With Royal Jelly, a New American small plates restaurant set for Highland, owner Dominic Mauro wants to create what he describes as a neighborhood place. Along with chef Matthew Walker, who most recently worked at Swift’s Attic, Mauro wants the restaurant to become a place where diners can enjoy themselves and try "really fancy bar snacks" that’s both comfortable and adventurous. The menu, which mimics DIY zines, will feature approachable dishes like beer cheese and pork belly Cubanos, to more "scary in a friendly way" items like the ELT (eel, lettuce, and tomato jam) sandwich and sparkling buttermilk pie with champagne. For drinks, there will be Texas beer and wine.
There’s no strict meaning behind the name of the restaurant besides wanting to “bring in this little hint of royalty.” Mauro, a former Poached manager, referencing both 1960s rock ‘n roll vibes and Victorian aesthetic. “Nothing about bees,” he added. The space features a bar and open kitchen. The projected opening date is Tuesday, September 1, but that could potentially change. Hours are every day from 4 p.m. until midnight, with happy hours on Sundays through Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m.