PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas March 2023

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Page 93 of 115

Muy Elegante Evening E l Carlos Elegante — you had us with the tongue in chic name. And after dining at this new sophisticated take on Mexican cuisine in the Dallas Design District, we couldn't agree more with the elegant moniker. The creative team at Duro Hospitality (founded in 2020 by Benji Homsey, Chas Martin, Corbin See, and Ross See) are behind this recent addition to our city's culinary landscape as they continue to expand their rapidly flourishing brand. On the night we paid a call, El Carlos Elegante was a packed room. In fact, it was a packed block, as it's located around the corner from another late fall debut, Double D's lounge. (Don't let your mind go lurid - the D's stand for Design District.) The adjacent locations seemed perfect for many guests who looked like they were either hitting the new watering hole first and then heading here for a Mexican dinner, or vice versa. After making our way through an enclosed courtyard, we were greeted by the El Carlos hostess. Our table was ready, but they welcomed us to enjoy a cocktail first at the bar. What a great idea. Our knowledgeable bartender offered us the wine list, then guided us through some of their cocktail offerings. Two that caught our attention were Negroni-ish (a riff on the classic dating back to when Count Camillo Negroni mixed the first one in 1919, made here with Siembra Azul, Aperol, and Dolin Blanc) and the Frozen Mexican Candy with Ocho Blanco, pineapple, and liquor. The restaurant was designed to feel as if it has been handed down through generations of a single family of owners, with the last redecoration taking place in the middle of the last century. Yes, the Mad Men era when everyone was knocking back martinis with abandon with Jose Jose as the soundtrack. Ross See and Corbin See, along with architectural team Nunzio Marc Desantis, created the ambience of a family home — a Mexican hacienda, layered with pattern and texture juxtaposed with custom artwork, multiple fireplaces and fountains, all custom-made for the Duro Hospitality team along with the doors and ironwork. Family portraits of the fictional El Carlos familia created by Daniel Falcón, watched over the evening's high jinks. We were also intrigued by the staff's whimsical blazers By Billy Fong. Photography Douglas Friedman. The new moody El Carlos Elegante with interiors by Ross See and Corbin See and architects Nunzio Marc Desantis 92

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