Restaurants / Openings

5 New Dallas Restaurants We’re Loving Now — And What To Order at Each Hot Spot

A Moody Italian Steakhouse, an Upscale Neighborhood Joint, the Revamp of a Henderson Staple, And More

BY // 06.05.23

There have been a staggering amount of restaurant openings in Dallas already in 2023. The latest notable debuts: An Italian steakhouse takes over the former Two Sisters Catering space in East Dallas, a Korean barbecue joint gets a rebrand in Koreatown, an upscale neighborhood restaurant quietly opens in Preston Hollow, Leela’s Wine Bar gets a new location with pizza, and a Henderson Avenue staple revamps its space and menu.

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.

The Saint

Deep Ellum

2633 Gaston Avenue
Dallas, TX  |  Map

36oz. Wagyu-X Tomahawk Chop with Calabrian Chili Butter (1)

The Texas Wagyu Tomahawk Chop (Wagyu-X) with Calabrian chili compound butter is a highlight on The Saint's menu. (Photo by Kayla Enright)

Just opened in the former Two Sisters Catering space in East Dallas, this new Italian steakhouse comes from hospitality veteran Andy Hooper (Las Vegas-based Hooper Hospitality Concepts). Crafted by chef Jacob Williamson, the menu features dry-aged steaks, housemade pasta, and unique appetizers. Designed by Greg O’Neal (of Philosophy Design), the space boasts a “saints and sinners theme” with very dark hues combined with subtle light.

Best Sips: If you like mezcal, make sure to start with the Forbidden Kingdom cocktail. It is a delicious mixture of El Silencio Mezcal, passion fruit, Luxardo Maraschino Amaro Montenegro, and lime. Another favorite of the evening was a Sicilian Margarita with blanco tequila, blood orange syrup, lime, and rosemary. And for an after dinner treat, the Macchiato Martini is a sweeter espresso martini topped with a macchiato amaretto foam.

Best Bites: Do not miss the whipped ricotta at The Saint. Served with grilled rustic bread, the fresh ricotta is topped with a chili crunch and smooth honey. The Maine lobster arancini is another popular pick, as well as the bluefin tuna crudo with pistachio pesto. For pastas, the brisket and foie gras ravioli is a must-try. It’s served in a dried cherry reduction that you’ll want to scoop up with every bite. The vegan tagliatelle bolognese is another surprising dish as its made with chickpea pasta and Lion’s Mane mushroom bolognese — but a carnivore could never tell the difference. We also enjoyed the 12-ounce Wagyu Strip Loin with The Saint steak sauce, but there are so many intriguing meat options. Opt for the 36-ounce Wagyu Tomahawk Chop if you have enough people to share it with.

JOA

Koreatown

2254 Royal Lane
Dallas, TX 75229  |  Map

JOA Dallas

JOA is now open in the former Nuri Grill space in Koreatown. (Photo by Kathy Tran)

Formerly Nuri Grill, this Korean barbecue joint has been transformed into a more casual space in Dallas’ Koreatown. Owned by Wan Kim, the new iteration offers meats you grill at your own table including beef, pork, and lamb, as well as hot pot, and tons of tasty appetizers. The menu also boasts sake, soju, and several signature cocktails like the Pink Martini and Yuzu Mojito.

Best Bites: Start with fried mandu (pork dumplings), crab fritters, and beef tukbokki. It’s tough not to get filled up just from the appetizer menu. For two people, the Taste of JOA was plenty as a main dish. It comes with prime short rib, Black Angus hanger steak, bone-in short rib, ribeye, and shrimp, as well as so many side dishes. A highlight was the corn cheese side (ordered separately). It’s exactly how it sounds and is delicious.

Bobbie’s Airway Grill

Preston Hollow

5959 Royal Lane, Suite 515
Dallas, TX 75230  |  Map

Bobbie’s Airway Grill quietly opened in Dallas over the weekend. (Photo by Megan Ziots)

Bobbie's Airway Grill quietly opened in Dallas over the weekend. (Photo by Megan Ziots)

This new Preston Hollow restaurant from the owners of il Bracco quietly opened in the former Doughtery’s Airway Drug over the weekend. An upscale neighborhood spot, Bobbie’s was designed by Michael Hsu Architecture and features a menu of salads, sandwiches, seafood, and meats.

Best Sips: If you’re looking for something refreshing, opt for the West Side — a vodka-based drink with fresh lemon and mint. The espresso martini was another favorite, and we definitely have our eye on The Bracco (a frozen greyhound with Aperol and fresh grapefruit) for next time.

Best Bites: Even if you don’t normally like oysters, try the crispy oysters starter. They are deliciously fried served with Flower Street vinaigrette and lemon. The Oaks Dip is another favorite — a sharp cheddar cheese dip served with Fritos. For mains, the crab cake came highly recommended by our server. It’s one jumbo lump crab cake immersed in a lemon dill sauce. It’s savory and tasty. The Oak Burger and Italian beef sandwich are two other popular options if you’re wanting something a bit heftier. And absolutely do not leave without trying the carrot cake with cream cheese icing and pistachios.

Leela’s Wine Bar

Multiple Locations

2355 Olive Street, Suite 145
Dallas, TX  |  Map

Leela’s Wine Bar

Leela's Wine Bar now offers a menu of seven different kinds of pizzas, salads, boards, and desserts. (Courtesy)

A brand new Leela’s (a third location for the Dallas-based wine bar) just debuted in Uptown with a sleek space and a brand new food menu. From a wide array of fresh salads to seven kinds of pizzas, there’s something for everyone to enjoy with their glass of wine or craft cocktail.

Best Bites: We tried two cauliflower crust pizzas (all are served thin-crust style): The Butcher and Prosciutto. Both were wonderful and flavorful, but the former had to be my favorite with pepperoni and sweet and spicy sausage. The Lower Greenville location also offers an edited version of the new menu, probably due to its smaller space. In addition, you can build your own pie and add on a couple of sweets like chocolate chip cookies or a chocolate torte.

The Porch

Knox-Henderson

2912 N. Henderson Avenue
Dallas, TX 75206  |  Map

The Porch Dallas

This spring, The Porch revamped its interior, outdoor patio, and food and drink menu. (Photo by Dan Padgett)

Recently revamped with a new patio and menu additions, this Henderson Avenue staple is a must-try since reopening. The Headington Companies concept had its interiors fully remodeled by Wallace Johnson and now boasts a more inclusive bar menu featuring low-ABV and mocktails. Crafted by Gabe Sanchez (Midnight Rambler), the cocktail menu now includes spiked iced teas for the toasty summer ahead and boozy hot chocolate on chillier days.

Best Bites: Of course, the favorites still remain on The Porch’s menu like one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in Dallas and the popular spinach parmesan dip. But there are also several new tasty bites including brisket tacos and a few former faves from Headington’s Wheelhouse (which closed in 2020) like the Standard Burger and giant pretzels.

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Tommy Kanarellis
tommyk@compass.com  970.452.9661
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