The headlines about the future of the economy are grim now, but then who believes the news these days? The folks behind the scorching restaurant and bar scene in Dallas apparently don’t. Sure, they face inflation and labor issues, but somehow they get by.
God bless the optimists. They continue to feed us good things.
New spots are opening every week, and many of them feature unique cuisine and spaces. Some are out-of-town concepts, of which Dallas has seemed like a mecca for the past year. But local restaurateurs are also growing.
Here are a few places you should push to the top of your list.
Revolver Taco Lounge Gastro Cantina
2646 Elm Street (Deep Ellum)
Gino Rojas is expanding his taco empire to Deep Ellum. Just around the corner from its original Revolver Taco Lounge on Main Street is a new “gastro cantina” serving fine Mexican fare. Try the delicate cabrito wontons topped with tiny purple flowers or the elotes with white truffle butter. The pastor’s tacos sizzle on a trompo, and Rojas’ aunt is always there, squeezing fresh tortillas as orders come in. The space runs through a building, so you can enter from Elm or Main Street. All indoor seating is in a long bar. During the day it is a great place to have an amazing meal. As the day progresses, the music rises and the lights go out. For more, check out their giant licuachelas served in blenders. Revolver Taco Lounge Gastro Cantina is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
2820 Commerce Street (Deep Ellum)
Federales is a new Chicago restaurant and bar looking for a good time in Deep Ellum. No worries, though, by the looks of it last weekend, it’s not lonely. The exterior is a huge chunk of metal, but the interior of the space has a large retractable glass roof (see photo above) and frozen fishbowl-shaped drinks adorn nearly every table. The menu is tex-mex: tacos, guacamole, taquitos, quesadillas. Federals is open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday to Sunday.
5629, boul. EMS.
Julian Barsotti has been busy. The local chef and restaurateur recently opened Odelay, a modern Tex-Mex restaurant, and is keeping things going at his other restaurants, including Nonna, Carbone’s and Facchini. He also recently filed a lawsuit against New York importer Carbone. At least now he has a bar to hang out with his friends. Goodbye Horses is a simple bar to grab a beer and watch a game. Their Instagram page should attract you; it’s a rather clunky collection of classic old photos. The menu is bar food (nachos and burgers) but was built by Nonna’s chef so it’s probably a much better version. Goodbye Horses is open 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday
2918 N. Henderson Avenue (Knox-Henderson)
The Beardon brothers have been in the hospitality business for decades, so they know how to read trends. Chris Beardon says dining and nightlife are so competitive in Dallas right now that they’re collectively elevating the scene, fostering demand for upscale nightlife venues. So they recently quietly (re)opened PM Lounge, which used to be an underground late-night haunt downtown. His new home is in the Knox-Henderson neighborhood. After dinner, go for a nice cocktail, but later in the evening it becomes candlelight. Reservations only after 11 p.m. on weekends. They’re having a grand opening on July 22, so get in before it gets packed. PM Lounge is open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The Breeze Way from Casablanca to Tejas
250 Bishop Avenue North, Bishop Arts District
Just when you think there’s nothing else they can do in the Bishop Arts, someone needs a drink. Tejas has set up an outdoor bar behind its restaurant for cocktails and tacos. And at the same time, just 20 meters below (don’t go measuring that), Casablanca has set up The Palm Bar with take-out drinks and a sandy seating area. Together, these two have transformed the entire breezeway into a cool bar that looks like a Mexican-Moroccan booze road.