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  • Article

    Hip Hop - Naan wants to bring "edgy" to Plano

    What is hip? Like a cube of lime Jell-O, hipness is hard to grasp without making a mess. Yet everybody craves this elusiveness, so much so they want to eat it, thinking it will impart some sort of penetrating insights. We all know where to get it, to...

    by Mark Stuertz on December 25, 2003
  • Article

    Tank Up the Vote - Suburbs looking to get wet

    There's no greater threat to democracy (other than Congress) than drinking and voting. But what about voting and drinking? In North Texas, it's becoming as all-American as German car leases. Witness McKinney, Allen and the mother of all American subu...

    by Mark Stuertz on December 25, 2003
  • Article

    In Bloom - Though it's named after a dog, Iris is no mutt

    It sounds easy, but operating a successful neighborhood restaurant is tough: ingratiating yourself with a cadre of regulars, serving decent food, enticing nomads from foreign neighborhoods and protecting the comfort zone you've created (never invite ...

    by Mark Stuertz on December 18, 2003
  • Article

    Up the River - Plans not hot for a new Cool River

    Pool cues or bamboo sticks? Chopsticks or billiard chalk? These were once the riveting questions posed up the Dallas North Tollway. But plans to plop a Cool River Caf in the former Voltaire/Bamboo Bamboo space appear to be snuffed, though Consolidat...

    by Mark Stuertz on December 18, 2003
  • Article

    Fountain Float - Nandina makes a splash with Asian-style tapas

    Flowing water is said to provoke soothing meditation, especially among those with feng shui (the art of furnishing a room to harmonize with its spiritual forces) on their dumbwaiters and incense residue on their lapels. Moving water has an almost-pri...

    by Mark Stuertz on December 11, 2003
  • Article

    EU Brew - Old Coppertank space in Deep Ellum to get new life

    While (some) restaurants are evacuating Deep Ellum--East Wind Vietnamese Restaurant and the much-rumored but unconfirmed flight of Sambuca Jazz Caf to the former Salve! space on McKinney Avenue--some battle-hardened mavericks armed with taps and pea...

    by Mark Stuertz on December 11, 2003
  • Article

    Alls Pair - Is wine only for fine dining?

    B movie actor...excuse us, Governor Schwarzenegger scored a respectable second in the coveted Foot in Mouth contest for his astute assessment of gay marriage. It "should be between a man and a woman," he said. Wonder how the big guy explains Michael...

    by Dave Faries on December 11, 2003
  • Article

    Fish Play - McCormick & Schmick's has great shucks, no jive

    McCormick & Schmick's used to be a toy store: FAO Schwarz, that ages-old chain purveyor of toddler titillation. FAO was bled into anemia by Wal-Mart and Toys "R" Us and is now suffering just as the season of shopping psychosis intrudes. This is the ...

    by Mark Stuertz on December 4, 2003
  • Article

    Noodle Bullet - Liberty Noodles goes limp

    Liberty Noodles is dead, shuttered little more than a year after the 7-year-old concept evacuated its Lower Greenville spot for more expansive digs on Lovers Lane. What did it in? Advanced weapons. Creator Jeffrey Yarbrough says business boomed out o...

    by Mark Stuertz on December 4, 2003
  • Article

    Shtick Happens - Male or female servers--does it make a difference?

    No wonder people crowd into Hooters. It has a pert name, firm menu, low-cut prices and a revealing window to the kitchen. We can't think of anything else necessary for success in the service industry. Oh, yeah. There is one more thing: babes. "Sex...

    by Dave Faries on December 4, 2003
  • Article

    Glad to Meet You - Gingko Tree offers Chinese fare at its best

    "Hi, my name is Arthur King. I'm one of the owners of Gingko Tree China Bistro in Flower Mound. We have been open since May 24, and we are very excited to be here. As far as information goes, we are a Chinese Restaurant...We have a lot of different m...

    by Mark Stuertz on November 27, 2003
  • Article

    Missile Crisis? - Nikita is sticking around

    Rumors have been flying that Nikita, the Cold War Eastern Bloc vodka depot/diner, is about to be sold. Or close. Or crumble like a bad wall in schizophrenic Germany--all after a breathless run of fickle lust that once strung endless and eager lines a...

    by Mark Stuertz on November 27, 2003
  • Article

    The Real Thing - Fake it at Sushi@Manhattan's

    Everywhere there are the fakes, the counterfeits, the phonies. They make their way to our wrists (my Rolex impersonation suffered band failure, fell to the pavement and was crushed by a real Toyota Corolla), our wallets (keep an eye on those new Andr...

    by Mark Stuertz on November 20, 2003
  • Article

    Men-O-Pause - Can women meet a decent guy in a bar?

    When the Nasher Sculpture Center opened its doors not long ago, some bozo said, in a televised blurb, "This will put Dallas on the map." Now, we're not certain who made the comment, nor are we quoting verbatim. One of our favorite pastimes involves ...

    by Dave Faries on November 20, 2003
  • Article

    Was It Something We Said? - The Wharf waves goodbye

    Just as our review of The Wharf@Bayview Marina hit the streets, the doors of The Wharf, tucked over Lake Ray Hubbard, slammed shut. Word came via e-mail from the restaurant. "THE WHARF IS CLOSED," it barked. Khanh Dao is out. Partner Mike Chen is ...

    by Mark Stuertz on November 20, 2003
  • Article

    Wharf Arf - The Wharf @ Bayview Marina floats and sinks

    Many things float: dead fish, wine corks, Ivory soap, Enron limited partnerships. Sometimes restaurants float, too--in Texas, no less. That's the fascinating thing about The Wharf @ Bayview Marina, a bobbing house of "North Florida" cuisine on Lake R...

    by Mark Stuertz on November 13, 2003
  • Article

    Curing Rubaphobia - Experience Lazlo's "infectious spirit"

    Why is Continental cuisine so hard to kill off? Like badly cropped sideburns, it's ugly. It tastes like an overachieving Swanson TV dinner might if it had loads of self-esteem. And it generally comes with music delivered by people who didn't get over...

    by Mark Stuertz on November 6, 2003
  • Article

    Show and Sell - Whats up with all the gimmicks?

    Guys like P.T. Barnum and Ben Franklin recognized early on that people could be easily fooled. Barnum drew frenzied crowds to his bizarre presentation of "feejee mermaids" and such. Once, when the mob lingered too long inside his hall of attractions...

    by Dave Faries on November 6, 2003
  • Article

    Tasty - It's a mixed-up world, but not at Lola

    Perhaps Lola owner Van Roberts operates on a different plane, maybe the kind derived from a salad where the porcinis are subbed with magic buttons. Whatever you make of his latest culinary plunge, The Tasting Room, his balance-sheet projections seem ...

    by Mark Stuertz on October 30, 2003
  • Article

    Wheying the Options - Why are there so many cheeses?

    The other day we stumbled across a truly bizarre line penned by essayist G.K. Chesterton. Now, we've read a number of strange and disturbing things in our time: Vanna White's account of her success and career, John Lydon's retelling of his impecunio...

    by Dave Faries on October 23, 2003
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