The 2022 James Beard-nominated chefs from Dallas and where to try their food
In 2022, Dallas proper claimed four James Beard-nominated chefs. The restaurants they run tend to feature New American and regional Mexican recipes. You can also find unique pasta dishes as well as modern takes on Central Asian staples like manti (dumplings). Here are the 2022 James Beard-nominated chefs in Dallas and where to try their food.
Homewood Restaurant (Chef Matt McCallister)
Located in the far north of Oak Lawn, near the border with Highland Park, Homewood has a cozy vibe with books, bottles, and jars decorated throughout. The open kitchen gives it an intimate feel. You can even hear servers shout your orders to the kitchen staff over other conversations.
James Beard-nominated chef Matt McCallister never attended culinary school, instead learning to cook from his mom and on the job. At Homewood, the menu changes every few days. Nearly half of the seats have views of the open kitchen. Those are the best seats in the house if you want to feel like you are part of the show. Oyster shucking takes place near the main entrance, on the staff side of the bar.
Homewood does have the seasonal menu on its website, which will give you a general idea of what to expect. Reservations (dinner only) are available online via Resy.
Jose (Chef Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman)
Lovers Lane is a real place. In fact, that’s where JOSE is located, in the southeast corner of Bluffview. Executive Chef and CIA graduate Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman refers to JOSE’s menu as interior Mexican food. According to the 2022 James Beard-nominated chef, the focus is on recipes from Guadalajara and Oaxaca. The latter is generally considered to be Mexico’s food capital.
Inside, it’s hard to imagine that the previous building occupant was a laundromat. The 186 images along the wall opposite the bar were done by a ceramic studio in Guadalajara. Both of Chef Anastacia’s parents are from Mexico.
While the dining room’s vibe leans more towards formal, the menu is replete with Mexican street favs like elotes, enchiladas, tostadas, and tacos. The tacos de tacha are made with Anastacia’s choice of flavored masa and are the only market-price item on the regular menu. The option changes at least once a week. Except for the churros and (Henry’s) ice cream, everything is made in-house.
According to the website, “Reservations are highly encouraged. Accepting walk-ins on a limited basis.”
Petra and the Beast (Chef Misti Norris)
Petra and the Beast is one of those restaurants where most first-timers have probably asked, “Am I in the right place?” An evening dining inside this former Sinclair filling station that dates back to 1932 will be an experience even the most jaded of diners will not soon forget. Only the usually full parking lot and the decal on the side entrance indicate that this is indeed a restaurant by a James Beard-nominated chef. It manages to be one of the most sophisticated dining experiences in the Lone Star State without any formal dress code or general pretense.
While menu items rotate in and out like visitors come and go from the third largest city in Texas, there are some constants. There’s always a salad as well as four pasta dishes. And the latter are not just Chef Misti’s take on Italian classics. For example, over the summer, she had manti on the menu in a city that claims only one restaurant with Central Asian fare. While Uzbek purists would likely scoff at her interpretation, it’s the creativity of dishes like green garlic and ricotta manti and the signature tea braised pig tails that make this place worth coming back to. Like Dallas itself, you don’t have to stay away long for exciting changes to happen.
Speaking of pigs, there are pig skulls scattered throughout Petra and the Beast along with dozens of jars containing pickles, vinegars, and hot sauces. Another thing that stands out below the high ceilings with exposed ducts is the chalkboard which lists exactly where the ingredients come from. Most menu items take some degree of explaining, and the staff are more than qualified.
Get to this location soon, as there are plans for Petra and the Beast to move to a new location in Lakewood, which will be triple the size of the former petrol station. As of this writing, it’s still BYOB and dinner-only.
Revolver Taco Lounge (Chef Regino Rojas)
Located in the northwest corner of the lively Deep Ellum entertainment district, Revolver Taco Lounge can often seem hidden among the densely packed shops and bars. Inside, it feels like you are invited to a Rojas family dinner. There are pictures of seven family members on the light purple wall. The name Revolver is not a Beatles reference but a nod to Chef Regino Rojas’s father, who made his own guns by hand.
The Revolver experience culminates with the $180 seven-course Michoacán-inspired chefs tasting menu. It’s not available online, and the selection changes according to availability and season. Drinks are served in ceramic mugs from Michoacán, while the corn is imported weekly from Oaxaca.
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