Dee Lincoln Details her Journey to Dee Lincoln Prime

From the woman behind Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House comes a beautifully lavish new concept. Dee Lincoln’s newest restaurant, Dee Lincoln Prime, opened up this past Friday in The Star in Frisco.

Dee Lincoln Prime is a unique concept, offering a variety of tequila, steak, and sushi.

“My entire career has been in upscale steak business,” owner Dee Lincoln said. “Over the past seven years, since I’ve taken a little sabbatical and traveled around the world, I’ve seen that there’s been a huge evolution in food. You always think about sushi and sake, but I wanted to do something different.”

When creating the concept of Prime, Lincoln had a younger, modern generation in mind.

“I knew I wanted to have an upscale steakhouse like everyone expects, given my thirty year career,” Lincoln said, “but I also wanted to do something for the young, hip millennials, with the vibe of a classic steakhouse.”

Dee Lincoln Prime contains many signature elements, including a tequila library.

“I thought it was very neat that we were able to secure tequilas from $15 a shot to tequilas from $950 a shot,” Lincoln said. “I am not a tequila expert, but fortunately my bar manager has a passion for tequila. Together, we were able to put a program together that consists of various styles and brands of tequila. For starters, we secured about 40 labels, some of which are not available in any other restaurant.”

A glimpse at Dee Lincoln Prime’s tequila library

Lincoln’s aforementioned bar manager, Kamakana Hoaeae, along with the rest of Prime’s staff, are all masters of their crafts. When putting together her team, Lincoln was sure to choose the best of the best.

Managers Kamakana and Steve, all smiles on opening night.

“I’ve built an amazing team,”Lincoln said. “Some of these people, I’ve networked with for many years, some I have not, but they have fabulous reputations.”

Executive Chef TJ Lengnick, along with the rest of Dee Lincoln Prime’s carefully selected kitchen staff.

One of Lincoln’s most notable team members is her sushi chef, Mark Tungcmittrong. Lincoln recalls meeting Tungcmittrong long before conceiving the idea of Prime.

“Mark did a lot of catering for big hotels like The Anatole and The Hyatt, and designed their sushi bars.” Lincoln said. “I met him when he was catering for me in my Bubble Bar, which is my private event space in Uptown. His sushi was art.”

After meeting him, Lincoln spent time studying Tungcmittrong’s craft.  

“He and his family have their own small businesses,” Lincoln said. “One’s called Bamboo and one’s called Sushi Rock. I would sit at his bars many a nights and watched an unbelievable artist do great things with the best quality fish. I started him off by hiring him as a consultant, but was then able to pull him full time. Now his son’s taking over the family business.”

Sushi Chef Marc Tungcmittrong arranging his display at the sushi bar

 

With great skills and craft comes great responsibility. Although Lincoln holds her staff to a very high standard, she insists on treating them like family. She makes sure that her staff has a good work-life balance, that way, they can provide the best guest service.

“When my staff, or as I like to call them, my internal guests, are happy, I can rest assured that they will take care of the restaurant’s guests,” Lincoln said. “I believe that people in the service industry need to have harmony, which is why I’m closed on Sundays. By closing on Sundays, I can be sure that my team can leave here on Saturday knowing that they will be able to spend time with their families, and not have to worry about coming back to work until Monday.”

Having had an extensive history in the realm of upscale dining, Lincoln is not feeling any pressure stepping back into the game.

“I had a good run with Del Frisco’s, but I believe every era comes to an end,” Lincoln said. “I’m don’t see them as competition. My only competition is within myself and inside myself.”

Dee Lincoln Prime is currently open Monday through Saturday from 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.