The dining area at Stampede 66 inside the Delta Hotels By Marriott Dallas Allen & Watters Creek Convention Center in Allen, Texas on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. It is set to open on January 15, 2019. 

The dining area at Stampede 66 inside the Delta Hotels By Marriott Dallas Allen & Watters Creek Convention Center in Allen, Texas on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. It is set to open on January 15, 2019. 

Shaban Athuman/Staff Photographer

Stampede 66 left downtown Dallas, kicked up a little dust and galloped north. There's more room to roam up there, anyway.

Chef Stephan Pyles' modern Texas restaurant is now located inside the Delta Hotels By Marriott Dallas Allen & Watters Creek Convention Center. Say that three times fast. Or don't: Just know Stampede 66 is the anchor restaurant for this big complex in the 'burbs.

Stampede 66 chefs Tim Byres (far left), Stephan Pyles (center left), Stuart Race (center right), and Kylil Henson each were involved in creating the new restaurant in Allen. The restaurant is a license agreement for Stephan Pyles, who started Stampede 66 in downtown Dallas in 2012 but is now letting Benchmark Resorts & Hotels operate it in Allen.

Stampede 66 chefs Tim Byres (far left), Stephan Pyles (center left), Stuart Race (center right), and Kylil Henson each were involved in creating the new restaurant in Allen. The restaurant is a license agreement for Stephan Pyles, who started Stampede 66 in downtown Dallas in 2012 but is now letting Benchmark Resorts & Hotels operate it in Allen.

Shaban Athuman/Staff Photographer

The 90,000-square-foot property is a huge footprint between downtown Dallas and Oklahoma, notes Stacy Thaler Martin, a Wylie resident and the managing director of the hotel and convention center.

Pyles thinks Allen is an untapped culinary scene in Collin County. "That's what's exciting to me about Allen," he says. "Plano and Frisco have some good restaurants. Allen could use more." It's home to 100,000 people, one of the state's best football teams and a $60 million high school stadium. Now, one of Dallas' most storied chefs will have a restaurant in town, too.

Pyles says about 90 percent of the menu will be the same as the original Stampede 66, which closed in downtown Dallas after construction woes frustrated Pyles and his patrons. The menu is like "the greatest hits" of the former restaurant, Pyles says, with dishes like the honey-fried chicken with Mable's buttermilk biscuits and mashed potato tots; chicken-fried buffalo steak with garlic mashers and chorizo gravy; and Pyles' heaven and hell cake making the final list. Those were no-brainers.

The original restaurant felt like the quintessential place to take an out-of-towner, if only to show him that Shiner Bock beer bread and chili pie are really things Texans eat for dinner. The Allen extension has all of those homey Texas dishes, but its decor is more sleek and less kitschy than the original. The new one has two sides to the restaurant: One side feels like a semi-formal hotel spot, with neutral tones. The other side has more personality, with giant wooden barn doors, a warmer atmosphere and sight lines into the kitchen. 

Artist Doc Wright created handsome, masculine pieces of woodworking that line the walls in both rooms.

To help 'casualize' Flora Street Cafe in Dallas, chef Stephan Pyles teams up with Smoke chef Tim Byres

Chef Tim Byres, Pyles' new partner, has been in the kitchen with the chefs as they prepare to open the new Allen restaurant. Pyles seems thankful for Byres' knack training chefs. Chef Stuart Race will lead the culinary operations at the hotel (which includes the grab 'n go counter and room service); and chef Kylil Henson will be Stampede 66's chef de cuisine.

Pyles and Byres are also working to "casualize" Flora Street Cafe, a flagship restaurant in Dallas. And Pyles has been working on license agreements with Benchmark Resorts & Hotels, which acts as the operator for Stampede 66 in Allen. In essence, he's stepping away from some of his hands-on kitchen work while at the same time expanding his brand.

You're thinking what we're thinking. Is Pyles, one of Dallas' most revered chefs, retiring?

"I don't know about retiring," he says. "I'm taking my cue from Julia [Child], who always said she would die face-down in a plate of pasta with a glass of wine in her hand. I don't think I want to retire. But do I want to cook every day? No."

Stampede 66 is located at 777 Watters Creek Blvd., Allen, inside the Delta Hotels By Marriott Dallas Allen & Watters Creek Convention Center. It opens Jan. 15, 2019, for dinner. Inside the hotel, patrons will also find Canyon Bar, which has some Stephan Pyles-inspired food and cocktails; and Provisions 66, a grab 'n go counter for hotel guests.

The new Marriott hotel in Allen is anchored by a Stampede 66 restaurant.

The new Marriott hotel in Allen is anchored by a Stampede 66 restaurant.

Shaban Athuman/Staff Photographer
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