A few months ago, news broke that Nick Amoriello, the up-and-comer who once helmed the kitchen at Uptown’s trendy So & So’s, would be moving to North Dallas mainstay Sevy’s Grill. That short experiment has already ended.
Just two months into his tenure at Sevy’s Grill, Nick Amoriello has abandoned ship. The move came quietly last week, with no melodramatic meltdowns or expletive-laden Twitter rants as we would have hoped. Amy Severson, co-owner of Sevy’s Grill, confirmed the departure via email, declining to say anything more than the standard “we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Amoriello was equally diplomatic. When reached via email, Amoriello said: “It was a pleasure having an inside look on how a very traditional 18-year-old Dallas dining institution is operated. I wish them continued success for many more years to come.” In the days following his departure, Amoriello has already landed a gig at a highly-anticipated, soon-to-open restaurant on Lower Greenville.
Both Amoriello and Jim Severson, the restaurant’s co-owner and chef for the past eighteen years, are Culinary Institute of America graduates, which was likely part of Amoriello’s appeal for the restaurant. When we spoke with Severson at the time of Amoriello’s hiring, he’d gone into So & So’s for dinner with the family and liked what the chef was doing. Still, it doesn’t seem as if Amoriello was ever able to really implement any fundamental changes to the menu at Sevy’s.
Diners likely never even noticed that Amoriello left, which is disappointing. Even if a restaurant has been successful for nearly 20 years, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t always an opportunity to grow. As we’ve seen with plenty of other long-standing Dallas institutions, innovation, at however slow a pace, is still incredibly important in the restaurant business. Stephan Pyles may never take that damn cowboy ribeye off the menu, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t constantly thinking up new, progressive dishes.
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In Amoriello, Sevy’s had found a reliably talented way to move into the future. Now, it seems, it will just continue to be a place to take your parents to get a really good steak.