This weekend I was an invited guest to the pre-opening festivities at JoJo Eating House and Bar, the latest restaurant to open in Dallas in a long ration of new eateries in Dallas. Some of these new restaurants will gain the ire of public scrutiny; others will be issued a blessing that few restaurants receive as they become the patina of the Dallas landscape.
JoJo will be one of the lucky restaurants to survive and for a few good reasons.
The restaurant chef-owner Laurent Poupart is uber passionate. The man can cook, which is the foundation of any restaurant. The recipes we sampled this weekend were mind-blowing, although my group only tasted a small handful of dishes.
The service seemed to be suave and over-the-top, but keep in mind I was at a soft opening. Early indicators are that the right people are in place, and I recognized more than a few souls both in the front and back of the house.
The former pastry chef at Craft, Laurel Wimberg, was hired to work her magic, along with fellow alumni Gregory Sawin who is General Manager. Look for Wimberg’s Nougat Glacé, which is a similar dessert she made at Craft. Her creations are always whimsical.
The restaurant itself is not terribly large, although with alfresco dining the space nearly doubles in size. The plating I witnessed was beautiful, many dishes served in the heavy cast iron cookware that is covered in beautiful enamel, Les Creuset.
The star for the evening was no doubt was a beautiful dish of cold, whole artichoke that was filled with sweet large lump crab meat. The table went murmuring when the dish was sent out, and gasped when we all discovered the contents inside the artichoke’s secret garden.
We will run a proper First Look tomorrow, but wanted to give you an early glimpse on this new French-inspired restaurant that opens its doors tonight.
JoJo Eating House and Bar is located across from the Quadrandle at 2626 Howell in Dallas.