There's a New Orleans-inspired restaurant now open on Lower Greenville Avenue in Dallas, but don't go calling it Cajun food. James Henson, co-owner of the new spot, dubbed 504 Bar and Grill (that's New Orleans' area code), says you won't find much fried stuff here.
"We are Creole fusion," he says. "People from South Louisiana area know the difference; that you're going for higher-end, healthier food than you are with Cajun."
Henson's referring to dishes like the osso buco ($22), fresh fish over maque choux ($18) and turtle soup ($8), the only one he's heard of in North Texas made with real turtles. His business partner is Dodie's Seafood Cafe founder Charles McGuinness, so diners can find longtime menu staples like oysters on the half shell, too. (If you're really hungry, you could even hit both spots since they're located in the same strip.)
The restaurant, which opened quietly the first weekend of May, transforms the 3,600-square-foot space formerly the New Big Wong with 18-foot garage doors that open to Greenville Avenue and a four-sided bar that can seat 40-50 people. Henson said 504 has a "rustic contemporary" feel with sliding barn doors, industrial fixtures and Edison light bulbs.
It's also a sports bar, which means 19 televisions in the dining room equipped with MLB, NFL, and NBA packages as well as golf, SBC and Big 10 channels, Henson says. The selling feature for sports lovers? A private room available to rent with one 80-inch and two 55-inch TV screens, each independently programmable. It can fit about 28 people.
"This would be a great place to have a fantasy football draft," Henson says.
Once open, thirsty 504 patrons have their choice of 12 craft beers on draft, as well as 10 specialty cocktails and wines ranging from $30-$46 by the bottle. Henson says he's also working on a bar menu of small snacks and weekend brunch offerings (available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). 504 Bar and Grill is open Monday to Friday 2 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday to Sunday 11 a.m. to midnight.
2121 Greenville Ave., Dallas. 469-779-7279. 504bargrill.com.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of one of the restaurant's dishes.