Chef Stephan Pyles views his life in increments of 10. His Routh Street Café stint ran for 10 years. Star Canyon hung for another decade. Now, after roughly five years traveling and consulting, Pyles is in the blocks for another 10-year sprint, or at least that's how long his lease for restaurant Stephan Pyles is set to run. Posited in the circa 1963, George Dahl-designed Southwest Plaza on Ross Avenue, the 180-seat Stephan Pyles will open in November. It will feature a 20-seat community table, a tapas bar, a private dining room with plasma TVs fed by closed-circuit cameras leering at the kitchen and bar (it converts to a cooking classroom on weekends) and a glass box exhibition kitchen in the center of the restaurant anchored by a wood-fired rotisserie; call it theater-in-the-round cooking. "The nice thing about this place is that it's got really good bones," says Pyles, pointing to the red cinder block-like bricks that will provide a backdrop to the copper mesh partitions, rusted steel accents, tumbleweed chandeliers and a light sculpture that burbles water into a reflecting pool. Dividing the men's and women's restrooms is a glass wall permeable to blurred body movement. "It's flirty," he quips. But obviously, the most compelling part of Stephan Pyles is the food: a Southwestern bulb blooming Latin refinements including flights of Italian crudo--slices of raw fish splashed with olive oil and citrus. "I call it new millennium Southwestern," he says. What the heck is that? "Er, good question," he answers.
Consolidated Restaurant Operations (Cantina Laredo, El Chico, Good Eats, III Forks Steakhouse, Silver Fox Steakhouse, Cool River Cafe, etc.) is aggressively thrusting parts of its portfolio into new markets, according to CEO John Harkey. Over the next year there will be a III Forks Steakhouse tethered to a Cantina Laredo in downtown Austin (March); the same duo in West Palm Beach, Florida (summer 2006); a 4,000-square-foot Cool River Café in DFW International Airport's Terminal D, as soon as American Airlines shifts its flights to the new terminal (November, maybe); a Silver Fox Steakhouse in Richardson at the George Bush Turnpike and Central Expressway (by Christmas); another Silver Fox in Stonebriar Centre in Frisco (summer 2006); plus a Cantina Laredo in the former Elephant Bar location off the Tollway (November). No pool tables in the airport Cool River though... Ten Sports Grill opened at Main and Field this past Monday in the space that formerly held Monica Greene's Pegaso. Owned by Chad Lewis, former strength and conditioning coach for the Dallas Mavericks, Ten will serve up pizza, wings, pasta and burgers.