Where to celebrate Chinese New Year, plus new restaurant openings



We always enjoy Chinese New Year — the colors, the culture, the food. But this year is especially welcome: It’s the Year of the Cock, and who doesn’t appreciate that?! Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck is getting into the spirit of things, as it always does, with  a special menu and celebration starting on Jan. 28. Chef Jacob Williamson offers a limited-time menu of authentic Chinese New Year dishes given a contemporary flair for $95/person, through Feb. 5. On the 6th will be the Bao Throwdown, with Williamson and other local chefs battling it out in an all-you-can-eat festival starting at 6:30 p.m. ($50/person). And Feb. 7 welcomes back the Interactive Night Market with multiple stations offering dim sum, brisket and traditional barbecue ($105/person). WolfgangPuck.com.

Longstanding Uptown fave Steel gets the celebration started a day early, with a Chinese Lion Dance (the colorful dragon puppet) and an exclusive menu on Jan. 27 and 28 starting at 7 p.m. SteelSushi.com.

Uptown also welcomes a newcomer to the area. California-based Water Grill just opened its first location outside its home state in the development at 1920 McKinney Ave. Specializing in seafood, including a large raw bar of varied oysters, it serves a wide selection of fresh fish from mahi mahi to wild Spanish octopus (pictured) and loup de mer. Farther north, the newly-opened @Nerdvana.Food+Spirits in Frisco has an adult attitude for the kid in all of us.

Conceived as a playground of food and fun, it’s an interactive restaurant with classic and contemporary video games to play (no kids in the main dining room!) with high-end cocktails and food, such as a deconstructed gumbo and honey-glazed pork belly. In addition, there are late-night bites for those pecking late in the evening. The official grand opening is Jan. 27–28, with specials all weekend. NerdvanaFrisco.com.

Jan. 30 is, of all things, National Croissant Day, and Dallas-based La Madeleine Bakery & Café is marking it by giving away a free butter croissant simply for the asking — just mention the event, and you’ll get one right there.

Even stranger: National Beer Can Day on Jan. 24. The reconceived Ivy Tavern on Lemmon is getting into the swing of things that day, offering $1 PBR and $2 craft beers in cans from 5–9 p.m.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 20, 2017.