Once a restaurateur reaches a certain level of success, he or she often branches out. It's nothing unusual to see a second Monica's pop up in the 'burbs or another Mi Cocina open somewhere. Well perhaps Iris owner Susie Priore doesn't understand the concept of local expansion. She's teaming with part-time Dallas resident Dennis Konopatzke to create a fine dining destination in Whitefish, Montana. Yep, you read that correctly. Seems Konopatzke, who owns a private golf community and the award-winning Great Northern Brewing Co. , wanted to serve something more than the usual brewpub fare at his tasting room. "I know nothing about restaurants," he says. "I just know enough to get someone who knows something." And that's Priore. The brewery is located on the main drag in downtown Whitefish. Priore and Iris chef Russ Hodges are designing the menu and layout. She's hoping for a grand opening in January or February--a nice vague cushion, given that construction is still in the offing while Konopatzke lines up the final investors. Still, she says, "it has the potential to be a really neat project."
New Tricks: Speaking of Iris, the restaurant is now open on Mondays, a day of rest for most upscale kitchens... Standard just started lunchtime operations, serving standout chef Tim Byres' take on the usual alliterative midday menu of soups, sandwiches and substantial salads. "We've got a brie burger that will knock your socks off," he reports. Should make for some interesting (and aromatic) afternoon meetings when people return to the office from lunch... Bombay Sapphire's global ambassador, Jamie Walker, reports a 10 percent jump in sales of gin to Dallas inebriates. Guess that means we're becoming stodgy. What's next, bad teeth?...The guy who painted up the Good Latimer tunnel--Thornton--will unveil 13 new works at Zubar October 19 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
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Unstrained: Probably won't see anyone from Addison down at Zubar that evening. The city proclaimed October 19 Mercy Day. Nope, nothing to do with sparing lives or kindness or other acts no longer in vogue. Rather, it's in honor of the wine bar known as Mercy located at Belt Line Road and the Tollway. To celebrate this important government decree, the hip establishment will host what they call a pressing that evening, urging women to stomp around barefoot in a big tub of grapes for a small donation. All proceeds from the event, including money culled from babes with permanent purple stains on their feet, go to the Red Cross hurricane relief fund.