Friday, January 23, 2009
Best Bites: Dining out in Dallas-Fort Worth January 23
Dumplings + empanadas = pastry heaven, and right on McKinney Avenue, yeah.
Lumi Empanada and Dumpling Kitchen is an engaging concept whose theme is bite-sized pastries from different cuisines -- Asian and Latin -- from brother-sister owners An and Susie Bui.
"If you notice, all cultures have some kind of dumpling or ravioli, and we decided to pick Latin and Asian," says Susie. "My brother's wife is Brazilian and he’s Vietnamese so we’re combining the two, it's a marriage of the two."
However, Lumi is not merely a fast-food dumpling place -- it's a sit-down restaurant with a menu that includes salads, soups, and small plates. They'll have about five dumpling types, from the classic pork to duck to vegetarian, and five empanadas, too, but with a variety that changes with what's in season, and what's hot.
The Buis grew up in Fort Worth, and worked in engineering and marketing, but Susie always had a passion to open a place, and thus they're launching this new venture. They found a space right on McKinney Avenue -- a "cute eclectic little house" that used to be a law office located between Hook Line & Sinker and Primo's. It's a small place with 20 to 25 tables, a full bar, and a minimalist decor. In the beginning, they'll open for dinner hours, then once they find their rhythm, will expand into lunch, too. Opening date is set for mid-February.
Swadeshi Indian Cuisine opened about six months ago with a unique specialty: Hyderabadi biryani. Biryani is a simmered rice pilaf; Hyderabad is the fifth largest metropolitan area in India. Hyderabadi biryani layers rice with meat that's been marinated in yogurt and spices and cooks it in a covered dish that keeps the rice moist and the meat juicy.
"It's popular in India," says one-named owner Ramesh ("My last name is too long," he says). "We have biryanis with chicken, goat, and we do a midnight biryani buffet on Fridays and Saturdays, from 12 to 2 a.m."
The restaurant, which occupies a space that used to be an Italian restaurant, can seat nearly 200 people, and has a dance floor.
"The reason we are open is that there was not previously a big space in Irving for banquets, wedding parties, graduations, for gatherings of 100-150 people, there were no Indian restaurants," he says. "On weekdays, we focus on the restaurant, but on weekends, it's a party house. We have the DJ systems, lights, whatever people need for parties."
Doughy Joey's is a pizzeria in east Plano, in a space previously occupied by a Double Dave's Pizza. Owner Wayne Elliott says that his crust is thin and is hand-tossed. ... A second branch of Flip's Tavern is opening in Fort Worth, probably in March; the original Flip's is located in Grapevine.