Longtime Dallas chef Stephan Pyles would like to "reinvent Texas cuisine -- or even create a whole new genre," he says.
To do that, he plans to close his 10-year-old Stephan Pyles restaurant in downtown Dallas on April 30 and open an unaffiliated place called Flora Street Cafe in the Dallas Arts District in May.
The closure of Stephan Pyles has been big news in Dallas' dining scene since 2014. Pyles has been called a founding father of southwestern cuisine and a fixture of Dallas' modern Texas cuisine movement. His eponymous restaurant, awarded four stars in February 2015, is a downtown Dallas staple.
So first things first: Will any of Pyles' dishes from the flagship restaurant live on?
Yes, four dishes he calls "signature" will find a new home at Stampede 66 nearby. Those dishes are the cowboy rib-eye with red chile onion rings, the tamale tart, a Caesar salad with jalapeño polenta croutons and the heaven and hell cake. When you've cooked in Dallas as long as Pyles has, those dishes practically have their own fan clubs.
Coming-soon Flora Street Cafe will be "so different" from the Stephan Pyles restaurant you know: smaller and more refined.
Whereas Pyles describes Stephan Pyles as a "big brasserie," he expects Flora Street to be more posh and petite. And despite the use of the word cafe in the name, Flora Street will not be casual; it will in fact be slightly more formal than Stephan Pyles, the chef says. The use of the word cafe in the name is a throwback to Pyles' Routh Street Cafe from the '80s and '90s.
Flora Street Cafe will be located in a one-story detached building near the bottom floor of the KPMG tower in the Dallas Arts District.
Pyles is still working out the menu, but he calls the food "elevated Texas cuisine," an evolution of his southwestern and modern Texas styles. He knows he'll have a grinder in-house to make corn tortillas. He also wants to continue making ceviche.
More to come.
Pyles plans to have silk lights from the Amsterdam company Studio Drift inside his new Flora Street Cafe. Take a look at the video above to see what they look like.
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