Springtime in Dallas means blooming flowers, packed patios and seven good reasons to eat at a new restaurant. Here's a menu of the notable restaurants opening in Dallas-Fort Worth in May 2019.
If you've driven through Uptown Dallas, Victory Park or the Harwood District recently, it would have been impossible to miss a new high-rise called The Union, anchored by a Tom Thumb grocery store on one side and two-story restaurant The Henry on another. Next to The Henry, new restaurant North Italia opened May 1. Both restaurants are owned by Arizona businessman Sam Fox, the man who started True Food Kitchen, Flower Child and other cool chain restaurants.
North Italia and Flower Child are being bought out by Cheesecake Factory.
Customers at the new North Italia in Dallas will find lunch, brunch and dinner options. A look at the menu in Dallas shows appetizers such as calamari, fried mushroom-risotto balls called arancini, and burrata on grilled bread topped with pesto and charred tomato vinaigrette. The restaurant also sells salads, pizzas and pastas, as well as entrees like scallops with sweet corn risotto and asparagus; braised short ribs with carrots, Swiss chard and mascarpone polenta; and roasted salmon with pesto farro.
This North Italia is the fifth one in Texas and the second in Dallas-Fort Worth. The North Italia in Plano's Legacy West development opened in 2017.
North Italia is located at 2301 N. Akard St., Dallas.
Keep an eye on Cava, a Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant that's coming in hot in Dallas-Fort Worth. The first North Texas restaurant, at Plano's Legacy West, opened May 8. A second is expected to open in Uptown Dallas in the summer.
Cava customers start with a base — grains, greens, pita or a combination of those — and then pack their bowls with dips like hummus or harissa; cheeses; proteins; veggies; and dressings like lemon-herb tahini or yogurt dill. Mediterranean fast-casuals are popular business models right now, and Cava's CEO Brett Schulman says he thinks Cava can succeed because customers "don't have to make compromises or sacrifices" when trying to find food that's healthy and tastes good.
"Mexican, Asian and Italian are more mature categories," he explains. "I think people are seeking out that next category of food flavor that Mediterranean can really fill."
The company finalized a $275 million acquisition of Zoes Kitchen in late 2018, which means his team now operates two Mediterranean-inflected brands. (Zoes operates more than 50 restaurants in Texas, and Cava is up to about six, with more on the way.) Zoes' headquarters in Plano is still there, and it now works in tandem with Cava's Washington, D.C., offices.
Texas "is now our single biggest state, by restaurants," Schulman says. "Texas holds a special place in our heart."
The first Cava in D-FW will be located at 7501 Windrose Ave., Plano.
Miriam Cocina Latina
Former Dallas restaurant Lark on the Park will become Miriam Cocina Latina when it opens May 8.
The Mexican restaurant is named after Miriam Jimenez, its GM. Restaurateur Shannon Wynne (of Rodeo Goat, Flying Fish, Flying Saucer, Meddlesome Moth and Mudhen) met her when she was working at another Dallas restaurant and convinced her to come over to his newest restaurant.
We've asked for menu details and will update this story when we get them.
Miriam will be located at 2015 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Dallas.
Another California restaurant, Mixt, is making its way to North Texas on May 8. This fast-casual prides itself in its options: keto, paleo, vegan and more.
Mixt was founded in 2006 by Leslie and David Silverglide. The Uptown Dallas restaurant is Mixt's first restaurant outside of California.
Customers can build their own salads or protein plates, choosing from a list of dozens of ingredients including cheeses, nuts, raw and cooked veggies, grains and more. The idea is to "push the boundaries of what healthy food is supposed to taste like," says culinary director Jeffrey Amber in a statement. The menu will also include composed salads, sandwiches and the like, for those who don't want the you-pick-'em options.
Mixt will be located at 2355 Olive St., Dallas.
This healthful restaurant has several North Texas locations coming soon. The newest is at Preston Road and Royal Lane, opening May 14. Flower Child is a fast-casual started by restaurateur Sam Fox, of True Food Kitchen, The Henry and the aforementioned North Italia — all with locations in North Texas. Flower Child is their hippie sibling, offering salads, bowls and wraps with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options.
If you haven't been to a Flower Child yet, it's time. Expect fairly long lines at lunchtime, as are seen at the Flower Child(ren) at Lovers Lane and Inwood Road in Dallas and on Belt Line and Montfort roads in Addison. Another Flower Child restaurant is expected to open in Uptown Dallas this year.
Flower Child will be located at 5959 Royal Lane, Dallas.
Chef Tim Love's new Fort Worth restaurant Gemelle is named after the Italian word for twins, honoring his daughters, Ella and Anna. Love's plan at Gemelle is to serve Detroit-style pizza, pasta, sandwiches and snacks, available both in the restaurant and to go.
And while we haven't seen a menu yet, items will include baked lamb with tomato-water orzo; cacio e pepe; and brisket pizza, says a spokeswoman. Love has a deep history in Fort Worth, having opened the popular Lonesome Dove Western Bistro nearly 20 years ago. Other restaurants in his portfolio include Woodshed Smokehouse in Fort Worth; Queenie's Steakhouse in Denton; and Love Shacks in Fort Worth and Knoxville, Tenn.
Love has also appeared on TV on Iron Chef America, Top Chef Masters and Restaurant Startup.
At Gemelle, located on the Trinity Trails, Love plans to have a big backyard with games like bocce ball. Perhaps that's the perfect spot to sip an aperol spritz or Bellini. It's expected to open May 29.
Gemelle will be located at 4400 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth.
Lemon Shark is a poké franchise started in part by Tobi Miller, the founding guitarist for The Wallflowers. Lemon Shark launched in Southern California in 2016 and is quickly swimming along, mostly in the southern half of the United States in cities like Houston, New Orleans and Orlando.
North Texas' first Lemon Shark opened in Irving in 2018. This new Lemon Shark opens in late May at Preston Hollow Village, located at Walnut Hill Lane and Central Expressway in Dallas. Customers will find order-at-the-counter raw fish bowls featuring tuna and salmon as well as Hawaiian inspired dishes like coconut-crusted shrimp and sticky pineapple chicken.
Lemon Shark will be located at 7865 Firefall Way, Dallas.
Editor's note on May 3, 2019: Marufuku was removed from this list because the coming-soon Frisco restaurant is not expected to open in May after all. Miriam was added to this list at the same time. Miriam is expected to open in Dallas May 8, 2019.