vibing on it

New restaurant plants a kiss on Sawyer Yards with Southern food and 'vibe dining'

New Southern restaurant plants kiss on Sawyer Yards with 'vibe dining'

Kiss restaurant interior
Kiss features a black interior with gold accents. Courtesy of Kiss
Kiss restaurant seafood platter
Fried seafood platter can feed a crowd. Courtesy of Kiss
Kiss restaurant cocktails
The restaurant serves a number of cocktails. Courtesy of Kiss
Kiss restaurant interior
Kiss restaurant seafood platter
Kiss restaurant cocktails

A new restaurant has brought Southern food and “vibe dining” to Sawyer Yards. Recently opened in the former Poitín space, Kiss offers diners a lively atmosphere and a stylish interior. 

The Clé Group, known for their nightclubs Clé and Spire as well as Bisou restaurant in River Oaks District, teamed up Profit Hospitality Group to create Kiss. Profit Group partners Thomas Ford, Darryl Cloud, and Imaine Molo first established a relationship with the Clé Group as concert promoters. Ford tells CultureMap that Clé Group partner Zack Truesdell became a mentor of his, which led to the opportunity to open Kiss.

Just as Bisou means “kiss” in English, the two restaurants share some similar traits but express themselves differently. Whereas Bisou’s decor features white and gold, Kiss has a mostly black interior with gold accents. Large TVs hang over the bar, and private rooms offer plenty of space for private events. A walk-in cooler has been transformed into a champagne bar — complete with a private entrance for VIPs.

“It turned out better than I thought it would,” Ford says about the design. “I never pictured it that way once everything came together.”

Just as they look different, Kiss has a different atmosphere than Bisou. Ford says they originally envisioned the restaurant as matching Bisou’s nightclub-style vibe, but Kiss’s customers want something a little different.

“The people want this place to be a vibing restaurant, so that’s what we’re giving them,” he says. “We’re focusing on doing better at being a restaurant.”

That focus starts with service — Ford cites Steak 48 as an example of what they aim to achieve — along with the food. Chef Frédéric Perrier swaps Bisou’s French-inspired fare for a menu that features an eclectic mix of Cajun and Southern flavors.

Expect dishes such as fried green tomatoes, boudin egg rolls, Caribbean jerk short rib, and a decadent fried seafood platter that can feed the whole table. Other highlights include beer battered flounder, cognac barbecue jerk lamb chops, and surf and turf brochettes presented on a hanging skewer.

Brunch, served both Saturday and Sunday, features a similarly wide range of options with everything from crab beignets and avocado toast to a fried lobster tail over grits. Chicken and waffles comes with a choice of Hennessy, bananas Foster or brown sugar cinnamon waffle.

Cocktails suit a wide range of tastes. Ford’s favorite, the $39 Illmatic, is made with Clase Azul tequila, Grand Marnier, and Hennessy cognac.

Three months of success has Kiss’s partners looking to the future. “I feel like we’re on the right path,” Ford says.

“It’s going amazing. We’re already entertaining opening another location in Dallas.”