Stein's Online

Let's pose a cosmic question: If you willingly jump among three jinxes, will they neutralize each other and spell fortune? Rick Stein seems to think so. Stein, former general manager of III Forks, has decided to thrust himself in the middle of a jinx trifecta: He's opening a classic steak house in a city cluttered with them (one); on a corner rife with restaurant casualties (two); along a strip boiling with steak house competition (three). He's calling his steak house Rick Stein's, and he's installing it along the North Dallas Tollway in the defunct Fleming's location attached to the defunct Z Tejas spot. "I've got to learn to get comfortable with that," he says of the name. "A lot of people, I think, will come to Rick Stein's before they'd come to whatever the heck else I was gonna call it." Stein says he'll serve prime steaks and fresh fish, and maybe Kobe beef at Rick Stein's, set to open sometime in August. "I don't think I'm going to turn the world upside down with any kind of new astounding cuisine," he adds. "People like their steak and potatoes." True, though the potatoes part seems to be sputtering. Stein comes from a long line of fine steak house breeding including Kirby's, Morton's, Del Frisco's, and Sam & Harry's in Washington, D.C. So he's obviously crazy--maybe like a fox.

Are our privates going limp? Street word has it that the new Phil Romano/Joe Palladino private nightclub Medici is undergoing a concept tweak due to slumping sales. Not so says Palladino, though state alcohol sales records show Medici revenues slipping 9 percent in January and 6 percent in February. "We aren't changing it so much, just maybe trying to make it a little friendlier," he adds. This warm and fuzzy campaign consists of loosening the dress code and easing door restrictions a little, now that warmer weather is breathing down our skivvies. It also means promoting Medici as a private party venue with full menu options from the Romano/Palladino restaurants Nick & Sam's and Il Mulino. But its old fashion booty shaking that may prove the biggest fortune-booster. Palladino says they've changed the music mix to stimulate bum-bumping. "People seem to be dancing all over the place," he boasts. To help out with the motion, Palladino and company have constructed a huge low-riding table and installed it on the bar floor. "There's like 30, 40, 50 people dancing on that table," he says. "It looks like you're on a bar top, only its only 3 feet high, and 30 feet long, and everyone's dancing on top of it." We suggest the dress code be tightened to require lamp shades.