Restaurant Reviews

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La Mirabelle woos suitors
Chef-owner Francois Fotre is trolling for bidders on his upscale North Dallas French bistro La Mirabelle. No, business isn't sluggish. Fotre insists he has built a devoted following. "My February is going to beat the pants off last year's February," he brags. Rather, Fotre wants to focus on his next project: a small hotel and restaurant set to open in Little Elm on Lake Lewisville within two years, dubbed L' Auo Berge St. Antoine. Fotre plans to install a demonstration kitchen and conduct cooking classes in the five-suite hotel taking shape in a former restaurant. But don't mistake this project for a B&B. "No stinkin' breakfast for nobody," Fotre blurts. "Dinner and a room." By the way, La Mirabelle can be wooed for $225,000.

Spirit of the moment
Proffering modern American grub with a "global flare" (more fusion fodder), Zeitgeist Cafe will open March 1 in Oak Lawn's Turtle Creek Village in the space formerly occupied by the White Swan. Chef Greg Nelson, former sous chef at AquaKnox and onetime executive chef at MezzaLuna in Aspen, will head the kitchen, slinging pastas, meat, and seafood dishes as well as preparations for a hot and cold food bar. Zeitgiest is the brain-moppet of Creative Cuisine Inc., whose operating partner is Laurie Sandefer of Cafe Society fame (she shuttered the cafes and sold her interest in the coffee company some 18 months ago). James Winkler, formerly of Bistro Louise in Fort Worth, will manage the midscale restaurant and plans to plug a tightly focused, imaginative wine list into the mix.

Mixed hash
Yorkshire Place owner Dale York wants to harness the spate of residential development sprouting downtown by serving future urban dwellers dinner. Maybe by summer. York, as you may recall, operated the lunch/happy-hour/private club venue Yorkshire Club on the 48th floor of the Republic Tower before evacuating the place because of construction. He then went underground, burrowing under the building at 1700 Pacific, where Yorkshire Place opened last November with a casual cafe/grill, fine-dining room, and a trio of private dining rooms...More proof healthy dining is fiscally noxious: Safari-themed Health Hut Juice Bar & Grill, home of the Saladmaster Health & Nutrition Vacuum Cooking System, appears to be pushing up daisies after only a few months...In my review of the Chaparral Club, I referred to Frederic Stevens as executive chef. Turns out he's just a regular chef. Uwe Rudnick is head kitchen honcho.

--Mark Stuertz

E-mail Dish at [email protected].