Elevated above the ground floor of 400 Record, Bullion is the latest culinary excursion of Michelin Star-awarded Chef Bruno Davaillon.
Boasting a range of classic and contemporary French dishes, it is French cuisine realized through Chef Bruno’s eyes. He may revisit the classics, but he does them lighter. He wants his ingredients to stand out and have guests enjoy French food the way he would eat it. Chef Bruno feels this is a culinary style missing from the Dallas restaurant scene.
The restaurant’s namesake is twofold: the gold bullion issued under the French Minister of Finance Claude de Bullion under Louis XIII and the Latin definition of the verb “to boil” (bullīre).
Alongside Chef Bruno is General Manager Victor E. Rojas, who has been associated with some of Dallas’ best restaurants and procured partnerships for Bullion with the finest companies for service and tableware such as Christofle, Bernardaud, Garnier-Thiebaut, and The Citizenry. Nightly, Victor and his team orchestrate the guest experience from beginning to end.
Bullion, designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, was created with three key ideas in mind: firstly, to create an elegant yet casual fine dining restaurant with the ambiance, buzz, and feel of a brasserie — reflective of Chef Davaillon’s contemporary French cooking.
Secondly, to build on the connection between Bullion and its antecedent state, gold, to create a leitmotif from which the design is centered. The Bullion visual experience begins with guests entering and ascending the staircase where they can seek comfort and refreshment in the bar and lounge area, with 36 seats, plus eight at the bar itself. Showcasing a bespoke lozenge-patterned floor in dark timber, and a richly decorated silk rug, the bar and lounge area has a highly decorative aesthetic bursting with exceptional detailing. A combination of seating in tones of blue and gold offers a relaxed area in which to sip and unwind, or alternatively, guests are able to perch at the bar, complete with a high-gloss wood top and woven leather front. A mixture of seating in the 96-seat dining room provides diners with options in which to socialize.
Thirdly, to offer the contemporary design that harks back to Dallas’ history and the glamour of the mid-century period. This was achieved in designing furniture in modernist and playful shapes and the finishes of the walls, floor, and bar in deep and luxurious materials.
The exterior facade of Bullion is clad in gold scales made of a copper and aluminium alloy, which provides an exquisite golden appearance. Depending on the incidence of light on the façade surfaces, a fascinating play of colors can be seen.
Original artwork is an important aspect of the Bullion experience. There are three very prominent site-commissioned installations. Upon entry to the space, as one walks up the grand staircase, there is a large-scale glass sculpture by Jean-Michel Othoniel. The back of the dining room is graced by an innovative and striking wall sculpture by Kathryn Andrews.
The painter Matthew Chambers created custom works in flocked canvas, that will encase some of the booths and the photographer Brock Fetch was recruited to take some Dallas’ specific photographs that are quite striking.
The elevator has a wonderful painting by Jeff Elrod who is an Irving, Texas native, presently based in Marfa, Texas. The space also features additional works by prominent contemporary artists: Elad Lassry, Anna Ostoya, Ugo Rondinone, and Nate Lowman.
Chef Bruno, in collaboration with Dallas Urban Farm owners Jody and Max Wall, has installed an indoor vertical farm in the catering kitchen. Chef and his team hydroponically grow herbs, vegetables, and greens to be served at the restaurant.
Bullion is the first Dallas restaurant to grow plants from seedlings on site.