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Chef John Tesar to Launch “Spoon,” Fine Dining Restaurant in Preston Center

I know, I know… this is getting crazy. First John Tesar tells the Hatch that he’s expanding and reformatting his Commissary burger concept, then he’s launching a mobile Commissary food truck– in a double decker London bus, and now, he’s constructing a new, chef-driven, fine-dining place in Preston Center, at the southwest corner of Northwest Highway and Preston Road.

He’s calling it Spoon, a 2,800 square-foot restaurant soon to be constructed on the pad where 24-Hour Fitness once stood. It’ll be directly adjacent to Hopdoddy, the burger import from Austin. Target date for opening the yet-to-be-constructed Spoon: Next January. Tesar says he’s secured the financing and the lease.

He sure didn’t look crazy when he told me this.

I’ve seen Spoon’s working menu and been briefed on the concept. Edgy, cheffy food with reasonable prices. In the  plans, there’s a raw bar up front, a 12-seat chefs counter abutting a long galley kitchen,(“like at Momofuku,” in NYC, says Tesar), where guests can interact with the chefs as if they’re sitting at a sushi counter. In the back of Spoon, accessed through a narrow hallway,  a chef’s table will occupy the center of a private dining room that overlooks the rest of the kitchen through a big glass window.

“I’m happy with what I’ve done with burgers and the Commissary,” Tesar told me.

“But it’s time I get my ass back in the kitchen and cook every night–and yes, I’ll be there every night.”


“I want to push the envelope, really create the kind of good food that people want to eat. I want them to say, ‘Wow! That’s a great restaurant,’ so that they’ll come back–a lot.

“So we’re going to control prices, offer great values. We want to push the culinary envelope but not their pocketbooks”

Tesar says he’ll use local and seasonal ingredients where it makes sense, but that he’ll focus more on buying top quality ingredients from wherever he finds them, noting that farmers in the area can’t meet every chef’s demands for locally grown, high quality ingredients every day of every week. “They just can’t grow enough,” says Tesar, adding that he’ll source “the best ingredients I can find from anywhere in the world.”

FedEx-to-fork? Ok, I’m still with him.

The menu Tesar showed me–which he created to illustrate where he’s headed rather than as a blueprint for opening day–was pretty ambitious. Crudos (“Big eye tuna avocado creama, micro cilantro and artichoke chips; Great south bay fluke with watermelon, ligurian olive oil and opal basil; Uni and Iberico lardo on crostini”), small plates (“bone marrow and oxtail marmalade with brioche toast; Alaskan king crab with garlic butter and parsley garlic foam; pig’s trotter Milanese, fried duck egg, marinated tomato and arugula salad”) and big plates, such as rabbit three ways (“herb roasted leg and thigh cooked sous vide, loin with saba and porcini mushrooms, and braised leg with paparadellle”) and “Ham and Eggs” (“crispy pork belly, chanterelle mushrooms and green onion risotto, fried duck egg and pork brodo”).

The name is kinda catchy, echoed in what Tesar says will be “a spoon collection from famous chefs, celebrities, and regular VIP customers.”

Will it work?

I don’t know.

Tesar has a lot on his sharing plate. Two new Commissarys, a double decker burger bus, plus a history of a whole lotta crazy. And now this?

I’m hoping he can pull it all off, though he may need some Frankincense and myrrh and a couple of wise men to do it.

What do you think?





  1. james    11/19/2012

    Good Day Foodies!!!

    I am definitely excited for I have been involved,employed and around the restaurant businesss/industry my whole life…I have followed all trends and aspects of the food industry since moving to Dallas in 2002.

    I have owned my own food truck before they became mainstream and part of the “IT”thing in the latest food craze. I actually wan’t to do a double decked bus myself, but, looks like someone elsdee beat me to the punch! My, my friend built it and then passed away, was built on a 24′ long and 18′ wide trailer outta recycled corrugated steel and was shaped like a mini-house…was quite succesful in Asheville,NC.

    Anyway,been following the sous vide cooking technique/procedure for sometime and find it very interesting and look forward to trying it from such an internationally renown Chef such as John.

    Also, I will be interviewing for a position tomorrow and hope to beccome part of the Spoon team ASAP and to further bring my little bit to this great chef’s new concept.

    Go John and look forward to meeting your crew tomorrow!

    James Reed

  2. Mike Hiller    11/16/2012

    The reservation number is (214) 368-8220. When we don’t list a restaurant’s contact info in a story, we do provide a hyperlink to a restaurant’s website, where the address and phone are listed.)

  3. J. Gail    11/15/2012

    Might be my imagination, but I cannot find a reservation number for dinner on any of these write ups…am I just overlooking it? Would like to return and try again, guess I will just try walking in again. In case its missing should put it out there. Thanks, but it could be my lack of ability on the internet.

  4. Mike Hiller    11/15/2012

    J. Gail,

    I know that Spoon is restricting the number of diners they seat while during the first couple of weeks so that the staff can get their game right. It’s possible that, even though you espied empty tables, they were already at their maximum preset capacity that night. I hope you’ll try it again. I dined there on their third night of business and was mighty impressed.

  5. J. Gail    11/10/2012

    Very lovely place, but we I own a Day spa in Preston Center, so I am know to go to the restaurants in the are after work with my last client. Last night I was with a Very good client who travels the world and wines and dines with the best. We were greeted at the door with, hello…do you have reservations, in a very unexceptable way…made me wish we had not entered. I told her no, that I had just come from work and mentioned the building I was in, If it was not for the savy of the gentleman behind her, offering us a table at the bar, we would of turned and left, I turned and looked at my dinner partner and he said, will come back later….I feel they should of welcomed us and asked us how many, they should of said, let us see what we can do, and then asked if we had reservations. Every where I have dined and I have owned a club called the Pentagon, The girl at the door if they do not coaxed her into proper ettique…no one will even get to the tables to see how the food is. Greeters must have commom cutisity and savy to handle everyone, this girl will cut them short of the success they propbably deserve, sorry but this is my experience of last night, and I am someone who would most likely go there about every night. Need to fix that problem of the girl up front. Was so looking forward to their opening. But was let down at the door!

  6. Mike Hiller    10/18/2012

    Kim, you can email John at

  7. kim bui    10/18/2012

    Hi John,
    Are you hiring? how to contact? can u email your number to call you for the application.

  8. LR Bergeron    9/17/2012

    Looking forward to trying out Spoon. I love that John seeks to “push the culinary envelope” while not hurting the pocketbooks of his patrons. Sounds like a wonderful restaurant to try out. LR Bergeron

  9. Aspen    1/15/2012

    I’m excited for Spoon! Dallas needs another “edgy cheffy” restaurant!

  10. Jon Stevens    1/15/2012

    Good luck to you John. I’m sure Spoon will be a success!

  11. John Tesar    1/13/2012

    Thank you Mike for all the space today really appreciate you and your kind words !
    One correction Spoon will open August or early September not Jan …

  12. Tesar fan    1/13/2012

    He doesn’t sound crazy to me. Go get em, John!!!

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