For some reason, economists equate piles of rubble with progress. Clearly, then, Dallas is in the midst of a boom, and from the sounds of it one of those irrational exuberance types. Tipperary Inn reopened just last year. Now they plan to destroy one portion of their building in order to create a patio. Demolition is slated for the last week in July. A perhaps irrational and definitely exuberant representative for the establishment assures us the patio will be up and running in time for football season, meaning the first week in August. Down in Deep Ellum, a more rational but equally exuberant Peter Tarantino expects to open his new spot--conveniently known as Tarantino's Deep Ellum--in three weeks. Perhaps. He actually put the timetable this way: "Three weeks. I think. Within three or four weeks, max--if nothing goes wrong." He plans to serve traditional Italian-American dishes, which either means spaghetti and meatballs or Spaghetti-O's. "It's identifiable," he says of his cuisine. "I'm not trying to create 25 regions, not doing Tuscany, not charging $50 for ravioli. " Puppet Lounge, a narrow drinking spot with urban touches and big art, opened recently as phase one of his concept. On a much more rational note, Tristan Simon's crew claims Porch, the Henderson Avenue kingpin's replacement for Barley House, will open sometime in November. First they have to gut the building, raise the roof, that sort of thing.
Reaganomics: A nod to another keystone of economic thought, the trickle-down theory: Walk-ins often wait an hour or more for a table at Hibiscus, Simon's newest Henderson Avenue destination. Patrons elbow into the narrow lobby, pestering the two bartenders posted up front for time-killing libations. Lately staff members at Hibiscus have been ushering frustrated diners over to Candle Room (early in the week) and Sense (Thursday through Saturday) to hang out, open their wallets and imbibe in a few liquid appetizers. Candle Room had been slow enough on Wednesdays that one bartender rang up around $600 in sales. The influx of Hibiscus walk-ins boosted per-bartender sales to $2,000. And tables fill at Sense before 11 p.m. The rich get richer--that's how trickle-down worked in the Reagan days, anyway.
Hail: The American Institute of Wine & Food announced a date for this year's Caesar Salad Competition: September 18 in the Westin-Plaza of the America's Atrium, from 4:30 p.m. until people collapse from all the free wine. Well, tickets run $55, but that's nothing for the pageantry and drama of 10 chefs duking it out for bragging rights and a salad bowl they can't use because vinegar and oil might tarnish the bronze inscription.