Dallas favorite chef Luke Rogers has made his way to the suburbs. In his newest venture, Cathedral, the restaurant’s executive chef, who is known for his crafty takes on world cuisine, shifts his focus to Italian food in a steakhouse setting. Cathedral opened this past August in Plano, and has quickly become one of the buzziest new restaurants in the city.
Known for his vibrant personality and his interactive operational techniques, Rogers previously worked as the executive chef at the now-closed Savor in Klyde Warren park. But when COVID forced Savor closed, Rogers began to tease Cathedral as his new concept, hosting a series of preview dinners and tastings in various event spaces throughout Dallas-Fort Worth. As shipping and COVID-related delays prolonged construction on Cathedral, Rogers worked a brief stint at Beckley 1115 in Bishop Arts, continuing to maintain an active presence in the Dallas dining scene.
With hearty iterations of Italian food, lush cocktails, and a cozy, come-as-you-are atmosphere, Cathedral proves to have been worth the wait.
Since Cathedral’s opening, one of its most popular appetizers are the Italian egg rolls, a childhood favorite of Rogers, which his mother often made in the house. His mother’s recipe consisted of sage pork sausage, mozzarella and spaghetti sauce, rolled into a wrap and deep fried. Rogers upgraded the recipe for Cathedral, and only two people in the restaurant know the exact recipe. He did share that he has added a touch of pesto to these signature rolls.
To start, we try the shrimp crudo, which is light and sweet with a little bit of a spicy kick. The toasted crackers it comes served with hold well as the juices from the shrimp soak through. Another good starter are the garlic knots, which come served with a wagyu tallow candle, lit in the middle of a surrounding frame of a balsamic vinaigrette.
As for mains, Rogers takes pride in Cathedral’s several pasta dishes. All of Cathedral’s pastas are made in-house.
“We literally got a pasta extruder machine from Italy,” says Rogers. “This thing is amazing, and to look at our pastas and see how they cut pasta differently in Italy versus how we cut it here, like our rigatoni, for instance, is very interesting.”
One of our favorite dishes of the night is the rigatoni with Wagyu bolognese sauce. Rogers puts his own spin on a traditional Italian comfort dish, with a sauce comprising Calabrian chili, charred peppers, mint, preserved lemon, and mascarpone. The Wagyu is cooked tenderly and cuts easily, without skimping on flavor.
Perhaps Cathedral’s most anticipated pasta dish is the Cacio E Pepe, which Rogers had previewed last year during an event at Scott + Cooner. This one sits a little heavy, but can perhaps be considered one of Cathedral’s signature plates.
“We use a bucatini noodle instead of a spaghetti noodle,” Rogers says, “and then, I put it in a sauce that we make with egg yolk and then a little bit of cream. And instead of using pecorino or anything like that, we use [a cheese called] grana padano, and so it’s a little different.”
For dessert, Cathedral’s take on tiramisu is small, light, but still very fluffy and pillowy, with an intoxicating coffee flavor.
Part of the fun of Cathedral is sitting at the counter, as Rogers and crew cook pizzas, pastas, and seafood dishes, while he interacts with guests. Though, guests who prefer to stay within the company of each other can sit in comfortable booth set-ups or tables under intimate, dim lighting.
On our list to try next time is the branzino, as well as the scallops, a dish that was a favorite at Savor, but has been updated for Cathedral. While everything may not be locally sourced, Rogers and crew have conducted much research to provide dishes with ingredients of the highest quality.
“I’m not getting only Texas seafood,” says Rogers. “I’m getting seafood from Italy, seafood from Maine, and seafood off the west coast. We’re always looking for the highest quality in everything that we do.”
Cathedral Italian Bistro. 8103 Rasor Boulevard #110, Plano. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday.
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