Hash Over

Deli swap
Asher Deli, the "New York-style delicatessen" that opened in Snider Plaza last fall, has been sold to the owners of Marrakesh, the Moroccan restaurant on West Lovers Lane. Sources say sluggish business prompted the move. The delicatessen was launched by Asher Investments, the partnership behind Bistro A that includes restaurant consultant Matthew Feldman and Celeste Samuel, wife of famed chef Avner Samuel. In addition to heading Bistro A, Avner Samuel oversees food operations for the group. Feldman, whose role in Bistro A is limited to consulting, is developing new restaurant projects both in Dallas and elsewhere.

Mixed hash
Feast can be a beast. At the same time many restaurateurs are relishing the current flush of robust checks, they're suffocating from a dearth of reliable help. Simmering rumors claim that some restaurants are paying their staffs bounties of as much as $300 for referrals. Maggiano's and The Cheesecake Factory, two restaurants often mentioned in conjunction with the rumor, either denied (Maggiano's) or wouldn't comment (Cheesecake Factory) on the practice...The Pyramid Room in the Fairmont Hotel is launching a Sunday jazz brunch February 7 featuring a three-course, prix fixe menu at $28.50 (sans wine). Minor structural surgery will follow in an effort to "de-formalize the space" according to Fairmont Hotel General Manager Cyril Isnard. After the kitchen is revamped, the wall between the lobby bar and the Pyramid Room's lounge and dining room will be knocked out to give the once opulently chichi venue more visibility from the hotel lobby. Regular breakfast and lunch service should commence May 1...Fish Executive Chef Chris Svalesen is using his grandmother's silver and his mother's crystal for the restaurant's new champagne table set to launch February 8. A nightly reservation-only dining experience for two to six pegged at $99 a head, the four-course champagne-table meal starts with a split of Veuve Clicquot Champagne and beluga caviar. A special serving team will be assigned to the exclusive table, and Svalesen will pop out before each course to brief diners on what they'll be forking next. If nothing else, as Svalesen gets more exposed with Fish TV, an upcoming book, guest appearances, and whatnot, this little project will keep him chained to his restaurant and off the celebrity-chef cooking-classes-on-the-beach circuit. Wouldn't you want to know where your mom's crystal has been?

--Mark Stuertz
E-mail Dish at markstz@juno.com.

 
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