Looking for Smoke
Ron Corcoran says he's finally done it. He's rounded up the investors. He's reached an agreement with iconic Dallas chef Avner Samuel of Aurora. It's only a matter of time before his 11-year-old Sipango is shuttered and transformed into a Mediterranean restaurant with a menu containing inspirations from Samuel's defunct Bistro A. Corcoran says there are even plans to launch a new restaurant at McKinney and St. Paul. "We're like the pope," says Corcoran, who say's he'll close Sipango in June. "It had a good life. It's just time." But hold the bishop's miter. "There's nothing going on. It's super-super-preliminary," insists Samuel. "It's only talk. There is a verbal commitment, but the check hasn't been written yet." Never mind.
Steve Fields, the nightclub impresario who developed Dallas Alley with Spencer Taylor nearly two decades ago, is going solo. He's severing most of his ties with Truluck's Seafood, Steak, Crab House to launch a steak house, of all things. It's called Steve Fields Steak and Lobster Lounge, and it will open in May on the corner of Park and Preston in Plano in an old Grady's location. "This is a little nerve-wracking for me," he says. What will set this prime steak house apart from the rest of the Dallas rib eye litter? The lobster lounge and its ebony digital baby grand piano and a huge lobster tank near the entrance. Chef Johnny Carino of the Truluck's Restaurant Group is developing the menu, and Fields says he is getting backing from some Truluck's investors, which operate six of the stone crab restaurants in Austin (2), Houston, Dallas, Addison and Naples, Florida...By now you know that Citizen was scrubbed from the Oak Lawn landscape last Saturday night. The space will be reanimated during Cinco de Mayo as Sushi Zushi, a three-unit concept out of San Antonio that blends sushi with Mexican spices. Why'd Citizen owner Mico Rodriguez dump Citizen? "It was my lack of being able to give it focus," he says. "We want to focus on our Mexican brands [Mi Cocina and Taco Diner]. We have not been as successful as we had envisioned as a multiple concept developer." While Rodriguez admits his Paris Vendome is sluggish, he says his other concepts Mercury Grill and the Chop House remain viable. His current push is on Taco Diner, which he plans to franchise in Korea, Japan and China, and possibly other projects with Sushi Zushi owner Al Tomita, who is of Japanese descent but was born and raised in Mexico City. "Mico's very fascinated with me, speaking Spanish and looking like a Japanese," says Tomita. "I tell him I have Mexican software on Japanese hardware. He's very intrigued by that."
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