God bless optimists. They keep feeding us good stuff.
New spots open every week, and many of them offer unique food and spaces. Some are out-of-town concepts, which Dallas seems to be a mecca for the past year. But local restaurateurs are also expanding.
Here are a few places you should nudge to the top of your list.
Revolver Taco Lounge Gastro Cantina
2646 Elm St. (Deep Ellum)
Gino Rojas is expanding his gunslinging taco empire in Deep Ellum. Just around the corner from his original taco Revolver Taco Lounge on Main Street is a new “gastro cantina” serving elevated Mexican dishes. Try the delicate cabrito wontons topped with tiny purple flowers or elotes made with white truffle butter. Pastor tacos sizzle on a trompo, and Rojas’ aunt is still there, pressing out fresh tortillas as orders roll in. The space cuts through a building, so you can enter either through Elm or Main Street. All seating inside is at one long bar. During the day, it’s a great spot to grab an amazing meal. As the day wears on, the music is up and the lights are dimmed. For more on that, check out their giant licuachelas served in blenders. Revolver Taco Lounge Gastro Cantina is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday; 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
2820 Commerce St. (Deep Ellum)
Federales is a new restaurant and bar out of Chicago looking for a good time in Deep Ellum. No worries, though, by the looks of things last weekend, it’s not lonely. The exterior is a huge chunk of metal, but inside the space has a large glass retractable roof (see photo at top) and fishbowl-like frozen drinks adorn almost every table. The menu is Tex-Mex: tacos, guacamole, taquitos, quesadillas. Federals is open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday – Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday – Sunday.
5629 SMU Blvd.
Julian Barsotti has been busy. The local chef and restaurateur recently opened Odelay, a modern Tex-Mex restaurant, and is holding things down at his other restaurants that include Nonna, Carbone’s and Facchini. He also recently filed a naming lawsuit against New York-import Carbone. At least now he’s got a bar to chill with his friends. Goodbye Horses is a low-frills bar to grab a beer and watch a game. Their Instagram page should lure you in; it’s a mostly awkward collection of classic old photos. The menu is bar food (nachos and burgers) but was built by the chef at Nonna, so it’s likely a much better version. Goodbye Horses is open from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday – Thursday; 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday
2918 N. Henderson Ave. (Knox-Henderson)
The Beardon brothers have been in the hospitality business for decades, so they know how to read trends. Chris Beardon says dining and nightlife is so competitive in Dallas right now that it’s elevating the scene collectively, fostering a demand for upscale nightlife venues. So, they recently quietly (re)opened PM Lounge, which was once a late-night underground haunt downtown. Its new home is in the Knox-Henderson neighborhood. After dinner, head over for a nice cocktail, but later in the evening, it gets bougie. Reservations only after 11 p.m. on the weekends. They’re hosting a grand opening July 22, so get in before it gets packed. PM Lounge is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The Breeze Way From Casablanca to Tejas
250 North Bishop Ave., Bishop Arts District
Just when you think they can’t squeeze anything else into the Bishop Arts, someone needs a drink. Tejas has installed an outdoor bar behind their restaurant for cocktails and tacos. And at the same time, just 20 yards down (don’t go measure that) Casablanca installed The Palm Bar with drinks to-go and a sandy lounge area. Together these two have turned the entire breezeway into a cool bar area that has the feel of some Mexican-Moroccan booze road.