Friday, January 16, 2009
Best Bites: Dining out in Dallas-Fort Worth January 16
Whole slew of restaurants are opening in February.
A bunch of restaurants are scheduled to open "sometime in February".
• Bake Rejoice is a bakery going into the Historic Downtown Plano district, in the space off Avenue K that used to be Fusion Cafe (and before it, Coffee Haus). Owner Joyce Shepherd, an El Centro grad who most recently worked at wedding cakery Fancy Cakes By Lauren, is aware that other establishments at that address have come and gone. And it's true that she'll be serving coffee. But the coffee's just a courtesy; she feels confident that her bakery items will be the draw.
"Bakeries tend to be more of a destination, with a product somebody is coming for," she says. "It'll be a full-service bakery but we won't be doing breads. Cookies, cakes by the slice, cupcakes, brownies, bars, coffee, things for people commuting in the morning. But we won't be reliant on foot traffic. My hope is that someone might come in and have a cup of coffee. I want it to have that neighborhood feel."
• Ruby's is a new restaurant going into the space on McKinney and Monticello that used to be, well, so many things ... Tijuana Bar & Grill, Vino and Basso, Eccolo, Toscana way back when. Ruby's comes from none other than whirling dervish baker Cretia Drydale, who already had a quirky restaurant-boutique nearby, Cretia's on McKinney, which closed last year. She resurfaced recently at Dicho's, the Latin bookstore in Bishop Arts where she's operating a pastry stand/coffeeshop in the back of the store.
• Also coming in February: the first new-style Luby's in the Dallas area, opening off 121 in Plano. Luby's is trying to upscale itself and that entails nicer atmosphere, bigger dining room, fancier decor, detailed woodwork, and a self-serve salad bar (because nothing says "upscale" like self-serve salad bar). Luby's has been executing this new format with new stores but at this location, they gutted an old Luby's and gave it a makeover.
• Opening in Casa Linda Plaza is Another Broken Egg Cafe, a breakfast-and-lunch spot that's part of a chain founded by Ron Green in Destin, Fla. in 1996. This branch is the first in Texas and is owned by a pair of ex-Starbucks managers, so there'll probably be good coffee. The nice thing about the menu is that both egg dishes and lunchtime stuff can be had any time. So if you like omelets for lunch or want a chicken-salad sandwich at 8 a.m., then have at it. Fancy benedicts are the big thing, says Green; there's a veggie version, a salmon, a "blackstone" with crumbled bacon and tomato instead of ham, and a lobster benedict coming soon.
• Zymology, a new restaurant on Lower Greenville, tries to have the bet of both worlds: a wine bar-type wine list with a big selection of beers, says Benjamin Verdooren, who co-owns the place with Sam Dickey, who previously owned a couple of restaurants in Austin.
"It's equal parts beer or wine, we're taking both sides," Verdooren says. "Most beer bars do have wine, but it's usually a poor selection. A wine bar might have 5 to 10 beers, maybe Amstel light. But we're not having any Miller Lite. It's all high-end beer."
They're hoping to buck the reputation Greenville Avenue has for "not very good restaurants" with a menu of more serious cheffy-chef type food. The name should keep the riff-raff out: It means "the science of fermentation."
• Open already: Luna's Cocina, an authentic-Mexican grab-and-go stand in Exposition Park, in the space that was previously home to Dos Hermanos and before that Mr. Charlie's Burger Factory. These are the Lunas who previously owned Martinez Cafe in Plano, and whose roots in Dallas' Mexican-restaurant world go deep, with connections extending to Mia's and Cristina's. The big sellers are brisket tacos and sopes, and they just finished building a patio with a few tables outside, enough seating for maybe 15-16 people.