Restaurant Reviews

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Luscher to exit Routh Street
Prominent chef Brian C. Luscher will depart Routh Street Brewery July 15 to join Mike McMahan of Mac's Bar & Grill as corporate executive chef. Through his company Mariah Corp., McMahan will upgrade Mac's Bar & Grill restaurants in Plano, Arlington, and Midland as well as develop an eclectic collection of restaurants similar to Richard Melman's Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc. venues in Chicago. He hopes to open four metroplex restaurants within two years, the first a fine dining-jazz club slated to open next March in an undetermined location. Luscher will do everything from develop menus to assist with kitchen designs for the company. "[McMahan] has basically given me free rein," he adds. Luscher has been with Routh Street since late 1996.

Tarazza to get redo
In a move prompted by sluggish weekday dinner business, Tarazza Restaurant & Bar owner Mary Cloutier is overseeing a makeover of the Travis Walk restaurant, transforming it from an upscale chic venue into a more casual spot with lunch service. The emphasis on seafood will remain, though the menu will be less exotic, with stronger Mediterranean influences. Changes include a fresh color scheme, the addition of whimsical murals, the removal of the baby grand piano, a new logo, and a name change to Tarazza Sky Room. Renovations will be completed July 6, with lunch service to begin July 13. Cloutier launched Tarazza some 18 months ago with partner--now husband--Costa Arabtarabatzis. The pair also owns Zizikis Restaurant & Bar, a Mediterranean-style bistro, which they opened in Travis Walk four years ago.

List watch
Lubbock-based Cap Rock Winery will be the second Texas wine company this year to launch a metroplex tasting room in Grapevine, bringing the total number of wineries in that 'burb to five. Ivanhoe-based Homestead Winery officially opened a Grapevine tasting room last month. Owned by the holding company for Plains National Bank of Lubbock and producing roughly 40,000 cases annually, Cap Rock is the fourth largest of Texas' 27 wineries, bottling sparkling brut, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Muscat Canelli, and various blends. The tasting room will open August 8 in the former Grapevine City Hall building on Main Street. Cap Rock officials are also evaluating a relocation of its headquarters to Grapevine or Dallas within two years. Besides Homestead Winery, Cap Rock joins La Bodega Winery, La Buena Vida Vineyards, and Delany Vineyards in Grapevine's Vintage District.

--Mark Stuertz

E-mail Dish at [email protected].