Former Ruth's Chris Steakhouse CEO William L. Hyde Jr. is swapping broilers for rotisseries. Hyde, who resigned from his post of the then-89-unit steakhouse chain in late 2003, has teamed up with former City Grill (Atlanta) chef Roger Kaplan to license the Zea Woodfire Grill concept from a New Orleans restaurant development firm called The Taste Buds. The 180-seat upscale casual restaurant featuring rotisserie-grilled meats and a patio with a fireplace will land in the Shops at Granite Park at Highway 121 and the Dallas North Tollway in January. The pair plans to open up to three more Zeas in Dallas, Fort Worth and Southlake under the Zea Management L.L.C. moniker.
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After ramping up over the last few months from his Puppet Lounge, Peter Tarantino will launch his full Tarantino's Deep Ellum menu this weekend after hiring away brother Matthew Tarantino from Thomas Avenue Beverage Company, where he was chef de cuisine. "He knows a lot of the family recipes," says Peter, who characterizes Tarantino's as a mom-and-pop spaghetti house with New Orleans high jinks. Yet Tarantino thinks the main seasoning in his new restaurant, planted in the former Standard/Deep Ellum Café location on Elm Street, is controversy--namely the criminal element. "I'm not asking patrons to come down here after three in the morning, which is really when all of the bad shit happens, if it happens," he says. Tarantino frets that while there's crime all over the city as wretched as Deep Ellum's--City Hall, for example--people tend dump on the historic neighborhood while giving other areas a free pass. But there may be value in such controversy. Tarantino says he and his group of investors were able to assemble the restaurant and Puppet Lounge for well under $200,000...Remember this number: 4423810585. This is the item tag for the inaugural batch of Jimmy's Sicilian Pasta Sauce, which is offered on eBay in a 16-ounce container, frozen, for your bidding pleasure. The sauce auction commemorates the reopening of the 40-year-old Jimmy's Food Store at Bryan Street and Fitzhugh Avenue after the place was ash-heaped by an electrical fire in October 2004. On the block to raise money for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the sauce comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by Jimmy's owner Paul DiCarlo... H.E. Butt punched a hole in the ground this week launching a new Central Market in the Shops of Southlake across from Southlake's Town Square, marking the fourth such gourmet grocery in North Texas and the eighth in the state. The groundbreaking featured a gymnastic human food pyramid constructed out of Carroll Senior High School cheerleaders. Doesn't this run afoul of community decency standards?