Unless you’re eating out on a daily basis, it’s tough to keep track of the metroplex’s ever-changing restaurant scene. And it’s even tougher to choose only five of the best restaurants that opened this year. However, we came up with these five gastronomic game changers that are making DFW more delicious than ever. Let us know if we missed some of your favorite picks.
3011 Gulden Lane
Dallas, TX 75212
After a year in operation, Casa Rubia, the modern tapas spot in Trinity Groves, continues to live up to its rave reviews. It was also the only Texas restaurant to make it onto the 2014 James Beard Foundation’s semi-finalist list for Best New Restaurant in the country. If that’s not enough to prove Casa Rubia’s appeal, then perhaps the proof is on the plates created by the restaurant’s chef, Omar Flores — who previously had Dallas’ diners salivating over his creations at Driftwood in Bishop Arts. Here, Flores constructs intensely flavored and beautifully presented Spanish and Catalan-inspired specialties, ranging from crispy artichokes with anchovies, quail eggs and saffron aioli to an ever-changing line-up of paellas. Add in a dynamic Spanish wine list and complex desserts like dark chocolate ganache with kumquat marmalade and you’ve got the makings for a deliciously remarkable evening.
2731 White Settlement Road
Fort Worth, TX 76107
The hits just keep coming from Clay Pigeon’s chef and owner, Marcus Paslay — who has created a stylish American bistro out of a converted gas station. Since opening at the end of 2013, the restaurant has been drawing in hoards of diners who come for its seasonally focused, made-from-scratch menu of charcuterie, flatbreads, pastas, grilled meats, seafood and desserts. Along with creative cocktail offerings and a lengthy wine list, expect to find flawlessly executed dishes ranging from roasted bone marrow and seared scallops to a tantalizing ricotta gnocchi with truffles, speck and a poached egg.
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1530 Main St.
Dallas, TX 75201
Executive chef Michael Sindoni of CBD Provisions (named for Dallas’ central business district) has been wowing diners with his modern Texas cuisine ever since the restaurant opened in the Joule Hotel at the end of 2013. Texas Monthly named CBD one of the Best New Restaurants of 2014 and it also received a nomination for the same title by Bon Appetit. The kitchen takes its food seriously, making everything from scratch and using locally sourced ingredients in dishes ranging from a goat pie with stout-braised cabrito to shrimp and grits with house-made ‘nduja sausage. CBD also whips up killer Cuban sandwiches, grass-fed burgers and pasta. But the pièce de résistance is the brined, braised and roasted Berkshire pig head carnitas that arrives at the table fully intact with a side of fresh corn tortillas and roasted tomatillo salsa. Be sure to try the chocolate caramel flan, it’s wickedly irresistible.
2100 Ross Ave.
Dallas, TX 75201
Most everything Stephen Pyles touches turns to gold, and his new Latin-inspired restaurant San Salvaje (Spanish for wild saint) is no different — offering a vibrant, colorful venue and a stellar array of ethereal specialties. The menu takes diners on a voyage through South America with dishes like a causa limeña, a Peruvian potato terrine with shrimp and a quail egg, duck tacos with rhubarb salsa and a fried whole red snapper stuffed with pickled green beans. San Salvaje’s desserts are equally impressive. The lucuma suspiro, a Peruvian fruit pudding topped with a passion fruit meringue, is out of this world.
A F + B
2869 Crockett St
Fort Worth, TX 76107
A F + B (short for American food and beverage) was generating buzz even before it splashed onto Fort Worth’s dining scene last January. Since then, the restaurant has been playing to a packed house nightly. Executive chef Jeff Harris doesn’t miss a beat with items like chorizo-coated Scotch eggs, fried chicken with cream pepper biscuits and braised lamb shanks with farro and dried fruit. You’ll do yourself a disservice if you skip dessert. The luscious chocolate pudding with devil’s food cake and sea salt on top will make you swoon with delight.
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Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. Ilene enjoys writing about a variety of topics, ranging from food, fitness and travel, to kids, pets and senior care. You can find some of her work at Examiner.com.