Hash Over

Peter Tarantino, erstwhile restaurant owner who operated Tarantino's Restaurant, Bar & Lounge near Fair Park, is having a bumpy ride looking for that "good job" he expressed an interest in after Tarantino's literally went down the toilet (bad plumbing). His gig with Shannon Wynn's Eight 0 Management Inc., where Tarantino was poised to dust off the menus and tweak operations of Eight 0's Flying Saucer restaurants as well as the 8.0 Restaurant in Fort Worth and maybe launch a new concept, was derailed. "Driving two hours every day was too much," he says of the Fort Worth 8.0 challenge. "And I don't think they were ready for a Peter Tarantino."

He didn't explain what Tarantino-ready might mean, but someone in Addison appears to think they have the necessary body armor to take him on. Tarantino has hooked up with Brinker alumnus Anthony Vermea and his soon-to-be-open restaurant up near Belt Line and Midway called Caribbean Red, which will serve an amalgam of Latin/island cuisines.

Tarantino's brother Patrick, who once manned the kitchen at Tarantino's, is helping with menu development before he jets off to Los Angeles to take a position with Wyndham Hotels to assist them with menu development. Tarantino says the restaurant, set to open sometime this month, will be midscale to upscale. "We want to go with four-star cuisine with a three-and-a-half star attitude," Tarantino says. "The waiters aren't going to be wearing ties and stupid coconut dresses." That extra half-star in attitude must make restaurant people daffy.

Toscana is poised for reincarnation. Shared Vision President Tim Hager says that after months of hobnobbing with a variety of suitors, the shuttered Toscana has been sold, picked up by Alvin Granoff of the Stoneleigh Hotel. Though Hager won't disclose the price, he says it was a straight cash deal, which he seemed happy about. Granoff, who is out of the country, will open the spot sometime early next year as Eccolo. "Not E. coli," stresses Hager. Even restaurant company presidents flirt with irony once in a while. What other plans does Hager have for Shared Vision? "The Med is not for sale," he says of Mediterraneo. But he adds the company is zeroing in on a couple of acquisition targets that won't be consumed before the end of the year...It looks like Mignon, the nearly opened French steak house sitting idle in Lakeside Market in Plano, is going to open after all. Last week, the Plano City Council voted 7-1 to grant Mignon, a restaurant created by a division of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, a special-use permit to serve alcohol. The council had earlier quashed a request by the restaurant's real estate developer by the same 7-1 vote after the project ran afoul of a city zoning ordinance that prohibits alcohol service in a venue located within 300 feet of residential zones. So the developer proposed a 40-inch-high screening wall between the restaurant and the nearby neighborhood, among other modifications. Mignon should open sometime in early fall. Just a few feet away and a couple of days after the Plano City Council vote, another project with Carlson links opened its doors. Taqueria Cañonita, Stephan Pyles' Mexico City taqueria--which had, prior to its restaurant in Lakeside Market, only existed in Las Vegas--began serving tacos and tostadas August 31, with a good view of the plywood sheets covering Mignon's windows.