by Alex Gonzalez
Over the years, Dallas-based chef Eric Dreyer has built a rather impressive resume. He’s worked for The Ritz-Carlton, Fearing’s, HALL Arts Hotel, and even had a brief stint as Oprah’s private chef. In his latest endeavor, Dreyer is working as the executive chef at Monarch in downtown Dallas.
The hotly anticipated Monarch opened last week on the 49th floor of The National Building. The restaurant’s high altitude allows for optimal views of Dallas. The menu boasts modern Italian plates of seafood and steaks imagined by two-Michelin star chef Danny Grant. Monarch also offers seven different kinds of pastas, all made in-house.
“There’s a varied amount of different items on the menu that range from things that you can splurge on to things that you can eat everyday,” Dreyer says. “It’s really designed to capture people in this downtown area for everyday dining, not only special occasions.”
Dreyer has always enjoyed building concepts from the ground up. He first visited the Monarch space last September, along with Grant’s other steakhouse concept, Maple & Ash in Scottsdale.
Although the space in The National Building was empty at the time, he sensed something special about the space.
“Walking into the space that was just a shell at the time, you could see the character,” Dreyer says. “And then we started talking about the menu, and it’s exciting. It just brings people together.”
Monarch’s kitchen is comprised of seven stations; a raw station, a saute station, a pasta station, an entree station, a pastry station, a wood hearth and a wood-burning grill. Dreyer says that the wood burning grill helps add a lot of flavor to items like the prawns and a halibut dish, which he says he “could eat every day.”
All chefs, cooks and staff will wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Tables will also be spaced at a safe social distance.
Dreyer is excited to work with Grant and work with a team of talented chefs and cooks. While leading a new concept can be daunting, Dreyer has the utmost confidence in his team.
“The restaurant group itself, with multiple successful concepts in place, really streamlines things,” Dreyer says. “It creates consistency for the product and it allows all of us with boots on the ground to really take it and run. Organization for me is always something that I enjoy, but having this foundation to work off of is exciting. You can see the energy in the team and how everyone’s working together. That’s what excites me.”
Crave explores Monarch next week.