I have been chronicling the career of Michael Costa for a couple of years. Costa has been a restaurant consultant in Dallas since the early ‘90s. In spring of 2009, I wrote several posts about his misbehavior and his penchant for writing hot checks at Las Colinas Prime . In October of 2010, I reported that Costa had resurfaced as a principal partner at The Office Grill. Soon after The Office opened, I received phone calls and emails from disgruntled workers who claimed Costa was writing bad checks and not paying vendors. I spoke with Costa and wrote a story his shady operations in the May issue of D Magazine.
This morning, I learned Costa was arrested last night for an outstanding warrant. So far, the only details I have received from James Yarbrough at the Dallas County Sheriff’s office are that Costa was picked up last night for “a bond forfeiture for theft of $1,500<20k.” According to another source, Costa spent the night at Decker Detention Center in jail and was released this morning. I am waiting for the full police report.16 Comments »
I’m not sure if what I’m feeling is shock or dismay, but Google has agreed to become the new proud owner of Zagat, that old warhorse of dining guides that shepherded us all through the 80s and 90s with comprehensible ratings and purse-sized books. Everyone from the New York Times to Huffington Post is covering the financial and social implications of such a merger; the deal will be discussed to death, for certain. But I’m interested in what this is going to do to the ever-corroding ethics of restaurant reviewing. Google touts the acquisition as a way to expand its local offerings. So, soon, I imagine, we will start seeing local want ads for “reviewers” popping up on MediaBistro and the like, calling all aspiring foodies to apply. I’ll bet a fiver that “no experience necessary” will show up in the want ad somewhere, as well as the phrase “must love food.”
Tim and Nina Zagat actually cared about the ethics of the review. They built an empire from how much they care. A generation trusted them. With so many new correspondents out there, I’m curious how Google plans to enforce ethics and curb bias.
Your thoughts?2 Comments »
I’ll say one thing about The Place at Perry’s: they aren’t afraid of making changes. Several years ago, they had to change their name and now they are changing their address. The Place at Perry’s is moving one block north of the corner of Routh Street and Cedar Springs to the Gables Villa Rosa building at 2680 Cedar Springs Road. The plan is to close the current location after dinner service on November 18 and reopen, contingent on construction schedules, in late December or early January.The new digs will be, like some people I know, more open, light, and sexy.
Chef Jaime Corona’s menu will continue to concentrate on showcasing ingredients from local vendors and serving meat that has never ever been given hormones or other chemicals and was raised in a sustainable manner. Senior Director of Gardens for the Dallas Arboretum Jimmy Turner is designing an edible garden in the entry and patio areas. Grapevine glass blower David Grappa is busy blowing a one-of-a-kind centerpiece for the entry rotunda. And Dallas couturier Michael Faircloth has designed custom uniforms for the staff.
Jump for interior design.5 Comments »
Patrick Colombo has been in the restaurant business for nearly three decades. He spent nine years as senior vice president and co-founder of the 21-store national Italian restaurant, Sfuzzi, Inc.; he was executive director of food & beverage operations at Mansion on Turtle Creek Hotel; and he co-founded Nick & Sam’s, and is currently president and CEO of Restaurant Works, Inc., the hospitality management company that developed Cru, Ferre Ristorante e Bar, Victory Tavern City Grille and Steel Restaurant & Lounge.
So when the Colombo family took a culinary tour of Italy, eating their way through Venice, Tuscany, Florence and the Amalfi Coast, Colombo was inspired to bring another Tuscan dining operation to Dallas.
Two days ago, I approved the post “Nine Best Milkshakes in Dallas” written by Danielle Glick (DallasFoodie). Sarah Reiss and I met with Danielle before she was asked to write one post a month. I knew Danielle was a social media marketer and that she had some clients in the food business. I asked her to write a disclaimer if she ever mentioned any of her clients in a post. (She was not paid by SideDish for the post and we paid for her milkshakes.) The milkshake post gave Twisted Root the highest rating of the group she sampled. Unfortunately, Twisted Root is one of Danielle’s clients. Within 24 hours, a sharp-eyed SideDish reader pointed the fact out to me. I pulled the post.
Obviously there was a miscommunication.On SideDish, we do everything we can to avoid a conflict of interest. We pay for the food we review, we let you know if a report is from a free event or media dinner, and if there is a conflict with a restaurateur, we report that as well. And we have a closet full of wigs to prove it.
UPDATE: Danielle Glick: “I had no reason to hide anything and every reason to try to prevent something negative from happening, so I was taking careful notes on what you said I needed to do. In Nancy’s follow-up article about me she wrote, “I asked her to write a disclaimer if she ever mentioned any of her clients in a post.”, but I do not have that statement in my notes or my memory. If I did, I would have gladly written such a disclaimer.”22 Comments »
On Thursday, Sept. 22, from 7 to 10 pm, Jennifer Rubell’s Made in Texas exhibit at Dallas Contemporary will be: “…a participatory artwork involving Texas cuisine that is a hybrid of performance art, installation, and happening. Rubell’s large-scale, sensually arresting pieces often employ food and drink as media. Past works have included one ton of ribs with honey dripping on them from the ceiling,; 2,700 hard-boiled eggs with a pile of latex gloves nearby to pick them up; 1,521 doughnuts hanging on a free-standing wall; and a room-sized cell padded with 1,800 cones of pink cotton candy.
Made in Texas will make visible to human labor that is most often hidden inside the kitchens, factories, and warehouses of Texas business. One each of the seven large platforms, a living scene taken directly from a factory, workshop, or enterprise in the Dallas and Fort Worth area—including actual equipment, workers, materials, and ingredients—will be reenacted, from assembling tamales to pressing table linnens. The final product of this labor will be given to participants to eat, use, and consider.”
Tickets are $100 for members or $200 for non-members.
Someone who is not a member can either pay $200 for a nonmember ticket or a total of $160 for a membership and a member ticket. A nonmember couple could either pay $400 for two nonmember tickets or a total of $300 for a couple’s membership and two member tickets.
This Saturday, The Mercury’s executive chef Chris Ward will fundraise for our furry friends with a Dog Days of Summer event. From 2 to 5 pm, The Mercury will transform into a venue for cooking demos, tastings, and a silent auction at benefiting The Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT). The ticket price of $65 includes one drink ticket, a cooking demonstration, tastings, a souvenir recipe book of demonstrated recipes, and a doggy bag of special canine treats. VIPs (only seven slots available) get a front row seat at Chef Ward’s cooking bar are available for $125.
“We are so excited to have Chef Ward with us again this year,” say John and Susie McQuade, GALT co-founders. “The proceeds from the cooking demonstration will help provide for the growing needs of GALT and the growing number of greyhounds we currently have in foster care.”