In 2022, the Dallas food scene jumped back into the swing of things after two difficult years of pandemic closures and supply chain issues that made the essential functions of operating a restaurant a challenge. And many restauranteurs, small business owners, and hospitality groups are still dealing with the fallout of all those things.
But, as local food enthusiasts may have gathered, openings seemed to flourish again this year. That includes a handful of high-profile eateries from out of state, alongside highly anticipated new projects from established chefs in the Metroplex. And we were delighted by more bespoke openings from emerging chefs.
So, with no further ado, please join us in celebrating this year’s group of winners.
Restaurant of the Year
1111 N Beckley Ave.
That the team at Restaurant Beatrice opted to create a white tablecloth presentation around Cajun and Creole food speaks directly to its mission. The elevation of foods made from Black and Indigenous traditions, and Acadian peasant-style meals, into fine dining — and in a market where those foods are usually presented very differently — was not the choice for a sure-fire success.
Owner and executive chef Michelle Carpenter conceived the idea as a way to pay homage to the Louisiana side of her family and food history, and she partnered with chef Terance Jenkins, a Louisiana native, with the idea of creating a B corporation, which requires it to follow high standards for social and environmental performance, accountability to the community, and transparency. The duo and their entire staff have followed that mission beyond just serving excellent food. They have searched out ways to minimize waste, to be a part of the community in Oak Cliff rather than landing in the neighborhood, and piloted a program with Restorative Farms for produce that helps employ the formerly incarcerated, andseeking out modes to think sustainably rather than be tethered to the way the food industry has always done things.
In short, the team at Beatrice has gone above and beyond, both inside and outside the kitchen.
Best New Restaurant
Written by the Seasons
380 Melba St.
This Bishop Arts restaurant has quietly built up a cult following in the year that it has been open. It’s easy to see why upon stepping inside. The light wood decor and wall of black and white family portraits that line the walls and the California-esque inside-outside dining (when the weather’s good) make it an enjoyable place to be. The position of the building, set significantly back from the busiest crosswalk in the neighborhood with a plaza in front, makes it fantastic for people-watching — there’s nowhere better to sit with a cocktail or a coffee and pass an afternoon.
The menu is heavily driven by produce, and diners can expect to find it in the focaccia, as the star of the small plates, and as an invaluable second character in the mains. And they are among the most delicious and flavorful dishes to be found in Dallas.
Chef of the Year
Since she spun Roots Chicken Shak into a full-blown restaurant Roots Southern Table, Tiffany Derry has been on a roll. She opened a second Shak in Austin and has done her part to put Dallas food on the map. She’s been a self-appointed ambassador for the city with appearances this year on Bobby Flay’s Triple Threat on the Food Network and The Great American Recipe on PBS, and served as a guest judge on Gordon Ramsay’s MasterChef on Fox. Not to mention being the only James Beard Award finalist in Dallas for 2022.
All of that effort has laid the groundwork for Dallas chefs to firmly establish themselves on a national stage. Meanwhile, Derry now has the leeway to use her hospitality company, T2 Concepts, along with co-owner Tom Foley, to focus on helping put owning a restaurant within reach for members of underserved communities. Building on the fast-casual model of Shak, T2 focuses on getting loans and funding and structuring deals so that women and people of color in moderate- and low-income neighborhoods can become business owners.
2804 Greenville Ave.
To enter into a Duro Hospitality property, all of which are designed by co-founders Sees Design, is to experience an eyeful of delights. Even knowing the whimsy and wildness with which the design group mix textures, design elements, and colors doesn’t prepare one for the experience of walking into its restaurants. And the photos of Cafe Duro, on Greenville next door to another of its locations, Sister, do not prepare one for how luxurious it feels to be in this Italian-ish place. It’s almost as if the camera resists revealing the delights of how Sees Design puts a space together.
Bar of the Year
308 N Bishop Ave.
Across Dallas, all kinds of folks have all kinds of preferences in bars. There’s the dive crowd, the scene crowd, and the serious drinkers searching for exclusive bottles and brews. Bar Eden is a place for those who enjoy drinking somewhere cozy but not entirely casual. This Bishop Arts bar, which was conceived as a holding area for diners waiting to be seated at nearby Paradiso, far exceeds that use. Sitting in its lush greenery and gilded touches, in a high-backed booth for two, is delightfully intimate, as is the limited cocktail menu. It does the work of evoking a garden of paradise and then some.
Biggest Buzz of the Year
1617 Hi Line Dr., Suite 395
Carbone was already a well-known and loved name, but the excitement when Major Food Group opened three restaurants in Dallas this year was off the charts. Most of that focus was on Carbone Dallas, which became the most impossible to get a reservation in the city for most of the year. Debates raged over prices, buzz, and the experience of it. And if they’re talking about you and flooding your reservation system, you must be doing something right.