He created the defunct Italian restaurant chain Sfuzzi. He and Phil Romano founded Nick & Sam's, though now he's divorced from the project. Today, Patrick Colombo is in the predictable swamp of construction delays with his pair of projects slated for the upcoming West Village project at Lemmon and McKinney. He says build-out for Cru, a wine bar, and Ferre, a contemporary Tuscan restaurant with California influences, won't begin until mid-January, pushing opening dates to somewhere around June. Perhaps the most interesting (and promising) of the two is Cru. It seems that well-done wine bars and Dallas mix like Chardonnay and asparagus pickled in russet vinegar (even the wine program at Nick & Sam's is a mere shadow of what once was promised). So Colombo will be filling a gaping bunghole if he can pull it off. "It's funny," he says. "I know sometimes you're full of your own stuff, but I just went to Chicago and New York...and I haven't found [a wine bar] that is gonna do the things that we're going to do." What things? Colombo says he will splash his wines in a variety of ways, including tastes, vertical flights (separate vintages of the same wine), by the glass, and by the bottle. He's also developing, with Beringer Vineyards, a small menu to complement the wines, including pizza, cheeses, and fruits.
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Espartaco Borga, founder of ZuZu Handmade Mexican Food and a co-developer and partner in Lavendou with Pascal Cayet, says his new project La Duni, parked in the former Anzu space, will be a collage of authentic South American cuisine--particularly from Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, and Cuba. Yet, Borga adds, although La Duni will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it won't have an extensive menu. "It's not pretentious in any which way or form," he insists. "It will feel like a home more than anything else." Which is how the name was selected. Borga says that in South America, significant homes are always named after the lady of the house, no doubt a damper on vicious community property disputes. La Duni is named after Borga's wife, Dunia, who will also be the pastry chef...Tipperary Inn, the longtime Irish pub on Skillman and Live Oak, will reopen November 24 after it was shuttered for rehab last July. The refurbishment will feature an upscale Irish menu (an oxymoron?), an Irish bar lifted from a Dublin mayor's onetime domicile, and a "cottage pub" (formerly Tipperary's back room) within the pub called McCarthy's. During renovation, the cast of Walker Texas Ranger used the dismantled pub as a set for one of its shows--itself a reason to drink.