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Restaurateur Alberto Lombardi to Open Eatery In Highland Park Village

The Who's Who of Highland Park will mob Bistro 31 soon to open in the space behind the former Who's Who space.

Highland Park Village continues to ramp up its restaurant scene. In late August, Bistro 31 will open its doors to those waiting for a table at Marquee, MiCocina, or Café Pacific. Bistro 31 is relatively small—2,100 square feet —but there will be additional seating outdoors around HPV fountain courtyard. Here’s the best news: the chef will be Eric Brandt, the executive sous chef at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek for six years. (I’d say Brandt was more like an executive chef, but that’s not my call.)

So how many restaurants does this make for Alberto Lombardi? He’s  opened and closed more doors than Alexander Graham Bell.

The details are below.

Realizing a longtime desire, legendary Dallas restaurateur Alberto Lombardi will open his first eatery in the city’s venerable Highland Park Village. Mr. Lombardi opened his first Dallas restaurant in 1977 and now operates eleven restaurants in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and Las Vegas. His successful concepts include Taverna Pizzerias, Café Toulouse, Penne Pomodoro, Cibus Ristorante, La Fiorentina and Sangria Tapas y Bar.

At approximately 2,100 square feet, Lombardi’s newest spot, BISTRO 31, is scheduled to open in late August 2011 and will be located near the Village’s central fountain courtyard. Inside, the restaurant will seat forty-five guests and a newly designed outside patio will seat thirty.

Helming the kitchen will be Chef Eric Brandt who joins Lombardi after six years as Executive Sous Chef at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. Chef Brandt previously worked at The Ritz Carlton Georgetown.

The menu will specialize in Mediterranean cuisine with French, Italian and Spanish influences. Bistro 31 will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chef Brandt is creating a menu tilted toward light and fresh meals utilizing seasonal ingredients. The entire menu will change with the seasons.

Bistro 31’s urban casual environment has been designed by Ron Guest who is drawing inspiration from the salons and sidewalk cafes of the French Riviera. The interior of Bistro 31 captures a sense of the past with great enthusiasm for what’s modern. Think French-buff, low-lustre Venetian plaster walls; white oak herringbone

flooring; steel windows and doors and an exposed beam ceiling. The stand-up coffee bar has been designed in an Art Deco style with exotic wood veneers and a classic Portoro marble top. Custom designed settees are upholstered in lush, milk-colored leather and Epingle stripe by Paul Smith. Dining chairs are upholstered in caramel leather

and the walls will feature contemporary art by local artists. Casting a warm glow throughout, will be two custom Murano chandeliers made in the 1950’s ballaton style. The center courtyard will offer al fresco dining with a lush landscaped garden, marble-topped tables and traditional woven bistro chairs, all covered with a retractable awning.

11 comments on “Restaurateur Alberto Lombardi to Open Eatery In Highland Park Village

  1. I am so looking forward to this restaurant! I lvoe what Alberto’s team does with ambience and decor and Eric Brandt is a heck of a nice guy and an exceptional chef. Exceptional and nice. He’s so nice I said it twice.

  2. Amazing! Everything Lomabardi touches turns to gold. Can’t wait to try his new place.

  3. He’s everywhere! We once ran into him at his Romagna Mia restaurant in the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas.

  4. Not a big fan of Lombardi’s places but will probably get sucked in and try it.

  5. Great! Alberto does spectacular jobs in small spaces; typical of small towns in Italy…Ron Guest will do his complementing magic to make this new eatery a jewel of a space.

    Cheers Alberto!

  6. IMHO, his best restaurant ever was a lovely Italian restaurant many years ago where Villa-O is now. My second favorite of his was Lombardi’s 311 in the West End.
    I’m not all that crazy about Talouse but I will go to Taverna now and then. But, it too isn’t as good as it once was. I think they’ve suffered from too many chef changes.

  7. My all time favorite was !Caramba!,the Tapas Bar at McKinney and Routh. I loved everything about it but was, apparently, alone. To me, far superior to his current tapas place on McKinney.

  8. Eric as Top Chef at a Lombardi Restaurant?
    What a great combination :-)
    Count me in for dinner a couple of times a week!

  9. Sangria was great when it opened, but went horribly downhill. I assumed it changed hands because the menu and vibe changed dramatically.