Rapscallion, the beloved bistro on Greenville Avenue, will serve its last dinner this Saturday, May 14.
The restaurant announced its closure in a post on Facebook, writing, “We have loved serving East Dallas these last 7 years.” Over its seven-year run, Rapscallion won a reputation for combining a casual atmosphere with smart, thoughtful food that brought global influences to traditional dishes of the American South. I have fond memories of just about every seafood special Rapscallion ever ran, and many diners loved its Nashville hot chicken, which hit the menu years before that dish became Dallas’ biggest trend. The Rapscallion recipe included numbing Szechuan peppercorns.
D Magazine has included Rapscallion on lists of Best Bars, Best Brunches, and Best Restaurants in Dallas; Eve Hill-Agnus, my predecessor as dining critic, most recently ranked it the 31st-best restaurant in the city.
At least two of the restaurant’s chefs have gone on to acclaim elsewhere, too. Nathan Tate, who designed the opening menu, now cooks at Hillside Tavern, part of the same ownership group. Aaron Skoultchi took charge of the opening of Anise, a Mediterranean-themed spot in the Drey Hotel at The Village, before moving to Nashville. And it’s worth pointing out that this restaurant had one of the coolest names of any spot in Dallas.
Rapscallion’s drinks program was noteworthy. Owners Brooks and Bradley Anderson, who also operate Veritas Wine Room, Boulevardier, and Hillside Tavern, assembled a wine list of American producers both famous and obscure, featuring grapes you knew (cabernet sauvignon) and grapes you didn’t (charbono). There were wines from unusual states like Virginia, too. Few casual restaurants were better for finding a new favorite wine.
And the bar’s excellent scotch and whiskey selections got featured on occasional nightly specials. I’ve started stocking bottles of Clynelish at home because I fell in love with it at Rapscallion. This week, if I can’t get over to Greenville by Saturday, I’ll pour myself a glass of Clynelish in its honor.
Don’t take your favorite restaurants for granted, folks.
Correction (May 16): The original version of this story reported that Aaron Skoultchi was still executive chef at Anise. He moved to Nashville this winter.