i guess everyone has their idea of someone they’d like to emulate. maybe a mother or father. a mentor. a rich tycoon. maybe it’s a well-curated mish mosh of personalities.
the past week i haven’t been able to get ROF’s and my friend louie out of our mind. he passed away this week – way too early.
we met louie through some very close friends of ours. his restaurant soon became our meeting place. after long days, before big parties, when wives were traveling or husbands worked late. the meeting place. unassuming – in fact almost obscure – louie’s didn’t have any windows but the minute you walked in, you felt at ease. the best pizza, best salmon and ceasar salad like no other – Louie’s in east dallas was the place to be. louie, the co-owner and bartender was always there to greet us, shake our hand and stop and talk to us for a while. he kept the place open late for us and always made us laugh. his trademark voice was scratchy, multi-toned and riddled with midwestern sarcasm. he wasn’t the overly friendly, cheesy type that grinned from ear to ear 24/7 kind of person (thank God!) he worked hard and had hard core conversations with all the folks at the bar that had an opinion.
when i moved to michigan, i came back to dallas and of course, went to louie’s. louie was asking me about michigan and he left a voice message for ROF who was not there. so i have the friendly “heyyyy robert…” message in my phone.
after reading all the wonderful articles on louie, i started to really think about what it was about him i liked. i realized that those attributes he has are ones i really want. when i think about my career and where i want to go and do in the future, i think about louie and louie’s, the restaurant. making people feel welcome and happy, serving good food and good drinks, working with family and making the people you work with family. what more in the world would you want?
my heart and prayers go out to louie’s wife, three kids, mom and brother. also to our good friends who loved louie so much and to casey, john, beth and all the folks at louie’s who i know are still working but without hearing that trademark scratchy riff of a voice we all came to know and love so much. the world has become a better place because of you, louie!
if you’re ever in the big d, meaning dallas, check out some of our favorite places to eat. sure, you can peruse yelp.com in search of strangers reviews and taste bud preferences but why do that when you can see what we like. this by no means is an exhaustive list, just a start.
Get the flounder stuffed with ritz cracker – outstanding! on greenville avenue
start with the ahi tuna tower and then you must have the sundae roll. also on greenville ave.
cane russo. best pizza without a doubt. this is the dessert pizza. go. here. now. hip atmosphere too. if you’re into social media, tweet about @canerusso because the owner jay will retweet you! in deep ellum.
- a must visit place with bar in center of restaurant. get anything – it’s all great. on greenville
i say finally because i had heard about it from several people including suzanne and some friends of the glasses and always wanted to check it out but didn’t have the chance.
until last night.
what an underground dinner is - at least the chef dat way – is you get on an email list and every week there is a dinner – or a couple of dinners – that you can attend by giving your cc number and reserving your space. space is extremely limited. you do this without knowing what is going to be on the menu or knowing the location of the dinner. you kind of know the area, but not exact location. so if you’re one of of these types that can’t go with the flow -in terms of being a picky eater- this is not for you.
chef dat is david anthony temple a 28 year old chef who has been doing this for 3 years and has built quite a following. he has chef dat dinners now in new orleans (where he’s from), hawaii and ft. worth (new).
we went with the st. peter’s – two of the nicest people we know – and a lot of fun! they own hypnotic donuts in east dallas (dangerously close to our house!)
will we do it again? heck yes! great music, drinks, food and company – we had a blast. chef dat came out before every course and told us what is in it, how and where he got it and how he created it. local ingredients, unique and creative ideas and delicious. what a fun night.
it sure can!
at least on april 21 from 7pm – 10pm it will be when the dallas event “accessible luxury” takes place at ‘park place premier collection’ benefiting the wonderful scottish rite hospital in dallas.
do you know what scottish rite hospital does for children all over texas?
TSRHC treats texas children with orthopedic conditions, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders and limb length differences, as well as certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders, such as dyslexia. scottish rite has treated more than 200,000 children since it opened its doors in 1921 (!)
so come to the event on april 21st with me!
click here for more info.
i can tell you what i’m excited about the most:
helloooo….Oscar de la Renta fashions will be taking the runway at 8 p.m. featuring Model Citizens and Campbell-Wagner models.
sip champagne and check out the gems from eiseman jewels. browse the collection of texas native and jewelry designer katie decker.
ROF is going to dig this!
MASERATI MAN CAVE: cavern showcasing Beretta’s polished apparel and gear awaits you for an evening of luxury cars, specialty drinks and hand-rolled cigars.
all for a fantastic cause!
not a big post today/tonight. but so glad to be in the big nyc. nothing beats this city – nothing. the energy, the diversity – something i miss while in dallas. i loved sitting at dinner tonight and listening to the folks next to us speaking some language i don’t think was spanish, french or german but definitely wasn’t english. then going to the corner shop to the korean guy selling me my orange juice. sounds real stupid to some people but feeling a bit land-locked in the ole big D. so good to be here!
this is way out of my comfort zone to speak on but i think about how hard the kids work to get good grades and finish half of college before they even become a senior in high school. that is very good and admirable (don’t get me wrong!) but think that also the lesson of life and travel is good too. you see, you can stay in a place and do really well at school and see the same people and then leave and go away to college – anywhere – or say, NYC and find you’ve run a good race but because your eyes are now open to different things, it was maybe, well… maybe the wrong race you ran!
how old were you when you came to the big d?
first time was the summer of 1992, i was 22 years old.
why did you come here?
i was a summer intern with fults companies – a bad ass commercial real estate firm. we were on the 14th floor in the crescent tower #300 in uptown, i thought i was jr ewing, it was a cool place to be.
what do you like most about dallas?
hands down – the entrepreneurial spirit that this city has is like no other in my book.
where is the best place to go for pre-cowboy game imbibing?
at the old stadium i have great memories of the blue lot. for years i tailgated with the same crew. my good friend todd jones a.k.a. the tailgate king was the best host for all home games. each week he would go out and set up as soon as the lot opened, sometimes before day break in the early morning. great memories! at the new stadium the lots are so scattered and traffic is so bad, usually go inside the stadium and have a few drinks at the hall of fame bar. jerry’s “death star” is cool and big and has great seats and amenities, but I loved and miss the old times in the blue lot.
three best places to have a power lunch with a potential client?
in this order:
1, the mercury
2, sevy’s grill
3. kampai sushi & grill
if this one current deal closes that i am working on, kampai will move to the top of the list. all parties involved have meet there a few times for lunch meetings.
two really fun happy hour places?
st. pete’s dancing marlin, great vibe and atmosphere and primo’s, fyi – started going here in 1992 way before it was such a hot spot
best waiter in dallas?
very hard to say, this city is fun of great restaurant staff. if i had to pick one – my dear friend emma, the fun & sassy girl with the new jersey accent behind the bar at the original bob’s chop house on lemmon ave.
best mexican restaurant?
i would have to say ojetas, the original one on maple ave. great food and great staff.
if you could hold a happy hour with 5 people who would they be – living or dead – and where would you hold it?
a.j. foyt – hall of fame racecar driver
jim krause – amy’s father
amy fulford – the wife
bono – u2 front man and humanitarian
john wooden – former ucla basketball coach
at bob’s in dallas on lemmon. both jim krause and i knew bob very well.