Here's some good news for the Dallas dining scene: Jeff Harris, one of North Texas' most talented chefs, has just been named executive chef at Victor Tangos.
"I'm really excited about the opportunity," says Harris, adding that he took over the kitchen several weeks ago. "We're slowly, organically changing some things. You'll see some seasonal stuff on the menu like I've always done — putting my own stamp on it, if you will."
He has already added a couple of new dishes: roasted cauliflower with green mole, grapefruit, parsley, mint and charred tortilla (doesn't that sound good?!) and roasted beets with avocado pureé, goat cheese, orange and hazelnut crumble.
Says Harris, "We didn't have much winter, so spring ingredients are already coming in. I've seen some green garlic and ramps and morels and all that fun stuff spring up last week on some availability sheets."
The East Texas native's last executive chef position was at American Food and Beverage, the modern Texan restaurant in Fort Worth that garnered a four-star review soon after opening in 2013 (when it was known as AF+B); it went on to earn a place two years later among The Best in DFW: Top 10 Restaurants. Harris first splashed onto the Dallas scene as chef de cuisine of the erstwhile Craft Dallas at the W Hotel, which he also helped earn four stars. Headington Cos., which owns Victor Tangos, also owned AF+B, which it closed in September of 2015.
When we spoke with Harris after American Food and Beverages' closure, the chef said he planned to open his own restaurant, but that hasn't panned out. "I had talked to some different people about some different projects," he says, "but it just wasn't the right fit at the right time. And honestly, after AF+B, I was taking some time off too, hanging out with my kid and recharging the battery, too."
Victor Tangos also has a new general manager, Heather Borges, who was formerly service director at Filament. There's a newish bar manager, too -- Andrew Stofko was promoted to the position last fall.
Harris replaces Kirstyn Brewer, who left the restaurant late last year in order to head up a new (still unnamed) modern Chinese-American restaurant.