“I just signed the lease for my new restaurant and I still have butterflies in my stomach,” DJ Quintanilla told me today. “It’s called Resto Gastro Bistro because that’s what it is: a gastro bistro, which is the term they’re using in London and Paris for small restaurants that are about high quality and low prices,” says Quintanilla, who is joint venturing with Phil Romano’s Trinity Groves restaurant incubator project to open Resto in May.
Quintanilla says his “gastro bistro” menu will combine elements borrowed from French, Japanese and Modern American (local, seasonal, foams, gelees, sous vide) cuisine. His “audition” for the Trinity Groves space was filmed as part of the development’s reality show pitch reel Trinity Groves has been filming, called Restaurant Makers. Resto will occupy a 2,500 square foot space adjacent to chef Sharon Van Meter’s 3015 at Trinity Groves, and will seat 75 indoors plus an additional 35 on the patio.
Quintanilla’s says his style borrows elements from his kitchen experience at Mark Miller’s Coyote Cafe, Damien Mandola’s in Houston, plus Dallas restaurants Abacus, Jaspers, Loft 610, York Street, Common Table and, most recently, Bijoux.
So what’s on the menu? Seared tuna with ripe tomatoes and yuzu gastrique, for one. Red-chile rubbed, honey-cured beef tenderloin with potato croquettes, for another. Plus salads, sammies and small starters. He cited Sushi Samba as an example of a restaurant with a similar philosophy. (I didn’t point out that Sushi Samba sashayed right out of town a few years ago.)
Quintanilla says Resto’s prices will be attractive.”We want you eating here three times a week, not just once,” he says, “so it has to be affordable.”
“Dallas has a lot of talented chefs, but nobody is doing the same kind of food that I’ll be doing. It’ll be simple ingredients amped up by solid technique. Just wait, you’ll see. I’m going to let my food speak for itself.”
More about Trinity Groves, the 60-acre project first announced on EscapeHatchDallas.com
photos: DJ Quintanilla