Fox in the Steakhouse

Silver Fox, the prime steak vision jointly dreamed by Gene Street and III Forks founder Dale Wamstad (a.k.a. Capt. Bob Cooper and Del Frisco) finally opened in Grapevine a week ago Wednesday after the projected April opening date came and went. But there are still a few crinkles to contend with. "We're working the kinks out," says Street, whose Consolidated Restaurant Co. bought into Wamstad's III Forks last year. "It's not as easy to hire a seasoned steakhouse crew in that area." Riddled with dripping red meat, Johnny Bravo-do lettuce wedges, spinach and acres of red wine, the Silver Fox menu has few surprises. But there is a subtle food gag (not the retching kind) here and there, such as the dinner for two. It's described as a "12-ounce filet for the gentleman, 8-ounce filet for the lady...all for the Republican price of $55 in honor of our tax cut." And you didn't know Wamstad and Street fancy themselves as tax collectors. Despite the fact that former Cantina Laredo hand Mark Loebs is the managing partner of this dark, clubby steakhouse, Wamstad is there nightly, according to Street, keeping his fingers in the gears while Street keeps III Forks greased. "I tell you he's out there in the kitchen," says Street. "He's...grillin'."

Stephan Pyles, longtime chic Dallas grub minstrel and short-time corporate employee of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, says he has toned down his travel schedule to spend time enjoying his new house (which he almost sold before he moved in) and laying down plans for a new restaurant. That project will be a more refined yet downscale Dallas venue showcasing the style of Southwestern cuisine that made Star Canyon the got-to-get-in-there-and-flaunt venue for the glitterati and their wannabes. He also says he plans to create another taqueria with a more casual street sensibility (i.e., no table service), similar to his original conception of Taqueria Cañonita, which he says swerved astray a bit in the hands of Carlson. His new restaurant should open before November 2002...Dallas Texadelphia founder Tom Landis says his company just sold the Texadelphia expansion rights for Denton, Lubbock and El Paso. He also says he's locked up plans with Brinker International to hold a "corporate summit" in July gathering 40 leading area restaurateurs together to discuss English as a second language programs for restaurant employees.

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Mark Stuertz
Contact: Mark Stuertz