Stephan Pyles

When Dallas überchef Stephan Pyles ditched the daily grind in 2000, after selling his Star Canyon restaurants, fans wondered if they’d ever see him again. It’s been more than five years, but he is back, with a splashy new space—including a bar (pictured), where you can also eat—and a groundbreaking menu (though he has kept several of his beloved classics; riots would ensue if he didn’t serve that Cowboy Ribeye). My favorites among his new dishes? A trio of giant whole prawns astride risotto moistened with a tomatoey romesco sauce, all sided by divine dumplings fashioned of scallop mousse, foie gras, and lobster. Equally sensational was a meltingly tender filet of wild-caught salmon steamed in a wrapper of hoja santa (Mexican pepperleaf) and perched atop paella studded with crabmeat and Spanish chorizo. It’s nice to have you back where you belong, chef Pyles.

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