Restaurants / Openings

The 4 Hottest New Dallas Restaurants — And What To Order at Each Spot

Global Fare and Fresh Concepts from Julian Barsotti and Jon Alexis

BY // 02.08.24

It feels like we just said “Happy New Year” to 2024, but February is already here and the Dallas dining scene is already getting tons of new restaurants. We’re rounding up a few of the latest notable debuts we’ve dined at this month: A Canadian import in NorthPark Center, a tapas and jazz bar, a Turkish restaurant in the historic Mayor’s House, and a prime patio in East Dallas.

To help you narrow down the best of the buzziest, we’re highlighting our favorite new Dallas restaurants and what cocktails, entrees, and appetizers to order at each spot.

Joey Dallas

NorthPark

8687 N Central Expy, Suite 307
Dallas, TX  |  Map

Joey Dallas

The crab cakes at JOEY Dallas are a must-try starter or entree. (Courtesy)

The first JOEY (of three new Dallas locations set to open) from Canadian hospitality group Joey Restaurants is now serving global fare at NorthPark Center (in the former Seasons 52 space). The interior has been completely transformed and features works from Texas artists like B. Shawn Cox, Melinda Buie, and Whitney Avra. There’s also a spacious outdoor patio for al fresco dining.

Best Bites: Always start with the Szechuan chicken lettuce wraps. The shareable comes with a hefty portion of sweet soy ginger glazed chicken, peanuts, and crispy wontons. Spicy aioli is available to drizzle on top of each wrap. JOEY Dallas has a small sushi menu, but we found the seared salmon sushi to be a stunner, and our favorite bite of the night. As for mains, you can’t go wrong with the crab cakes with an apple fennel salad or the steak & ravioli bianco. The latter is made with an addictive truffle sauce. And for dessert, do not miss the butter cake with raspberry coulis and Tahitian vanilla ice cream. It’s a popular pick for a reason.

Birdie’s Eastside

East Dallas

6221 E. Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, TX 75214  |  Map

Birdie’s Eastside Dallas

Don't miss the birria sliders at Birdie's Eastside. (Photo by Megan Ziots)

From Jon Alexis (TJ’s Seafood, Ramble Room), this new American dining concept took over a former Luby’s Cafeteria in East Dallas. Designed by Hatsumi Kuzuu, the space is decked out in Texas art and features a resort-style indoor/outdoor bar with backlit Mexican tile, a turfed patio, oversized furniture, new live oak trees, and more. Some decor highlights include vintage kayaks, lake maps, and a “Cadillac Ranch”-style graffiti sign by local artist Jenna Fredde. It’s super kid-friendly (Birdie’s was at capacity with youngsters and their parents when we visited one Friday evening), so if you’re looking for a romantic evening out this wouldn’t be the place. But, if you want a cool, spacious hangout with an outdoor patio and good food, this is the spot. It’s walk-in seating only, so prep yourself for a wait time, especially during the weekend.

Best Bites: Start with the spicy tuna wonton tacos. Alexis is known for his fish (it states on the menu that all seafood is curated by TJ’s) and this light, flavorful starter is a must-order. Three tacos are topped with raw ahi tuna, avocado, slaw, ponzu, spicy aioli, and sesame. Another favorite appetizer is the birria sliders — four Hawaiian rolls filled with roasted beef, melted cheese, cilantro, and onion. It comes with a small cup of beef broth for dipping and they are delicious. For mains, the flat iron steak is a surprising hit served with Brussels sprouts and cheesy grits. The server asked us if we wanted it “pink” or “not pink” leading us to believe maybe it would be overcooked. But the meat came out medium with black pepper sauce, and it was great. We also opted for one of the bowl options (there are three) — the Mediterranean shrimp bowl. If you’re looking for something a bit lighter (and healthier), these are the way to go.

The Mayor’s House by Selda

Bishop Arts

635 N. Zang Boulevard
Dallas, TX  |  Map

Mayors House by Selda

The fried cauliflower is so flavorful at The Mayor's House by Selda. (Photo by Megan Ziots)

This new Turkish restaurant just opened in the historic former home of George Sergeant (who served as the mayor of Oak Cliff in the 1930s). It comes from the owners of Selda Mediterranean, Mert and Becky Tezkol, as well as Habip Kargin. The space features two levels of various dining rooms — including former bedrooms upstairs. Turkish rugs adorn the hardwood floors and mosaic chandelier lamps hang from the ceilings. It’s super cozy.

Best Bites: Every table is given a complimentary piece of bread — a good portion for dipping in the hummus appetizer. The halloumi cheese with fig marmalade is another must-try. It’s warm and pairs well with the kale salad which includes Turkish apricot, fig, pistachio, quinoa, and goat cheese. A stunner on the small plates portion of the menu is the fried cauliflower served with chimmichuri sauce. It was our favorite bite of the evening and has a small kick of spice. For mains, any lamb dish is the way to go. We enjoyed the lamb chops with rice/salad and the lamb tandir, which came with a hefty side of green lentils. Regretfully skipping dessert during this outing (we may underestimated portion sizes), we’ll definitely be returning to check out the Turkish dessert menu crafted by an in-house pastry chef.

Bacari Tabu

Park Cities

4113 Lomo Alto Drive
Dallas, TX 75219  |  Map

Bacari Tabu Dallas

The lamb meatballs at Bacari Tabu are a can't-miss dish. (Courtesy of Bacari Tabu via Instagram)

Dallas restaurateur Julian Barsotti’s latest concept is located next door Nonna, one of his first restaurants in the city. The new Venetian-style tapas and jazz joint is inspired by Strictly Tabu, a pizza/jazz bar that was open for decades in the same space. The intimate spot features floral wallpaper, velvet curtains, a small bar area, and several tables. There is also a stage that emerges from the wall for live music on the weekends.

Best Bites: To start, each table is given complimentary fried cheese-filled olives that are delightful, even if you’re not an olive person. There’s a lot to choose from tapas-wise, but one stellar option is the lamb polpettini (small lamb meatballs with cucumber, dill, tzatziki, and padrón peppers. We also enjoyed Bacari Tabu’s take on gnocchi alla romana with brown butter, sage, and parmesan. It’s not your typical gnocchi, as the dish comes with five or so square bites — the texture reminded me more of polenta. The restaurant also serves pizzas that are available at Nonna including the spot’s famous White Clam Pie. Pastas like cappelletti al forno and lasagenette al ragu are also options if you’re looking for something a bit heartier. Or, opt for a dish from the Binchotan charcoal grill or order the risotto for the table (which needs 25 minutes to prepare).

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