Chef Brian Zenner has opened another bar/restaurant in what will be a string of casual concepts in and around the downtown Dallas area. On Premise opened in Deep Ellum this week in the former Lemongrass location at 2711 Elm. Zenner hired his former Oak sous chef, Ann Marie Romero, as the On Premise executive chef. Romero also worked with Zenner at the Mansion on Turtle Creek.
“The menu is Ann Marie’s and my take on global soul and street food. We wanted a hip take on bar food. Call it tapas or snacks or whatever, but we want to be a neighborhood fixture,” said Zenner.
The menu is very different, especially for the Deep Ellum area, which seemingly has a handle on pizza and burgers. Look for inexpensive tapas-style items such as a very spicy green papaya salad served with sticky rice ($7), and large shrimp marinated in chermoula, a north African marinade of chili, spices, herbs, garlic, lemon, and olive oil, skewered and grilled ($10). We have also enjoyed a spicy house-made Asian-style grilled sausage that will leave you begging for a beer (and more of the sausage).
In addition to plenty of skewers and interesting dishes, chef Romero will also offer four to six nightly specials in the coming month.
We were also extremely pleased to visit with an up and coming pastry chef that Romero hired, Victoria Blocker. In addition to a variety of sweet endings, Blocker also is making a different empanada each night. We happened to be in when she was offering a pineapple version that was insanely good. She also has banana and coconut fritters and a Belgian waffle.
The kitchen is open late nights, and the bar is completely legitimate. The look and feel is a take on Steampunk, which is certainly fun. You will want to make this a regular stop when checking out one of your favorite bands in the Deep Ellum area.