by Steven Doyle
There are so many pop-ups these days that it can be dizzying keeping track, but these are the special dinners that often wine special, chef high and happy occasions that makes them so very unique and inviting. This is where a chef can step out of his culinary boundaries that they are often tied to at their regular gig. Menus have a way of beating a chef into submission. This is why when a fantastic chef agrees to perform a pop-up you need to jump all over the situation.
We sincerely attempt to bring you those opportunities here at craveDFW, and a handful of readers took advantage of one last night when James Beard nominated Omar Flores made an appearance at Urbano Cafe’s event space next door to their regular restaurant.
Urbano is that super wonderful restaurant located in the same complex as Jimmy’s Food Store that brings us an oasis of love not found at many restaurants in Dallas. Owned and operated by Kristen and Mitch Kauffman, they run an extremely fun and interesting restaurant that is Urbano. It is there you dine in close quarters in what has become the best BYOB restaurant in Dallas. The food is ever changing and seasonal, which is always delicious. And the atmosphere makes for interesting conversation and often meeting new friends. With this comes the sharing of wine, laughter and one beautiful evening of wining and dining that is often overlooked in our city.
They also own Urbano Too, which on some nights is a spill-over to the main restaurant, or can be rented out as a private event space for a special occasion. In addition they own the space in back of the building formerly known (and currently by some long-time residents) as Tom Spicers Garden, that funky urban space that was formerly run by the gardening genius that was Spicer. This is where many chefs found their beautiful micro greens and other seriously delicious and hard to find veggies. Now this space is used as a fun culinary playground for parties, and sometimes when the weather is correct, pop-ups.
Last evening Omar Flores did his thing indoors as we still have about a week before Dallas can enjoy the great outdoors. So we dined in the Urbano Too space which is simply fantastic. Our courses flowed at an even pace as wine poured with great spirit. Verve even.
We spoke to Flores who recently closed his Trinity Groves restaurant Casa Rubia, and not for the lack of success, and who is now operating his fun southern chicken spot Whistle Britches. He is planning a second Whistle Britches which will open at the Shops of Willow Bend, and he hinted at a third location. He and his wife are also expecting a child soon, so the good chef has his hands full.
Let’s walk through what you missed last night sans passed apps and amuse, and add that there will be another Flores pop-up in October. We will bring those details soon.
Summer bean salad, sweet corn pudding, pickled chiles, sorghum, 1015 onion, buttermilk, Baby lettuces
Assorted melons, bigeye tuna, palm sugar vinaigrette, avocado, lime, crispy shallots
Sonoma valley duck leg, fish sauce caramel,Crunchy garlic, crushed peanuts, Thai herbs,Aromatic Carolina gold rice
Kaffir lime panna cotta, matcha, stone fruit consommé