The long-awaited Joule Urban Resort, that 125-room $40 million-ish downtown boutique hotel and as yet unnamed restaurant to be operated by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer (Aureole in New York and Las Vegas), is now nameless. The hotel, bankrolled by Tim Headington of Headington Oil Co. LP, has dissolved its management agreement with Kimpton Hotels and is exploring options and a new name with another hotel management firm. Meanwhile, the Charlie Palmer restaurant has secured executive chef Scott Romano, who carved up his reputation at Wolfgang Puck's Cut in Beverly Hills. That's in addition to former Pappas Bros. Steakhouse wine director Drew Hendricks, who will serve as wine director for the hotel. Hendricks says he's gearing up an aggressive wine list with competitive prices. "Everywhere we turn we read, 'The huge markups have got to go. The huge markups have got to go,'" he says.
Chef Brandt Evans of Cleveland-based Gateway Hospitality Group is opening two restaurants in The Harbor, a Rockwall retail and office complex on Lake Ray Hubbard. The first restaurant will be a Pan-Asian/Mediterranean number called Mistra in the new Mariah Bay Hilton Hotel and Conference Center. The second, just down the street from the hotel, is Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern featuring what Evans calls creative American cookery. What's that? It's things like Rold Gold pretzel-encrusted trout and cedar plank salmon topped with a root beer—straight from the bar's soda gun—chive glaze. Blue Canyon also features private label wines including a sparkling and still German Riesling and a cabernet from Napa Valley's Diamond Mountain...Fearing's, Dean Fearing's restaurant set to open later this summer in the Ritz-Carlton hotel, is team building. Among the snagged: Winfred Von Workum from the Breakers Palm Beach resort as general manager, former Mansion on Turtle Creek wine and beverage director PaulBotamer and former Craft and W Hotel beverage director Justin Beam as assistant restaurant manager...Dallas Restaurant Group, whose spawn include Go Fish and Fish Express, will finally open Dallas Fish Market in the Kirby Building this month with executive chef Randy Morgan (New York's Russian Tearoom, Seattle's Sazarac and Oceanaire) and general manager Jonn Pierre Baudoin (Craft, Nikita, Salve, Mi Piaci)...The Arts District will soon be stalked by Paul Pinnell, who is vacating Nana Restaurant at the Hilton Anatole after 14 years as general manager. There, he will open Dali Wine Bar & Cellar at One Arts Plaza in the fall. Word is Mark LaRocca, most recently with Stephan Pyles and Standard, will work at Nana in Pinnell's stead.