This week saw a wave of new restaurant announcements, and they all shared a theme: preposterous excess. If you’re a one-percenter who wants to eat ridiculous stunt foods, these next few years will be exciting ones to live in Dallas. Concepts from Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and other cities are bringing their high-dollar imaginations to Uptown, Deep Ellum, and other neighborhoods.
“In Dallas, everything is sparklers and dry ice,” Ryan Labbe, CEO of Las Vegas-based La Neta, told the Dallas Morning News.
I could go on a rant about how everyone in Dallas who genuinely cares about good food is trying to kill that sparklers-and-dry-ice image. Instead, let’s have some fun.
I’ve researched all the gaudy future openings to be announced so far, whether the news came this week or earlier. That includes poring over the menus of their original locations.
Here is a 10-question quiz to test your knowledge of the upcoming excuses for gluttony. The answers are at the bottom. Good luck!
1. Which restaurant’s menu mentions truffles the most, at 13 listings?
A. Komodo, including salmon glazed with truffle honey and dim sum with truffle aioli
B. La Neta, including truffle cheese fondue on the $65 steak taco
C. Catch, including truffle vinaigrette on the spinach salad
D. Etta, including truffle and honey focaccia
2. What unusual adjective describes the shrimp appetizer at Etta?
3. Which of these is NOT a real surf and turf style dish coming soon to Dallas?
A. “Money bag” Asian pork-and-shrimp dumplings topped with gold leaf
B. A $45 baked potato with steak, lobster, and guacamole on top
C. A $34 “surf and turf” sushi roll
D. A chicken fried steak and chicken fried lobster double-decker sandwich
4. Which of these is NOT a real childhood nostalgia food coming to Dallas in 2023?
A. “Crab Rangoon” ($24)
B. “Cereal shrimp,” coated in cornflakes ($29)
C. “Mac ‘n’ Cheetos” ($16)
D. “Crunch Truff Wrap,” a crunch wrap with truffle sauce ($16)
5. Which incoming restaurant from another city has the most expensive vegetarian main course, at $31?
A. Komodo’s “daring plant based kung pao chicken”
B. Catch’s spaghetti with mushrooms and peas
C. Komodo’s mushroom sushi roll with truffle sauce
D. Etta’s wild mushroom and black truffle pizza
6. Catch’s Los Angeles location sells a side dish of mashed potatoes. But why do they cost $22?
A. They are made with black truffle cream and topped with shaved black truffles.
B. They have uni inside.
C. They have lobster inside.
D. They are “à la Robuchon,” the ultra-labor-intensive process pioneered by Joël Robuchon involving quantities of butter you don’t want to think about.
7. Which of these very large dishes is NOT arriving in Dallas by the end of 2023?
A. A club sandwich served on an 18-inch skewer
B. A four-pound beef short rib with polenta
C. A $239 “baller” seafood tower
D. A country-fried 40-ounce ribeye and gravy
8. Which of these buildings will NOT be serving expensive steaks soon?
A. The Haas Moto Museum and Sculpture Gallery
B. The historic Maple Terrace apartment building
C. The observation deck of Reunion Tower
D. A former strip club in an industrial neighborhood
9. Which of the following cocktails is NOT arriving in 2023?
A. A $60 pitcher of wine that looks like a watering can, and you have to drink from the spout, and your tablemates are given a Polaroid camera to document your attempt
B. The “Dragon Ball CBD,” which really does contain hemp oil and dragon fruit
C. A $75 cocktail with Don Julio 1942 tequila
D. A $250 cocktail with Clase Azul Ultra Añejo tequila
10. Which rather rude name is NOT real?
A. “Morning Wood,” a brunch assortment that’s served on a wooden board
B. “Shut the Cluck Up,” a riff on chicken and waffles
C. “Royal Bastard,” the name of the entire restaurant
D. “I Don’t Give a F*@k,” a $75 smoked old fashioned cocktail with gold leaf, chocolate, truffle, and bruleed bananas
Answers (scroll at your own peril)
- A. When I searched menus using Ctrl+F, Komodo returned 13 hits for “truffle,” compared to 10 for La Neta, nine for Catch, and just two for Etta. All four menu descriptions are real.
- B. Etta serves bubbling shrimp.
- D is fake. A is served at Komodo Miami, B at La Neta Las Vegas, and C at Catch Los Angeles.
- A. Harper’s already serves this dish! Komodo is bringing the cereal shrimp, while La Neta created the other two.
- B, the mushroom and pea spaghetti, is $31. The mushroom sushi is $26, the kung pao not-chicken is $28, and the pizza is $22.
- C. Catch mashed potatoes contain lobster.
- C. This is a menu item at Maple & Ash, which just canceled its plans to come to Dallas. The club sandwich is forthcoming at Operator’s Club, the short rib is called “WTF” at La Neta, and the country-fried steak is also from La Neta.
- A, as far as I know. Maple Terrace is reportedly the future home of Catch, Crown Block is coming to Reunion Tower, and Nick Badovinus is converting a former strip club to become his latest “unapologetically premium” spot.
- D. The Mexican already serves this drink! Since we know you’re wondering: Etta is responsible for the “Porrón and a Polaroid,” which is $65 at its Los Angeles location. B and C come from Komodo and La Neta.
- Although they are all real, D comes from Maple & Ash, which canceled its Dallas location. La Neta offers Morning Wood and Shut the Cluck Up, while Royal Bastard is the chosen name for the new Badovinus joint.