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Sometimes it’s described as a “hole-in-the-wall,” a hidden gem of Collin County. Some say that it’s a fine-dining experience that feels high end. And others walk in and feel like they’ve just stepped into the home of a good friend.
On the patio of Bavette Grill, an organic hydroponic garden is growing, with 36 organic herbs, lettuces, and vegetables including mint, baby tomatoes, lettuce, and squash. Everything grown there goes straight from the garden into the kitchen, and every Friday and Saturday morning, the kitchen will come alive with Bloody Marias—Bloody Marys with candied bacon and ancho chili liqueur—and pecan-crusted French toast with Frangelico cream.
David Jeiel, one of the owners of Bavette Grill, says that it’s difficult to define, but that’s the point. “It’s about the atmosphere, the feeling it gives you. Everyone is going to experience it a little differently.”
Bavette Grill is an American bistro by Jeiel and Alex Nunes, who also own EG Steakhouse across the highway from the grill. Originally, they meant to open in late March and while the pandemic might have delayed their plans, it didn’t derail them.
Instead, they opened as a ghost kitchen in mid-July, Jeiel says. But when it became clear that the pandemic wasn’t going anywhere, they went ahead and opened their location at 8100 Dallas Parkway in Plano.
Jeiel describes it as an intimate venue with a hidden gem feel, very different from EG Steakhouse, where instead of a patio, there’s a private room that seats over 100, and instead of a casual fireside-chat atmosphere, they host private parties, rehearsal dinners, and corporate events.
“We’re Brazilian, and we have a Brazilian steakhouse, but we wanted to do the opposite,” he says. “We thought, ‘Let’s turn it upside down, and do an American bistro.'”
They wanted it to be the kind of place where regulars gather for the comfort found in a familiar menu and style.
Steak salads. Burgers. Mac and cheese. These are familiar tastes, familiar sights, but given new twists. Jeiel’s grandmother used to throw some wine into her mac and cheese, so their recipe calls for a generous pour of Chablis. Their short rib is served off the bone, and rather than slowly cooking it for long hours, they prepare and present it the way a classic steak would be, and it tastes like something between a filet mignon and a NY Strip.
Their namesake dish is Bavette Steak, a 50-day wet-aged cut, that is marinated for three days in a pineapple, ginger, and soy, served with garlic fries. Or, there’s wild-caught Atlantic salmon, pan-seared with garlic butter cream and mashed potatoes, salmon cakes with red pepper coulis and remoulade sauce; and nostalgic deviled eggs with champagne mustard, paprika, candied bacon, and green onions on a potato string nest.
In keeping with the in-house atmosphere, what can be sourced from the patio garden is. All their salads basically come from there, and other tidbits, like the spinach in their spinach dip. The garden has been a learning curve, Jeiel admits.
“Tomatoes have yet to come in, broccoli and thyme didn’t come in, so we had to adjust,” he says. “Not everything survived the July sun, but some things are thriving like three kinds of basil, romaine lettuce, stevia, mint.”
They also won’t be a seasonal restaurant, changing their menu every few months, but they will offer occasional specials, sometimes as few as 20 plates, depending on what the garden offers.
Every weekday Bavette Grill also hosts an afternoon social hour from 4 – 7 p.m., with a special menu of small plates—fans of fish tacos and beef sliders will be pleased—best enjoyed with something from the list of craft cocktails, inspired by ’80s music.
Bavette Grill gets its name from the French term for beef bottom sirloin steak, known as “a butcher’s best-kept secret.” This cut of steak, while it is very textured and marbled, full of flavor, is not as well known.
“It’s the cut where, if you were to walk into a butcher store like Hirsch’s and request it, they might tell you, ‘that’s the one I was saving for myself,'” Jeiel says.
It seems to carry the spirit of the entire restaurant: that sometimes the most special things in life aren’t necessarily the biggest and flashiest. Maybe they fly a little under the radar, or maybe they feel comfortable, like a grandmother’s kitchen, maybe they feel like the new favorite place you haven’t heard of yet.
Whatever Bavette is to diners, Jeiel doesn’t want to be the one to define it. He leaves that up to the patrons.
All he’ll say is this, “It’s about what’s classic, timeless, everlasting.”
- Monday – Thursday | 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Friday – Saturday | 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Where: 8100 Dallas Pkwy., Ste. 115, Plano
More: bavettegrill.com | 469.287.2043
Bavette Grill offers patio, indoor, curbside, and carry-out dining.