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softer vibe, stronger cocktails

New Redo: Del Frisco’s Co-founder Dee Lincoln reconcepts her Tasting Room & Bubble Bar into a “real restaurant”

dee lincoln is back in the game

softer decor, stronger cocktails

chef julian ishizuka's menu is worth a visit. here, tuna carpaccio with yuzu-tomato-ponzu

roasted bone marrow with pickled radish, rustic bread

caesar salad with spicy tuna

asparagus salad with brown butter-mustard vinaigrette

really good roasted local chicken on bacon bread pudding with apple jus

yep, dee lincoln's finally got a prime bone-in filet on the menu

chef julian ishizuka is one to watch

bananas foster crumble with vanilla bean ice cream

ok, crazy good dessert-- coffee and doughnuts (valrhona chocolate pot de creme with espresso glazed doughnuts)

Well, I didn’t think she’d do it, but Dee Lincoln, the co-founder of Del Frisco’s, says she’s through tiptoeing around the shallow end of the restaurant business.

On the one year anniversary of her Uptown lounge and “bubble bar,” she’s decided to convert it into a real restaurant, with a real dining room, a real dinner menu, and a commitment to serving, as she puts it, “the kind of food and service people expect from me.”

Instead of three tables and a dinner menu of afterthoughts, Lincoln is reconcepting her super sexy, two-story Roseweood Crescent place as “Dee Lincoln’s Dining Room and Bubble Bar,” softening the West Hollywood look, hiring well-regarded GM Anthony Porcaro (Nick and Sam’s, Bella) to run the front of the house, and dropping the “tasting room” moniker to emphasize a new dinner menu that surprised me with its depth and creativity.

Spend two minutes with the effusive Dee Lincoln, and you’ll see that she is obsessed with regaining her footing as a top restaurateur.

“We are not going to make a business out of good drinks and bar food,” she told me. “I’m not going to serve meatballs and snacks. That’s not who I am. I’m going back to my fine-dining roots.”

She’s converted most of the downstairs space into a dining room, adding two-tops, four-tops and two larger tables for bigger parties. Leather banquets and dark sheer panels soften the previously stark space.

Her chef, Julian Ishizuka, is unheralded, but his new menu should change that.

“People expect a great steak from me,” Lincoln admitted, “so now we have a 14-ounce, bone-in filet from Allen Brothers, the best meat purveyor in the world. Plus, Julian’s revamped the whole menu. We’re gonna serve late into the night, too, so people can finally get a great meal after 10 pm in this town.”

Ishizuka’s menu includes some unusual winners: Seared tuna with foie gras and miso caramel ($18), roasted bone marrow with pickled radish and rustic bread ($11), and an asparagus salad with brown butter- mustard vinaigrette ($9). Ishizuka seasons his food boldly, adding pops of acidity and spice that add interest to dishes that could otherwise bore. His take on Caesar salad incorporates spicy tuna, crisp wontons and shaved nori in a crazy quilt of a salad that seesaws between a spicy tuna roll and a traditional Caesar…for just $10. I especially loved his chili rubbed chicken, crisp skinned and juicy, which he serves with custardy bacon bread pudding and apple jus ($18).

“I’m through messing around,” says Lincoln. “I’ve hired some of the best servers in Dallas, the best GM, the best chef, the best bartenders. We’re stepping up our game.”

New menu, new look, new attitude–and a new Web site, which launched (in rough form) this morning.



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