Pent-up Demand: Derry introduced weekend takeout suppers from Roots Chicken Shak that featured pork chops or sausage-laced Louisiana red beans and cornbread. “I have never seen my phone ring as fast,” she says. “I have never responded to emails as quickly.” Elizabeth Lavin

News Bites

News Bites: Restaurant from Top Chef Alum Tiffany Derry Opens Soon and Desi District Expands

SideDish’s weekly digest of need-to-know dining happenings in Dallas.

Welcome to SideDish’s weekly dispatch of need-to-know News Bites, from quiet closures to opening updates and everything in between, including coronavirus-related intel.

Tiffany Derry’s Roots Southern Table Arrives June 18

Lucky denizens of Farmers Branch will soon see a restaurant from Top Chef alum Tiffany Derry open this month at the Mustang Station mixed use development. Roots Southern Table is Derry’s love letter to her culinary, well, roots. The chef will embark on a menu that’s “as diverse as the South itself,” according to a release. That ethos is manifested through duck fat fried chicken, crawfish boil ravioli, and Tiffany’s Mother’s Gumbo—an ode to tradition and roots, indeed. Stay tuned for more intel as the opening arrives and revisit our profile of the chef from last August. 

Irving’s Desi District Undergoes Restaurant Refresh and Expansion

According to the Dallas Observer, the famed fast-casual Indian restaurant and grocery used 2020 to slow down and plan. The original Irving Desi District has had a little redesign (fresh paint, new signage, more seating upstairs, an expanded and relocated grocery component). A new location in Little Elm will open on June 4 with a restaurant, butcher shop, and banquet hall. Another is slated for McKinney this September, per Dallas Morning News.

Mot Hai Ba Refreshes Its Menu and Space in East Dallas

If you see Mot Hai Ba’s East Dallas doors shuttered, fret not. It’s temporary. Chef-owner Peja Krstic is giving the restaurant a refresh for the first time since he took it over in 2015. What does that mean? A little bit more comfort: two-top and four-top tables; chairs rather than stools; no more bar seating to make the small space airy; decor changes that are less industrial with warmer touches. He wants to let his own personality shine. That goes for the menu, too.

Last year, Krstic was called out for misspelling a Vietnamese dish and getting very defensive and stubborn following his correction. The chef told the DMN that he’s sticking to Vietnamese flavors and cuisine—just hopefully with spellcheck on and a touch more humility. So the menu then will move away from the street food-style, but Krstic won’t stray from his sharp French technique.

As the renovation at the Lakewood location goes on for a couple of weeks, the Mot Hai Ba in Victory Park will be the place to go for foie gras dumplings topped with wagyu ribeye and bowls of steamy pho.

California Restaurant Sets Sights on Addison This Fall

District is a Northern California restaurant with a “globally inspired cuisine,” which is to say some lamb meatballs here, a bit of Calabrian sausage pizza there. The shareable plates are designed to pair with what seems to be the main draw: a deep selection of whiskeys and wine. Expect the 3,800-square-foot space and patio to arrive at 5100 Belt Line Road in Addison this fall.

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