Abbotsford Court, the banquet-facility arm of Wall's Catering, has delivered an offshoot called "a," a full-service restaurant situated inside a 15,000-square-foot facility. "a" features little flecks of dining exotica such as prime beef, Hudson Valley foie gras and timpano--a pastry crust jammed with pasta, ragu, meatballs, peas, chicken and mozzarella. But this is not ordinary prime-grade beef. The restaurant serves prime beef from Wagyu cattle, the same cattle that produce the Kobe grade of beef, from a ranch in Athens, Texas (Wagyu produce three beef grades: prime, Kobe and white). As of this writing, "a" is just one of two restaurants currently serving Wagyu prime beef in the United States. (The other is the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.) "a" also serves a white beef rib eye, a cut so named because of the copious marbling tightly woven throughout the flesh. But maybe it should be called green beef, for the steak costs 120 bucks. Both "a" and Abbotsford Court reside in the space that used to house the Addison continental restaurant/cabaret Yvette, which opened in 1996 with the involvement of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former coach Barry Switzer. Yvette shut down in July 2000 and was purchased in October of that year by Wall's Catering owner Kyle Wall.
And speaking of Timpano, Jason Horn, the chef and partner of this Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Italian steak house, is no longer in the kitchen. Sources say Horn was called into Timpano's offices a couple of weeks ago and given his partnership funds back. Shortly after that, the former Al Biernat's chef was gone...Mico Rodriguez, the pilot behind the M Crowd Restaurant Group (Mi Cocina, Taco Diner) and Restaurant Life (The Mercury, Mercury Grill, Citizen), has changed the name of the pair of Stephan Pyles/Michael Cox-founded Taqueria Cañonitas (Plano, Irving) he plucked from Carlson Restaurants Worldwide earlier this year. The restaurants will henceforth be known as Mi Cocina's Cañonita...Samui Thai Cuisine, which opened in Allen in the fall of 2000, will expand to Plano's Legacy Town Center in a new building going up just across from Bob's Steak and Chop House. The restaurant, which will have a similar menu and décor to the Allen version plus a chef freshly imported from Thailand, should open around Thanksgiving...The Wine Institute reports that an analysis of data from Spanish studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that components in wine--especially red wine--have a protective effect against the common cold. Experts stress the need for more studies, though, no doubt exploring which red wine goes best with chicken soup.