Restaurants / Openings

With a Proven Team and Gorgeous Design, This New Italian Restaurant Could Be Dallas’ Next Hot Spot

Upscale Neighborhood Spot Dea Will Open Near Inwood Village This September

BY // 09.13.22

In 2006, Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun opened their first restaurant, Shinsei, along Inwood Road, where the neighborhood spot has endured for its great sushi and see-and-be-seen allure. In 2017, the Dallas duo debuted their popular Lovers Seafood and Market just a couple of blocks away. And on September 26, Fearing and Rathburn will complete their Inwood area trifecta with Dea, an upscale Italian spot serving steaks, fish, and homemade pasta.

“Lynae and I both live in the neighborhood and were looking for a spot that was upscale, but not pretentious,” Rathbun explains. “You can dress up or come in your workout clothes and sit at the bar.”

Opening in the former Fireside Pies space right next door to Shinsei, the duo — along with notable Dallas designer Brant McFarlain — completely gutted the location for Dea (which translates to “goddess” in Italian), drawing aesthetic inspiration from the Italian coast.

“I love how design in Italy isn’t perfect, yet always stylish,” McFarlain says. “I wanted to mix different colors and patterns together as if the restaurant has been open for decades adding layers over the years. The space feels welcoming and visually stimulating.”

There is one element of Fireside Pies that remains: a massive pizza oven, where diners can catch certain dishes being wood fired in the open kitchen concept.

 

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  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
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  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
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  • River Oaks District September 2022
  • River Oaks District September 2022
Dea Restaurant Dallas
Dishes like wood-roasted bone marrow will also be on the small plates menu at Dea. (Courtesy)

The Dishes of Dea Dallas

Led by executive chef Roman Murphy (who has been at Lovers Lane Seafood for the past year), the menu is a collaboration between the whole team.

“Inspired by our travels to Europe, we tell Roman what we like and he comes up with something,” Rathbun says. They then work to fine-tune the recipe together.

A favorite of Rathbun’s, pappardelle bolognese, is on the handmade pasta menu, as well as Cacio e Pepe, rigatoni, casarecce, and a daily risotto. She says that another standout dish will be the wood-roasted bone marrow. For mains, you’ll find prime cuts like ribeye, tenderloin, and bistecca alla Fiorentina, as well as seafood dishes such as salmon, scallops, and halibut.

General manager of Dea (and Lovers Seafood bar manager), Anthony Valiani, crafted a drink menu with 12 classic cocktails and 12 signature drinks (including Shinsei’s blood orange margarita). Some of the more unique creations include a Duck Fat Old Fashioned, the “Say Cheese” made with mascarpone, and a Spanish gin and tonic. An extensive wine menu will also offer varietals from all over the world.

 

A Feminine Touch

Those familiar with Shinsei will easily be able to locate Dea along Inwood Rood, but anyone visiting for the first time should have no problem. Dallas artist Alli K has painted a flower goddess of her own outside the 1940s building.

“We just want to have fun,” adds Rathbun. “We’re restauranteurs, not business people, and we just want to create a place for people to enjoy themselves.

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