Category Archives: First Look

First Look: Outpost American Tavern

DSC04687by Steven Doyle

When they aren’t uber-designing a new restaurant around Dallas or Fort Worth, the dynamic team of John Paul Valverde and Miguel Vicens are making a go at restaurateur life at the funky digs in Oak Cliff in what was once a single family dwelling, then their first born Campo Modern Country Bistro. Campo never really hit her stride despite all the fantastical elements you could possibly afford a restaurant, including a star consulting chef like Matt McCallister and finishing with one of the best kept secret chefs in Dallas, Michael Ehlert. By the way for those keeping score at home, Ehlert is in the kitchen at Hibiscus on Henderson.

A few months later and some serious hammer and nailing, the tiny house has been drawn into yet another hip and cozy dwelling for those seeking out a fresh take on classic food finds. Enter Outpost American Tavern. Now deep up in its first week with the doors wide open, the unique looking taproom is once again creating a buzz throughout the food loving community.  Continue reading

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Filed under Craft Beer, First Look, Restaurant Opening, Steven Doyle

First Look: JoJo Eating House and Bar

by Steven Doyle

Being enamored with a restaurant is one of the casualties of what I do. Sometimes it manifests not too unlike a school girl crush. Last night I convinced a group to join me at JoJo Eating House and Bar; it wasn’t a difficult task. After the dining experience I wanted to pull JoJo’s hair and pass her sweet notes with two boxes at the ending: yes or no. She never says no.

This is a First Look post so there is no need to get into all the entanglements, but rest assured JoJo should rate high in any sensible review in the near future.      Continue reading

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Filed under First Look, Restaurant Opening, Steven Doyle

Q&A With Clint Cooper From Village Baking Company

by Steven Doyle

I had a chance to stop in to see Clint Cooper at the new Village Baking Company storefront and was fascinated by his excellent selection of breads and offerings. The very tiny shop is packed ear-to-ear with unusual breads that you might not normally find in the Dallas area. They are only open a few days a week, so if you decide to go, do so early as the shelves are wiped clean rather quickly.

The afternoon I dropped by, which was a Saturday, a woman popped in and demanded a bag of croissant. They had just sold the last croissant and she was none too happy, in fact I believe she said just that. The production of croissant, and other breads are increased each week to meet the demand, but the little shop that has been selling mostly retail and farmers markets is being hit with an ever increasing demand. And for good reason.  Continue reading

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Filed under Bake Sale, First Look, Q-n-A, Steven Doyle

First Look: East Hampton Sandwich Company

by Steven Doyle

Last week we saw one of the first of what will be a busy and exciting restaurant opening season. East  Hampton Sandwich Company opened its doors to a busier than normal crowd for a sandwich shop, but this is no ordinary sandwich shop, and certainly do not make ordinary sandwiches. We met with the dynamic Hunter Pond prior to the opening of his restaurant.

Before the opening Pond was a bit demure and obviously excited. Yesterday we went into the restaurant for the first time to taste what the young law grad had to offer, and he seemed to have morphed into this formidable host with a slight swagger and charm about him. He was still excited, and for a very good reason. It was 2pm in Snider Plaza and his restaurant was jumping. Each seat was filled with a happy guest.         Continue reading

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Filed under Dallas, First Look, Restaurant Opening, Steven Doyle

First Look: MAX’s Wine Dive

by Steven Doyle

MAX’s Wine Dive makes its debut today with doors opening promptly at 4pm. This is the legendary restaurant that is known for their Kobe beef hot dog, fried chicken and Dom Perignon by the glass. It’s the bad boy of the neighborhood, inspired by the best dive bars in Texas, but with a wicked twist.  We checked out the restaurant last night during one of the preview events, and certainly were not disappointed.

The atmosphere is fairly typical with few exceptions. The restaurant features a large kitchen that is as wide as the bar and very open so you can view the action as your Veal Sweet Bread Pot Pie or Chicken Fried Brussel Sprouts are being concocted by chef Patrick Russell, formerly of Craft Dallas. Both of those dishes are crazy good. What is unexpected are the walls stuffed high and wide with glassware and bottles upon bottles of wine. It is interesting to note that chef Russell served us our last meal at Craft and our first at MAX’s. Continue reading

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Filed under chefs, First Look, Foie Gras, Food Photos, fun with food, Restaurant Opening, Steven Doyle, Wine

First Look: FnG Eats

by Steven Doyle

We spent the better part of the morning checking out a few new restaurants in the DFW area. One of the better finds was in Keller and run by the former chefs of Cool River, Bob Stephenson and Carlos Arevalo. Both chefs have an illustrious background; Stephenson alone has opened nearly 40 restaurants, but this would be his first to actually own.

FnG Eats is in the former City Hall restaurant space in Keller that was run by season two Top Chef contestant Otto Borisch. The space has undergone complete revamp and is now much more comfortable and easily managed by Stephenson, who said that he can see pretty much everything going on in the restaurant from any vantage point. He will be able to sauté a few veggies and seconds later greet guests as they file into the door.  And file they will. This restaurant is good.            Continue reading

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Filed under Crave, First Look, Restaurant Opening, Steven Doyle