Pizza the Pie

Here's to resurrection: About a year ago, rumors floated through the in-the-know circles that Phil Romano and Joe Palladino were set to open a pizza joint somewhere near Medici. Then the upscale lounge slumped, directing their concerns elsewhere--namely, saving the well-publicized club. Now, Medici is reborn and drawing multitudes. So why not try for a lesser miracle, such as taking a sledgehammer to the old Margeaux's at the end of this month and opening it up as a New York-style neighborhood pizza place by the first week of November? Well, that's the plan, according to Palladino. He promises wines by the glass, moderate prices (which somehow doesn't sound very Big Apple-ish) and "good people-watching" from the patio. All those pretty people cramming into Medici, the queue of German cars stalled at the valet stand--that's scenery in Dallas. It would be a good spot to sober up, as well. The kitchen will remain open until 4 a.m. on weekends, which start Thursday night, of course. Plans are for Il Mulino chef Michael Abruzese to design the menu. The as-yet-unnamed concept "is a casual, everyday stop," Palladino says.

If you're counting, that's four in one corridor for Romano (Nick & Sam's, Il Mulino, Medici and the pizza restaurant). But Tristan Simon's fifth along Henderson Avenue, Porch, opens in November.

Land of the free: The city, in its historic struggle against the homeless, is bound to suffer a few setbacks. Some producers from BBC Radio 5 Live came across a story in the Houston Chronicle regarding Dallas' new ordinance barring organizations from feeding hungry people anywhere except designated areas. Hand one of those guys panhandling at Stemmons and Oak Lawn Avenue a bag of chips, and you're facing a fine of up to $2,000. So BBC radio personality Kirsty Gallacher called up Tina Williams of Hungerbusters out of the blue Sunday. "I just thought 'Wow, this is getting international attention,'" Williams says of the phone encounter. The ordinance goes into effect at the beginning of September, unless the Redcoats intervene.

Ideas in the making: Chef Gilbert Garza plans to start Saturday brunch service at Suze once the fury of Restaurant Week dies off... The Catalina Room on Lemmon Avenue expects to open in two or three weeks. It features "Americana food," which could mean anything but probably refers to pizza, burgers and steak...Cheap table wines, particularly blends, just don't excite snobbish American tastes. Still, Jewell's 2003 Firma stands out as a decent bottle for everyday drinkers on a budget, otherwise known as winos, for $9.99.


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