PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas Jan_Feb 2023

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Restaurant Roundup NATHAN SCHRODER KATHY TRAN Dallas Culinary What's New in the World I t's been a roller coaster since Bon Appétit named Dallas the 2019 Restaurant City of the Year. More accolades are likely in the future for our fair hamlet, as the dining scene is flourishing. Everyone is dying to hit the hottest spots in town, and reservations at these chic dens of culinary bliss are nearly impossible to score. Friends and neighbors start dialing restaurants like Tatsu promptly at 8 am on the 1st and 15th of the month — when new batches of reservations open (and are generally gone within a few hours). Here, new spots we've taken note of. DEA 7709 Inwood Road, 214.764.3334 I n 2006, Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun debuted Shinsei on Inwood Road, followed by the popular Lovers Seafood & Market in 2017, a couple of blocks away. Now they've completed their Inwood-area culinary trifecta with Dea ("goddess" in Italian), located next door to Shinsei in the former Fireside Pies space. Fearing, Rathbun, and Dallas designer Brant McFarlain drew aesthetic inspiration from the Italian coast to craft stylish environs with a neighborhood vibe. One element of Fireside Pies remains: a massive pizza oven where dishes are wood-fired. Executive chef Roman Murphy creates such highlights as the whipped ricotta served with house-made focaccia to scoop up every last bite of the delicious, fluffy cheese; roasted beets salad; pappardelle Bolognese with ricotta, grana, and herbs; and the juicy New York strip. Cocktails top of mind? The Nutty Monkey is made with Maker's Mark, banana, and toasty spices, while the refreshing Ciao Bella is a hibiscus cocktail with Tito's vodka, blackberry, and rose petal. ESCONDIDO TEX-MEX PATIO 5950 Royal Lane, 214.471.5929 D allas seafood savants Jon and Natalie Alexis (owners of TJ's Seafood, our go-to for the freshest fish in Dallas) have taken on Tex-Mex with a new concept in Preston Royal, called Escondido. "I always wanted to do a Tex-Mex restaurant," restaurateur Jon says. "It's my favorite food." But he didn't want to take the plunge until he found an intersection in Dallas that didn't already have a Tex-Mex joint — which is harder than it sounds. So, when Cantina Laredo at Preston Royal shuttered at the end of 2020, he knew the time was right. Across Royal Lane, the former Ruggeri's Italiano Pescatore (which shuttered after the 2019 tornadoes destroyed it), became a perfect fit. The name Escondido, which means "hidden" in Spanish, alludes to how the unassuming space has always seemed tucked away — but that's about to change with this team's addition of a massive, 75-seat patio. The indoor/outdoor space, designed by Dallas-based Duncan & Miller, is a highlight of the restaurant, accompanied by a resort-style bar that offers up marquee headliners including margaritas, chips, and queso. There's a to-go window on Royal Lane with margaritas, chips and queso, a n d b r e a k f a s t tacos with Mexican c o f f e e i n t h e morning. For the d i n e - i n m e n u , you'll find Tex- Mex classics such as sizzling fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, nachos, and carne asada. By Billy Fong and Megan Ziots Tex-Mex at Escondido 110

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