Modern Mexican restaurant to open in Dallas, under a name you'll recognize

You say "Cedars Social." Its new owner would prefer you say "Cedars Social."

On Valentine's Day, the restaurant located in the Dallas neighborhood the Cedars will re-open under its old name, The Cedars Social, but with a new menu, new bartender and new owner. It'll have a new focus, too: modern Mexican cuisine.

Restaurateur Monica Greene, photographed in 2016

"We invest in neighborhoods," says owner Monica Greene, a longtime Dallas restaurateur who tried to retire and spend time in Aspen, Colo., then decided to go back to work. "The Cedars Social name is important to the neighborhood."

The restaurant will be run by three women who call themselves a "trifecta" and believe they're the right ones to give Cedars Social a new jolt of energy. Greene is a longtime Dallas restaurateur who launched Cuidad and Monica's Aca Y Alla, among others. Her chef is Anastacia Quiñones, who has worked at Alma, Komali, Kitchen LTO and Oddfellows. The bartender is Leann Berry, whose bar will be stocked with tequila and mezcal but will also have a robust whiskey selection.

The restaurant will maintain its mid-century modern decor but will now serve Mexican cuisine that Quiñones hopes will be "approachable, not intimidating." It may also educate Dallas diners about modern Mexican food, she says.

One of the dishes the chef is most excited about is "an ever-changing mole," which will be a seasonal chicken dish topped with sauces made by Quiñones.

The team is "passionate about Mexican food," says Greene, who is from Mexico City.

"We're not going to tell anybody we're going to be the best Mexican restaurant, period," Greene says. "Our goal is to have an incredible restaurant that offers a balance between food, drinks and service."

Cedars Social staff includes chef Anastacia Quinones, left, bartender Leann Berry, Frankie Jimenez, and owner Monica Greene.

Lunch will be casual, with a menu that includes Mexican street food, Greene explains. Dinner will be more modern and sleek, and diners might want to make a reservation.

Greene, a longtime Dallas restaurateur, seems thrilled to be back in restaurants, where you'll find her at the front, greeting guests, once the restaurant opens Feb. 14.

"It's time for a female chef to create the food that most restaurants would not consider doing," she says of Quiñones' menu.

Cedars Social reopens on Feb. 14, then will close on Feb 15. The restaurant reopens permanently on Feb. 16.

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