Hash Over: Pappas Alumni Return And A Cougar Hunter Branches Out

The old Rick Stein's, soon to be the new Tre Amici.

Every so often the planets slip completely out of alignment and all kinds of improbable things occur. Just yesterday, for example, Judd Fruia said of his soon-to-open Tre Amici restaurant in North Dallas, “the wine list is too big—I have to cut it back.”

Now, this is man who, as general manager of Pappas Bros., stocked $70,000 plus bottles, commissioned the world’s largest smokeable cigar, served crabs the size of Smart Cars, created the one-pound Kobe burger and even installed a helipad for guests keen on copterin’ in for dinner. He’s not the sort to cut back on anything.

What’s next—a month of Sundays? The Age of Ragnarok? Dick Cheney humbly apologizing for, well, everything?

Fruia’s new concept is slated to open in the old Rick Stein’s location on or around December 10. He refers to Tre Amici as an Italian steakhouse, the first of it’s kind in Dallas, although it may be more apt to consider the restaurant a cross between Pappas Bros. steaks and Il Molino’s upgraded Italian dishes—without the cost. “We are very aggressively priced,” he promises, using aggressive in a good sense.

In the kitchen: Tim Soufan, a graduate of Cordon Bleu in France whose guidance counselor nightmare career sent him bouncing from Sky Chefs to the Pappas chain (where he and Fruia met), on to Denny’s (some people credit, or perhaps blame, him for saving the operation), Not Your Average Joe’s, Brinker and elsewhere. “He’s a legend in the major chains,” Fruia says. “The city doesn’t know him—yet.”

Final touches are going in now. Crews gutted the space, crating off, redesigning or painting over just about everything but the woodwork.

Oh, and they put in a helipad. Fruia hasn’t lost his composure completely.


A former associate of Fruia’s at Pappas Bros., Charles Leon, fronts another soon-to-open restaurant, Coast Global Seafood in Plano. The staff have staging and stocking and practicing for just five days now as they work out kinks for a mid-December kick off.

Coast occupies prime fountain-viewing space in Legacy II, near RA and Gordon Biersch, amongst a bunch of storefronts promoting three or four more restaurants “coming soon.”


Mr. Dallas, the upscale ne’er do well and famed big game (i.e. cougar) hunter from the Dallas Morning News, makes his Playboy debut in mid-January: a guide to the city’s, shall we say groovy, nightlife venues. Unfortunately for those who plan their outings from the office, his guide will be online only. So unless your company’s IT department is rather lax… --Dave Faries

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Dave Faries
Contact: Dave Faries