You could call some Dallas diners flirty: They work the town, trying a new restaurant on a whim. They have a favorite place that nails their medium-rare steak and knows their martini order by heart, but they can't stay. Not when there are other steaks to slice into.
Lucky for guys- and gals-about-town, Dallas is brimming with new restaurants opening in 2016. Opening sometime next year are traditional Mexican, rustic Italian and Mississippi Delta restaurants. There's a notable restaurant to mark nearly every month of 2016. Buyer beware: You might find one you love.
Mudhen Meat and Greens
Don't call it a health food restaurant. Mudhen Meat and Greens, located at the Dallas Farmers Market, will have healthy food, but you're welcome to eat unhealthily, too, if that's your thing. The sit-down restaurant will have Paleo, vegan and vegetarian options for those who desire it. For everyone else, there's a full bar and bad-for-you desserts. Founder Shannon Wynne draws the line at soda, though. "There is no such thing as a healthy soft drink," says the restaurateur behind Rodeo Goat, a burger place; Flying Saucer, a beer joint; Meddlesome Moth, a gastropub; and Flying Fish, a fried fish restaurant. No Cokes or Diet Cokes here.
- 1010 S. Pearl Expressway, at the Dallas Farmers Market. Open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Opening date: Jan. 18, 2016.
No-reservations restaurant Top Knot will be located above Dallas' best new restaurant of 2015, Uchi. The operators are purposely making this new Asian-inspired place mysterious, releasing very little about the menu and the décor. We do know that Angela Hernandez, who has worked for Scottish chef Gordon Ramsay and Spanish chef José Andrés, will be the chef de cuisine. There's frustratingly little else to know so far. But with chef-owner Tyson Cole's glowing reputation, gourmands will surely turn out by the dozens.
- 2817 Maple Ave., Dallas, on the second floor.
- Opening date: Feb. 3, 2016.
The Hall Bar & Grill
The Hall is going to be a bar, which makes it a curious entry on this list of notable new restaurants. But it's also a steakhouse created in part by Dallas restaurateur Robert "Bob" Sambol, whose name you've seen in lights on Bob's Steak & Chop Houses in Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Grapevine and beyond (though he no longer runs them). Sambol is partnering with owner-operator and executive chef James Rose, most recently the chef at Stackhouse burgers. The new saloon-steakhouse is a college-football-themed restaurant and bar in Trinity Groves where patrons can pay a little more than sports bar prices to eat food that doesn't feel like it belongs in a bar. But yes, there will be TVs.
- 3011 Gulden Lane, suite 109, Dallas.
- Opening date: April 1, 2016.
Dallas restaurateur Julian Barsotti (he of Italian restaurants Nonna and Carbone's Fine Food and Wine) named his upcoming pizza and pasta place Sprezza after the Italian word sprezzatura: "to do something complex and make it look easy," Barsotti explains. The restaurant's co-chefs Ryan Ferguson and Scott Lewis will make Italian comfort food, specifically dishes found in Rome such as pasta carbonara, orecchiette with sausage and kale, and thin-crust pizzas. To make "remarkably good" Italian food, Barsotti remarks, "is challenging." He's up for it.
Sprezza's location across the street from Old Parkland Hospital sits in a nook near the Dallas North Tollway and Oak Lawn that's easily accessible by Turtle Creek, Park Cities and Uptown dwellers. But does this co-owner of two other Italian restaurants nearby think there's room for more Italian? Certainly: "I feel like there could be 20 good Italian restaurants and they'd all work, if they're all good," Barsotti says.
- 4010 Maple Ave., Dallas.
- Opening date: April 28, 2016.
Flora Street Cafe
Longtime Dallas chef Stephan Pyles is taking his name off his flagship downtown Dallas restaurant and closing it this spring -- a bittersweet move, to be sure, for regulars at the 10-year-old Stephan Pyles restaurant. A few weeks after the shuttering, and only a few blocks away, the chef plans to launch Flora Street Café in the Dallas Arts District. With it, Pyles hopes to redefine his culinary quest, which has included being a founding father of Southwestern cuisine in Texas, blossoming into global food and landing, for now, at "elevated Texas cuisine" as he's coined it. You can expect a Mexican influence and traditional Texas ingredients such as corn tortillas, beef and chiles. Just don't be fooled by the casual-sounding name at Flora Street Café; Pyles calls it "smaller, more intimate, more personalized and a touch more refined." You'll want to call ahead.
- Near the new KPMG building at 2323 Ross Ave. in the Dallas Arts District.
- Opening date: May 31, 2016.
"Shack" is the correct term here: This no-nonsense restaurant with a patio does burgers, crinkle-cut fries and frozen custard. The Crescent, a regal beacon in Uptown, might seem like an odd spot for a casual, inexpensive burger place. But after its 11 acres get a $33 million facelift, the Crescent's John Zogg hopes this corner of Uptown Dallas feels like New York City's Madison Square Park. When it opens, keep an eye out for the Link Burger, a special-to-Texas cheeseburger topped with a jalapeno sausage link. [UPDATE: The sausage on the Link Burger will be made by Dallas' Pecan Lodge.]
- 2201 McKinney Ave., Dallas.
- Opening date: Sept. 1, 2016.
Revolver Taco Lounge and Purépecha
This two-in-one restaurant is one of the most unique new places expected in Dallas this year. In the front of the Deep Ellum restaurant, owner Regino "Gino" Rojas will operate an order-at-the-counter place selling traditional Mexican tacos such as marinated pork, beef tongue, shrimp or nopales (cactus) with Mexican squash. For fun, Rojas plans a few surprises, like an ostrich taco served with semi-sweet black mole sauce. Or, take a trip to the back of the restaurant, where Rojas' mom, Juanita Rojas, will operate Purépecha, a sit-down restaurant serving Michoacan food. There will be just one seating per night, and Juanita Rojas and her friends will cook their favorite dishes from back home in Mexico. It's bound to be special. Gino Rojas says, "It will be like coming to our home."
- 2701 Main St., Dallas.
- Expected to open in summer 2016.
[UPDATE April 27: With John Tesar departing from this restaurant group, plans are up in the air on Gravy 51. More to come.]
Original entry: Imagine you're walking down the street in Pisa, Italy, and you pop into a restaurant -- anyplace, really -- for a plate of pasta. Why does the food in Italy taste better than it does at home? "That's the food we're going for," says Richard Ellman, co-owner of Gravy 51, a housemade pasta restaurant expected to open on Turtle Creek Boulevard in Dallas in the second half of 2016. Its chef-partner is John Tesar, the man who runs the steakhouse Knife, fine-dining restaurant Oak and Mexican place El Bolero. (Besides Gravy 51, Tesar will also oversee the menu at a new joint, The Royale - Magnificent Burgers, expected to open in West Plano in 2016. Tesar is busy.) Ellman describes Gravy as a place that's fun, not formal. In fact, you won't even be able to make a reservation unless you're booking a large party.
- 2911 Turtle Creek Blvd, Dallas.
- Expected to open in fall 2016.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House
Get your reservations in now for the original Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House on Spring Valley Road in Dallas. The 22-year-old restaurant is packing up its steak knives and moving to a fancier part of town this fall: into a luxury office building in Uptown Dallas. The new Del Frisco's will be a two-story restaurant specializing in steaks that are often expensed to the company credit card -- no big changes there. But add to it a new patio in a brand-new building, and you've just traded the Benz for a Bentley.
- 2021 McKinney Ave., Dallas.
- Opening date: Sept. 10, 2016.
Chef Bruno Davaillon's as-yet-unnamed restaurant
It's a very exciting, very unusual time for Bruno Davaillon, the French chef who most recently led the kitchen at the revered Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. He's not cooking as much right now; he's brainstorming and traveling and dreaming about what to put on the menu at a modern brasserie he plans to open in downtown Dallas in late 2016. The not-yet-named place is Davaillon's first restaurant that's solely his. All we know so far is this: He wants it to be "great food at a good value." And, of course, French.
- 400 S. Record St., Dallas.
- Expected to open in late 2016.
BONUS restaurant: Shelby Hall
Downtown Dallas restaurant Shelby Hall was already supposed to be open: Chef-owner Lisa Garza-Selcer had the menu finished, pictures hung on the walls. But in late 2015, Garza-Selcer and HRI Properties had a disagreement -- a big one -- that resulted in a lawsuit and a shuttered restaurant before it even opened. To hear Garza-Selcer tell it, Shelby Hall will reopen, possibly at another address in downtown Dallas; she's just not sure where yet, or when. Diners who have visited Garza-Selcer's Sissy's Southern Kitchen and Bar on Henderson Avenue are likely to be familiar with the famous fried chicken; it will also be on the new Shelby Hall menu. But it's bigger than fried chicken, Garza-Selcer says: Shelby Hall is a culinary exploration of her roots in the Mississippi Delta. Her comfort food menu, executed by executive chef Patton Robertson, will include cornbread, rotisseried meats such as pheasant and quail, and a selection of oysters and caviar. "I am diligently, and as quickly as possible, moving forward with Shelby Hall," Garza-Selcer assures. "Shelby is meant to be somewhere else."
- Unknown location, unknown expected opening date.
For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.