Nobody needs to tell Texans we eat out more than everybody else. But a couple of New Yorkers went ahead and did it anyway. The millennium edition of the Zagat Survey of America's Top Restaurants (a book that Andrew Lloyd Weber says obliterates the need for any other dining guide, according to the back cover), tells us that of the 42 American cities examined by a self-selected assortment of survey participants, residents of Houston, Fort Worth, and Dallas eat out the most, nibbling away from home 4.9, 4.6 and 4.5 times per week respectively. In other millennial dining findings, 62 percent say bad service is the most vexing dining irritant, and 83 percent believe that men are treated better than women when dining out. The survey also ranks The French Room as one of the top nine restaurants nationally. Rounding out the Top 10 in Dallas were the Riviera, The Mansion, the Pyramid Room, Café Pacific, Laurels, Bob's Steak & Chop House, the soon-to-be-shuttered Barclays, York St., and Del Frisco's.
Brinker International veteran Mark Brezinski, co-developer of Tin Star, sold his interest in the "salsa, smoke and sizzle" fast casual restaurant near the Quadrangle to partner Rich Hicks. For what? To pack it in for Phoenix, where he plans to develop a quick-service concept for P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc. According to Tin Star manager and partner Scott Weiss, the company has abandoned plans to open a second Tin Star at Trinity Mills and the Tollway, a spot originally scheduled to open this past summer, and has no immediate plans to replicate. "We're still planning on expanding," Weiss says, "but we're just slowing down and making sure things are 100 percent here."...After closing 8.0 in the Quadrangle in September, founder Shannon Wynn said he just needed to shut his eyes for about 25 days and get refocused. Now it appears the eye rest for 8.0 will be closer to a coma lasting a year or more. The reason? No chef. "Finding the talent when you want somebody who is good but is not a chef's chef, not a name chef, it's hard to find that talent right now in Dallas because the big corporations are just eating them up," Wynn laments. He adds he may open with a new concept and a new menu that might take shape in 8.0's former Quad space. But if it doesn't work out, that's OK. Wynn also is poking around the remains of what was once Mediterraneo at the Quadrangle with an unrelated concept.
— Mark Stuertz
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