All that's left is the fat lady's aria. Word has been pinballing around town and cyberspace for months that restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa, who operates Matsuhisa in Los Angeles and Nobu in New York as well as restaurants in London, Tokyo, Aspen, Las Vegas and Malibu, is close to slipping a restaurant into the Hotel Crescent Court. Pursed-lip hotel officials will say only that negotiations continue. But a source close to the deal says plans call for Beau Nash to be partitioned with one segment dedicated to hotel operations (breakfast, events) and the other dedicated to the Matsuhisa project. Meanwhile, a source says the Crescent is also close to a deal with chef Kerry Simon of Simon's Kitchen and Bar inside the Hard Rock Resort in Las Vegas to put a restaurant in the former Gumbo's/We Oui space. Though he won't confirm this specifically, Jeffrey Yarbrough, who is working with Simon via his new public relations and marketing firm Big Ink, says Simon is scouring the area for sites and is looking to build a team of local talent to put Kerry Simon restaurants in and around Dallas. "We're officially on tour," he says.
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Feargal McKinney (Old Monk and the Dubliner) quietly opened his new pub The Idle Rich in the former McDowd's Little Dublin location on McKinney Avenue last week. The menu is very Old Monkish with cheese boards and pâté plates, sandwiches, a bulging slate of beers and whiskeys, precious few wines (a serious blunder in this neighborhood) and Sunday brunch fare. As was reported in the Dallas Observer last week, McKinney named his bar after a defunct dive near the Farmers Market that was once a hangout for Dallas cops. "I've actually had an older police officer in here already who told me that at the one down at the Farmers Market, the tradition was at the end of the night that they would all fire their guns into the ceiling," he says. Thus the Idle loaded are loaded...The massive glass doors are shoved into a Dumpster. The slick bar is torn to shreds. The huge circular suspended ceiling in the foyer from which dangled an Ingo Mauer chandelier is being cut down with blowtorches and lowered by three forklifts. "Vanilla flan with yuzu scented strawberries" and "Yes we have toro" are scrawled on a marker board in the ravaged kitchen next to a stack of Styrofoam "to go" bins. But the black granite water wall still dribbles in the space that used to be Bamboo Bamboo, which used to be Scott Ginsburg's multimillion-dollar Voltaire. Soon it will be North Dallas Bank & Trust. Funny how money flows in Dallas.