After taking a dive as a headliner when Boston Market flipped pages to Chapter 11 some years ago, rotisserie chicken is staging a comeback. There's Jack Ekhtiar's Marco Pollo, which he hopes to expand. Now there's Chic From Barcelona, which opened in late August in a former vacuum cleaner shop in Preston Forest Square, just a couple of doors shy of the Mercury Grill. Chic features a simple menu of salads, beef in white truffle oil, gazpacho and a few sides such as roasted apples. But the signature dish is rotisserie chicken prepared with recipes developed by famous Barcelona chef Tony Botella. "My goal is to build something different," says Chic owner Rafa Vilaclara. "I feel the cuisine in Dallas...the average, is all of the same." How does Chic nudge chickens from this Dallas ennui? By marinating them in a secret blend of spices, garlic and lemon before they're brushed with olive oil and white wine and cooked on a gas-fired rotisserie. This sounds suspiciously like Marco Pollo, except Marco fires its secret Peruvian-spiced rotisserie chickens over wood and serves Inca Cola while Chic has a Spanish wine list. And Vilaclara has logged a fascinating road to Dallas Chic. With a master's degree in international taxation, Vilaclara worked as a tax assessor in Barcelona--where he owns an Italian restaurant--before he decided live abroad. He settled on India. But a stopover in Dallas throttled his adventure, transforming his life from one of taxes to that of chickens.
Dallas nightclub vet William Powell (Ruby Lounge, Pandora, 2826, etc.) is heading west. He is set to open an 8,000-square-foot upscale watering hole called AquaLounge October 28 above the Bennigan's Tavern in downtown Fort Worth. He's also planning to mine the sushi-sake craze, drafting plans for a sushi-sake lounge called Ronin in Fort Worth's Montgomery Plaza. "Fort Worth is finally getting hip to what's been going on everywhere," says Powell. "You have to fully introduce things in Fort Worth. Nothing takes off right away...Fort Worth is kind of meat and potatoes and Mexican food."...The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas along with the Texas Sommelier Association announced last week that Devon Broglie of Whole Foods Market in Austin has captured this year's Texas' Best Sommelier title. To win, Broglie had to survive a flaying by a panel of nationally recognized master sommeliers who administered a rigorous series of service, tasting and theory exams. The process was part of the second Texas Sommelier Conference held in late August at the Four Seasons Resort and Club at Las Colinas.