PaperCity Magazine

July 2015 - Dallas

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JULY | PAGE 10 | 2015 THE PERSONIFICATION OF SUSHI EMBREE & LAKE'S DREAMSCAPE U chi Dallas, which opened in June, already has a cult following, which makes scoring a coveted weekend reservation nearly impossible. The original outpost and its second incarnation, Uchiko, are both in Austin. Uchi Houston followed, and locals have been anticipating the Dallas launch for nearly a year. Founder and executive chef Tyson Cole, who worked with architect Michael Hsu on designing the space, says, "I opened Uchi 12 years ago in Austin in a 2,500 square-foot house and I wanted to make the best sushi in the world." Towards that goal, Cole was named Best New Chef in 2005 by Food & Wine Magazine, and in 2011, he was awarded a coveted James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest. Uchi Dallas maintains many of the original design elements, such as the signature red wallpaper and intimate, illuminated warmth, yet finishes are smoother and curvier in this new location, with art from Austin's Magda Sayeg. The menu has also been elevated and expanded. "People come for the core menu," Cole says. "They get satiated, but now we have an opportunity to give them something new, beyond satiated — we give them an element of surprise." The menu is divided into Cool Tastings such as Uchiviche (salmon and striped bass with tomato and cilantro) and Hot Tastings with oak-grilled Escolar with candied citrus, and the Bacon Steakie (pork belly with citrus and Thai basil). But Uchi experts often order from the specials menu, which changes daily according to farm-fresh items. Chef de cuisine Nilton "Junior" Borges says, "We go after the best ingredients we can get on an everyday basis, and we support our local community; it's something very dear to our heart." Fish, on the other hand, is flown in daily from Tokyo to ensure freshness and superb quality. Borges says one item not to be missed in the Dallas location is the warm, sizzling Duck Nabe — crispy rice, similar to a Korean rice bowl, with either duck or fish. Other creations to emerge in Dallas are 72-hour braised Wagyu beef short ribs served with Asian pear; cuttlefish with pickled ramps; and whipped foie gras served with heart of palm and local pea tendrils, hazelnuts and edible Texas flowers. Uchi Dallas is no longer a mystery, but one surprise remains: Cole and his team are working on a new concept on the floor above the restaurant, which has yet to be unveiled. 2817 Maple Ave., 214.855.5454, Roni Proter UCHI'S LIONIZED MARCH INTO DALLAS Above: Machi cure with smoked hamachi, yucca chips, golden raisins and garlic brittle. Right: Uchi Dallas. Above: Marc Lake with pups Edith Bunker and Sister. Behind him, an 18th-century French secrétaire. Right: Joe Watts oil on canvas. Chinese porcelains. French faience lamp. Regency commode. Far right: Joe Watts oil on canvas. Eighteenth-century marble mantel. Karl Springer table. Maison Jansen side chairs. French bronze and rock-crystal chandelier. French silver sconce. Nineteenth-century taxidermy swan (no longer available). Executive chef Tyson Cole, chef de cuisine Nilton "Junior" Borges A vant Garden, the city's chicest floral boutique, has a new home in the same neighborhood. The shop has moved within Highland Park Village to a bright loft space above Robert Talbott, across from Hadleigh's and Bistro 31. Quite a contrast from the previous location's bibliothèque aesthetic, the new sunny space is awash in celadon walls laced with white treillage, silver ceilings, matte charcoal-and-bone checkered floors and lush, vibrant bouquets of hydrangeas, peonies and roses. Revolving works by local artists debut this fall, and an orchid bar on the outdoor plaza downstairs makes it easy to scoop up a Phalaenopsis on the go. Arrangements of Greenleaf Pottery, blue-and-white porcelain, candles from Alixx and some of owner Todd Fiscus' favorite blooms (this season: Japanese ranunculus, pink bush lilacs, coral peonies and the Fado rose) round out the boutique de fleurs. The accomplished Fiscus, who owns both Todd Events and Avant Garden in a mutual aid society, was influenced by the enigmatic Bunny Mellon, the late famed horticulturist who designed exquisite spaces and gardens for her own Oak Spring estate in Virginia, as well as for bestie Jackie Kennedy's White House Rose Garden. 85½ Highland Park Village, 214.559.3432, Linden Wilson For centuries in Europe, antiquarians have traditionally lived above or inside their shops — whether they are modest in size and cluttered with furniture and art, or grand and handsomely appointed with the finest goods. But it's rare to find this arrangement in Dallas. Earlier this year, Marc Lake completed renovations to Embree & Lake, the 54-year-old antiques emporium on Slocum Street that he inherited from his late business partner, Donald Embree. Lake built a small apartment for himself upstairs and moved in with his two dogs, a terrier named Edith Bunker and a spaniel mix named Sister (after the grand dame of decorators, Sister Parish). While his personal space is still a work in progress, the antiques showroom has been gloriously enlivened with a massive skylight, raised ceilings and reconfigured front windows. A black wrought-iron fence in front, climbing vines and a new sign are charming additions at street view. Lake also enlisted well-known stylist Jimmie Henslee to create lavish and elegant room vignettes with the store's fine European antiques and accessories. The result is a sumptuous dreamscape of rooms bathed in light and shadows. The renovations are a fresh start for Lake, who began his tutelage with Donald Embree in the early 1990s. Barely 20, fresh out of the Dallas Design Institute and working at his first job as an assistant for an interior designer, Lake called on Donald Embree Antiques frequently. "It was jam-packed with all these incredible things," Lake remembers. "You could barely walk through. It was what I think of as a real antiques store." Embree, then 65, was planning to retire and eventually offered Lake a job running the store. Embree never ended up retiring, but Lake started doing most of the buying in Europe and became his business partner in 2009 at age 25. Best friends, they worked together until Embree died in 2011. Lake's focus has gradually shifted from the formal and country French antiques Embree preferred to a freshened mix of French and Italian antiques and art, painted and lacquered Maison Jansen pieces, and modern art. It's a look that Lake describes as "Billy Baldwin New York," but his heart remains with Louis XVI French furniture, he says. "I just have to rein in the ormolu a little." When we were there, a new shipment from Europe had just hit the floor, and it contained quite a few mid-century furnishings, two pairs of 36-inch- tall rock-crystal obelisks, contemporary cocktail tables by Bagues and Jansen, and a set of four rare Bagues sconces from the 1930s. There's also a "really gorgeous" serpentine red glass and bronze credenza from Italy, Lake says, along with "our usual antique chandeliers and beautiful chairs. I try to buy a lot of Jansen; they were a great firm." The renowned Paris furniture manufacturer's black-lacquered mid-century furniture has been a longtime obsession. "I have wanted one of their folding tables since high school," he says. Lake has a dealer friend in Paris who lives across from an auction house, and he sometimes texts Lake at 4 am when he's spotted a Jansen piece that he thinks Lake will like. "Sometimes I say to myself, 'You're going to go broke before you even get out of bed,'" he laughs. Embree & Lake, 1115 Slocum St., 214.760.9141, Rebecca Sherman ALL EMBREE & LAKE PHOTOS MANNY RODRIGUEZ STEPHEN KARLISCH The new Avant Garden ALL UCHI PHOTOS STEPHEN DUX

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