The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Kitchen LTO opens for round two

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Kitchen LTO, a permanent pop up restaurant in Trinity Groves, Dallas opened its doors for the second time on Feb. 5. The restaurant debuted Chef Eric Shelton and interior designer Stefania Morandi. (Courtesy of Kitchen LTO)

Located in Trinity Groves, Dallas, Kitchen LTO opened its doors for the second time on Wednesday. The permanent pop-up restaurant that reinvents itself every four months introduced Chef Eric Lee Shelton and Designer Stefania Morandi with a new menu and restaurant decor. The debut Wednesday received much attention, especially since this is only the second time Kitchen LTO has introduced a new chef and designer.

With help from customers who use social media to vote on potential menus, founder Casie Caldwell and her team choose one chef and one interior designer every four months. The innovative concept allows customers to enjoy new foods and cooking styles for a limited amount of time. Caldwell creatively titled the permanent pop up concept: Kitchen LTO which stands for limited time offer.

Round one debuted Chef Norman Grimm who gave customers a bright and cheerful place to enjoy French-American style cuisine. Grimm’s bright orange walls covered with giant solid colored canvases were replaced with original modern paintings over a four-day renovation period. The walls are now a dark red and acoustic versions of pop rhythmic music replace the upbeat vibes Grimm created.

Thanks to winning designer Morandi, the new relaxing and romantic decor reflects a classier ambiance, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

One waiter described Shelton’s menu as, “modern American technique with an Asian flair.”

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Chef Eric Lee Shelton is the second chef to set up shop in Kitchen LTO after competing against two other finalists in front of a panel of nine judges. He has also won second place in Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen competition.
(Courtesy of Kitchen LTO)

Recommended dishes like the butternut squash risotto and velvet hammer glazed pork belly do not disappoint. The risotto is served with a lightly breaded edible flower laid on top while the pork belly is served with a breaded poached egg. The egg resembles its natural shape, but when it is delicately broken open the yolk pours over the tender pork.

Shelton’s food is delicious and looks amazing. Every dish is presented as if a food stylist prepares each customer’s meal for a magazine photo shoot.

One waiter explained that after the cherry tomatoes are boiled for his Salmon BLT, Chef Shelton chooses to pinch the skin off and leave it raised at the top so that each tomato looks like its sporting a punk rock hairdo.

Caldwell said Shelton won Kitchen LTO’s round two competition because of this reputable Salmon BLT. Unlike many BLTs, this dish is not a sandwhich and instead comes served like a wreath with the greens circling the dish and the salmon laced in bacon at the top.

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Kitchen LTO founder Casie Caldwell said Chef Eric Shelton’s Salmon BLT is the dish that won over the judges during the round two competition. (Courtesy of Kitchen LTO)

Other mentionable dishes include the spaghetti meatball appetizer, five spice duck breast, and the mac and cheese cake that accompanies the lemon rosemary
chicken entree.

A fan of Kitchen LTO’s Grimm returned for Wednesday’s round two opening with only good things to say: “Delicious as always!”

Of the five desserts on the menu, the s’mores flourless chocolate cake and white chocolate bread pudding were disappointments after such a luxurious meal. However, the LTOMG! Chocolate Dome was so popular during round one with Chef Grimm that the item has remained on the menu for round two and most likely will be a permanent fixture.

Food Network enthusiasts will be interested to know that after Shelton secured his position as Kitchen LTO’s round two chef, he won second place on the network’s show, “Cutthroat Kitchen.”

As if Kitchen LTO’s concept isn’t unique enough, the restaurant also serves a hump day menu for getting over Wednesday blues.

The Hump Day Pop-Up menu features a different four course dinner each week and is consistently around $50 per person.

Trinity Groves is now home to many new up-and-coming restaurants in downtown Dallas.

Caldwell calls Trinity Groves, “the hot bed for creativity.”

With at least three other restaurants currently under development in the area, food lovers may be flocking to Trinity Groves more often than ever before.

For those who choose to be a part of the new Trinity Groves experience, Kitchen LTO is a great place to start.

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