Friday’s Dallas Morning News will include an article from food critic Leslie Brenner listing the 10 best chefs in Dallas and Ft. Worth, but you can find the list on their website today.
Many of the chefs are who you’d consider the usual suspects – Stephan Pyles, Bruno Davaillon, and Sharon Hage. But a new addition to this year’s list is Oak Cliff’s own Tim Byres from Smoke.
Smoke opened last year at the Belmont Hotel and initially positioned itself as more of a BBQ oriented restaurant. But as the year has gone on it’s become clear that the real jewel of Smoke is Chef Tim Byres and his commitment to scratch-made, locally sourced, exquisite cuisine. And the new dinner menu at Smoke has really afforded Byres the opportunity to shine.
Whether it’s the pimento cheese croquettes, the pork jowl bacon with half sour cucumber salad, or the crispy veal sweetbreads with roasted figs, it’s clear that Byres isn’t interested in following the rest of the crowd in terms of the typical Dallas restaurant trends. But it’s taken Byres and Smoke a little time to settle in to what Leslie Brenner calls “some of the most original, forward-looking dishes in town”.
“I think some folks may still think of Smoke as strictly a BBQ restaurant, and we’re looking forward to the chance to re-introduce ourselves to them,” explained Byres. “I’m grateful to be on the list of the top chefs. It is an honor to be included”.
You can tell quickly from talking to Byres that he’s modest, and it’s not an act. He genuinely isn’t clamoring for the spotlight, despite the accolades that have been coming his way over the past 12 months. He was invited and cooked at the famed James Beard House in New York City in the spring, and also was a guest of Michelle Obama at the White House a few months ago to participate in an ongoing conversation about transforming food in public schools.
Lucky for us in the Cliff, Chef Tim Byres has parked his red Volkswagen bus in our neighborhood and is creating exceptional food in our own backyard.