Last night I went down to Mercantile Place on Main for the big Grand Opening. But really, I was only interested in the restaurant (although the Merc is gorgeous, especially the loooong pool and cabana area). I can’t afford to live in a place like that, but hopefully, I will be able to try out Jean Michel’s when it opens.
Jean Michel Sakouhi most recently opened up The Vault in Fort Worth, but he’s been in the biz for about 25 years, opening places like Tramontana, Paris Bistrot, Severine’s Dallas, and more. His exec chef is Vernon Morales, who has trained with Ferran Adria, Martin Berastegui and Daniel Boulud. A Google search tells me he used to work in San Francisco at a place called Winterland and also at Salt in Philadelphia. I spoke to him for a second last night, and he told me the restaurant will be a New York style, French bistro.
The menu is still in the planning stages, and the kitchen isn’t ready at all, so we couldn’t really chat about the food. He said it will be moderately casual, but from the looks of the renderings of the dining room here, I’m guessing it will be more upscale, a la Charlie Palmer at the Joule (which is just one block down). The restaurant and retail spaces are designed by Techcon Dallas, Inc., the guys behind Aurora, Bijoux, Cafe Toulouse, and more. Anyway, look for Morales around town. Here’s a picture from his days in San Francisco. Jean Michel’s will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the wine bar will be open until 1am. The website isn’t up yet but should be soon (it’s jeanmichels.com).