Words by Alyssa Stevenson, Images by Will Milne
Recently opened on Oak Street, in the old Banter spot is a new Denton staple, 940's Kitchen and Cocktails. If you've been looking for a perfect date spot with a non-family feel, you've finally got it. We've been itching for an spot just like this for forever, and we're pumped that 940's is living up to our great expectations. Read on to hear what we think you should try, and why you gotta check it out if not to just get a 'gram-friendly shot of Denton's new favorite piece of neon.
Elegantly tufted leather furniture, beautiful community tables, and gorgeous drooping globe lights elevate a space that was once a beloved coffee shop/open mic spot. Long gone are the days of ordering a bagel and pumping coffee from a carafe while local artists vied for a spot on the small stage. Now we find ourselves in the presence of a well-thought out space that transports us into a much more urban-feeling restaurant than we've experienced on the downtown Denton square before, and we're happy for it.
But enough about the space, lets get to the good stuff. For starters, cocktails on tap are always great, especially when you create an 'on tap' version of a Water Lily, a lavender and lemon drink with an arresting purple color. While we have yet to try a cocktail we didn't like, and will recommend several, we truly believe that the best thing coming from the bar is the caipirinha. Just don't ask us how to pronounce it. From what we can tell, just say whatever with a strong accent and they'll know what you mean. A bright and light cocktail with plenty of fresh lime and a lemongrass and kafir lime leaf syrup will liven up any evening.
To go alongside those cocktails, the starter menu is top notch. Chef David Rodriguez knows what he is doing, and is churning out some amazing dishes in that new kitchen. A perfectly golden runny scotch egg is unbeatable, and we love the eggplant fries. Spicy, crunchy, topped with plenty of fresh parmesan and a drizzle of honey - this is eggplant unlike any you've had before. Follow that order up with the perfectly seared and seasoned Flat Iron Steak or the poblano spiked Shrimp and Grits and you won't be disappointed. Let us wax on for a moment about my favorite dish on the menu though, the Pan Seared Swordfish. This beautiful and hearty cut of meaty fish sits atop a fragrant coconut and habanero risotto, all topped by a roasted pineapple salsa. I cannot get enough of it. I could happily eat this over and over again, day after day.
If you're the kind that loves to share sides we totally dug on the orange agave brussel sprouts and really enjoyed some poblano grits. Personally, we're a little more into dessert. Luckily, the on-site pastry chef, Ryan Jungman, has a sweet tooth about as big as ours. We've already told you where to get the best pie in town, but lets talk about how great 940's pie sampler is. (Will Oak Street soon become the Pie Flight Trail?) An amazing buttermilk pie, a beautiful little chocolate pie with pumpkin seeds, that basically believes it has brownie potential, and the best key lime pie in town. We've also tried the chocolate tres leches, and while it was way different than anything we've tried before, we were pleasantly surprised by the interesting mix of ingredients that were put before us.
All in all, the owners have us figured out. They've carefully chosen beautiful and locally made artwork, made every corner feel homey and Denton specific (especially that great neon at the back of the restaurant), offered up amazing happy hour specials and a late night menu with a kitchen that doesn't close until 2am. We're into it. In fact, you'll likely find us there this weekend, sipping cocktails and praying they never run out of swordfish. Try it out and let us know what you think.