Venus fling trap

Hash Over

Venus Steakhouse & Supper Club, the new "cheek-to-cheek" dining and dancing lounge spawned by Shelly Dowdy, formerly of the FoodStar Restaurant Group, will open June 6 in the TGI Friday's space on Lemmon Avenue at Douglas. And it looks like Dowdy has squirreled away some FoodStar refugees in her lineup. Karim Alaoui, who was general manager at Toscana before he ping-ponged back and forth between Avner Samuel's Bistro A and Mediterraneo, is general manager. Mark Moberly, formerly of FoodStar's Toscana and Mediterraneo, is executive chef, while Alexander Kybett, onetime sous chef at Il Solé and Salve, is now sousing in the Venus kitchen. Interior craftsman David Nelson, who did the peculiar Liberty environs (crafting chandeliers by placing amber Christmas lights in gold-tone wire birdcages), designed the 8400-square-foot, 250-seat restaurant and club with semi-private booths and "ultra swank" couches. Which means the possible "cheek-to-cheek" permutations and combinations don't stop with a simple chop to chop.

Mixed hash

Cuba Libre chef cum talk-radio host Marc Haines says he was forced to change the name of his upcoming radio show, set to premiere on 105.3 FM on May 28 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. It seems a Dallas catering company already has a firm grip on the name "Spice of Life." So Haines will rechristen his grub-gab broadcast "Cooking Out Loud With Chef Marc Haines"...The Landmark restaurant in the Melrose Hotel will shut down after breakfast is served Monday for a minor facelift and a menu revamp by chef Wiley Bates III. The restaurant will reopen June 5...The Blue Mule, the West End grazing and live-music hangout, is expanding to Deep Ellum at 2911 Elm St., just east of Malcolm X Boulevard. It should open sometime in June...Preston's American Bistro, the restaurant on Belt Line Road that plied only pure foods or those eats without additives or preservatives, has shuttered.

List watch

In order to make the jarring caused by the bricks lining McKinney Avenue a bit more tolerable, Bistral New American Bistro has converted its basement (which once served as a speakeasy) into a temperature-controlled wine cellar featuring some 400 cultic bottlings, including Cloudy Bay chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, Turley Zinfandel, Talley Pinot Noir, Cain Five, and more than 130 red Bordeaux and Burgundies.

Mark Stuertz

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