Hash Over

Wamstad's big beef
If you think III Forks owner Dale Wamstad--and his 257-year-old alter ego, Capt. Bob Cooper--is a little off his T-bone, you may be right. Apparently incensed at the steak-house ad Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain's ran last week in The Dallas Morning News, Wamstad responded with his own "memo" to Chamberlain in the DMN sports section last Thursday.

"If you, your investors, and the food critics want to slam III Forks, I can live with that. I probably deserve it," reads the ad copy framed in a cheesy scroll-like border. "However, leave Dee Lincoln and Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse out of it. She's a great lady, and it's a great steakhouse."

The whole thing perplexes Chamberlain, who says all his ad did was show that his restaurant's star rating in the DMN's Guide topped Del Frisco's, III Forks, Morton's, and Ruth's Chris, each of which received a half-star less than Chamberlain's four twinklers.

Chamberlain points out that he's been running the ad--minus the III Forks rating--for more than four years and Wamstad never uttered a peep, even when he was part owner of Del Frisco's. He says Wamstad is just trying to create a PR angle for his new gargantuan steak house. "Unfortunately, I think he's using it at the expense of my reputation," he says.

While Chamberlain's ad doesn't even mention Dee Lincoln, he feels Wamstad's memo creates the impression he's somehow besmirched the Del Frisco's general manager.

It's possible Wamstad, who didn't return phone calls, is having a subliminal reaction to Chamberlain's advertisement. Just above the rankings positioning III Forks as an underdog is a U.T. Southwestern announcement calling for eligible participants in a special university treatment study. The headline reads, "Are You Depressed?"

Bistro reopens
The Bistro, the long-running restaurant serving tapas and other Mediterranean dishes near Inwood and Lovers, has just reopened after changing ownership. Zenon Oprysk, former owner of Tiberon on lower Greenville, takes over management of the restaurant along with wife Stephanie. Elaine and Dudley Dancer, Stephanie's parents, are owners of the newly refurbished restaurant serving bistro classics such as cassoulet, seafood bouillabaisse, and steak au poivre. Bryan Chambers, formerly of the Green Room, the Riviera, and Clive & Stuart's, heads the kitchen along with former Doolittle's chef Ken Howell.

--Mark Stuertz

E-mail Dish at markstz@juno.com.


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