Culture / Restaurants

A New Dallas Restaurant Brings the Forest Inside

Will the Food Live Up to the Fairytale Setting?

BY // 07.15.16

If you’re looking to dine amidst the beauty of nature sans insects and the blazing Texas heat, look no further than Cedar Grove, the newest restaurant concept from Tim McEneny‘s NL Group. (McEneny has managed myriad kitchens across the country, including DISH Preston Hollow, Dakota’s Steakhouse, and Hotel Zaza’s restaurant.)

Nestled in the former DISH Cedar Springs space, at 4123 Cedar Springs Road, Cedar Grove gets natural with a modern yet rustic ambience, farm-to-table menu, and nature-inspired cocktail program.

“Our goal was to create a vibrant restaurant and bar, perfect for Dallas and for the neighborhood,” McEneny says. “The name Cedar Grove captures our location, the nature-inspired interior design, and the outstanding and approachable farm-to-table culinary menu.”

Cedar Grove’s woodsy approach is the first thing to catch your eye — fresh Cedar planks line the building’s exterior. Venture through the dining room, and you’re greeted by 24 towering trees (each 12-feet tall) dispersed throughout the sprawling 6,000-square-foot space. It’s a whimsical forest fit right out of a fairytale.

The diverse menu, assembled by chef Taylor Kearney, is separated into four parts — Snacks (shareable plates/appetizers), Breads and Buns (sandwiches and flatbreads), Large Plates, and Sweets.

Cedar Grove executive chef Taylor Kearney
Taylor Kearney’s menu goes back to nature.

Brace yourself for snacks such as the meat and cheese plate (prepared with staples from Kearney’s signature charcuterie program, which is cured in-house), charred Swedish meatballs, tempura soft shell crab and coal-roasted corn soup. Breads and Buns offerings include a pork schnitzel sandwich, crab and arugula flatbread (lump crab, arugula, pecorino, and lemonette abound), and the obligatory burger. Cedar Grove’s rendition, the Grovey burger, utilizes maitake, port salut, romaine, and heirloom tomatoes.

As for large plates, think Alaskan salmon, sesame-crusted tuna, and grilled pork tenderloin accompanied by cornbread, elote and charred peaches. For dessert, reach for treats like the campfire-inspired s’mores sundae.

Diners can grab a seat at Cedar Grove’s 360-degree cocktail bar for libations with monikers straight from nature — Above the Treeline, a zephyr elderberry-infused gin mixed with ingredients like Dolin Blanc and absinthe mist; Shrubbery, a blend of Old Forester bourbon, peach shrub, lemon, house-made grenadine and angostura bitters; and Forrest Floor Forager, a mix of silver tequila crème de cassis, jalapeño-infused agave, ginger beer, lime and caramelized ginger.

Weekend revelry calls for a Cedar Grove brunch reservation. Homemade doughnut holes, breakfast flatbread (topped with roasted onion jam, arugula, bacon, and fried eggs), a Nutella Belgian waffle, and the brunch torta are just a few plates on the menu. Pair your meal with a brunch cocktail. The fruit purée mimosas — Grove Skinny Mule or Bad Ass Bloody Mary — are sure to hit the spot.


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