by Steven Doyle
This should be one very exciting dinner, hosted by two talented chefs, John Tesar and Jet Tila. Make your reservations for May 21, 2015 when these chefs will go toe-to-toe in the Oak kitchen for one super amazing evening. The 5-course meal is $125, and reservations will fill quickly.
by Steven Doyle
This past January the Apheleia Restaurant Group who owns Oak located in the Dallas Design District announced its partnership with Chef John Tesar. Tesar, of course, owns Knife, the undisputed king of beef in Dallas. A three-time James Beard “Best Southwest Chef” semifinalist and “Top Chef” contestant, Tesar is a restaurateur and chef known for his stylish, modern American cuisine prepared with classic European techniques. His innovative culinary perspective and no-nonsense personality have garnered much acclaim throughout his 20+ years in the restaurant industry.
Oak is renowned for delivering clean and elegant American cuisine. Opened by the Apheleia Restaurant Group in December 2011, Oak has earned rave reviews and was named one of Bon Appétit’s Top 50 Best New Restaurants in 2012. The restaurant is definitely one of the shining gems of the ever growing Dallas culinary scene. Continue reading
In January, Apheleia Restaurant Group announced its partnership with Chef John Tesar. Today, Oak is pleased to announce that Chef/Partner Tesar has introduced Oak’s new Spring lunch menu. This menu represents Chef Tesar’s influence on Oak’s tradition of clean, elegant cuisine. Highlights include spice cured filet of beef carpaccio en Bolero, squid ink spaghetti, spicy arrabbiata and blue crab and Arctic char, black mushrooms
“Lunch should not only be contemporary and approachable, but since Oak is a neighborhood restaurant, we needed to make sure it was also affordable so locals and business professionals can come in everyday if they choose,” stated Tesar. Continue reading
Following recent media reports, Chef John Tesar (Knife, Spoon) and restaurateurs Richard and Tiffanee Ellman are setting the record straight and announcing that Tesar is joining Oak restaurant as a Chef Partner, overseeing the kitchen while leading and training the culinary team.
“We are confident that this partnership will bring to Oak the experience we have always wanted to offer,” says Richard Ellman. Expect to see new menu items by mid-February. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
We announced back in November that Oak, that fabulous Design District restaurant, was back to serving lunches under executive chef Brian Zenner. Zenner is the chef responsible for for honing the restaurant that opened in 2011, but sort of lost balance over the past year. Zenner had originally been hired at Oak, but was later sequestered to that beautiful little Uptown hot spot, Belly and Trumpet as their execu-chef. There Zenner rocked our world with innovation unlike anything that has been seen on that section of McKinney Avenue, and possibly never will see again due to the lackluster enthusiasm or superior cuisine in Uptown.
Chef Zenner has this wonderful background that lends itself to a canvass such as Oak. He was born in Thailand, but also lived in Dubai and London, giving this chef a well rounded perspective on how we should be dining. The chef developed his skills working in Portland and in Austin before making his way to Dallas where he had a stint at the Mansion on Turtle Creek just before being recruited as Chef de Cuisine at Oak under opening chef Jason Maddy. Continue reading
by Andrew Chalk
Whither Oak? Consider the moves since its opening in December 2011 under execuchef Jason Maddy (culled from The Mansion) and sous chef Brian Zenner (also from The Mansion) . When the couple behind Oak, Richard and Tiffanee Ellman, decided to open the quirkily-named Belly and Trumpet in February 2013, Zenner was their man to be execuchef. However, for some reason he remained as sous at Oak until April. Then Thomas Gray took that position. At that point in time things sped up. Just a month later Maddy left Oak for unexplained health reasons. Gray improvised until July when Richard Gras was hired as the permanent replacement. Gras, whose background had mainly been at large luxury hotels, lasted a year at the relatively small Oak before moving back to Pier A in New York City. The Ellman’s immediately moved Zenner back as execuchef at Oak.
In addition, over the same period (August 2013), the Ellmans opened a modern Thai restaurant, Pakpao Thai, and suffered a split with the inaugural chef at that venture just six months later. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
Almost a year ago Richard Gras was named the replacement chef after Oak’s glory chef Jason Maddy left his post. Maddy hightailed it to the Cayman Islands where he seems to be enjoying life. Yesterday Richard Gras tendered his resignation, and the job was filled by sister restaurant executive chef Brian Zenner. Continue reading