First Look: Oak

by Steven Doyle

All the beautiful pieces are in place. Oak has this pretty fantastic location on Oak Lawn in the Design District across from the Meddlesome Moth and was designed by Royce Ring and Alex Urrunaga of Plan B who did the recent Bolsa Mercado, the Candle Room, Whiskey Cake and Cedars Social. Add in the owners who are these amazing hospitality specialists, Tommy DeAlano and Richard Ellman. Then hire on chef Jason Maddy as your exec chef who was formerly at the Mansion. You would have a huge pot of success just waiting to happen. This is what the restaurant Oak is all about.

We had an opportunity to stop in Oak for a quick preview this past weekend and chatted with DeAlano, who enjoys nothing more than to speak about the new restaurant.  

The space is truly something special with a large collection of furnishings found locally and abroad. One of the brightest features is a multi-media screen that will display an interesting animation on a rotating basis. Currently there is a large oak tree that looks as if it alive, gently moving to a light animated breeze.

“We were really just looking for a relaxed atmosphere that is inviting to our guests,” said DeAlano.

Relaxing it is, even down to the nature sounds in the men’s room.

During our tour we spotted Oak’s more recent acquisition, pastry chef Sarah Green. We last spotted Green working with J Chastain at the Second Floor. Green has this spirited talent for pastry that was evidenced by a few samples she shot our way. She humbly submitted one of the finest examples of bread pudding we have tasted.

The Antoinette: Tito’s vodka, Mionetto Prosecco, Cointreau, blackberry puree, and lemon

Back in the kitchen we also saw the new sous chef, Brian Zenner, who was also at the Mansion serving under Maddy as sous.

The Mighty Oak: Eagle Rare bourbon, mint, ginger, lemon and soda

In the front of the house we were served a few house specialty cocktails. Interesting to note that DeAlano chose not to buy into the latest craft cocktail trend. His thoughts were to make really well thought out drinks that didn’t take 20 minutes to concoct. Each drink will only have 3 or 4 well thought out elements to keep them simple and served quickly. The bar will be an excellent spot for mingling and sight seeing.

The menu at Oak is just as special as all the other elements. Think Moroccan Octopus & Pork Jowls, aji panca, breakfast radish and cilantro ($11) or Jonah Crab & Point Judith Calamari with tomato coriander and orange marmalade ($14),each appetizers.  Or a Duo of Kobe with quark spaetzle, heirloom carrot, cipollini onion, and red wine braise ($26) or a house-made Pappardelle with dandelion pesto, san marzano tomato, and herb gremolata ($19) offered on the main course side.

Oak opens for business tonight

1628 Oak Lawn, Dallas


Filed under chefs, Cocktails, Dallas, Design District, Nightlife, restaurant news, Restaurant Opening, Steven Doyle

2 responses to “First Look: Oak

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