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.
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.
This opulent restaurant clings to the fine-dining standards of old. They still have a dress code— no jeans, no tennis shoes. Tables are set formally with crystal wine glasses, china, and knife rests. I recognized most of the people working the floor; our server has been working there for 28 years. Ask for a glass of Champagne and the sommelier appears. He delivers the order and describes how the glass is etched to induce the lovely bubbles to form a single line to the top. The temperature is 47 degrees, cool enough to quench but warm enough to take in the yeasty qualities of the wine. In early March, there were three dining options: a three-course option with a seasonal slant ($55), a three-course menu from their list of classics ($80), and a five-course tasting ($110). However, the menu options change frequently. We found all of the menus uninspired, almost dated, compared to what is going on in other kitchens in town.5 Comments »
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 »
Lots of changes are underfoot in Lower Greenville. Yesterday I was walking along the street – just minding my own beeswax – when I noticed all these new places pop up. Lower Greenville is in the midst of a Restaurant Renaissance.
Though I haven’t seen any movement on chef Jason Boso’s food truck park, I’m guessing it’s waiting for Trader Joe’s to finish up construction work because the two areas will be sharing a common parking lot. Carnival Barker’s will open its ice cream shop in the truck park, and kids will be running around Lower Greenville like the crazies they are. Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House owners are fixing to move into 1919 Greenville Ave. for their new restaurant, The Blind Butcher, pretty soon. They still haven’t said when it’s opening yet. Mums the word.
So here’s what we do know, for sure: Trader Joe’s is making progress. Look! (See above photo.) The exterior is almost done. Cookie butter will soon be closer than ever.4 Comments »
There is so much going on downtown. On Saturday, I took the dog to his favorite store, Downtown Pawz, and let him pick out a treat. After taking him home, the husband and I walked over to Freshii and got lunch. Then we moseyed over to TenOverSix to check out the store’s accessories. Afterward, we stumbled across a downtown garage store, and then we checked out Homegrown Festival. Exhausted, we walked the block back to our apartment, and took a nap.
I’m almost scared to say it, but, here goes: I think Dallas may finally have its downtown.
I’m not the only one who’s noticed. Hospitality Sweet opened last week, then Freshii (which is actually open long enough for downtown residents to use), and now we’re getting something called WingBucket (don’t have info for you on that), and Fluellen Cupcakes.
Fluellen is run by Keith Fluellen, a real estate developer and co-owner of Dimples Cupcake Factory in Frisco. You remember Dimples, right? The owners we wrote about are no longer part of the organization, recipes have been adjusted, and vendors have been paid. “We take care of our employees,” Fluellen says.
With all these changes, Fluellen thought it was time to branch out on his own. In his job, he couldn’t help but notice what was happening in downtown Dallas. “I could see the revitalization,” he says. “I was blessed to find a good spot.” That spot is at 1408 Elm Street, between the Jimmy John’s and CVS, one block from DART (and, as luck would have it, one block from me!). While cupcakes will be the store’s bread and butter, it will also have a coffee bar with coffee from Distant Land Coffee, headquartered in Tyler, Texas.
And the very best part? In the beginning, the store will be open until 9 most nights and 10 on Fridays and Saturdays. Fluellen says they’re taking their time with construction, and making sure they do everything right. He says the store will open the second week in June.
So there you have it. I’m just waiting for the day when it isn’t news that a store is opening up downtown. I think that time is quickly approaching.9 Comments »
About seven months ago, El Padrino, the little taco stand, was kicked out of its space in November 2012 to make room for a new Lombardi restaurant. Word came that Sarah Lombardi was opening a hot dogs and frozen custard place called the Dog House, which would’ve taken over the El Padrino space. Go Oak Cliff’s Rob Shearer said The Mercantile had the tagline of “eatery, taproom, and commons.”
But now none of that is happening. A spokesperson for the restaurant sent out a release yesterday that says, “As construction progressed on the Mercantile, a restaurant in the Bishop Arts District to be developed by Sarah Lombardi, a decision was made to cancel the plans to open the concept. A combination of budgets and costs associated with retrofitting and renovating a historic structure was the basis for the decision.”
Will the Mercantile and Dog House find a new home? Nobody knows. All we know is that the Lombardis are abandoning their project in Oak Cliff… for now.
We also know for sure that El Padrino was removed from Bishop Arts for nothing, basically. Poor Juan Contreras. He could still be operating his taco stand in Bishop Arts right now. Instead, his building remains empty. The lot around it is empty. And that space is going to waste.
P.S. Taverna (another Lombardi restaurant) is moving next to Toulouse on Knox Street at the end of June.
11 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 »
D-A-N-G. Is everything opening in Plano these days? Yes. East Hampton Sandwich Co. included. From the press release:
East Hampton Sandwich Co., specializing in handcrafted sandwiches and salads, has announced their second location at The Shops at Legacy, set to open this summer. They will occupy the former Au Bon Pain space located on the north side of Legacy Drive.
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.
In case you missed this super exciting news on Friday, Alice Laussade from the Dallas Observer won a James Beard award for her “The Cheap Bastard’s Ultimate Guide to Eating like a Total Cheap Bastard in Dallas.” And, yes, this is the same woman who wrote about placenta recipes last week. The 2013 JBF Restaurants and Chefs ceremony will be live streaming at 6 p.m. EST tonight. You can watch it here.
Tim Love has a Burgers 4 Babies fundraiser on Thursday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Woodshed Smokehouse. Soak in the great outdoors while you eat creative burgers. Individual tickets are $175 each, but the money goes toward “Fort Worth’s NICU Helping Hands Foundation, whose goal is to develop hospital and community-based projects that provide education and support to families of premature infants, a cause close to Tim’s heart as his own ten-year-old daughters were born prematurely and their survival is thanks to the amazing staff at the NICU.”
Taverna Rossa (craft pizza and beer) is opening in Plano this June. The menu was “created in collaboration with culinary partner Brian C. Luscher Chef/Owner of The Grape.” It’ll have pizza (duh), appetizers, fresh salads, oven baked pastas, hot sandwiches and decadent desserts.
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 just spotted a liquor license application for Boxwood Tap & Grill and traced back the address (2901 Thomas) to the space formerly known as TABC. Looks like the operators behind the place are Tommy DeAlano (Oak, Candleroom, Dram) and his Candleroom/Dram partners. Developing.1 Comment »
Don’t try to eat at Bolsa on Monday because the restaurant will be closed. They will reopen on Tuesday as Bolsa, but they will no longer serve lunch, just dinner and weekend brunch only (starting at 10AM). I repeat: No more lunch at Bolsa. For lunch, pass go, and head next door to Bolsa Mercado. They’ve added 24 seats and Chef Jeff Harris has reworked the menus of both places. At Mercado you can expect beef, turkey and veggie burgers, fries, new sides, quinoa salad (DUH!), and a pasta of the day. Nothing else will change at Mercado. You can still pick up prepared food and dinners for two, etc.
Bolsa closed today, Sunday, after brunch and will undergo some minor repairs and painting. They will reopen on Tuesday with a new menu which is still in progress. Harris will finally have a clean slate to tweak the menu his way. The dishes won’t be any fancier or cost more, it will be Bolsa as usual. Only a little different. To start their almost five-year anniversary, they will be selling flatbreads for $5 this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
“It just made sense for us to consolidate our lunches and rework Bolsa,” co-owner Chris Zielke says. “We are streamlining our business plan and this allows the Bolsa staff to come in and prep for dinner without having to do lunch.” Zielke and Co. plan to finish the “patio we never finished” next to Mercado and hopes to have 50 seats in a couple of months. In a few weeks, Mercado will open for breakfast as well.7 Comments »
Man, if I could marry Meghan Adams’ strata, I would. The first time I ate that breakfast egg strata with brie, bell peppers, and potatoes, I had three whole helpings . We were at a D Academy class day, and I barely listened to the speakers that morning because I was so focused on all the food Adams was providing for us. (The strata, in particular.)
I’m excited (giddy, really) to announce that The Hospitality Sweet, Meghan Adams’ storefront, is opening inside the historic Post Office at 400 N. Ervay St. on Monday. Most of you who don’t live or work downtown probably don’t know the dearth of good, inexpensive food we have in this section of the city. If you want a quick, cheap meal, you’re forced to go into the tunnels for junky stuff like Kuai Dumplings. But now, downtown workers, you can say, “Screw the tunnels! I’m going to The Hospitality Sweet.”
Thanks to my deep sushi throat, DS, for the tip. Lots of festivities at the spot between now and Sunday.
Mesa’s owner/chef/carpenter Raul Reyes is busy with his buzz saw in the space next door to Mesa. He is constructing a small oyster bar tentatively called “El Ceviche.” Daughter Jaret Reyes sheds some light:
We will have different types of cocktails (shrimp, octopus) and fresh oysters, shrimp to peel, and buckets of beer. Not too sure about the name.
Mesa is closed tonight because their power is out.4 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.