Inside Pat Green's Massive New Venue and Restaurant in Dallas, The Rustic
"Hello! Here we have calf-fries with a touch of Tabasco, would you like one?" asks an attractive female server wearing tighter-than-tight jeans and boots.
For the first time in this Texan's life, the answer was yes, and it's a good thing it was (spicy wild boar meatballs and juicy shards of fried cactus were also warmly welcomed by this native Texan). The way in which the seemingly crude appetizer of deep-fried balls from some farm animal wasn't only tasty, but an elevated form of hors d'oeuvre, made for the best metaphor to describe the opening night of The Rustic -- a mix of whimsical Texas charm, Dallas money and good ol' fashioned creative vision.
The venue, a new dining concept and concert venue from the minds of Texas Country torch-bearer Pat Green and the Dallas-based FreeRange Concepts (Bowl and Barrel, Mutt's Cantina) certainly held up its end of the bargain last night at the grand opening.
The entire venue, from the 40-plus beer taps under an American flag fashioned out of empty beer cans to the outdoor concert area was gorgeous, but it also had a casual feel that gives it a chance to embrace those who don't normally make Knox-Henderson Happy Hours a regular part of their week. There were plenty of rustic elements to be seen, aside from the beer-can flag, such as the varying types of wood that covered the walls which gave the interior of the restaurant the vibe of a cabin, albeit a fancy one. Portions of steel barrels functioned as light fixtures above the comfortable, curved booths.
There's considerable on-site parking and easy street-parking access -- not usually a part of Dallas' Uptown area.
And the music venue has proper ambitions, with plans to host local music up to four nights a week, along with larger national acts a couple of times a month along Central Expressway. The whole thing feels like something that wouldn't normally happen here. Green, a member of Texas Country royalty, has a simple, but profound vision for the restaurant's musical aspect.