The first restaurant in Dallas’ historic West End to serve familiar yet innovative American dishes and libations, 3Eleven Kitchen & Cocktails is headed by executive chef John Moore, born in Houston and working in Dallas since 2005. He says, “With the mantra ‘every ingredient has a purpose,’ 3Eleven is truly a unique driving force in Downtown Dallas’ Historic West End District.
Indeed, even though Dallas has a plethora of new and trendy dining options “they seem to pop up daily now” Moore explains. “Our kitchen puts heart into every single element that makes our modern American dishes—allowing us to be consistent and fresh every single day.”
Those fresh American dishes include a menu that features scratch, farm-to-market fare for lunch and dinner. Think community-inspired dishes like Quinoa and Hummus Fritters, Deviled Eggs, Truffle Cheese Fries, Carpaccio Bites and Poke Cups or dinner specialties like flatbreads made with a selection of local vegetables and meats, salads, and an array of entrees like Chef’s Fresh Catch and Steak and Frites, complete with a 16-ounce ribeye and fingerling potatoes paired with a cognac and peppercorn cream sauce.
An exclusive Chef’s Corner is also available on the dinner menu, featuring a Sweet Potato Gnocchi with wild mushroom, sage and parmesan cream sauce and a Sous Vide 30 Spiced Half Chicken paired with charred creamed corn, jalapeño and brussels sprouts.
For lunch, guests can dig into a choice of sandwiches or greens. For those seeking a truly customizable dish, there is even the chance to build your own bowl that incorporates a selection of proteins, vegetables, starches and flavor kicks such as Sweet Thai Chile, Ginger & Fresh Herb, Avocado Verde, Citrus Lime Vinaigrette and Fresh Crema.
Keeping it local, 3Eleven’s beef is sourced from only Texas and the lamb sourced from Colorado, but Moore says, “We are currently looking at several different North American-based sourcing options for our other meat and seafood dishes. I try to bring in the freshest ingredients and source primarily local products, without inflating the cost for guests. No matter how great an ingredient or product might be, if it’s at a price point that is 50 to 75 percent higher than the budgetary needs of our target market, it is not the right product for 3Eleven.”
The menu rotates three to four times a year in order to utilize the best in-season ingredients and Moore says, “The feedback has been overwhelming and I take great pride in my team.”
And to go along with the food, 3Eleven also has a master mixologist Ruben M. Chavez pouring the libations. Modern cocktails are listed on the menu under its main spirit, which includes the option of gin, cognac, tequila, rum as well as whiskey and scotch. Reminiscent of the early 1960s, 3Eleven’s signature libations include the Aviation, the Hemingway, the Side Car and the Blood & Sand. For an enhanced cocktail experience, 3Eleven also serves classics with a vintage twist such as the Fitzgerald with anejo, Campari, pink grapefruit liqueur, fresh grapefruit and lemon; Conspiracy with gin, apple spice, sweet vermouth, fresh lemon juice, egg white and fresh nutmeg; and the Jacqueline Spritzer with Pinot Gris, splash of soda, lemon twist and paired with a side sipper of Grand Ma’ Raspberry Peach. An assortment of beer and wine are also available.
“I seek the most delicious herbs, spices and fruits, so I can carefully craft an exhilarating, and unexpected, blend that delights the taste buds,” says master mixologist Ruben M. Chavez. “I call my drinks ‘scratch cocktails,’ since every single element is handmade or tailored specifically to the drink.”
Drinks are served in custom glassware, poured over custom ice cubes and commonly mixed with homemade syrups or small-batched bitters.
“Even though one might see traditional spirits behind our bar, guests will also find unexpected barrel-aged liquors that are prepared by my team,” Chavez adds. “Overall, the process of making scratch cocktails is a lot like the farm-to-table movement—my cocktails focus on flavor and high-quality ingredients that deliver a more satisfying beverage experience.”
While Moore says it is true these days that the farm-to-table phrase is overused, he concludes “I can see that the Dallas’ food scene is heading toward the direction of simplifying their menus by making “honest” good food without all the bells & whistles.”