Asher Investments, the partnership behind the successful Bistro A in Snider Plaza, is poised to launch a sandwich shop across the street from the restaurant in a former uniform service warehouse. Bistro A consulting chef Avner Samuel will oversee the deli's food operations. Serving New York-style corned beef, pastrami, and turkey sandwiches and sides, the as-yet-unnamed deli is scheduled to open in October. This will be the second restaurant for Asher, the small partnership headed by restaurant consultant Matthew Feldman that includes Samuel's wife, Celeste.
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More deli doings
McAlister's Gourmet Deli, an upscale Southern delicatessen (and something of an oxymoron), will open on Belt Line Road just west of the Dallas North Tollway early next year. A restaurant with counter ordering and table-service delivery, McAlister's serves hot and cold sandwiches, stuffed potatoes, and salads. The Jackson, Mississippi-based restaurant company operates or has franchised some 40 McAlister's nationwide. The 140-seat Dallas unit will be operated by J.M.E. Inc., a New Albany, Mississippi-based franchisee that plans to open at least five more McAlister's in the metroplex over the next few years...The Fairmont Hotel has named Jean LaFont executive chef of the Pyramid Room, replacing John Edwards, who died suddenly last June. A native of France, LaFont has had a 25-year career at restaurants in Paris, Lyon, and Monaco, as well as at Old Warsaw, Les Saisons, and Arthur's in Dallas.
Some restaurateurs are reeling over the steep price increases afflicting several California "cult" cabs. Case in point: The wholesale price for the recently released Caymus 1995 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was jacked up 80 percent over the '94 vintage. "It certainly has slowed down sales off the list," says George Howald of City Cafe, who adds that his wine-list price for the cabernet surged from $80 to $125. What's the reason behind these obscene hikes? The good economy, increasing interest in fine wines, and the growing allure of rare boutique wines, says Howald. "People coveting boutique cult wines really base their choices more on rarity than the sheer quality of the bottle," he explains. "Rather than seeing prices fluctuate based on the quality of the vintage, all you see is appreciation of price." Competitive pressures also play a role, a situation many California wine producers have shrewdly skewed to their advantage. Wines such as Caymus lend prestige to wine lists. And with the recent spate of Dallas steak-house openings, local demand for these wines is sure to fuel continued price increases.
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