Several months after its opening, Up on Knox, the new American-French brasserie by Stephan Courseau, owner of Le Bilboquet, was in need of a new executive chef. Chef Junior Borges, formerly at The Joule, had been hired for a project with Courseau, which I announced in March, and which is still in the works. He was, meanwhile, overseeing things at the brasserie, with its revolving door and airy patio dining.
Melody Bishop and Dennis Kelley, the team formerly at Lark on the Park, were in the process of moving on after lauching an opening menu of oysters, cod brandade on grilled bread, and seafood arroz negro with a saffron rouille, or a Moroccan-spiced lamb shank. And so, when I called to factcheck a few items I’d eaten there, I learned from Borges that it was all about to change.
Today we learn that Up on Knox has hired executive chef Matthew Wilbur, who has 15 years of experience in the industry, including work at Bouchon at The Venetian in Las Vegas and Citronelle at Carmel Valley Ranch.
According to the release: “With several Michelin starred kitchens under his belt and time spent working under chefs Thomas Keller, Alex Stratta, and Michel Richard, Wilbur eventually made his way to Dallas where he cut his teeth at The Joule Hotel with Borges as the Executive Chef of Banquets and Catering for almost two years. Now, he’s making swift, subtle changes to the Up On Knox menu by combining his classical French training and love for the farm-to-table fare of his California hometown in order to make the bistro [a] comfortably charming eatery.”
“We’re trying to reflect the great product we get here in the Dallas area while staying true to what this restaurant is,” shares Wilbur. “It’s a neighborhood bistro where you can enjoy familiar, homey dishes like a simple roasted half chicken with marble potatoes and chicken jus, or find a really nice scallop or halibut dish that’s going to feel a little more special.”
Borges had said to me when I spoke with him that the new menu would still take inspiration from the French brasserie vein, with, he said, “that simplicity to it.”
It’s been a gradual transition away from the original menu.
“Melody Bishop has been awesome,” Borges told me on the phone.
Courseau’s favorite brasseries include Brasserie Lipp in Paris and Balthazar in New York. Ultimately, for him, a brasserie, is “a restaurant that was just supposed to be for the people, for the community, the neighborhood.” This one now has a new leader at the helm.