Michelin-starred chef plans to open 2 high-profile restaurants in Dallas next year

If Chicago chef and restaurant owner Danny Grant opens two new restaurants in downtown Dallas, he is hoping they will be Michelin contenders. He was awarded two Michelin stars in 2011 and 2012 and was the youngest chef in the US to receive this award.

The Monarch and Kessaku restaurants in Grant’s Dallas are expected to open in March. They are located on the 49th and 50th floors of The National, a renovated building that recently reopened in downtown Dallas.

Grant said he was looking forward to opening a restaurant outside of his hometown of Chicago.

“I look forward to bringing more energy and life to this downtown area,” he said in an interview in October when he traveled to Dallas to work on his new restaurants.

Grant and his team operate a handful of high-profile restaurants in Chicago and Scottsdale, Arizona. His restaurants in Dallas take inspiration from Etta, a wood-fired pizza and pasta restaurant. and Maple & Ash, a steakhouse.

Monarch is the flagship restaurant at The National and will be a modern, wood-fired Italian restaurant. In 2019, Grant was standing in a jungle in Tulum, Mexico, looking at a wood-burning stove. He decided to open a restaurant that focused on the simple, beautiful stove. The Monarch’s guests can see the orange glow of the fire from almost every seat.

He plans to use the wood-burning oven for dishes such as salty whole fish and squid a la plancha. Chefs also bake focaccia in the oven.

Monarch, a restaurant that opened in downtown Dallas in 2021, was featured with a Monarch, a restaurant that opened in downtown Dallas in 2021, was designed with a “royalty feel,” says chef Danny Grant. This is a representation of how you imagine the room.(Courtesy What If Syndicate)

A salt water tank will be installed within sight of the dining room, which means customers can watch the chefs fish out shrimp with a net and then cook them over fire, Grant said.

A pasta menu includes dishes that Grant ate like black truffle noodles with homemade ricotta. For those looking to share, large-sized items like a 50-ounce porterhouse steak cooked over coals are on the menu.

Grant said he hoped the high-in-the-sky restaurant would have a “royalty” sense in both its decor and customer service.

“We want everyone to feel hugged and loved – as if they are the most important person in the world,” he said.

The restaurant will have a hidden chocolate and cognac space inspired by the ambiance of private clubs in London, Grant said. (A hidden chocolate room, you say? We’ll share more information when we have it.)

Kessaku is described as the “jewelry box” of a restaurant – a sushi cocktail bar on the 50th floor.

Grant has already demonstrated the concept by opening a restaurant within a restaurant at Maple & Ash in Chicago. That sushi bar is now a permanent addition to the steak house, and Grant believes Kessaku will be based in Dallas too.

Kessaku will have an “extensive” selection of nigiri alongside sashimi and crudos, Grant said. He describes Kessaku’s food as “well-sourced, beautiful fish with light, warm rice”.

Some of this will be decadent, like king crab and truffles served as a sushi roll.

Monarch and Kessaku join a larger number of restaurants at The National. The refurbished building also houses the Thompson Hotel with two restaurants called Catbird and Nine. Both are open; Read more about it here.

A restaurant and bar named Catbird will open on the tenth floor of the Thompson Hotel in Dallas at the end of November.

Monarch and Kessaku are located at The National, 1401 Elm St., Dallas. Both restaurants are expected to open in March 2021.

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter @sblaskovich.

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