Hash Over

Champagne cuts back dinner
After opening with nightly dinner service on May 7, Champagne, the nouveau-French restaurant linked with the Gold Bar in the building that once held the Titche-Goettinger department store on Elm Street, has temporarily scaled back its evening dining to Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Spokeswoman Norma Tamez says evening traffic in the 150-seat restaurant was too slow to justify nightly dinner service. Instead, partners Stephen Wylie, Tim Pfeiffer, Executive Chef Bruno Mella, and Deep Ellum club owner Jeff Sinelli (Main Street Asylum) opted to launch daily lunch service in an effort to build a clientele. Wylie, Pfeiffer, and Mella are also partners in the Firehouse Restaurant & Bar and Billiard Bar. Opening March 26, the Gold Bar, a champagne and caviar bar with live weekend jazz, will continue to serve appetizers nightly. Tamez says Champagne should resume nightly dinner service in a few weeks.

On their noodle
Thai Noodle & Rice just opened on North Fitzhugh Avenue, serving such dishes as roast duck noodle soup, Thai spicy noodles, Thai-style sukiyaki, and red, green, and yellow curry dishes. Menu items are featured in large color pictures arranged behind the service counter, and oddly, just above the windows outside in the parking lot. So study as you park to get the full breadth of the menu. Owned by Paul Kasemsri, who has also owned and operated Siam Groceries next door for the past 17 years, Thai Noodle and Rice is open daily for lunch and dinner.

List watch
Wine consultant Ronn Wiegand recently made note in Nation's Restaurant News of a wine-by-the-glass survey conducted by Wine Brats--a national organization that seeks to educate young adults about wine--that illustrates the differences in boomer/Gen-X preferences. Typical restaurant offerings such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and White Zinfandel were pitted against German Riesling in blind tastings in three cities. Surprisingly, a majority picked Riesling as their favorite wine with second-place Chardonnay garnering less than half the votes Riesling collected. What's the lesson? While boomers are seemingly locked into the Chardonnay-Merlot-Cab paradigm, younger folks are often more willing to experiment with new wines and tastes when given the opportunity. Interestingly, the Wine Institute recently released California wine grape acreage statistics that show total Riesling acreage declining 66 percent between 1987 and 1997 to just over 2,500 acres.

--Mark Stuertz

E-mail Mark Stuertz at markstz@juno.com.

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