A look at the upcoming restaurants in the biggest food hall in DFW and the chefs behind them
Jack Gibbons and Randy DeWitt of Front Burner Restaurants have come up with the ultimate solution to the question “Where should we eat?” As part of the Legacy West Urban Village development, a three-story dining structure will bring together all kinds of cuisine and entertainment. It is going to be called Legacy Hall, and it is going to have everything. The 55,000-square-foot building will contain two dozen artisanal food stalls, a fast-casual restaurant and terrace, and a craft brewery and taproom overlooking a beer garden. From the beer garden, guests will be able to view concerts or movie nights on a music stage, complete with a 25-foot-by-14-foot television screen. With this new development comes new food and eateries, and with these ventures come chefs with impressive backgrounds. Here’s a look at the chefs and restaurants coming to Plano in 2017.
Matthew McCallister is a fan of taking risks. In October of 2012, McCallister, then age 31, opened FT33. The modern farm-to-table restaurant earned rave reviews and was even named “Restaurant of the Year” in 2013. McCallister’s flair for art and his art school background is evident in his elegantly constructed and colorful dishes. He prefers cooking with vegetables rather than protein, and coming up with innovative new menu ideas that utilize a variety of flavors. So, what can you expect to see in Legacy Hall? Most likely a menu of dishes focusing on fresh and in-house made ingredients.
In the artistic and edgy area of DFW known as Deep Ellum lies Monkey King Noodle Company. Named “Best Chinese Restaurant 2014” by D Magazine, Andrew Chen’s Chinese noodles and dumplings are made-to-order and full of adventurous spices. There never fails to be a long line outside of the shop, and once patrons receive their food, they congregate outside to socialize. Chen says he wants to change the way people think about Chinese cuisine. Having met that goal in Dallas, his next stop will be Plano.
Robert and Kaci Lyford
Chef Robert Lyford and his wife, interior designer Kaci Lyford, opened Patina Green in 2010. Located in the historic McKinney Square, the vintage and classic establishment offers not only good food, but housewares as well. They love locally grown food and farmers markets, and change up the menu regularly. Recently, they extended their store hours and ventured into dinner reservations. Now, their big challenge will be bringing something new to Legacy Hall.
Gilbert Garza and Mark Brezinski
Gilbert Garza is the owner of Suze, a restaurant described as “cozy dining” that has been in operation for 14 years. He began working in his grandfather’s restaurant at 11, and would eventually go on to be featured in publications such as USA Today. For this upcoming restaurant in Legacy Hall, said to be an Indian Wrap eatery, he will partner with Mark Brezinski, co-founder of the well-known Asian diner Pei Wei. Brezinkski is also behind Tin Star, Bengal Coast, and Bahn Shop. He brings 25 years of restaurant experience to his new venture with Garza.
Yaser Khalaf is no stranger to the restaurant industry. He is the owner of both Medina and Baboush, and recently opened a new venture called Souk in the up-and-coming Trinity Groves area. He traveled around trying all different kinds of food in his college years before opening his first restaurant in the ’90s. Though he doesn’t actually like to cook, he employs people who do, and his restaurants have become successful and known as places to get good Moroccan food in the city. He is said to soon be opening his own bakery in Uptown and will follow that with something new at Legacy Hall.
Misery Loves Company
This Dallas-based hospitality group is connected to places like Proof + Pantry and Madrina. Founded by Sal Jafar II and Michael Martensen in 2014, they focus on quality over quantity. Their existing operations have done very well, earning great reviews and awards. The group may have another hit on their hands when they open a new place in 2017.
The website of Trinity Groves’ Chino Chinatown says that Uno Immanivong is inspired by “Barrios Chinos” and enjoys mixing Asian and Latin cooking flavors. Born in Thailand, Immanivong grew up in the kitchen with her mother and eventually went on to compete in ABC’s The Taste. In addition to being a chef and owner, she is also an advocate for “No Kid Hungry.” She’ll be bringing her flair for combining flavors to Plano in the form of a Yakitori stall in 2017.