Let's say lunch starts with biscuits slathered in blueberry jam and whipped butter, then continues with an appetizer of fried-green tomatoes sitting atop goat-cheese grits. For a main course, it's honey-dusted fried chicken or Low Country shrimp and grits with chorizo. Meyer lemon cheesecake for dessert.
Are you still hungry? Not even close. But somehow, new Frisco restaurant Tupelo Honey makes its Southern menu seem light and bright.
The stylish restaurant must be part of it. The big space, separated into medium-sized rooms, is decorated as if Fixer Upper's Joanna Gaines traded some of her all-white palette for splashes of navy blue. This place seats more than 400 people inside and out — which may seem excessive, but feels cozy and familiar, as if you've been here before.
You probably haven't, though: It's the first Tupelo Honey in Texas, though there are more than a dozen across the U.S. This North Carolina restaurant is trying a new prototype in Frisco, with a new style the VP of operations Tyler Alford calls "contemporary fine," or more upscale than the existing Tupelo Honey cafes in states like Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas.
Alford, in fact, has memories of stopping into Tupelo Honey as a kid in North Carolina, where he and his family members would eat brunch before he went off to summer camp. It's the kind of story that makes the Tupelo Honey staff seem like they all know each other through so-and-so's cousin.
Alford, executive chef Thomas Robey and several other staffers at Tupelo Honey are in fact transplants from revered New Orleans restaurant Commander's Palace. You can hear the NOLA in Robey's voice as he describes the gumbo ya-ya served with a deviled egg placed in the middle of the bowl. He says the beef on the menu will be sourced from Texas ranches.
While Tupelo Honey is situated in the center of family-friendly Frisco, in the Dallas Cowboys' new development The Star, the over-21 set will want to grab a drink. Some of the potentially popular sips include a watermelon margarita called Three $20's and a $10 — named after a line in Robert Earl Keen's song "Feelin' Good Again" — or a short menu of group cocktails that are served in beautiful glassware that'll make adults forget about the silliness of dipping a straw into a literal bowl of booze.
Drinkers headed to Tupelo Honey need to know two things:
- Bloody Marys are one of 10 cocktails are available on draft. They plan to sell plenty of those.
- Martinis cost 75 cents from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. You read that right.
Know this, too: "Brunch is our sport," says the VP of operations. And is it popular? "We crush brunch."
The bar will serve a rotating list of high-end Champagnes by the glass. Right now from 4 to 7 p.m. every day of the week, glasses of Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame go for $25. That's a deal, as a bottle at a retail shop can cost more than $150.
If you can stay classy while day-drinking, Tupelo Honey might be your place.
Tupelo Honey opens Thursday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. It's located at 6725 Winning Drive, Frisco, in The Star. Open every day.