You want to eat at all the hottest places in Dallas this weekend, well I have a few stand up choices. With all the new openings we all love to try and hit the new ones before going back to our old reliables. If you are like me you love to add new spots to the rotation of restaurants. I will admit to one major obsession, and for those that know me even in the slightest will guess that obsession has been Shell Shack on McKinney Avenue. Shell Shack has served me well nearly twenty times since opening less than two months ago. One really good reason is because their kitchen is open until 1am, except Sunday where they close at 10pm. Should you drop by there, ask for what I usually get, which is a pound of Dungeness doctored up with a spicy concoction they call ‘the kitchen sink’. There are different spice levels, and I typically go hot instead of the very hottest which is called diablo. You can add potatoes, corn and even a tasty sausage.
I have actually written very little about Shell Shack, unless you happen to follow me on Facebook where I beat down my friends weekly with enticing photos of crab. The whole affair can get quite messy, but they have hand washing machines on the ready.
For those looking for something totally new you will want to try out Casa Rubia. I did a small review on the Trinity Groves restaurant earlier this week, and it is freaking amazing. Spanish tapas with a god deal of seafood aboard the menu. I need to go back and plow through more of the menu. Perhaps I will see you there this weekend.
Also in Trinity Groves is that solid new restaurant owned by the very entertaining chef DJ Quintenilla. His Resto Gastro Bistro is new American infused with some Asian flavors and French techniques. Quintenilla announced today that he was open for luncheon service, so that will make a great high end option for those guests you have coming in for the holidays. Trinity Groves is a fast ride over Large Marge (Margaret Hunt-Hill Bridge) and close to the Arts District, the Perot Museum and the Dallas World Aquarium. Resto’s veal cheeks is to die for. While you are in Trinity Groves, grab a Velvet Hammer (the #4) at LUCK.
While you are out Christmas shopping, you may want to warm up with a bowl of soup. We discussed soups this week at craveDFW, and think that Deep Ellum is a hot spot for hand stretched noodles. You will want to do a personal comparison of both Tanoshii Ramen + Bar and the spicy beef soup at Monkey King Noodle Co. The soups are not he same, and both delicious for different reasons. Tanoshii has a complex broth and is packed with plenty of cool ingredients like their boiled egg. While at Tanoshii, order the steamed buns that have a large slice of pork belly sandwiched inside. So good.
The Monkey’s soup is spicy and chock full of beef. I love the spiciness and the chewy fresh noodles. Also Monkey serves up xaio long bao, the wonderful soup dumplings.
There may not be enough weekend to go through these new places, but let’s look at a few other hot spots you will want to stop by.
Pakpao in the Design District continues to be on the to-do list, and they just announced bunch that starts this weekend. Look for wonderful entrees such as pork congee, or a wok fried over easy egg salad. The crab omelet looks promising, as does the taro pancakes. Order the Thai Winter Sangria by the glass or the pitcher. If you go this weekend, you will be among the very first to sample. Please report back!
Round off the weekend with a visit to 20 Feet in East Dallas. Chef-owner Marc Cassel had a birthday this week and could no doubt use some cheering up with your visit. Best bets here are the Lobster Roll, the Ipswich Fried Whole Belly Clams, and the Fish and Chips. Start your feast with a bowl of Cassel’s honest-to-goodness clam chowda. The clams pictured above are huge, moist and meaty. Please be sure to say hello to Cassel’s lovely chef-partner Susan Fries. She needs love too.
What are you waiting for? This stuff isn’t going to eat itself!