6 kindof-a-big-deal restaurants opening around Dallas this week

With COVID-19 still a major factor in our lives, these times remain confusing – and yet Dallas restaurateurs are a brave and optimistic bunch that keep pushing forward and looking ahead.

And so we celebrate the simultaneous, almost miraculous opening and reopening of six important restaurants around DFW. These include: an authentic upscale taqueria, a bar-restaurant, an East Dallas coffee shop, a brewery restaurant, a famous chef’s steakhouse, and a pizzeria that makes some of the best pizzas in town.

Here are six major restaurant openings taking place this week:

Chilangos tacos

The Mexico City-style taco concept opened its second location in the Legacy Hall, the Plano Food Hall at 7800 Windrose Ave. The menu includes tacos and quesadillas with a choice of proteins from carne asada, pastor, pollo, barbacoa or caramelized mushrooms. Tacos and quesadillas are made the traditional Mexico City style with simple toppings of onion, coriander, and an assortment of salsa. A signature product is the Las Costras Taco, which is made with grilled Monterey Jack cheese, melted right on the grill until it forms a crust, then folded around a protein and in a tortilla. They also make trendy Birria tacos, with a recipe from one of the owners’ grandfathers.

El Porton coffee

Husband and wife Bruno Bianchi and Isabel Amaya’s indie café has opened at Casa Linda Plaza in East Dallas, where they are creating their own space for neighbors, conversation and coffee. They have espresso-based drinks as well as filter coffee, snacks, and pastries. Their special twist: pairings with coffee and accompanying bites.

Happiest hour

The bar in the Harwood District reopened as a food-forward restaurant versus bar. They hired chef Molly Winkler (Sixty Vines) to create a new menu using 90 percent of the ingredients homemade. It’s open for dinner, drinks, and weekend brunch. They still have a drinks schedule with all types of seating: indoor, outdoor, lawn and rooftop. Winkler is part of a new generation of chefs brought together by Harwood Hospitality to create more food-forward menus in all of their concepts.

The new menu features a robust salad program that includes chicken Caesar flatbread salad, avocado crab salad, and ginger and kale salad. hearty sandwiches, including a short rib and brisket burger with jalapeño and a grilled cheese with cheddar gouda cheese and tomato soup; and a separate brunch menu with breakfast tacos, pecan pie pancakes, and benedicts like crab cakes and avocado bacon.

Knife steakhouse

Chef John Tesar’s renowned steak house’s Plano location has reopened with Knife Burger in The District at Willow Bend. In addition to dinner, roadside takeout and delivery of Knife Steakhouse and Knife Burger are also offered. The Knife Steakhouse, which will be open for dinner, has a redesigned dining room and terrace with limited seating for social distancing. Knife Burger is open for lunch and dinner with typical burgers like The Ozersky and The Pimento as well as two novelties: 44 Farms Meatball Sub and 44 Farms Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich. The original Knife Dallas at the Highland Dallas Hotel closed after the lockdown but reopened in late summer.

Lakewood Brewing

The brewery reopened its taproom to the public and partnered with two concepts to bring groceries up for sale: the Oddbird Chicken Kitchen, which serves wings, ribs, and fried chicken, and the Meatball Kitchen, which serves meatball subs. Since the Taproom is now considered a restaurant in the eyes of TABC, half of the turnover has to be achieved with a combination of food and goods. Hence, owner Wim Bens encourages customers to get hungry. They are open from Wednesday to Thursday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and all day on weekends and have a capacity of 50 percent.

Pie tap

The award-winning pizzeria chain has a new location in The Village on Parkway in Addison at 5100 Belt Line Rd., 796. This space was most recently La Comida Mexican restaurant, but over the years there have been a number of concepts including cosmically a location for Tin Star, the upscale taqueria chain owned by Rich Hicks, who has since founded Pie Tap and Taco Lingo. Pie Tap debuted in the Design District of Dallas in mid-2016 and offers an impeccable pizza that is among the best in town. In fact, in 2017 they won the CultureMap Tastemaker Award for Best New Restaurant – as well as pasta, fried chicken, beer, and wine, available with dinner or delivered to your door. There are two other locations: 2708 Henderson Ave. in Dallas and Plano at Park & ​​Preston.

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