Reata owner Mike Evans says he knew things were getting weird when he saw a large patio umbrella swirling outside the much-lauded restaurant's 35th-floor window in the Bank One Tower in downtown Fort Worth. So he directed Reata's staff to evacuate some 100 guests into the building's center stairwell, where they huddled to wait out the early-evening March 28 tornado as it swept through Cowtown's core. The twister blew out the restaurant's floor-to-ceiling windows, collapsed the ceiling, and destroyed the hardwood flooring and carpets in the dining room. It also sucked dining-room furniture out the windows. "Somebody called and said they found some of our furniture a mile away," Evans says. He adds that he hopes to have Reata, which means rope in Spanish, reopened by mid-May, weather permitting.
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Jean-Michel Sakouhi, the founder of Le Paris Bistrot on McKinney Avenue who recently parked chef Christian Gerber (formerly of Juniper) in his kitchen, says he has plans to launch a Parisian jazz bar in the new West Village development on McKinney and Lemmon before the end of the year. He'll call the new spot Paris Jazz...Also flirting with a venture in the West Village development is Gilbert Garza, former chef de cuisine of the defunct Toscana, though he wouldn't confirm the nature of his involvement. This is in addition to Garza's plans to open his own restaurant, which should be solidified sometime in late spring...We Oui, the upscale casual brasserie that is Phil Romano's latest adventure, is set to open during the last week in May in the Crescent Office Tower...Avi Adelman, the neighborhood rabble-rouser who yaps via his Barking Dogs of Lower Greenville Web site (www.barkingdogs.org), says the city has confirmed residents-only parking restrictions for the 5600 block of Vickery Street on the west side of Greenville Avenue near Terilli's restaurant. Adelman warns that the 5700 and 5800 blocks are in the petitioning stages now, with the 5500 block to follow. Pretty soon the only parking left on Lower Greenville will be on the tip of a tow-truck hook.
Llano Estacado, a Texas winery located in Lubbock, a land of hail, frost, tornadoes, and other winegrowing nightmares, just grabbed a few metallic accolades. In the New World Wine Competition, a fermented grape beauty contest held in Ontario, California, Llano's 1999 Chenin Blanc took a gold medal, while its 1998 chardonnay plucked a silver. Passionelle, the winery's odd Rhone conundrum consisting of Carignan, Syrah, and Viognier, took a bronze.