Thanks to a slew of high-profile projects opening around Cowtown, the greater Dallas area is buzzing with activity. Here are three hot new tickets to try on your next visit:
Opened earlier this year in the massive Dallas Cowboys–centric entertainment district in Frisco known as The Star, this elegant Mediterranean outpost from celebrity chef José Andrés is an ode to Turkish and Greek small plates (its flagship location is in DC). Nearly everything on offer here is superb, from the hummus ma lahm, delectable near-puréed chickpeas surrounded by ground lamb, pickled parsnips, and pine nuts, to the beautiful sea scallops wading in a pool of dill yogurt and paper-thin radishes. Save room for a cone of golden Greek fries, perfect for dunking in all the glorious dips.
Must-order wine: The 2014 Foundi Xinomavro Blanc from Naoussa, Greece, a geeky, food-friendly white and somm favorite. ($45 per bottle)
Plano’s 55,000-square-foot European-style food hall, which houses 20-plus bars and dining stalls, is actually cash-free—debit and credit are accepted, as are “Hall Passes” to which you can add money online. Big buzz surrounds Top Chef contestant John Tesar’s Knife Burger, an ode to beef; fellow Top Chef-er Tiffany Derry’s Roots Chicken Shak, purveyor of duck-fat-fried everything; and Tim Byres’s Tight Quarters, which stars healthy bowls, definitely a new direction for the chef-owner of Dallas’s beloved Smoke.
Must-order wine: A frosé from Bar Main. ($9; $5 during happy hour)
This new Highland Park Village spot from man-about-town Nick Badovinus (of Neighborhood Services, Town Hearth, and Montlake Cut fame) puts pizza on a pedestal, literally. Among the thoroughly delicious offerings: a scampi white pie with vodka sauce and buttery rock shrimp, lovely with an escarole salad topped with peach vinaigrette.
Must-order wine: You can’t go wrong with the prosecco sangria ($10), or choose from among 20 wines on tap—the Katas Tempranillo ($8 a glass) is a no-fail pizza pairing.
Aptly named Dallas Arts District hotel The Joule occupies a landmark neo-Gothic building and boasts cool art installations; hip retail hailing from New York and Los Angeles (TenOverSix is a standout); an excellent in-house café, Weekend; and a sumptuous subterranean retreat, The Spa. Rooms from $237.