By the time you read this, Ounce Prime Steakhouse will be cutting up meat in the former La Valentina de Mexico space in Addison. Who birthed this measure? "It came from me. I'm it. I'm the driving force behind it," boasts managing partner Danny Schertzer, a former Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar operating partner who has run restaurants from Australia to Hawaii to Mexico. Schertzer calls Ounce classic yet innovative. What's that mean? Chateaubriand for two, steak Diane and beef Wellington plus a 14-ounce kobe New York strip steak for 100 bucks. To that add 45 wines by the glass or sip. Pastas too. Former Samba Room cook Richard Calhoun is the chef. San Antonio restaurateur Jorge Fernandez is the backer. The pair plans to add more Ounces to San Antonio (June), Houston and Dallas.
Once he gets his hands on permits in January, former Del Frisco's general manager Adam Jones will give us Grace, a $5 million, 300-plus seater in Fort Worth's million-square-foot, 40-story Carter Burgess Plaza. Named for Jones' wife, Grace is a kind of hybrid prime steak continental à la carte meat dinner house. With wine. "I'm obviously well-known for quality beef," says Jones, who opened Prego Pasta House in Fort Worth in 1992. "Most people here, they're not looking for, I don't want to say chef-driven...they're looking for a good piece of meat and a great glass a wine." Jones plans to deliver August 2008, having labored over Grace since he left Del Frisco's in July 2006...Über-sommelier Rudy Mikula, once of Nana and Nove Italiano and most recently of Hibiscus, has joined forces with Paul Pinnell to juice his Dali Wine Bar & Cellar where Mikula will take charge of Dali's upcoming Web retail sales gambit, launching in December (the restaurant will follow in January). "He's probably one of the most brilliant tableside sommeliers that I've ever worked with," says Pinnell, who popped corks with Mikula at Nana. Pinnell predicts Dali's Web/restaurant operation will rattle the on-premise wine trade with its retail-ish prices. Actually, Mikula's move has long been part of the Dali strategy; Mikula has merely been working to build a Dallas following in the interim since forging ties with Pinnell. "He needed exposure, and he needed places to work until we were able to make this happen," Pinnell says.