna, the fluke, the striped bass, the lobster with pink sea salt, the fusilli red wine braised octopus with bone marrow…….

  • Steve O.

    Who cares…

  • Sense

    Nancy, after reading all of the blogs today it is obvious that chef Tesar is full of shit and he can’t keep his mouth shut. Mike Hiller says Tesar told him nobody else knew what was going on but both Leslie Brenner and you were told to hold the story. I hope his food is good because hiss bullshit is getting old. There are two investors designing the bus. Yet Tesar claims he is doing it all. Not true. He is a paid consultant. What a publicity whore with multiple personalities.

  • Slappy Keilbasa

    He is and that’s why we love him AND he is an amazing chef!

  • MargeP

    After D’s article cataloging Tesar’s troubled history, all eyes were on him to see if he could stay on the rails with the Commissary. Now that Tesar has shown that he can’t successfully run a burger joint for nine months, even with Billingsley’s backing, why would anyone partner with him on anything bigger or more ambitious?

  • TaxManCommeth

    Yes, you’ve been bamboozled by tesar, not surprised are you? Also, this makes no sense. He’s selling his shares of the Commissary (which I’m sure they’re worth about $1.45 each) but then he’s going to open two more Commissary’s and a restaurant called Spoon (which is not original) and offer a menu that is not only a rip off of other menus but half of the stuff sounds like puke. Crazytown.

  • Pretty sure no one saw this coming.

  • sherman

    When John Jackass first announced The Commissary, he vigorously and paranoically defended his resume and said that he wasn’t going to take it anymore from all the haters and that yes, The Commissary would be a long lasting effort by him. I said 6 months, no more than 9, and he called me names in response. So my new name, should you care, is now John’s Brain. And John’s Brain is pretty certain about Dallas hasta la bye bye in 12 months. Encourage me.

    Not since Avner has there been such a pariah in Dallas dining. The embarrassment is palpable.