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John Tesar has been called a bad-boy chef. And you may have heard he?s also the ?Most Hated Chef in Dallas.?

But at the new Spoon Bar & Kitchen, a fine-dining restaurant that harkens back to his Hamptons youth, it?s all smooth sailing for Tesar.

After his remarkable rise at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, the chef has traveled a winding if not tumultuous path. But recently, he answered questions about his new place while bearing a beatific smile.

Tesar says he?s ?Zen? after his experience on Top Chef Seattle (so far, he?s a breakout contestant), the debut of which has dovetailed quite nicely with Spoon?s opening.

The atmosphere is certainly chill inside the clean, white space, especially for an upscale seafood establishment. Cozy, distressed-leather banquettes and a parade of mirrors line the walls.

The restaurant places a premium on high-quality sourced food. So much so that Tesar jokes the only fish truck you?ll see outside his restaurant is a Fed Ex one, which makes daily deliveries of fare from locales like New York?s Fulton Fish Market.

We can?t wait to try Tesar?s geoduck clams, married with lemon-scented olive oil, sea salt and chili essences. And, if his current run of luck on Top Chef is any indicator, we?d say his Pacific prawns are going to be spot-on.

Spoon Bar & Kitchen, 8220 Westchester Dr., Suite B; 855-947-7666;

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