Lisa Garza, the Dallas restaurant (Suze) who nearly won Next Food Network Star a few seasons back, is back with a new eatery that opened just this week. Sissy’s Southern Kitchen is not so-named because gay guys run the place — it’s a reference to Garza’s status as the older  sister in a Southern family.

There is one strong gay connection, though: The space. Garza, who has teamed again with her Suze chef Jeffrey Hobbs, has transformed the old Hector’s on Henderson space, and you won’t recognize it from the redo: The style of food (gussied up home cookin’) translates into the decor, which resembles a shotgun townhome in Charleston, S.C. Even the waitstaff where homey garb that could have have straight from Billy Reid’s closet: Print bowties, gingham dresses … oh, and high-octane Arnold Palmers behind the bar. It’s only open for dinner right now, but will eventually open for daily brunch — not lunch, brunch. Cool.

The Warwick Melrose is the de facto hotel of the gayborhood — a real landmark. And now, it’s Landmark Restaurant has undergone a makeover. It’s not just the entrance which is brightened up, or the refreshed overall look, or the new chef’s table (pictured above), or the cleverly decorated private dining room dedicated to Dallas iconography (it really brings home the “landmark” theme). The menu has also been remake, with sizeable selections for lunch and dinner. (I’ll have a writeup of the food soon.)

Bijoux is the French word for “jewels,” and for five years Bijoux has been a jewel of the Dallas dining scene: French-inspired cuisine in a beautiful setting. Now, the owners — chef Scott Gottlich and his wife, sommelier Gina — have done a makeover that will divide the restaurant into two zones: One featuring the same high-end prix fixe menu, a second offering more casual options … and the casual area will dominate. The “classic” Bijoux menu (and style) will be offered in the chef’s dining room. The restaurant has been closed since Sunday, and re-opens March 2 with the new concept in place.

— A.W.J.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 2, 2012.