Suddenly there's a ton of big news out of Mirador, the swanky rooftop restaurant above Forty Five Ten downtown.
Executive chef Josh Sutcliff will leave Feb. 9 to start his own hospitality group in partnership with Seth Brammer, the former beverage director at Filament.
Michael Ehlert, a leading Dallas chef who was most recently at the French Room, will take over as executive chef that same day.
And Mirador's pastry chef, Keith Cedotal, considered among the best in the city, left in November to become pastry chef at Billy Can Can in Victory Park, a member of the Rebees development group.
Sutcliff and Brammer are scouting locations for their first restaurant, which they expect to open in Dallas by the end of the year. Sutcliff sounds eager to stretch his wings after 2½ years in the lofty confines of Mirador, where he earned critical acclaim with dishes such as foie gras and truffle tart, lemon risotto with charred ramp relish, and a fabulous (if diminutive) hamburger — even though he was not permitted to use ingredients such as chicken thighs or octopus. Before Mirador, he was chef de cuisine at FT33.
"I want to cook for everyone, you know?" Sutcliff said of the restaurant he is envisioning. "We're looking for right pocket of the city, and the neighborhood will dictate what the restaurant will be."
In the meantime, he and Brammer will stay busy with creative projects such as collaborating with Bar and Garden wine shop on an ambitious pop-up in Dallas this spring. In addition to pouring natural wine, the monthlong project will have its own website, merchandise, cocktails and farm-based menu, all created with the idea that it will pop up again periodically in Dallas and possibly in other cities, and even become permanent.
Sutcliff will also be consulting chef for Greg Katz during the initial months of Beverley's, the American bistro that Katz is expected to open in March in Knox Henderson. And Brammer will begin a series of spirits seminars at Jettison, a bar in the Sylvan 30 complex, in partnership with George Kaiho, the bartender there.
"It's not just that we want to open restaurants, we want to do something that's really about changing the culture," Sutcliff said. "We want to make Dallas a better place to eat."
Mirador and Forty Five Ten are part of the Joule hotel, and Cedotal was executive pastry chef for the Joule, overseeing desserts for its banquet operations, CBD Provisions and Americano, in addition to Mirador. Before that, he was pastry chef at celebrated Dallas restaurants including Uchi and Stephan Pyles.
At Billy Can Can, Cedotal has left behind French classics, such as the berry-filled Pavlova that was a signature at Mirador, in favor of playful, mostly regional American desserts that suit the "modern Texas saloon" theme.
Four of the five desserts now on the menu are Cedotal's, including apple crisp topped with a seeded crumble, Mexican vanilla ice cream and salted caramel, and a fudgy Texas sheet cake with cashew-pecan glaze and a scoop of orange ice cream and candied orange peel.
As part of the Rebees group, Cedotal will also help develop larger projects, such as a co-working space and its attached cafe set to open next door to Billy Can Can this summer.
What's next for Mirador? Will Ehlert — whose long history in Dallas includes Hibiscus and the Front Room in addition to the French Room at the Adolphus Hotel — change the menu? Will the Joule also hire a new pastry chef?
Requests for interviews with Ehlert and the managers were refused, but it appears no major changes are in store for the immediate future.
"We are very pleased and proud of the culinary vision at Mirador, which as with all of our restaurants is guided by the Headington Companies culinary team," Justin Fields, vice president of hospitality for Headington, which owns the Joule, said in a statement. "Michael Ehlert will continue to uphold the standards that have been set for this restaurant. Mirador is known for its modern American classics, great ambiance, and service, and this will continue with Michael at the helm."