Routh Riddle

Enigma locks its doors

Enigma, that promiscuous streak of revery on Routh Street, appears to be no more. The disheveled building, scarred from too many visions (a pond near the front stoop, for example) halted in midstream, is locked up, and most of the odd furnishings, along with the sizable flock of nude sculptures and reliefs by artist Bill Mack, have been removed.

Enigma was operated by the reflexively elusive Bob Bablu, who opened the restaurant in the Chateau Plaza building on McKinney Avenue in 1993. In late 1997 he moved it to bigger environs on Routh Street in the spot that was once home to Americana and Stephan Pyles' Routh Street Café. There was no sign to mark the attempt at hushed flamboyance. Enigma was famous for its table settings, essentially chaotic collages of expensive tableware featuring pieces by Erte, Faberge, Versace, Baccarat and Lalique costing as much as $1,500 each, all shuffled and assembled with an achingly eccentric eye. Bablu could not be reached for comment.


Mark Maguire of Maguire's Regional Cuisineis close to inking a deal on a second restaurant somewhere closer to the Dallas core. He says his restaurant could go in one of two directions, depending on the location he ends up with. "I don't want to do a steakhouse," he assures. But what he does want to do is either a dressed-down seafood concept or a scaled-down version of Maguire's. Maguire says his plans should be solidified within the next couple of weeks.


Voltaire Executive Chef Joseph Gutierriz was recently shuffled off to "an eastern wine auction" to snap up a handful of wine bottles to better endow Voltaire's 18,000-bottle "mine is bigger than yours" wine cellar. Gutierriz's booty included a 1964 Dom Perignon, a 1990 Chateau Petrus, a 1942 La Tache valued at $12,000, a cultish 1996 Screaming Eagle, a 1959 Chateau Lafite-Rothchild, a 1983 Chateau Le Pin and a 1979 La Tache DRC.


"Visionary and Internationally Renowned Concept Creator" Phil Romanoplans to have his newest vision and renowned concept Lobster Ranch open by April in Preston Center. Helping Romano out with the heavy vision lifting is partner Luke Crosland, CEO of Crosland Investments. In the kitchen is former Riviera/Lombardi Mare chef Tom Fleming.

Helping Fleming in the kitchen is Pete Harrison, who did chef stints at the Vegas versions of Spago and Le Circque. At the GM position is Joy Ybarra, who was at Nick & Sam's before she joined this house of chowders, pastas and crustacean crunch.

 
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