Dreaming Up A Plan For Marc Cassel's Seafood Restaurant

Categories: Whimsy

Rex's Seafood Oyster Plate.jpg
Rex's oysters are some of the best in Dallas. Now we need more of them.
Dallas has plenty of seafood restaurants, but I have a hard time settling in at any of them. They're either too fancy and weird, like the Dallas Fish Market and Oceanaire, or they're too scrappy and dump all of their dishes in a deep frier. What we need is something right in the middle. I'm hoping that's what Marc Cassel offers with the seafood restaurant he's opening in East Dallas in the spot next to Goodfriend. Here's how I'd do it.

Offer oysters like Rex's with a good selection of northern and gulf bivalves. Could you keep the price down, though? I know it's expensive to fly stuff from the coast to the center of the country, but I'm tired of paying $36 a shell when most of the time those experiences stink. Make 'em good, and make 'em cheap and customers might start eating them two dozen at a time. I will.

Get local and round out the raw bar with some Texas shrimp. You can do a fancy cocktail for the people who don't like to get their fingers dirty, but I want mine heaped with spice and served in a basket or dumped right on the table. I'll worry about the mess after I'm eating -- that's what the second lemon wedge is for, anyway.

Some sandwiches would be good, too. Get some nice bread from Empire and fry or boil fresh fish and top it with a nice homemade tartar sauce and a squeeze of lemon. The fish sandwich at Rosemont is a great example.

Burgers could be troublesome. One of Dallas' best is served right next door, and I smell a smackdown in the future.

Mostly, though, things need to be comfy. Hopefully the designer will resist the urge to fill the walls with fish nets, boat wheels and buoys and when they open, they'll offer good, cold beer and a nice selection of crisp white wines. If the place comes off like a comfortable bar that people want to visit and hang out in, and they serve really good, simple seafood, customers will keep coming back. If the business at Goodfriend and Good 2 Go Taco are any indicator, the neighborhood is still ravenously hungry.


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13 comments
J_A_
J_A_

Yes yes yes to this! There needs to be many more happy mediums. Ocean Prime and the like are lovely but where can I get reasonably priced seafood that hasn't been battered and fried in a cruddy atmosphere?

Nictacular
Nictacular

I had some oysters over the weekend in San Francisco and they were good...but almost criminally small. Now I want some of those big Gulf bastards. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Fresh seafood.  That alone might persuade me to move back to the Northeast.  (Among other things...)

romeolipschitz
romeolipschitz

"Dallas has plenty of seafood restaurants"  What???

jonfromtjs
jonfromtjs

If someone would only open a seafood market where you could hand select every singly piece of glistening fish in the case and have it cooked for you...

 

(TJ's HP/Oaklawn opens Oct 1 with 24 seats to sit down and eat)

 

On oysters, you are paying for the cost of shipping heavy oysters.  you may not eat the shell, but you are paying freight on it.  Premium raw oysters cost over a $1 each wholesale. charging $2 per oyster is fair if they are good oysters.  rip off if they are not.

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

I would add, soft shell crab, soft shell crab, and more soft shell crab...

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Nice suggestions.  I would like it if a restaurant would get Louisiana supplied speckled trout.  A simple fish soup (not a bouillabaisse, but a refined, food milled soup) would be very welcome.  Those spiced up gulf shrimp are Wednesday's special at the Sea Food Shack.

 

BTW, there does not seem much oyster flesh in those shells.

beda50
beda50

Where next to Goodfriend? Good to Go adjoins it, so do you know exactly where? By the way, great news, as that is my neighborhood.  I'm dreaming of a dozen ice cold fat oysters.

JohnNeelyBryan
JohnNeelyBryan

What is the latest on the "Peavy Rd" restaurant? It has been in planning for over a year and we have seen no action on the space. If I were looking to lease that space I would be hesitant due to the limited parking. (my how far that corner has come!)

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

 @beda50 Just on the other side. They're just started the build out.

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

 @JohnNeelyBryan Build out has started. And the guys at Goodfriend are working on a space across the street that has afforded them more parking so it should be less of an issue. Still if you're willing to walk a block or so, street parking isn't that hard to find.

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