Haywire, Front Burner’s new restaurant at Legacy West, holds firm to five central ideas: farm-to-fork, chef-driven, made-from-scratch, local sourcing, Texas cuisine. Thankfully the metroplex is in a golden dining age; the first four of these tenets are morphing from novelties into basic requirements for any restaurant worth its pink Himalayan salt. But it’s the last idea that’s the most important: Haywire is all about Texas.
Because everything’s bigger in Texas, a one-story restaurant just wouldn’t cut it for Haywire. It boasts three. While it’s a cohesive concept, each distinct region offers a unique atmosphere. They’re as different from each other as El Paso is from Plano is from Caddo Lake.
Let’s begin on the first floor whiskey lounge, arguably the most intimate of Haywire’s locales. Fans of sister-restaurant Whiskey Cake’s bar will be pleased to note that Haywire’s is bigger and better. Small tables of two crowd in the front where drinkers can watch the buzz from Legacy Hall. Underneath a floating chandelier, patrons linger on leather couches next to the fireplace, sipping whiskey neat. Haywire refuses to be corralled into the steakhouse genre, despite the longhorn, Sirloin, jutting proudly from the wall. (This may not be a steakhouse, but this is still Texas.)
The whiskey-based cocktails are full-bodied and bold, presented simply. They don’t need to flaunt. Though whiskey takes center stage here, on every floor you can order full-service meals so feel free to indulge in poutine fries while you sample their signature drink, the Haywire: Red River bourbon, vermouth habanero shrub and barbecue bitters with a bacon garnish.