We know the holidays can get a little harried. After the adrenaline rush of wrapping that last gift and getting in under the tree, the days kind of blur together as you watch Wonder Woman 1984 and decide whether it’s bad or really, really bad as the internet argues about it. If you ignored the internet altogether, you might’ve had the most restful break of us all. However unplugged you were over the last week or so, some dining news always slips in under the radar. So without further ado, a dispatch on the latest Dallas food and drink goings-on.
The biggest hubbub is word of Macellaio’s closure. Jennifer Uygur, who owns the casual salumi restaurant with her husband David, wrote in an email: “During the pandemic, we’ve struggled to find the right niche for Lucia’s casual sister restaurant. Despite multiple pivots, sales continued to drop. With drastically diminished sales and no Salaryman to help share expenses, there simply isn’t a path forward for Macellaio. So, David and I decided to close it permanently.” (Salaryman closed in November after chef Justin Holt was diagnosed with leukemia.)
Macellaio and Lucia closed their dining rooms way back in March and, with to-go menus, gift certificates, and other revenue sources, managed to make it nine months. Staff remained free of COVID-19 but Macellaio has folded, leaving Lucia with a new path forward. The Uygurs decided not to renew Lucia’s lease which ended in December, so the restaurant will move out of its original (also smaller) home and reopen in the former Macellaio space come springtime. Meanwhile, Salaryman’s former space will become the permanent Lucia To Go spot, which will relaunch soon.
What’s this all mean? “It means we’ll have a large, covered patio with propane heaters and fans where we can seat guests at a safe distance from each other. It means we’ll have a larger dining room with enough room to both socially distance our tables and be able to feed enough pasta to enough people to allow us to pay our staff and our bills. It means we have hope for the first time in months,” says Jennifer Uygur.
In better news, Thunderbird Pies finally has a permanent home in Lakewood. The Detroit pizza concept—the best pizza I had in 2020, might I add—came from the pie wizards behind Cane Rosso and Zoli’s. Now, after popping up inside Zoli’s in Addison, Thunderbird Pies will settle into its new home at 7328 Gaston Avenue inside the former On Rotation space. The announcement came via Facebook: “They say only a fool would put a new pizza restaurant next door to his long-running, existing pizza restaurant. Well, with Zod as my witness, I AM THAT FOOL!!!!” The owners will also open a new Cow Tipping Creamery next door. All coming, hopefully, in March.
Sen. John Cornyn’s brisket captivated the internet over the holidays—not because it looked particularly good. I’m not going to re-hash everything that swirls around on Twitter because that’s not the energy I’m trying to bring in 2021. However, I will share the social media ribbing Cornyn received when he posted a picture of the family brisket.
Brisket family tradition pic.twitter.com/VbJry2rcfZ
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) December 25, 2020
To be fair, nothing captured under the kitchen stove light is ever going to look all that attractive. Even the Houston Chronicle gave him a pass. But mostly Texans demanded answers. Texas Monthly barbecue editor couldn’t avoid being involved in this important case of food journalism. He investigated the recipe and published a story after he attempted the Cornyn’d Beef Brisket. Call it a slow news week or important Texas matters; I’m calling it a reason to leave it to the barbecue pros.
Vidorra opens a second location in Addison. The Deep Ellum restaurant, whose DJ-energized rooftop patio has been thumping throughout 2020, has a sister location as of December 28. At 5100 Beltline Road, Suite 410 in Addison’s Village on the Parkway, find Vidorra’s same Mexican-inspired food and drink as well as a 2,000-square-foot patio.