McKinney Ave. has a new neighbor! Next Door, an exciting new food and nightlife destination, is now open in Uptown. Dallas has a new place to eat, drink and enjoy itself with the recent opening of Next Door, an intricately designed restaurant and bar from the group behind Avenu Lounge and Landmark Bar & Kitchen in Fort Worth. Featuring delicious food, craft drinks, and in indoor/outdoor space, Next Door is a prime destination for dinner, cocktails and late-night fun.
The space was designed by renowned local firm Coevál Studio. Highlights include gorgeous tufted banquettes and a warmly lit bar with vinyl records and spirits bottles displayed in harmony. Leading guests to the second level is a two-story art installation featuring hundreds of door knockers. And upstairs, you’ll find a lively, ambient lounge with old school speakers covering the walls. Next Door’s second floor patio offers an intimate, al fresco setting with string lights, lush green ivy walls and prime views of bustling McKinney Avenue.
With its warm, inviting atmosphere and modern aesthetic, Next Door strives to be Uptown’s new go-to neighborhood destination. The venue looks forward to accommodating patrons, whether they’re stopping in for happy hour, staying for dinner or swinging by late for great music in the exciting upbeat lounge.
“We want Next Door to be a place where our friends and neighbors can be comfortable, hangout and relax with high-quality food and drinks,” said Sam Sameni, owner of Next Door. “From our beautifully designed space to the talented chef in our kitchen, we’re hoping to provide Uptown with a unique and comprehensive nightlife experience.”
Leading the kitchen is Chef Paul Niekrasz, who brings with him a wealth of experience from restaurants in Santa Fe, Chicago and Dallas. Most recently, he worked at the very popular HG Sply Co. Paul’s day-to-day management of the kitchen along with his experience and dedication to food quality and service will ensure that Next Door is a not just a bar, but a place where guests can enjoy a great meal. Current dinner offerings include shareable small plates and bite size snacks like Tuna Poke Nachos (below), Grilled Romaine and French Onion Dumplings (below) that can be eaten with one hand, leaving the other one free to hoist a cocktail. For larger appetites, the menu also includes heartier fare like Chimichurri Filet Mignon, Grilled Sea Scallops and an assortment of pizzas.
We began the afternoon with, what else, cocktails. True to form I opted for “the spicy one”; Pineapple Habanero Margarita: Sauza Tequila, Patron Mango, pineapple juice and habanero. It was joyous, while it was sweet it wasn’t too candied, the habanero was not apparent at first sip but after the second, I couldn’t mistake it. 💯
When Christina saw the “Basic Beach (Captain Morgan Rum, Patron Mango, passion fruit and lime)” it was inevitable. After a stolen sip I can definitely conclude this is a woman’s drink. Sweet, pretty, “Basic”-she adored it.
Lunch time! Luckily we were able to sample many shareable plates in an effort to try more of the menu. To begin we tried the House Smoked Salmon & Tuna Poke Nachos. The salmon dish boasts a housemade spreadable with long slices or buttered toast, all to be topped off with fresh pieces of salmon. This was flavorful and refreshing! As full of flavor as the House Smoked Salmon was, the Tuna Poke Nachos quickly stole the show. Chips with a crunch the Next Door neighbors will hear (it’s a good thing) topped with succulent tuna poke, all these bad boys needed was a squirt of lemon! 🐟🍋
After the first two dishes the food-train kept making its rounds. 🚆 The next item we sampled was the Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Dumplings, this was one of my favorite dishes of the afternoon. Picture it: dumplings stuffed with cheese sitting in a hot tomato soup, sprinkled with more cheese and bacon; yes, please! 🙋🏻
The Cobb Salad Bites were a pleasant surprise; what a novel idea! Shortened bacon strips filled with shredded lettuce, blue cheese, avocado all topped with a quail egg; a salad in one bite-the absolute healthier shareable. Bringing something fried to the table were the Cajun Crab Cakes, these were fried to golden perfection and boasted bold flavor from the remoulade. The Lemon Pesto Spaghetini brought a buttery lemon aspect; lemon pesto, sunny side up quail egg, pinenuts and shaved parmesan. The quail egg yolk coated the pasta precisely, helping keep the dish moist (🙈) and even more palatable.
Next to last we were served the French Onion Dumplings; caramelized onions, gruyere cheese and garlic croutons. These were succulent, Next Door means it when they say “onion”. If you’re like me and cherish onions you’ll find this dish is perfecto! My only criticism: the dumplings were uncommonly difficult to scoop out of the dish as the top layer of baked cheese hinders this.
Next Door saved the best for last, the Mushroom & Goat Cheese Pizza blindsided us. The last thing I was expecting at lunch was to sample a pizza that ranks with some of the best in Dallas. Topped with cremini mushrooms, goat cheese, arugula and truffle oil this pie combined fresh greens with mellowed accents from the mushrooms and fierce flavors from the cheese; the truffle oil was the icing on the cake. If there was one dish I had to pick as my favorite, this is it. 🍕
Like your neighbor, Next Door’s there when you knock! Whether you want kick ass food, a damn good cocktail or a night out overlooking McKinney Ave until 2am-it’s all here. 🔑
hungry Next Door 🚪, Dallas.
(Disclosure: my trip to Next Door was comped for this piece. All opinions are my own.)