There were many advances in the Dallas restaurant scene in 2011, and we are looking for many more in the coming new year. We would like to take a moment to bring attention to several exciting trends that took place. Later in the week we will focus on some trends we would like to see spring up in Dallas.
Cocktails: If you read craveDFW with any regularity you know we focus quite a bit on the growing cocktail scene in Dallas and Fort Worth. There are a few leaders within the community that lent a stepping stone for many in the area which caused a ripple effect from behind the bar.
Some notable talent includes Rocco Milano and Shannon Silver both from Private Social, Michael Martensen and Trina Nishimura from Cedars Social, Sean Conner at Whiskey Cake, Brad Hensarling from the Usual, Kyle Hilla from Bolsa, Lucky Campbell from the newly opened Chesterfield, and the Windmill’s Charlie Papaceno. Look for Standard Pour’s Brian McCullough to open in the coming weeks along with a whole host of great lounges featuring these top shelf cocktails.
The Casual Restaurant: A more casual climate within the restaurant industry has taken the city by storm. We didn’t see as many fine dining establishments open in 2011 as we did more chef-driven casual concepts like The Commissary, CampO, Lucia, Princi Italia, Lockhart BBQ and several Neapolitan pizza concepts like Dough and Il Cane Rosso. We welcome more for 2012,
The Food Truck: The mayhem flew as we all followed every known food truck sighting, almost as breathlessly as the SoCal transplants awaited In-N-Out Burger openings. The food truck phenomenon brought us new dining choices from Nammi, Ssahm, 3 Men and a Taco and many others. Not all were taco-centric, some were simply sweets like Trailercakes, while others focused on healthy dining like the very new Good Karma Kitchen. Look for this trend to continue its steady growth far into 2012, with more Truck Parks opening in Dallas.
Food Information: The single most important change Dallas experienced in 2011 was when the Dallas Observer hired food critic Scott Reitz. Free from the hackneyed writing that flows freely from most of the major publications in DFW, Scott brings a wealth of talent, free from the constraints political tomfoolery. His casual but educated style offers readers a glimpse at many of the restaurants he appears to be enjoying in our city without the superior denigration that often accompanies the post. Welcome, Scott.
Tacos and Burgers and Beer, Oh My: Other trends that sped at a steady pace included tacos and burgers. More chef driven burgers and tacos were offered in 2011, and even more are coming in 2012. We gobbled up more Velvet and Rusty tacos, as well as a boatload of taqueria tacos to satisfy even the most famished competitive eater.
And the craft beer. Dallas may still be lagging behind in the craft beer movement, but as more breweries open their doors like Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Lakewood Brewing Company, and the more recently announced Peticolas Brewing Company in the Dallas Design District, Dallas will soon find itself knee deep in the beer industry. This all makes for a better city.
What are some trends you enjoyed?