First Look: Tulum in Highland Park

Photo credit: Shaban Athuman

From the masterminds behind Firebird Restaurant Group (El Fenix, Taqueria La Ventana) comes a new, luxury concept called Tulum.

Tulum was inspired by Firebird CEO Mike Karns’, and his wife, Valerie’s, travels to the namesake city in Mexico. It is the couple’s favorite vacation spot, and with Tulum, they hope to recreate the experience for guests of the restaurant. Tulum, the restaurant, encompasses many elements of Tulum, the city, and is an amalgamation of what people seek on their vacation; good food, relaxing atmosphere, and a temporary escape from the ordinary.

Atmosphere

Upon entering Tulum, guests are greeted with a flowing bar in the center of the entryway. Sounds of the Amazon rainforest are heard throughout the restaurant and images of the beaches and the waters are projected onto a large screen in the back of the main lounge. The music selection consists of jazz vocalists, electronic trance and house, and Latin sounds. Overall, the atmosphere and ambiance allow for a luxury, cultural experience.

Starters

Guests cannot find the typical chips and queso on Tulum’s starter menu. Instead, they are offered a diverse selection of land, sea, and even vegan plates. Among the starters are the chicken flutes, the vegan ceviche, and the charred Spanish octopus. The octopus comes served as a portion of an octopus tentacle sat atop an achiote ginger orange sauce, and with charred hearts of palm on the side. The outer skin of the tentacle is grilled to a crisp. The tentacle itself cuts like a steak, and is juicy, hearty, and flavorful.

Spanish charred octopus from Tulum (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Mains

From a menu curated by Chef Nico Sanchez, guest can choose from a variety of minimalistically plated dishes. The diver scallops are an arrangement of three jumbo scallops sat atop a bed of mashed potatoes. They are served with a side of grilled beets and tamarind sauce. The scallops cut fairly easily and despite being a seemingly small portion, they are filling and satisfying.

Diver scallops from Tulum (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Another good choice is the cheshire pork ribs, which are wood-burnt baby back ribs immersed in a chile Morita and served with a side of salsa negra and charred pineapple. The chile Morita makes the ribs spicy with each bite. When dipped in the salsa, the ribs become even spicier, however, a bite of the charred pineapple instantly cancels out the heat, making for an ideal symbiotic pairing of food.

Cheshire pork ribs from Tulum (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Dessert

One of the desserts at Tulum is a chocolate sponge cake, which is served soaked in Nestle Chocolate Abuelita. It is a warm, comforting dessert that is not too heavy, yet makes for a delightful conclusion to a meal.

Chocolate Abuelita Cake from Tulum (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Tulum is set to open its doors to the public on  Thursday, October 25 at 5:00 P.M.

Tulum, 4216 Oak Lawn Ave, Dallas (Highland Park) | thetulumexperience.com

Sixty Vines Uptown welcomes new Chef de Cuisine

Via @emerazphotography on Facebook

Award-winning wine concept Sixty Vines has recently named Ty Thaxton as their new Chef de Cuisine. Thaxton, who previously worked at The Keeper, came on board as Sixty Vines’s new Executive Chef late last month, following the departure of Stan Rodrigues. According to Thaxton, taking over the Sixty Vines team was a smooth process.

“It’s refreshing to be in such a well-oiled machine, and just run it a little bit tighter as well,” Thaxton says.

Thaxton’s restaurant industry resume boasts incredible feats, including experience as the Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Georgetown, Washington D.C. He hopes to use the knowledge he’s acquired in his almost two decades in the industry and apply that to cultivating success in Dallas’s growing food district.

“I hope to bring even more creativity and innovation,” Thaxton says. “Something that can keep Sixty Vines fresh and relevant in the area, but also, fall in line with our brand.”

Thaxton has traveled to various parts of the world, studying the cultures and crafts of various populations. He came to Dallas due to his and his wife’s desire to be closer to family. Upon moving to Dallas, he was hired in Plano at The Keeper, where he worked for almost a year until coming on board with Sixty Vines. As Thaxton has been part of Frontburner since he moved to Dallas, he was familiar with most of the Sixty Vines team before taking on his new role.

“I was actually involved in some of the hirings for this locationearly on, so it’s not like I’m starting from scratch with a bunch of strangers,” Thaxton says. “It’s very important to have that cohesiveness right off the bat, that way, we can just hit the ground running.”

As Sixty Vines’s new Chef de Cuisine, Thaxton hopes to continue to help Dallas’s restaurant scene grow and diversify.

“I like that Dallas is just now starting to dip its toes into food diversity,” Thaxton says. “You’ve always had these little ethnic pockets around town, but the selection is a lot more diverse now than it was 10 or 15 years ago. People are starting to open up their horizons more. For the longest time, our only options were Tex-Mex and steakhouses.”

As for the future of Sixty Vines, Thaxton is preparing his team for greatness as Frontburner expands its empire.

“We are planning on opening properties in other cities next year,” Thaxton says. “We want to make sure we have our techniques and processes down to a T here before we move forward.”

Sixty Vines is currently open in Plano and Uptown Dallas, with its next location slated for Houston in early 2019.

Sixty Vines, 500 Crescent Ct #160, Dallas, TX

 

 

Cowboys Fit to open in Plano early 2019

After having operated as a tent pole in The Star in Frisco for nearly a year, Cowboys Fit is set to open a new location in Plano, off of Preston and West Park Blvd. Cowboys Fit is a state-of-the-art gym facility offering members a comprehensive fitness experience with high-tech fitness equipment and luxury amenities.

Apart from rigorous training programs and the latest fitness equipment, Cowboys Fit also puts an emphasis on the recovery portion of the workout, offering amenities like cryogenic therapy and other treatments that can’t be found anywhere else.

The Cowboys Fit team of personal trainers consist of former NFL players, cheerleaders, and fitness experts across all disciplines, who will help you with a customized game plan to help you reach your fitness goals and make you feel like part of America’s team.

Cowboys Fit will open their new Plano location in early winter of 2019, right on time to bring in the new year with new fitness goals.

 

Cowboys Fit, 4817 W. Park Blvd., Plano, TX (Coming 2019)