by Andrew Chalk
When Jason Weaver headed the kitchen at The French Room from 2005 to 2009 the restaurant reached the highest culinary point that I have witnessed there in my 30 years in Dallas. Bill Addison, the then restaurant critic of The Dallas Morning News (this was B.C. — before Crave), and a man parsimonious with his accolades, gave the restaurant five stars, denoting it as one of the best restaurants in the city. Zagat named it the best hotel restaurant in the country in its 2006/2007 survey.
With a change in hotel corporate ownership, Weaver left (and The French Room menu ossified) and opened The Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas before eventually returning to Texas to become executive chef at the La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa in Montgomery. In 2011 he was the high-profile hiring of the year, when it was announced that he would be the first executive chef at the Omni Dallas Hotel. That title means that he chefs just about everything except Bob’s Steakhouse (which is a tenant rental situation). That means flagship restaurant Texas Spice, sports bar The Owner’s Box, the Lobby Lounge, coffee bar Morsels, in-room dining, banquets and catering.