CraveDFW: December 10th 2012

By Steven Doyle

In the past few months Dallas has seen a revolution of fantastic new restaurants. A few of these restaurants are on the upper end of the pay scale, while some of them are meant to feed everyone. As we made our way around these new feed troughs, we were excited to find that Dallas is undergoing an amazing transition; one that will define us more as a being a great food city on the rise.

One of the first strike restaurants that opened this Fall is FT33 owned and operated by chef Matt McCallister who was formerly the executive chef at Stephan Pyles located in downtown Dallas. FT33 is a bit of an enigma, serving beautifully plated food that is every bit as much art as it is sustenance.

Throughout the restaurant you will find signs of McCallister’s quirky personality. The restrooms are adorned in graffiti much like the food on the plates. FT33 is also home to one of the latest cheftestants on Top Chef, Josh Valentine. Valentine in most aspects in the open kitchen, but his main responsibility is as pastry chef.

One of our favorite dishes is their lamb duo, which consists of two large portions of lamb belly and a double lamb chop. The lamb belly is ever-so-tender and crispy, and the chop is cooked perfectly medium rare. The amazing food, along with a sturdy cocktail and wine program, makes FT33 one restaurant that will cause hubbub in the national restaurant community.

Another newly opened restaurant, still on the high end, is JoJo Eating House located just across from the Quadrangle in uptown Dallas. Look for excellent French dishes such as beautifully presented Osso Bucco, oysters, and lobster bisque. Be sure to order the Scallop Ravioli as an appetizer, it is phenomenal. For a festive dinner with friends order the whole Branzini which is a Mediterranean Sea Bass. Delicious.

The restaurant is one of the coziest around, with a wide open door that spills the moment out into the street. Look for a huge patio that is sheltered from the elements.

Just across the street from JoJo is a cool new restaurant for everyone. The British Beverage Company, or more cleverly named the BBC, is a sprawling estate of a restaurant in the old Hully and Moe’s space. Look for 50 beer taps, and at least as many brews by the bottle. The food is pretty good Brit fare with several versions of Fish and Chips, and many uber approachable dishes. Live music is a staple at BBC, and a DJ spins nightly.

Another new addition to the Dallas menu is Hopdoddy, which is a transplant form Austin, Texas. Look for amazing burgers, big and meaty. The meat is ground fresh on premises daily, and the fries are hand-cut in house. A good burger is a good find, and Hopdoddy does them very well. Look for great local beers on tap along with very doable milkshakes on this fun menu. The best burger is made with seared Ahi Tuna. Add slices of avocado for a taste very much like a California Roll.

Jerry’s Wood-Fire Dog’s is located in Lakewood on Gaston where they make a pretty amazing hot dog. Look for over thirty ingredients to top your custom made hot dog that is grilled on an open hearth in the middle of the restaurant. There are also a handful of sausages that are given the fire treatment and house-fried potato chips that are thick and crispy.

The most recent opening is located just across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in the new Trinity Grove section of Dallas.  Babb Brother Barbeque opened last week and is a huge display of smoky meat madness. The Babb’s have been catering their version of Texas-style barbecue, and this is their first brick and mortar restaurant. Babb features very tender brisket, ribs and sausages along with a home-style meatloaf. Enjoy live jazz on the weekends.

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