Chef Matt McCallister's creations at FT33 befit the restaurant's Design District address. Photo by Kevin Marple

The spate of exciting new restaurant openings this fall seems almost an embarrassment of riches dishes.

It should have been a tip-off when it was announced that Top Chef Seattle (which debuts Wednesday) would feature not one but three chefs with Dallas ties. To say our fair city knows its fare would be putting it mildly.

Ahead of the culinary curve for years has been Stephan Pyles, whose Star Canyon still has us reminiscing about our enjoyably quirky 1990s experiences in fine dining.

In a similar vein is Stampede 66, which Pyles will open this week in Uptown. (A sneak preview has us already crazed about the crab, avocado and grapefruit salad; honey-injected fried chicken; and Freeto-chili pie.)

Stampede 66 may be the reservation-to-be-had of the season. Unless you?re more avowed to Pyles?s protégé, chef Matt McCallister, whose fantastic FT33 opened a few weeks ago. Already FT33 has a rep for swoonable short ribs, not to mention a predilection for presenting food as art. And Top Chef Seattle contestant Joshua Valentine?s savory desserts, with ingredients like chocolate, black sesame, blood orange and Serrano chiles conspiring for greatness, are not to be missed.

No doubt, both restaurants may just have us (happily) working the leggings a bit more often this fall.

Stampede 66, 1717 McKinney Ave.; 214-550-6966 or stampede66.com

FT33, 1617 Hi Line Drive; 214-741-2629 or ft33dallas.com

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