Radar Range: Zinsky’s Deli, Urban Crust, Ellerbe Fine Foods, The Grape, Eatzi’s Private Dining
Who knew Dallas had such pent-up demand for a good NY Deli? Apparently, veteran restaurateurs Mark Brezinski (Bengal Coast, Pei Wei Asian Diner) and Jim and Liz Baron (Blue Mesa) figured it out; their Zinsky’s Deli (Preston Rd. at Royal Ln., Dallas, 214.691.3354) has all the important requisites: corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, sour pickles, and, of course, excellent matzo ball soup. In downtown Plano, local brick oven guru Renato Riccio installed one of his famous Renato wood-burning ovens in the new Urban Crust (1006 E 15th St., Plano, 972.509.1400) where artisan pizzas, steaks, chicken and pastas all get the al forno treatment. Salvatore Gisellu, stokes the ovens, but there’s even more action at the rooftop bar. In Ft. Worth, Ellerbe Fine Foods (1501 W Magnolia Avenue, Ft.Worth, 817.926.3663), is knocking it out of the park with dishes like soft shell shrimp meuniere and gulf snapper with summer maque choux. Chef Molly McCook’s blackboard menu changes daily, depending on what looks good at the market. Housed in an updated 1920s gas station in the Fairmount Historic District, Ellerbe is like a cross between chef Sharon Hage’s temple of fresh-local-seasonal, York Street (6047 Lewis St., Dallas, 214.826.0968) and chef Brian Luscher’s bistro, The Grape (2808 Greenville Ave., Dallas, 214.828.1981). You might find this hard to believe, but Luscher’s Sunday brunch can leave you craving poached eggs with shredded ox tail and banana pepper hash all week. And City Cafe (5757 W. Lovers Lane, Dallas, 214.351.2233) continues to reinvent itself, this time wowing with an extraordinary chopped salad of asparagus, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, artichokes, mushrooms and lettuce greens. Planning a dinner party but need a chef? EatZi’s Market and Bakery (3403 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, 214.526.1515) has ventured into private dining: you choose the menu then let chef Jay Valley and his staff loose in your kitchen; they’ll peel, chop, cook, plate and serve, wines and flowers included. Here’s the kicker: they’ll even clean up.