Though it may be sheepish wishful thinking to suggest it, the Dallas restaurant market appears to be locked in the straining grunts of a rebound. I say this because the city's most hexed strip of asphalt (and paving bricks), McKinney Avenue, is making recovery noises. Sources say the space that once housed the dismal (even by Irish standards) O'Dowd's Little Dublin Irish pub is being circled by tire kickers. And the space that was once home to Bistral Neighborhood Bistro & Bakery, which shut down last August, will soon open (around the first week of March) as a restaurant known as Geode. Whatsa Geode? Owner Bevin Holman describes Geode, named after the slightly flattened rocks containing layers of inwardly radiating crystals surrounded by a layer of quartz, as a kind of global tapas bar, a term we haven't heard since Avner Samuel launched his global tapas time bomb Bibendum just down the street in the latter part of 1999. That restaurant lasted just a few weeks, which isn't to say this one is heading for the same fate, McKinney Avenue notwithstanding. Holman has a deep vein of experience in the catering and restaurant management side of the business, working for places such as the Petroleum Club and Arcodoro Pomodoro in addition to operating her own restaurant consulting business. To help her pull off this global tapas venture, Holman has enlisted Sardinian native Nicola Chessa, who worked at Arcodoro in Houston before undertaking a breathlessly brief stint at Patrick Colombo's Ferré Ristorante & Bar in West Village further up McKinney Avenue. Holman says she's going global with the wine list, too, which will include a large by-the-glass selection, though not pricey cultish stuff. "I'm not going to have awesome wines that are going to need to be cellared," she says, though she notes there is a cellar-like basement under the restaurant. Maybe she can fill it with Evereadys and Evian just in case.
Srinu Guntaka, a one-time owner of Swarna Palace in Irving, has just opened Bailamos Mexican Restaurant and Cantina on Irving Boulevard in Irving. Bailamos slings the usual stuff: enchiladas, chimichangas, quesadillas, nachos and tamales along with a handful of Salvadoran entries. Guntaka says he sold Swarna Palace, a restaurant featuring an amalgam of Indian fare, to another operator...Gumbo's Louisiana Style Café, which serves Cajun-Creole-French fusion fare in the Crescent, will begin Sunday brunch service this week, which ought to make for some really funny-looking scrambled eggs.
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