We’re profiling five of 2017’s most exciting new restaurants in the South—one per day, in the order they opened.
Opened: November 2017
Bruno Davaillon may have the only tamis in Dallas that gets a regular workout. This quintessential French kitchen tool consists of wire mesh stretched over a wooden hoop, and it looks rather like a giant tambourine. Davaillon uses it to prepare an old-school classic: quenelle Lyonnaise, a baked fish dumpling made from mousse painstakingly pushed through the mesh to give it a light, airy texture. “Nobody really uses the tamis anymore,” Davaillon laughs. “But, really, nobody does French food anymore.” He’s out to change that, starting with his ultra-light and non-traditional quenelle served in a brothy lobster sauce and garnished with king crab. That is Davaillon’s genius, his ability to translate the rich poetry of French cuisine into a spare, modern vernacular.
The Loire Valley native arrived in Dallas in 2009 to put his imprimatur on the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, one of the city’s iconic fine dining temples. But after several years of formal tasting menus, he was ready to show off his native cuisine to a broader audience. “I felt like it was time for me to do something a little more personal and have more fun at it,” he says. “I’m trying to remove the pretentiousness and the fussiness, what people expect from a French restaurant.”
His menu name-checks rib-stickers like steak au poivre and brandade but finesses them into brighter, lighter modern dishes. The restaurant’s futuristic design—it looks like a gold and glass box hovering on risers above the street—suggests a train-station brasserie reimagined by the Jetsons.
“It’s all about the vibe,” says Davaillon, “something I needed to bring to Dallas.”
Don’t miss: The pot au feu de bison, a larded poached bison filet served in broth with bone marrow and seasonal vegetables.