Sabatino's restaurant and sausage company in North Dallas, after a short but robust life, has been killed off by a keg of worms. This according to Peter Sabatino, who operates the 17-year-old Sabatino's in Newport Beach, California. The story: Sabatino's brother, who launched the Dallas version of the restaurant and sausage company that sank piers some 60 years ago in Chicago, was stricken ill. Then his partners walked off. "The people who were involved with my brother on this got fed up to their heads with it," Sabatino says. "They wanted out. So it got to be a keg of worms...So I said 'button it up.'" Right now, Sabatino's sits idle, waiting for an interested franchisee to revive it and maybe auction off that keg to a bait shop.
Sipango's Ron Corcoran has been rebuffed in his bid to make Hotel ZaZa executive chef Jeff Moschetti thechef/partner in his new restaurant slated to tump Sipango. The gist: Sipango is still open, and Corcoran has enlisted workhorse Marc Haines (North South, Cuba Libre, Fish, Sipango, etc.) to draft a new menu to bring the bankrupt restaurant to solvency. As for Moschetti, Patrick Colombo of Ferré and Crú snared him. Moschetti is scripting Ferré recipe cards and new menus as you read. Meanwhile, over at Steel, one of Colombo's management projects, he says he is attempting to whittle away the restaurant's capital-soaked thousand-bottle-plus wine inventory. How? He's offering half-price bottles on Sunday night. "If we're taking a hiccup on Sunday night, it's better for us to get that cash into the business," Colombo says. Seems like if they're taking the hiccup, a company policy must be going terribly awry...So why the heck would former Culpepper's chef David Holben--easily among Dallas' greatest, most creative chefs ever to captain a skillet--be content with broiling steak? "He'll be doing wine dinners and more seafood," assures Del Frisco's co-founder Dee Lincoln, Holben's new boss. "I do believe he's going to be extremely content. He's never appeared to me to be someone who chases a dream." Lincoln enlisted Holben, she says, after her longtime chef Frank Rumore decided to open Four Seasons Steak House in Wills Point this April on ranch land once owned by ex-Dallas Cowboy Leroy Jordan. "I've been through many stages in my restaurant career," Holben says. "I've done the gorgeous five-star restaurant. I've been there, done that." Only now it's with A-1... Chaucer's Steakhouse in Mockingbird Station has sunk. A letter from Station management to Hae Soo Ahn, listed as the director of H & M Ahn Corp., the firm that owns Chaucer's, says the restaurant missed lease payments for last November and December and that the locks have been changed. Watch for that long stone water wall on eBay.