Wednesday, December 7, 2022 Dec 7, 2022
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Food & Drink

An Opinionated Guide to This Summer’s Most Exciting New Restaurants and Bars in North Texas

Our dining critic cuts through the hype to focus on the new bars and restaurants that are most likely to be interesting and delicious.
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Courtesy Better Block

It’s been a busy Dallas summer for hyped-up new restaurants. With this list, I take a more subjective approach, focusing on the bars and eateries that are most interesting to me as a diner. In other words, this list is not exhaustive, but it is full of opinions and suggestions and anticipation.

First we’ll talk about recent openings around Dallas, some of which we have covered already at D, but many of which have slipped under the radar without publicity. Then, at the end, I’ll tease seven upcoming restaurants with approximate opening dates. Each category’s businesses are listed alphabetically.

It’s an exciting and diverse list, and it does not even include some upcoming projects local restaurateurs are keeping secret. Get ready for everything from gumbo to Yemeni food, and from classic beers to strange ice creams.

Already Open

286 Noodle House
3347 W. Walnut St., Ste. 105, Garland

This new Vietnamese spot in Garland specializes in stews and soups, but not the famous bowl of pho. Instead, the menu features egg noodle dishes with beef, seafood, or pork ribs, a special soup with braised duck, and bún bò Hue. I’m excited to try it.

42 BBQ Smokehouse and Market
3613 Shire Blvd., Ste. 100, Richardson

Chef Josh Bonee, formerly of Meddlesome Moth and Lucky’s Hot Chicken, goes beyond the usual Texas barbecue set list to add bowls of gumbo, Frito pie, and a mysterious item called “The Love Boat.” In my experience, barbecue is more likely to inspire napping than romancing. The “Todzilla” barbecue sandwich might get them in trouble with Cattleack Barbeque, which serves the “Toddfather,” but you have to feel good about any barbecue joint with charro beans and Bonee’s culinary skill.

1403 E. Campbell Rd., Ste. 101, Richardson

There’s a lot of positive buzz around this new Middle Eastern restaurant. I haven’t been, but judging from pictures that have been posted online, I would absolutely try the beef shawarma wrap—the shawarma meat looks to be stacked by hand, not bought as a frozen pre-prepped cone—as well as the vivid green falafel and mutabbal (charred eggplant dip). Chicken bokhari is a rotisserie-like grilled chicken dish that came to the Middle East centuries ago from Bukhara, a stop on the Silk Road in present-day Uzbekistan.

Au Troisième
8503 Westchester Dr.

This new Park Cities neighborhood bistro adds a Hawaiian twist to French classics, because the two co-owners are from Kailua on Oahu. That’s why the Cuban sandwich uses Hawaiian kalua pork, and why the chicken is battered in mochiko flour. A reader told me to visit Au Troisième after reading my harsh review of The Mexican, and I don’t know if they mean that this place is better, or if they mean that it also deserves a harsh review. Hopefully the former!

Blind Bishop
310 Sunset Ave.

Master of Wine Dilek Caner curates this spot for true wine geeks. Much of the time, Blind Bishop will host classes and professional events, but it’s a public wine bar on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Most intriguing is this option: “we offer a blind tasting flight every night.” You can test your skills or have fun with friends by trying to guess what you’re drinking. Here’s an idea: the person in the group who makes the dumbest guesses has to pay the bill.

Famous Tandoori
3245 Main St., Ste. 251, Frisco

The name is already evocative enough, and the menu looks enticing: a mix of Indian and Pakistani specialties that use a tandoori oven, including naan wraps, kebabs, and malai kofta (think baked meatballs, but with veggies instead of meat). The website indicates that this is a new location of a restaurant which began in California. Actually, its website doesn’t even mention Texas yet, but users on the Dallas Halal Restaurants Reviews Facebook group have eaten here and confirmed its identity.

Homung Cold Noodle
2625 Old Denton Rd., Ste. 320, Carrollton

At the time of this writing, this is one of just two restaurants on this list that I’ve visited. So I can safely tell you: it’s good! Try to arrive before noon if you’re lunching, as Homung is popular. Its cold spicy noodles are perfect for summertime, and the self-service system is as efficient as the dining room is relaxing.

Hong Dumpling House
1901 Royal Ln., Ste. 105

The mandu (dumplings) at this new Koreatown spot look plump, generously filled, and colorful. Literally: one of them has blue dough. Take note that the “squid mandu” uses the squid as the dumpling wrapper itself, not as the filling (which is ground pork and veggies). Also, I’m not sure that it has any foods that do not come in dumpling form, not that you need anything else.

Karachi Kitchen
8200 Stonebrook Pkwy., Ste. 110, Frisco

A new biryani specialist with favorite Pakistani dishes, Karachi Kitchen arrived in Frisco from Los Angeles, where it was locally popular and got featured in the Los Angeles Times. Take note, the biryani is self-described as “fiery.”

La Bodega
208 W. Eighth St.

Finally, Bishop Arts has a casual grab-and-go sandwich place with serious culinary credentials. Oak Cliff native Skye McDaniel used to work at Boulevardier and Bolsa, and she’s built the menu here around rotisserie chicken, including pulled chicken sandwiches, chicken salad, and Mediterranean-style salads. How can you dislike a place where the menu offers “sandwiches plus your choice of potato”?

Lena Maes Country Cafe
642 Uptown Blvd., Ste. 202, Cedar Hill

Efrim DeHart named this spot in Cedar Hill after his mother. The menu spans a wide range, from cheeseburgers to soul food, with a handful of countrified dishes like chicken fried chicken, too. I’ve got my eye on a fried fish basket that uses whiting, a species common in Northern fish fries but less popular around here. DeHart has worked as a chef for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but we won’t hold that against him.

MLK Food Park at Fair Park
Fair Park (enter through Gate 5)

Food trucks and other vendors will serve at Fair Park on Sundays during July, with the last two dates coming on July 24 and 31. This is a feel-good event in a lot of ways: it’s meant to bring the South Dallas community into a park where they were historically made unwelcome, it’s a platform for independent local business owners to get their start, and it features some vegan vendors. There are million-dollar restaurants opening this year that are a lot less interesting than this project.

Revolver Gastro Cantina
2646 Elm St.

This is the other one that I have visited, and it is awesome. A preview column is arriving soon, but in the meantime, just know that Revolver Gastro Cantina is around the corner from the original Revolver Taco Lounge and it’s a wide, welcoming bar space with bar snacks and hearty dishes like birria wontons. The classic tacos are all there, too.

211 S. Akard St., on the second floor of The Exchange Food Hall

Probably the most exciting opening of the summer is chef Misti Norris’ new spot serving French-Cajun food, honoring her father’s Acadian heritage. I can’t wait to try the pork chop coated in fines herbes, the okra and rice stew, and the confit frog legs served with cognac butter. It’s also worth pointing out that there are multiple vegetarian main course options here, too.

3309 Elm St., Ste. 120

Okay, if I’m ranking Stepchild number one, Tatsu is an easy second place. There’s a lot of excitement about this tiny edomae omakase restaurant, led by world-renowned chef Tatsuya Sekiguchi. Good luck getting reservations for one of the 10 seats. When I’m able to score a spot, you will read about it.

TKS Chinese Cuisine
3829 Spring Creek Pkwy., Ste. 105, Plano

There’s an ongoing wave of new Chinese restaurants specializing in dim sum, a cuisine that has historically been very poorly served in Dallas. Early buzz in the ever-trustworthy Facebook group Asian Grub is that TKS might be the restaurant which finally breaks our dim sum losing streak.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream
3699 McKinney Ave., Ste. 101

These are the deranged maniacs who took the idea of macaroni and cheese ice cream, and made it taste good. (Or so I’m told.) With that kind of track record, imagine what the actually-good-sounding flavors must be like. There is a “guest scooper” series this summer where you can meet social media influencers. You might want to avoid those hours.

Coming Later This Summer

Autonomous Society Brewpub
1928 S. Akard St.
Estimated time of arrival: End of July

I’m really excited for this little brewpub in the Cedars neighborhood. It plans to serve Euro-style beers like pilsners, saisons, and porters, three beer types that are underrepresented in Dallas. It’s also a very short walk from both Baby Back Shak and Sandwich Hag, which means you can grab some excellent takeout dinner on your way home. New happy hour destination?

CoCo Ichibanya
9351 Warren Pkwy., Ste. 125, Frisco
Estimated time of arrival: Early August

Normally I don’t take much interest in chains, but CoCo Ichibanya is a Japanese curry specialist with locations across Asia and a reputation for excellent curry rice dishes and omelets. American veterans who spent time stationed in Okinawa speak highly of its food. And I can’t help loving the restaurant’s slogan: “Good smell. Good curry.”

Isla & Co.
408 W. Eighth St.
Estimated time of arrival: Late September, a.k.a. the time of year that is not technically “summer,” but in Texas is definitely still summer

The space formerly known as Lucia is becoming an Australian all-day cafe, run by actual Aussies. They have a lot of respect for the neighborhood and want to build a welcoming space where people stop in for serious coffee in the morning, then come back later for a cocktail and light meals.

Estimated time of arrival: Not sure, but before you have to put on a sweater again

Getting mixed signals on this concept from the folks behind 42 BBQ. On one hand, its Instagram page promises a “lighter, healthier” take on Tex-Mex. Uh-oh! On the other hand, chef Josh Bonee has posted Facebook photos of a Caesar salad with grilled romaine, tomatillo dressing, and a blend of parmesan and cotija cheeses. That sounds stupendous. Maybe, just this once, healthier will also mean more delicious?

Moodaepo Korean BBQ
3044 Old Denton Rd., Ste. 133, Carrollton
Estimated time of arrival: Soft opening in July, grand opening in August

From the brain of restaurateur Brian Chong, founder of Carrollton favorites Ddong Ggo and Kurobuta, comes Moodaepo. It’s a Korean BBQ place that looks to have bounteous meats, banchan, and drinks in a beer hall-like atmosphere. Chong has said on Facebook that he plans an extensive dessert and boba program. And his concepts always embody a chaotic, jubilant party intensity.

Roll Em Up Taquitos
5949 Broadway Blvd., Garland
Estimated time of arrival: late August

Here is another chain restaurant, this time from California. But: taquitos! Everybody loves taquitos. And Roll Em Up also has something called “churro donuts.” We have to learn more about that.

Sheba Yemeni Restaurant
100 S. Central Expy., Ste. 53, Richardson
Estimated time of arrival: Beginning of August

Yemeni food! How cool is that? Every time a new cuisine arrives in Dallas, I get ridiculously excited. We’ve never had Yemeni food here before, as far as I know. Now we’re getting a chance, thanks to Houston-based Sheba, which opened in that city in 2021 and is bringing its second location to Richardson. Judging from online photos of the Houston restaurant’s menu, expect spiced and seared whole fish, colorful rice pilaf, sambosas (which, yes, look like samosas), and a lot of goat dishes. I can’t wait to order everything.

The secret stuff
Locations and opening dates unknown

Behind-the-scenes rumors are floating about town about several Dallas restaurateurs who are plotting restaurants that will open in the next two to three months. I have not received confirmation on any names or locations, but it sure sounds like the high-profile Tex-Mex wave that began with Las Palmas and Odelay is going to build in momentum.


Brian Reinhart

Brian Reinhart

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Brian Reinhart became D Magazine's dining critic in 2022 after six years of writing about restaurants for the Dallas Observer and the Dallas Morning News.

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