Named after a fictional owner, Billy Can Can is an upscale saloon with a modern twist.  The menu comes from Chef Matt Ford, formerly of the Joule Hotel, with a focus on Texas farm fresh items that have nothing to do with standard bar fare. Options include venison tartare, hot-chicken-style-quail and lots of protein-based entrées including a tomahawk steak meant for two, served with roasted bone marrow.

A lovely Cremant served in a classic antique glass 

The bar menu has also been handled with care with craft cocktails and a diverse wine list including French, Texan, Spanish, South American and even Mexican choices.  If I told you that this was the first project from Rebees, the hospitality group backed by well-known restaurateur Tristan Simon, and involving former Food Critic Leslie Brenner from The Dallas Morning News, the care to detail is easy to understand.

Venison tartare

 Billy Can Can is a 4,800 square foot restaurant located in Victory Park and was designed to evoke a 19th-century saloon.  You see the ode to taxidermy with the animal heads around the room, but then you’ll find an African mahogany communal dining table and vintage lighting fixtures giving the place a cool vibe.

I sat down with Leslie last week over cocktails and appetizers and she told me about the process of being involved in creating a concept from the ground up.  “Billy Can Can is about bringing the best of what Texas has to offer”, she said.  She talked about tasting more than 100 Texas wines to finalize the selection of what’s on the menu today.

The Mixed Deviled Egg Platter

Billy Can Can has a revolving happy hour from Monday to Friday from 5-7 with a focus on Texas drinks. Wines, beers, Texas tea and (most) spirits are half off with a select list of appetizers that changes daily. Look for a big Texas wine event coming in the July timeframe in conjunction with The Dallas Morning News.

I also have to give Leslie and the team a huge shout out for helping me pull off a small surprise party for my husband’s 50th birthday.  It happened to be on Father’s Day, an incredibly big reservation crunch for them, and they cleared a space for our crew and he had no idea what was coming.  It was a great night of food, friends, cocktails and wine.  The entire premise of what Billy Can Can is all about!