Last night I caught up with chef Marc Cassel after noticing some heavy activity happening at his soon-to-open Peavey Road seafood restaurant, 20 Feet Seafood Joint. I spotted Cassel readying the space from my perch at Goodfriend and shot him a text asking for a few minutes when he was finished with his business. An hour later the chef grabbed me for a quick tour.
The restaurant will hold about 50 seats and should open in about a week. The time changed every time I asked him, so I stopped asking and settled with the answer I wanted to hear.
The galley kitchen is smaller than Cassel was wanting, but he said he would make it all work. Every inch of the back kitchen is used with very little wasted space. Most of the cookery will take place in full view of the guests with minor prep work in the back, including baking off house-made bread for the lobster roll.
The lobster roll made its way around the city in 2012, but Cassel said his will be simple and delicious. He made a practice run last week to the staff at Goodfriend next door and a few inquiries netted a few double thumbs up when I asked about the dish. It will be a simple roll, grilled off in a fair amount of butter and layered in a whole lobster with a bit of mayo and seasonings.
Look for a few fried items such as clams and fish and chips, along with some grilled features. Cassel wants to keep the operation simple and the prices fair with most dishes coming in around ten or twelve dollars. The lobster roll will be a bit more, of course. He will also serve up a creamy New England clam chowder that should prove incredible, along with raw oysters.
Cassel earned his chops while attending the culinary program at Dallas’ El Centro College, Chef Apprenticeship Program. In 1991 Cassel began his career as an apprentice at the Dallas Country Club.
Cassel is probably most noted for his work at the original Green Room in Deep Ellum, but has cheffed at such notable spots like Star Canyon, Baby Routh, Stephen Pyles, Dragonfly and more recently Park on Henderson (which is now the Gin Mill).
I have an interesting interview planned for next week, so check back in on us to see that, plus a first look after the opening. They are now hiring.