Fresh Fruit

Never know when a craving for chicken tajine might strike, but just hang on. Rocky Boustani signed a deal to set up an upscale Moroccan restaurant called Tangerine in the space once occupied by Sipango. Expect mostly authentic cuisine with a few contemporary touches and a couple nods to the local palate (read: sea bass). Otherwise, lots of savory meat dishes spiked with figs and almonds, unusual couscous renditions and pastries. Crews began renovation by hanging large imported doors at the entry. They are now pounding away on the interior, which will include colorful mosaics picked up overseas. In fact, Boustani imported all furnishings for the new spot from his home country, including chef Bahia Flayou. He plans to open November 1, contingent on acquisition of that all-important liquor license.

Back and forth: Information released to the media and published by several outlets suggested that Alberto Lombardi shut down his West End institution, 311 Lombardi, because of the fading downtown scene. In a statement posted on D magazine's Frontburner, for example, he claimed "the lack of customer traffic and a convention center that was closed for nearly three years have made it impossible for us to continue in our downtown location." Might as well blame FEMA, too. His former landlord, however, has another view. Closing the place after almost 20 years "was not Mr. Lombardi's decision," according to a spokesperson from R. M. Crowe, the firm that owns and manages the suddenly vacant building... Republic recently reopened under old management, bringing back the old staff. Now the original team is ready to return food service to their repertoire, just like the old Republic. Beginning "Friday or Saturday"--the hesitant prediction of part-owner Jason Quiroga--the libation spot will offer a tapas menu featuring such things as bruschetta with portobello mushrooms and goat cheese, artichokes in phyllo pastry and the like. Expect prices in the $3 to $5 range.

In the cards: The newest gambit at Go Fish in Addison is cigar and spirits tastings centered around Monday Night Football. Don't worry, liquor and tobacco reps will hold their spiel until halftime. Parties start in about two weeks, if they iron out details...A third location of the ever popular Sal's Pizza will open in about two weeks across from Medical City. Sal & Joe's Pizza owner Kenny Jakova teams with a cousin on this venture, which resembles Sal's, menu-wise. Not a bad thing, really. Lunch rush at the Plano location was so busy Tuesday the restaurant ran out of pepperoni.

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Dave Faries
Contact: Dave Faries

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