Restaurants / Openings

Chef Matt Balke’s Encina Will Open in the Former Bolsa Space, Bringing a Cool Climate-Controlled Patio

The New American Restaurant and its Familiar Chef are Set to Debut in Bishop Arts

BY // 10.05.20
photography Kathy Tran

Just before the pandemic, Dallas lost Bolsa, the beloved farm-to-table pioneer in Bishop Arts. It wasn’t immediately clear what would take the place of the restaurant — but, thankfully, Bolsa’s former executive chef, Matt Balke, decided to bring the Bishop Arts spot back to life with co-owner Corey McCombs.

After several months of renovations and menu development, Encina is finally set to open this Friday, October 9.

Encina Dallas
(Photo by Kathy Tran)

With a newly expanded, climate-controlled patio, Encina will be a great spot for outdoor and socially distanced dining this fall. The structure of the interior space remains the same, but new design touches bring warmth to the modern space.

“We want our guests to feel like this is an extension of their home,” McCombs says in a statement. “We made a very thoughtful and intentional effort to do this by mixing warm tones and softening the color combinations to create a homey Southern-charm feel with sophistication. It feels like a grown-up version of what was here before.”

Encina Dallas
Crispy beef tongue (Photo by Kathy Tran)

Along with aesthetic changes, Encina brings a fresh menu to the kitchen. Appetizers range from A Bar N Beef Cheek pastrami and crispy beef tongue to shrimp ceviche and white bean hummus. Flatbreads include a sausage, reuben, and pear and gorgonzola, along with The Cliff, an ode to the neighborhood featuring goat and provolone cheeses. Gulf snapper, 44 Farms NY strip, Berkshire pork chops, and more round out the Southern menu.

“When developing my menus, I tend to start with one certain ingredient and create a dish around it,” Balke says in a statement. “We have farmers who visit with me on a regular basis and present fresh produce and product for inspiration. We are focused on serving simplistic, familiar dishes that offer value and are well executed, consistent, and made with quality ingredients.”

Encina Dallas
The Reading Wood Black (Photo by Kathy Tran)

The cocktail program at the restaurant is distinguished with seasonal ingredients from local farmers — a complement to the food. For example, The Flower Patch is a mixture of strawberry and rosemary Grey Goose vodka, lemon, grand poppy, and sparkling wine. Another signature cocktail is the Reading Wood Black — a concoction of Woodford Rye, coffee-infused Martini & Rossi bitter, and sweet vermouth.

Encina will open on October 9 at 4 pm for happy hour and dinner Mondays through Saturdays, with weekend brunch service to come.

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