Looks like chef Robert Auston's laudable quest for the crapless 12-ounce steak has been thwarted. Last week I reported that Auston, founder of Ianos Trattoria and partner with Tim Hager in Shared Vision, the company that owns Mediterraneo and the shuttered Toscana, was on the verge of transforming Mediterraneo's menu -- a roster that, as Auston put it, included items like $40 12-ounce steaks with "crap" all over them. But it seems that vision has burst. "Things just didn't work out," says Auston, who explains he and Hager didn't see eye to eye on restaurant management philosophy (Hager couldn't be reached for comment). Auston will take back Ianos. Hager will commandeer Mediterraneo and Shared Vision's new French-concept Provence, as well as oversee the sale of Toscana. To keep his mind off of those steaks, Auston says he's launching a breakfast nook in an old gas station at Arapaho and Custer that he'll call Carolyn's Corner.
What does an enchilada and the music of the Eagles have in common? Other than the similar reaction each elicits from the human digestive system, it's hard to say. Hard, at least, if you're not an Eagles lawyer. Owners of Hotel California Grill, a new eclectic Mexican restaurant on Midway near Belt Line, recently received a letter from an attorney representing the Eagles suggesting the band might be due royalties from the restaurant if its owners insisted on using the same name as the band's hit song. "It's going to be changed soon. We decided just to change the name," says Hotel California Grill spokeswoman Kat Komisarjevsky, obviously wishing to avoid the agony of calculating payments due a bland '70s band for a half-eaten enchilada.
After her brush with Frank Carabetta, Tracie Barthlow, operator of the Bridges Gourmet Coffee shops, says Frankie's Sports Bar on McKinney Avenue should open in about 45 days. "We're going to figure out what we have to do now to get it open," she says. "The deal was, we wanted to get everything to do with Frankie out of there...so that we don't have to worry about him in any way, shape, or form." And what a worry it was. Barthlow sued Carabetta, her partner in the bar, months back after she discovered, among other things, that he allegedly was using her American Express card to pay off gambling debts. When Barthlow confronted Carabetta with the allegation, he beat himself in front of her with a wire brush. If only self-flagellation were a legitimate spectator sport.
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