He had just suffered a professional setback. Stephenson had planned to open a restaurant with his colleague and friend, Carlos Arevalo, in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas, but the location they were considering did not work out, Stephenson said. That disappointment was still fresh when he pulled up to the darkened City Hall Restaurant that day.
A sign said it was closed for remodeling, Stephenson said. But a phone call to his real estate agent eventually led to Stephenson and Arevalo opening their own eatery, FnG Eats, in the space in August 2012.
Since then, FnG Eats has been serving unique, farm-to-table dishes in Keller Town Center.
“We try to take things that you can be familiar with, but we take it up to a higher quality level, culinary-wise,” Stephenson said. “The other side of that is we do a lot of global mashing.”
One example is the restaurant’s Bao Mi Tacos, he said. The appetizer includes steamed Asian buns, smoked pulled pork, a tikka masala-based barbecue sauce and a Central American-influenced coleslaw.
The menu also calls back to both Stephenson’s and Arevalo’s experiences. For example, Boone’s Cobbler is named for Stephenson’s grandmother and alludes to summers spent picking fruit in her 1-acre garden.
Stephenson and Arevalo have worked together for about 21 years. They often bounce ideas off each other to create new dishes.
The Primadita—made with prime rib, grilled onions, cheese, roasted peppers and pita bread—was created after a night of taking inventory and brainstorming, Stephenson said.
Looking back on the work he and Arevalo have put into the restaurant, Stephenson said things worked out the way they were meant to.
“Some things just happen for a reason. ... Something [said] I wasn’t supposed to go to Bishop Arts. I was supposed to be here,” he said.
201 Town Center Lane, Ste. 1101, Keller
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.