If you weren't looking for it, you might have missed the project that went from dirt to development near Central Expressway and Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas. Preston Hollow dwellers and food lovers, though: They didn't miss it.
The project called Preston Hollow Village includes more than a half-dozen restaurants that are either newly open or in the works. It's anchored by a Trader Joe's. Here's a look at what's there now and what's coming soon:
Grocery store: Trader Joe's
The parking lot is regularly packed at the Preston Hollow Trader Joe's. This grocery store is similar to its Dallas counterparts, which means many shoppers are coming in for its well-priced flowers, vast selection of frozen foods and, of course, Two Buck Chuck. (That's $2 wine. It's actually about $3 in Texas, but the name stuck.) Trader Joe's made its move into Dallas-Fort Worth in 2012 and now has more than a half-dozen grocery stores open. Here are a few Trader Joe's items shoppers love.
Sandwich shop: VertsKebap
You don't have to know how to say the company name. It sells kebaps, which are like panini sandwiches. VertsKebap is part of a "fast and healthy" style of restaurants we're seeing pop up all over the country. It's been open in Preston Hollow Village since late January.
For calorie counters: Modmarket
Don't want to know how many calories are packed into your lunch? Modmarket might not be the place for you. The order-at-the-counter restaurant prints calories, fat, protein and carbs for each menu item on your receipt. Modmarket's menu includes salads, pizzas, soups, sandwiches and an array of breakfast items. It joins a host of healthy eating establishments moving into D-FW. It's open now.
Asian-inspired cuisine: Blue Sushi Sake Grill
This Japanese restaurant made its Texas debut at Fort Worth's buzzy West Seventh development. The Preston Hollow restaurant, open now, makes two in Texas. Blue does nigiri, sashimi and sushi rolls. Specials, such as a recent offering of "salmon tots," can be amusing and fun. (The salmon tots were pieces of salmon on top of nuggets of rice, lightly fried.) Happy hour, available in late afternoon as well as late at night on the weekends, means appetizers such as pork dumplings, shrimp tempura and chicken satay for cheap.
Gelato shop: Frost
This new-to-Dallas sweets shop is expected to open in late July 2015. Based on the menus at other Frost locations, it will likely have gelato, sorbet, cakes and coffees. We'll have our eyes on their "frostbites," which are explained by The Advocate as scoops of gelato dipped in chocolate -- like a cake ball, but with gelato!
Thai restaurant: Pakpao
The owners of Pakpao Thai opened their first shop in Dallas' Design District and are now expanding first to Preston Hollow Village and then to West Plano. The Preston Hollow Village shop is expected to open in August, owner Richard Ellman says. The chef-partner is Jet Tila, who you might have seen on TV shows such as Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen or Iron Chef America. Entrees at Pakpao include crispy tamarind duck, curry noodles and steamed prawns with mung bean noodles.
Pizza shop: Matchbox
Pizza is only part of the story here; the menu also includes pasta, steaks, seafood and more, says Chief Operating Officer Peter D'Amelio. Matchbox is expected to open its first-in-Texas restaurant in Preston Hollow Village in early 2016. The expansive restaurant will be 8,300 square feet, and diners will be able to see the wood-fired ovens blazing from their seats. Once it opens in Dallas, D'Amelio tells The Dallas Morning News they're looking "everywhere from Plano to Fort Worth to downtown Dallas" for a possible seven or eight Matchbox restaurants in D-FW in the coming years.