Dallas Food Scene Has Big Energy With New Openings

Another day, another few restaurant openings in Dallas. Our city has some big energy that will entertain and delight diners.

New Openings

Miami-Based Groot Hospitality opened Komodo, its first concept to open outside of its home base of Miami, on April 7. Komodo is exciting, has high-quality and well-prepared food, and a very sophisticated vibe. As in Miami, Komodo’s Dallas menu offers takes on Southeast Asian dishes, with options ranging from regularly rotating specials to house favorites such as signature Peking Duck, salmon tacos, Miso Chilean seabass skewers, and plant-based Kung Pao chicken. The menu includes beef choices as well.

I had dinner two weeks ago with chef Martin Yan who was in town for the VNA Meals on Wheels Celebrity Chef event.  I asked chef to tell me the ONE DISH you should always order in a Chinese restaurant to prove the restaurant’s worth. He didn’t even think about it: Peking Duck. Komodo has created a stage of sorts for its Peking Duck where guests can watch a chef finish and plate a Peking Duck, which must be painstakingly cut into 120 pieces.

Komodo also has a full sushi bar with seriously some of the best nigiri I’ve ever had. The wine collection curated by wine director Brian Huynh is outstanding and a visual delight.

I sampled many of the dishes at a media event, so I haven’t seen menu prices and they are not on the Komodo website. Valet parking is available.

2550 Pacific Avenue

Crown Block
As many of you in the Oil & Gas business might know, a Crown block is part of a drill rig that is used for oil and gas drilling operations. I, of course, have no need for that kind of information but it is relevant to the spectacular design of Reunion Tower’s new restaurant, Crown Block, opening Monday, April 17.

Since Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty restaurant closed in 2020, the space has been empty. Reunion Tower owner, Hunt Realty Investments, brought in the acclaimed restaurant development company Blau+Associates and the dynamic duo of principal Elizabeth Blau and her husband, Chef Kim Canteenwalla to conceptualize and operate the restaurant and adjacent event space. Elizabeth chose artwork inspired by black gold.

Again, I sampled the food at a media event, so, I have not seen a menu or prices.  Every bite of food I tasted was excellent, most of it was beef and seafood, much of that from the show-stopping raw bar. I expect to return and do a proper review of Crown Block in a few weeks.

Crown Block
Reunion Tower
300 Reunion Blvd.

PHOTOS: Crown Block

Leela and Tina have arrived.
Two new openings from UNCO Hospitality, a locally owned restaurant group founded in 2013 and the group behind HG Sply Co. and other concepts are Leela’s Pizza & Wine in Uptown and Tina’s Continental.

Leela’s is a streamlined menu consisting of boards, salads, and thin, crispy Roman-style pizza. It also serves 16 wines on tap – no bottles, which demonstrates UNCO’s commitment to a more sustainable model of wine service.

Leela’s Wine Bar
2355 Olive St. #145, Dallas, TX 75201

Tina’s Continental is a cool martini bar located in the historic Continental Gin Building in Deep Ellum. Tina’s martini menu is separated into two sections – the “custom build” where guests can select the ingredients for their custom martini or “The Designer Series” with six martini options from which to choose.

Tina’s Continental
3309 Elm St. Suite 115, Dallas, TX 75226



April 28
First Annual Harwood Food & Wine Festival
Features food from Harwood District restaurants including St. Ann, Te Deseo, and possibly from the newest Harwood restaurant slated to open this spring, Tequila Social, a West Texas-vibed restaurant and bar, live music, wine and spirits tasting, blind tasting seminar, and more.
WHERE: Marie Gabrielle
WHEN: 7 p.m. April 28 General Admission/ 6:00 p.m. VIP
COST: $125 General Admission/$150 VIP

May 9
Taste of Nobu Dallas hosted by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa
Acclaimed chef and restauranter Nobu Matsuhisa will host an evening to remember, taking guests on a culinary journey with signature canapes, live chef stations, and hand-crafted cocktails. Guests will also have the chance to meet the pioneering Japanese chef. Ticket price includes food and drinks. The event is 21+ only and tickets are non-refundable.
WHERE: Nobu Dallas at The Crescent Hotel
WHEN: Tuesday, May 9 from 6:30 – 9 p.m.
COST: $200 per person plus tax

Menu Items

Tiff’s Treats x Sprinkles – Tiff’s Treats collabed with Sprinkles to create a Snickerdoodle cupcake, which is a cinnamon cupcake with a Tiff’s Snickerdoodle cookie crust, topped with cinnamon frosting and finished with cinnamon sugar dust and a mini Snickerdoodle cookie. It’s available at Sprinkles throughout DFW and at Tiff’s Treat’s locations for pick up and delivery now through May 31.


La Duni Latin Café on McKinney at Knox Street has closed after 22 years in operation. There are no plans to open another freestanding restaurant.  But, as I reported last year, Dunia Terlisch Borga still makes and sells her beloved cakes and desserts, and you can order them here.

Let’s End on a Happy Note

Chef To The Shelters, Mike McCoy, just returned from Augusta, Georgia where he completed his third year serving on the club’s culinary team. Easter morning, Chef McCoy was presented with a “White Jacket,” while someone else took home a green one later that day

The White Jacket represents leadership and culinary excellence at Augusta National Golf Club. Only two jackets are given each year. It’s a tremendous honor, as you can imagine, and so well deserved.

Do you know what Mike is most grateful for, though? The day before he celebrated five years of sobriety, living one day at a time. Mike is one of the best guys around and gives back so much to the recovery community through his non-profit, Chef to the Shelters.

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Kersten Rettig

Kersten Rettig is the only DFW Food/Travel writer with luxury hospitality leadership experience and a former restaurant owner, employee, and chief marketing officer. Kersten's worked on the inside and has the insight and experience to tell the stories to the outside. She's a Park Cities resident, mom, wife and a decent cook. Follow her on Instagram @KerstenEats.

One thought on “Dallas Food Scene Has Big Energy With New Openings

  • April 14, 2023 at 6:47 pm

    I love that you honored Mike McCoy! If you don’t know him, meet him! He has a heart of good and knowing him will bless your soul!


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