Restaurant Reviews

Hash Over

Restaurant crash?
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that stock market fluctuations are sending shivers through the New York restaurant scene. The Big Apple's dining frequency is in decline, high-end spending growth is flat, and restaurant closings have increased sharply. Will the same fate befall Dallas? According to the Texas Restaurant Association, restaurant numbers for the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area are all healthy. In fact, a recent survey ranked Dallas and Fort Worth second (in a tie with Atlanta) in per capita dining frequency, racking up 4.4 meals a week away. Houston topped the 45-city ranking, logging 4.6 meals, while New York settled in at 19th with a dining frequency of 3.3 meals a week.

Hash seasonings
Rumors that Le Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe will settle into the former Clive & Stuart's Island Seafood space on McKinney appear to be inoperative. "They can't seem to find a pen," says a source close to the situation. Apparently, the company is too preoccupied with other ventures to commit to signing a lease..."Flavors with a French twist coming soon to McKinney," reads a banner plastered on the front awning of the former Coco Pazzo space just down the street. What's slipping in? Word is restaurateur Alberto Lombardi (Lombardi's, Lombardi Mare) will transform it into a brasserie to open sometime before February 1...Former Lone Wolf Executive Chef Richard Santiago joins Tarantino's Restaurant, where he'll team up with chef-owner Patrick Tarantino in the creation of a new fall-winter menu.

List watch
Macallan whisky maker David Robertson had a recent stopover in Dallas to show off the Macallan 1946 Single Highland Malt Scotch, the oldest single malt ever released by the distillery for purchase. Yet other than the novelty of age, it's hard to see what all the fuss is about. Far paler than Macallan's 12-year-old single malt or the 18-year-old Gran Reserva, this 52-year-old Scotch was distilled under the limitations of post-war shortages: The barley was kilned primarily with peat instead of coal, and aged in third- or fourth-level Sherry casks instead of first-level. The resultant flavors and aromas strike as overly resinous and are stingy in spice and fruit essences. But stinginess will get you nowhere if you want a sip. A 1.5-ounce pour at Pappas Brothers Steakhouse runs $250.

--Mark Stuertz

E-mail Dish at [email protected].

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Mark Stuertz
Contact: Mark Stuertz