Nick Badovinus just emailed the news. He’s opening a second location of Off-Site Kitchen in “the blue building on Singleton” in the fall. He says he’s glad to be back in business with Phil Romano, co-owner of Trinity Groves. Romano gave Badovinus his first job as an executive chef at the ill-fated We/Oui or was it Oui/We? I don’t really know. I wasn’t even born then.
“The money will go towards the development of a new Rudy’s Chicken building – part of a larger development by City Wide Community Development Corporation to create a new $3.4 million Lancaster Urban Village,” writes reporter Rudolph Bush. “Under the grant, Edwards must use the funds for the development of a new 1,625 square foot building with a double drive through.”
Rudy’s new place is going to look so legit.
CultureMap reports that Samar by Stephan Pyles will undergo a major facelift surgery this summer, along with the rest of the building at 2100 Ross Avenue. According to Lisa Endicott, the PR woman for Stephan Pyles’ restaurant empire, the high-rise was recently purchased by a new owner, Cousins Property Inc., and this owner wants to completely renovate the interior and exterior.
Samar is closing the first of July. The time it’ll take for the ground floor of 2100 Ross to be reconfigured remains unknown at this time.
“It’ll be a more expansive bar and dining room, because they’ll be moving the columns with the glassed-in space, eliminate those columns, and bring out more of the interior. There will still be a patio, but more interior space,” says Endicott.
My biggest fear is that Stephan Pyles will take this opportunity and ditch Samar for a new concept. Where else – within walking distance – can I go for my tandoori butter chicken for $5 only?
Endicott assures me that this is not the case. As far as she knows, this will be a “relaunch of a newly energized Samar.”
Let’s hope so.
T-minus 57 hours and counting. At 6PM on Wednesday, May 22, the pre-release date editions of the June issue of D Magazine will be delivered to Sharon Van Meter’s 3015 at Trinity Groves. And we are throwing a party from 6-8PM to celebrate the cover story: 100 Best Restaurants in Dallas. At 7PM, we will announce the top ten best restaurants in Dallas. So far we have representatives from 64 restaurants which range from a mom-and-pop in Richardson to a swanky haute cuisine spot in Uptown. There will be food: an eclectic mix of haute cuisine, off-the-beaten-path barbecue, and a variety of dishes from ethnic restaurants. Along with the food tastings, there will be cocktails by Brugal Rum, beer by Trumer Pilsner, DJ Jose Guevara, Land Rovers on display and a See’s Candy buffet. Additional sponsors include Express Working Capital and Poggenpohl.
If you don’t like my picks, you can throw a pie at me. I’ll be right outside the front door waiting for you. It will cost you $20 to toss a pie but the money collected will go to the North Texas Food Bank.Click here for event tickets ($50.)6 Comments »
I just read Leslie Brenner’s review of Kenny’s Smoke House (subscription required). In it she writes
“It wasn’t until she [server] delivered everyone else’s main courses that she told me she’d been mistaken: It was Cajun-spiced and blackened. Go ahead and bring it, I said, not wanting to wait. But like the chicken, it looked so awful that I sent it back and got the New Orleans barbecue shrimp, vaguely chemically tasting specimens that came in a buttery sauce with slices of white bread.”
That made me think. I’ve been reviewing restaurants for 16 years and the only times I have sent food back was because it wasn’t cooked properly or the product was rancid, not because I didn’t like it or that it looked awful. To me, that is what I am there to report on. I realize there are times a reviewer performs acts such as sending back food or asking for something to be cooked differently to see how the staff and kitchen handle the situation. That is important information to relate to potential diners.
Brenner’s act of sending food back made me stop and reassess my process. If something is not to my liking I am more likely to leave the plate full to see if anyone picks up on the fact that I did not eat the food. All critics have different methods. I’d like to hear what you think a dining critic should do? Send it back? Or write about what happened?15 Comments »
Just a little over two weeks ago, Nosh Euro Bistro’s executive chef Jon Stevens left to start his own restaurant. Today, owner/chef Avner Samuel closed the Plano location of Nosh Euro Bistro. Now owners Celeste and Avner Samuel are down to one location of the restaurant.
Avner and Celeste opened the original Nosh Euro Bistro in September, 2010, just a little over a month after they closed Aurora, their fined dining restaurant. At the time, it was a bold move. The couple operated Aurora, one of the Dallas’ finest restaurants, in a strip shopping center on the Oak Lawn/Highland Park border for seven years. Six months before their lease was up on the space, the couple closed Aurora and reopened a little more than a month later as Nosh Euro Bistro. They brought in Jon Stevens from Neighborhood Services and the place took off. They built a bar, lowered the price point, and put out some fine food.
The concept worked. Eighteen months later they opened a second location in Plano. Then Samuel got cocky. He messed around with Ed Bailey and tried to fix Bailey’s Prime Plus. The he and Stevens opened Snack .
Now they are back to one location of Nosh Euro Bistro on Oak Lawn. I love Avner’s cooking. I hope they keep Nosh going.13 Comments »
Hey, Plano. I think your life’s about to change.
Buddy Cramer, one of the owners of Katy Trail Ice House, just revealed his big location secret for the next Ice House in DFW. It’s going to be at 4700 W. Park Blvd., Plano, right across the street from Nosh Euro Bistro and Yao Fuzi. He’s calling it the Katy Trail Ice House Outpost.
Apparently, Cramer is also a general partner of Bandito’s, and taking over the Plano Bandito’s space made a lot of sense. “This was such a perfect location. We have kind of a large area in front of it. We started looking at it, and this ended up being the best.” The Bandito’s in Snider Plaza, however, will remain the same. No changes to be made there.
As for this new Katy Trail Ice House, Cramer says they’re trying to get it open in two weeks, but it’ll probably be more like three.
And how big will the front patio be? So big “you won’t be able to see the street.” It won’t be quite as large as the one in Uptown, but it’s still going to be a 200-person patio. “It’s going to have that same Katy Trail feel. It’s going to be like your backyard. We’re bringing in lots of big trees.” (12 to be exact.)
The new Katy Trail Ice House is about a block away from any residential areas, so there shouldn’t be any issues with noise. That big ol’ 24 Hour Fitness building should be a pretty great barricade for that. And from what I know of the Park/Preston area, nothing really stays open later than 10 p.m. Only the Blue Goose Cantina does, I think. I’ll bet my last penny that Katy Trail Ice House Outpost is going to dominate the nightlife over in that corner of Plano.
I have just completed D Magazine‘s June cover story: The 100 Best Restaurants in Dallas. Yes, I wrote 100 restaurant reviews and ranked the top 100 restaurants in Dallas. To complete the task, I had to toss out Fort Worth, Grapevine, and the mid-cities. Maybe next time. (Which will not be in my life time.) I’m so tired I thought it would be a great idea to throw a party and celebrate the 100 best restaurants in Dallas. The marketing people agreed.
Join me and many of the 100 best restaurants in Dallas for a giant soiree on May 22 from 6-8PM at Sharon Van Meter’s 3015 Trinity Groves. The festivities will feature food from the top chefs in Dallas and the fare will feature an eclectic mix of haute cuisine, off-the-beaten-path barbecue, and a variety of dishes from ethnic restaurants. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to mingle with an unprecedented gathering of chefs and restaurateurs from the top restaurants in Dallas. Along with the food tastings, there will be cocktails by Brugal Rum, beer by Trumer Pilsner, DJ Jose Guevara, Land Rovers on display and a See’s Candy buffet. Additional sponsors include Express Working Capital and Poggenpohl.
I’m thinking about doing a “Throw a Cream Pie in Nancy’s Face” booth to raise money for my favorite charity. Could happen. Buy your tickets here.1 Comment »
I have a pile of emails from unhappy employees of both locations of Blackfinn American Saloon. Sure, people get upset when a business goes under, but people really get angry and type about it when they don’t get paid. This group of ten people all claim they are owed money by Blackfinn owner Bill McCrorey. The strongest voice of them all comes from one of McCrorey’s former employee, TK Koen. He writes:
I am contacting you because of the article you did on in June of 2009 about Bill, Republic and his being in trouble for not paying employees and the TABC.
Well, he is at it again, but on a much grander scale. Bill has acquired both the Blackfinn in Arlington and Addison, a bar down town called Stone Street Martini Bar, Sanchitos in Plano and is trying to open Rare at Park and Central. But he has done it on the backs of good employees and vendors he has failed to pay. He closed Blackfinn in Arlington without paying the staff and owes money to much of the staff in Addison not to mention thousands in unpaid vendors including liquor vendors, which is a violation of TABC rules. He is deeply in debt to the state comptroller for not paying taxes and he hasn’t filled payroll taxes in some time.
You may remember McCrorey when he owned Las Colinas Prime. I wrote a series of reports detailing The Saga of Republic Turned Las Colinas Prime It was a nasty tale of unpaid employees, TABC violations, and pissed-off vendors told through one of the principals, Michael Costa.
I’ve contacted McCrorey and his company Visionary Restaurant Group (the mailbox is full). I just spoke with another partner this afternoon who confirmed Valient’s report. I will have more on Thursday. Stay tuned.38 Comments »
I’ve been doing some work behind the scenes updating our restaurant directory. We have a bazillion Japanese/Sushi restaurants in our files. There are almost as many burger joints. I have to wonder: Do you people eat sushi every night? If not, give me an average of how many meals a week you eat sushi.13 Comments »
Nosh Euro Bisto’s executive chef Jon Stevens’ last day at the popular Park Cities and Plano restaurant is Saturday, April 27. He’s leaving Avner Samuel’s kitchen with Samuel’s blessing. Stevens was hired by Samuel in September, 2010 and together they created two locations of Nosh. “We are parting as friends,” Stevens says. Avner and his wife,Celeste, are on “a San Francisco eating trip.” Celeste confimed Steven’s departure via email.
Stevens plans to open his own restaurant, Stock and Barrel, in the fall. Stock and Barrel will feature Americana food. “It’s a work in progress,” says Stevens.
Stevens will fill some of his time by helping his friend, Mico Rodriguez, open his new spot Mesero Miguel. Stevens was working in San Francisco in 2001 when Mico recruited him to work at The Mercury alongside chef Chris Ward.
Mico has taken over the space formerly known as Cuba Libre/Lemon Bar on Henderson and plans to open an “American grill with a Mexican menu.” Huh? “We are cleaning this place up and changing the interior. I’m really inspired by ‘60s Palm Springs,” Mico says. “I’m going to use organic ingredients and serve steak two ways. You can have it American-style or Mexican-style.”
Rodriguez plans to incorporate “a little Mia’s” into the menu. “We will have pork belly tacos and duck tacos,” he says. “But we will also have brisket tacos.”
The 5,000-square foot, two-story restaurant will seat 120 downstairs in the restaurant and the 2,500 square feet upstairs will be a bar with last call at midnight. “My other restaurant (Mr. Mesero) is only five minutes away,” Mico says. “I turn away so many people that this restaurant makes sense for my business.”
The prices at Mesero Miguel will range from $8 to $35. Opening date is July 11.
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Yesterday morming, Mayor Mike Rawlings, developer Brent Jackson, and a bunch of other local leaders gathered at 1818 Sylvan Avenue for a small groundbreaking ceremony for Sylvan | Thirty, the mixed use development going into West Dallas. After months of postponement, it finally happened: Sylvan | Thirty is now under construction.
“This is such a pivotal place… and this took a lot of work… but this is a day to celebrate, because this is the start of something fabulous in Southern Dallas for many years to come,” said Rawlings.
Southern Dallas, eh? Let’s not even go there. Instead, enjoy the photographic evidence of Sylvan | Thirty’s big day after the jump.3 Comments »
I’m a lot crabby today. It started last night when I arranged to meet a colleague for drinks at The Establishment, the new craft cocktail lounge on Travis. The place opened a week or so ago and is owned by Brian Williams and Michael Martensen the boys behind Cedars Social. I arrived at 5:45PM and found the doors locked. Of course, they are too cool to put up a sign but I’d seen the picture of the entrance on Facebook so at least I was in-the-know enough to know which of the five doors into the space to knock on. Using my iPhone, I went to their Facebook page for hours.
Apparently they are too cool to list their hours. From reading older posts it looks like they randomly decided when to open: Sometimes 5PM; sometimes 7PM. Also, the bar isn’t called The Establishment—that will be the name once they get the kitchen open. The bar/lounge is actually called Smyth. Unless you are on Facebook 24/7, you wouldn’t have a clue. I called the phone number which was answered by some space cadet at Cedars Social who couldn’t help me one bit. Strange business model if you ask me. Maybe it works in New York, but this is Dallas and I think Tristan Simon taught us a while back at Sense that private or reservations-only bars don’t work here. The ‘80s are over.
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A lot of diners have a soft spot in their heart for fondue. Sadly, the trend, like key parties, has fallen out of favor. Last Friday, The Melting Pot in Addison which opened in 1995, closed “due to financial reasons independent of the business that prevent the current franchisees from continuing to operate the restaurant.” There is a glimmer of hope that they will reopen, in the meantime you’ll have to fondue at their locations in Arlington. I don’t have a resource at this time for key parties.4 Comments »
Señor Scott Reitz is reporting that Tracy Miller has closed her breakfast and lunch only spot Rosemont in Deep Ellum yesterday. I was afraid this would happen. The food didn’t make me hungry, the service was always distracted, and the vibe was austere for the location. A few miles into downtown might have been a better location.
I’ve never set foot inside Crystal’s Pizza, but everyone keeps telling me that it was “the sh*t.” Pardon my language. Dan Koller even emailed me and Nancy just to grieve over Crystal’s closing with a beautiful, wham bam one-liner sentence: “To Dallasites of my generation, this is a big effing deal.”
So maybe Alice Laussade wasn’t overreacting when she reported that Crystal’s Pizza is shutting its doors to fluffy childhood memories forever and ever and ever. On Sunday, February 17, to be exact. That’s when Irving becomes Crystal’s Pizza-free. (According to Liz, who calls it “that childhood house of horrors,” goodbye isn’t such a bad thing.) Anyways, I digress. The whole point of this post is to make you aware that Crystal’s is selling all of its stuff, in case you’re interested. I say “stuff” instead of “trash,” because I’m nice like that. I’m trying to give Crystal’s the benefit of the doubt. However, a Facebook post from yesterday stated that Crystal’s is selling a stack of 2,000 tickets for $5 “for those who wanted something with a Crystal’s logo on it.”
What in the world do you do with 2,000 unusable tickets? A couple of ideas come immediately to mind:
At least Crystal’s is being environmentally friendly by selling its…stuff. Hey, I’m all for recycling. And, yes, there will be more junk for sale in the coming days.