The Keeper, located in The Shops at Legacy, is a lively restaurant with a wine-driven beverage program, delicious rum cocktails, and features an ever-changing menu showcasing flown-in fresh daily seafood. The restaurant decor and atmosphere gives you a classy coastal feel.
Originally from Oregon, Chef de Cuisine Gil Vasquez grew up around local fish being the focal point of his family and daily life. Through his grandmother’s affinity for hunting, fishing, gardening, and the local you-pick farms, Gil grew attached to fresh, wholesome, and locally grown foods.
The Keeper’s dinner menu boasts the best flavors from Coastal Americana and has moderately priced offerings inspired by the East, West, and Gulf coasts. “We serve comforting classics like Clam Chowder, Fish & Chips, and Grilled Shrimp & Grits, to more extravagant and luxurious items like Alaskan King Crab Legs, Blackened Redfish topped with Crab, and Maine Lobster Linguini,” said Vasquez. Their culinary team also specifically caters to individuals with dietary restrictions, allergies, and personal preferences.
Being from the Pacific Northwest, Vasquez has always had a love for salmon and oysters. On The Keeper’s menu, the Loch Duart Salmon is very reminiscent in flavor and texture to the King Salmon his grandmother would bring home from her fishing trips – meaty, with a creamy fat content throughout.
“Our East Coast oyster selections are amazing; we typically have three to five different types of oysters in our house selections. Though we aren’t able to get West Coast oysters here in Texas, when the winter months on the East Coast turn waters colder, I notice a distinct change in the stony, mineral qualities of what we bring in; when this happens, I am reminded of home,” said Vasquez.
The Keeper prides itself on being the seafood-centric alternative to regular dining in Plano. They offer a great happy hour with food and drink specials from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. They also have great event spaces with exciting event menus and packages, and a dedicated events team committed to creating a memorable experience for your special occasion.
“The big takeaway is that we’re here and we’re ready to create great meals and lasting memories for every guest,” said Vasquez.
The Keeper works closely with local seafood providers to source the best seasonal and sustainably fished selections. Chef’s week is generally started by talking with their seafood buyers to ensure they are able to get what they need for the week, as well as to get information on fishing conditions, pricing, and what is the best of the best on the current market. Vasquez remarked a lot of the challenge is with supply, which is based on fishing regulation and quotas, weather, and shipping. Because of this, Vasquez changes their menu more often than most restaurants and constantly updates their menu based on availability. More than anything though, they pride themselves on purchasing only what can sell within a 24-hour period, this way they truly get all of their seafood flown in fresh daily.
The Keeper has a wine driven beverage program that pairs selections specifically curated to enhance their fresh seafood. The bar also has a few featured rum cocktails that dip into their small cache of handmade rum. One of the newest rum cocktails is the Rio Sunset, which uses cachaça, a Brazilian-style rum traditionally made with fresh sugarcane juice, to which they add pineapple juice and Peychaud’s bitters, to round out the grassy floral notes of the rum.
The Keeper also plans special wine dinners through the year; stay tuned to their Facebook page for upcoming events.
About Gil Vasquez, Chef de Cuisine of The Keeper
In 2004, Vasquez began his training at The Art Institute of California and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management. While in school, he worked as Tournant at The Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon and as Sous Chef at the Sunset Restaurant in Malibu; both locations being fully immersed in California Mediterranean and farm-to-table cuisine. His Texas career began in 2010 in Austin, as Sous Chef at Cat Mountain Grill, and then onto 219 West Restaurant Bar and Lounge as Head Chef. In 2013, he relocated to Dallas and worked at Brook Hollow Golf Club as Chef de Cuisine, helping to open a fitness center with a healthy dining facility, and then as Executive Chef for Toadies Bar and Grill and Wizards Sports Bar. In 2017, he joined the Front Burner team of chefs at Sixty Vines in Plano and helped open their Uptown, Dallas location.
The Keeper, being part of the Front Burner family of brands (Whiskey Cake, Haywire, Mexican Sugar, Sixty Vines, Legacy Hall), allows Vasquez to be able to work closely with the company’s Corporate Chef, John Franke, and the entire team of chefs company wide. This network offers an opportunity to seek out a broad field of insight, that helps fine tune his artistic ideas into approachable dishes with Texas sensibility. This team effort allows the guest to benefit from both his experience and the parent company’s collective experience.
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