There have been a crazy amount of restaurant openings in Dallas over the past several weeks. Italian spots — old and new — seem to be popping up everywhere. A contemporary Cajun restaurant debuted in Oak Cliff. And a surprising Tex-Mex spot from an Italian chef opened in the Park Cities.
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.
Chef Michelle Carpenter (who also owns nearby Zen Sushi) recently opened this contemporary Cajun restaurant in a craftsman house on Beckley Avenue. Named after her grandmother, Beatrice, the new spot is influenced by Carpenter’s Cajun family traditions. New Orleans-native Terance Jenkins — who has worked at the iconic Commander’s Place in New Orleans — is serving as the consulting Executive Chef to Carpenter’s brainchild. Soon, the restaurant will be launching seafood boils on its outdoor patio.
Best Sips: Beatrice offers a wine menu with pairing suggestions for different kinds of dishes, including reds for smoked meats and gumbo, and whites for seafood. As for cocktails, an edited menu features refreshing drinks like an Aperol Spritz, pineapple margarita, and Vieux Carré. You can also opt for the signature King Cake Milk Punch with rum cream, pineapple, and almond milk.
Best Bites: Start with the Louisiana Charcuterie. It’s a great sampling of house-made andouille, Boudin lollipops, tasso ham, pickles, mustard, biscuit crackers, and preserves. The seasonal Texas peach salad was also a tasty way to get some greens and fresh fruit in your meal. For mains, Mammaw’s Fried Chicken with pepper jelly and house pickles is a stunner.
After a two-year closure due the pandemic, this Harwood District Italian spot has reopened with a new chef, menu, and interior design refresh. Led by Executive Chef Paul Latkowski, the new menu features pasta, seafood, steak, and more. There’s also an outdoor patio with gardens and lemon trees to transport you to the Mediterranean.
Best Sips: The drink menu includes 10 signature cocktails, but one stood out to us with its flavor and presentation. The Cosmopolitan Bianco is a vodka, St. Germain, white cranberry, and lime juice concoction that comes served in a martini glass. A ball of ice filled with florals sits in the middle of the glass so that as it melts you get even more flavor. And if you’re an Aperol spritz fan, Dolce offers a great one garnished with fresh orange peel.
Best Bites: Make sure to start with the kampachi crudo and meatballs that sit on parmesan polenta cakes. For pastas, the pappardelle al cacao is a delicious cocoa-infused pasta topped with bits of pork belly, peas, black truffle, and parmesan cream. A close second is the paccheri with rock shrimp, tomato, carrot, chili, and sherry burro fuso. Lastly, don’t leave without trying the tiramisu — it’s an espresso-forward dream.
Opened at the Pavilion On Lovers Lane, this new Tex-Mex spot is chef Julian Barsotti’s first full-service restaurant in Dallas that isn’t Italian. The owner of Nonna, Fachini, and Carbone’s took over the former Cafe Express space and transformed it into a hacienda-style destination with a killer patio. Led by chef Jesse Sosa, the menu features classic Tex-Mex bites and some New Mexican options. The cocktail menu was crafted by master sommelier Sergio Quijano.
Best Sips: The Frozen Paloma is a favorite cocktail at Odelay. It’s grapefruit-forward and perfect for a hot summer day. Another popular option is the Sangre de Cristo with tequila, blood orange, mint syrup, muddled lemon, and a red wine reduction. It’s like a lighter version of sangria.
Best Bites: Don’t miss the Berkshire Puerco Con Mole Verde when ordering lunch or dinner. Slow-roasted pork is served on top of rice smothered in mole verde sauce. It’s delicious and can all be wrapped up in a side of house-made tortillas. And if you like brisket, the wagyu brisket tacos are a must-try with tomatillo-serrano salsa (it’s got a kick), queso blanco, caramelized onion, avocado, and cabbage salad.