The Best New Restaurants in Dallas 2011

Where to find some of the city's greatest bites to eat.

Fried Chicken and Waffles photography by Kevin Marple

Eclectic | Company Cafe

This small restaurant on Greenville Avenue is one of the few in the city that delivers sustainable, organic, locally grown, grass-fed, gluten-free dining without pretense. To be honest, I had misgivings about the whole gluten-free trend. I know that people who suffer from celiac disease have to eat gluten-free food, but I wasn’t sure how a restaurant serving only gluten-free fare could survive.

Company Cafe has not only endured, it is opening a larger second location off the Katy Trail. Co-owner Stephen White attributes the success to the fact that people are looking for healthy food that doesn’t taste like diet food. “I’m convinced this is the way to eat,” he says. “I don’t have celiac, but my trainer suggested eating this way, and I’ve never felt better.”

I felt great after downing a bowl of loaded sweet potato fries. The semicrisp sweet potato strips were tossed with olive oil, lime juice, bits of all-natural bacon, and fresh jalapeño slices, then covered with a thin layer of unpasteurized white cheddar cheese.

I love that they serve breakfast until 3 pm every day. The list of fresh and local ingredients offered to stuff a cage-free egg omelet is impressive: seven types of cheese; vegetables aplenty; buffalo, venison, and grass-fed beef; and all-natural bacon and chicken. Migas are a splendid concoction of tender chicken, bell pepper, and onion scrambled with eggs and strips of white corn tortillas. They were presented on a pile of black beans garnished with feta and hot house-made salsa. But the best item on the breakfast menu is the Deep Bowl, a mound of sweet potato hash made with bacon, green onions, and cilantro, then covered with ground beef and avocado, and topped with two eggs sunny side up.

The braised short rib, fresh from the green grasses surrounding Greenville, Texas, is slow cooked in a house-made barbecue sauce with hints of pomegranate and orange. A shallow bowl is layered with softly sautéed spinach, mashed sweet potatoes flavored with maple syrup and butter, and a generous short rib. It’s a refined and glorious meal. And when you’re finished, you don’t feel like you’ve swallowed a bag of cement.