Chelsea Corner – 4 Stars
It’s a Tuesday night, and the cocktail of choice is equal parts 20 to 30 somethings and empty nesters. Since their inception in 1974, this has been the shaken and not stirred make-up for Chelsea Corner. Recently reopened, Chelsea Corner is up to its old tricks, but this time around they’ve added an extra punch to the elixir.
Having never visited Chelsea Corner during their first go round, I wasn’t sure what to expect of the longstanding establishment. Revitalized by Len Critcher, owner of Inwood Tavern, and his longtime friend and Dallas investor Chris Camillo, the two cut their teeth here during their college days at SMU in the 90s. Once the prospect of reopening Chelsea Corner came about, the two decided to go for it. Inside, the restored space is there is a different vibe and design from room to room. From the closed in patio to the bar area, to the game room that feels like an ode to the 70s with thick carpet, a juke box, pool and a foosball table.
The quirky, casual neighborhood restaurant and bar has more to offer than throwback vibes and good drinks. After connecting with Critcher, Tracy Rathbun, Kent Rathbun and the Chef with No Name came together to create an approachable and appetizing menu.
You need the Pancetta “Southern Style” Deviled Eggs when ordering here. Part of the shareables section, you may reconsider sharing anything after just one. Creamy and savory, they’re topped off with crispy pancetta and a bit of pickled red onion, it’s like your grandmother’s recipe, but slightly kicked up. So you’ve had the deviled eggs, next, you need to try the Chelsea Charcuterie. If your palate is lucky, then your charcuterie will include Red Dragon, a sneaky cheddar that fuses soft cheddar cheese with whole grain mustard seeds.
Known for their pizzas since opening in the 70’s, it’s your duty to try a pie at Chelsea’s. A little bit chewy, a little bit thin, the crust is made with caputo flour that creates a tasty honey yeast dough. House made pizza pies include Margarita, Basic Cheese, the Chelsea Original and my two personal favorites, the Big Daddy White with Chicken topped with fresh ricotta, seasoned chicken and sundried tomatoes. And the Barnyard, a powerfully porky mix of pepperoni, Canadian bacon, ricotta, mozzarella and spicy Italian Sausage. Other menu items worth getting familiar with are the steak sandwich, fish tacos and three, count them THREE types of fries: Original, Texas Ranch Dusted, and Parmesan Truffle.
So far, it looks like this rebirth is off to a great start. With a tasty menu, new weekend brunch and a splash of La La Land Jazz every Tuesday it’s already got the makings of the ideal neighborhood spot. Equal parts cozy, fun, and delicious, it’s the perfect recipe for the Chelsea Corner comeback. Drink up. TxMB
Where to find them- 4830 McKinney Avenue at Monticello Dallas, TX 75205
Phone (469) 726-2211
That whole parking thing- You’ll have to valet. Simple as that.