December 1, 2006
The new “it” restaurant has arrived. Walter Iser and chef Ryan Blanchard of Walter’s Bistro, along with their new partners Chuck Whalen and Rick Norris, have opened their new restaurant: Plate, World Cuisine, 9420 Briar Village Point (behind the new Salsa Brava location). They have turned the space into an eye-popping ultra-urban eatery that any New York restaurateur would be plenty proud of. It’s drop-dead gorgeous, with curvy lines along the ceiling, a waterfall behind the bar and old-world-style restrooms that are simply stunning. And the menu Blanchard has dreamed up is so much fun. It’s like taking a culinary trip without buying an expensive ticket. The night we dined there, he was featuring foods from Spain, Latin America, Italy, Japan and France, as well as New American food. There were two appetizers, a salad and a choice of entree to be made among two from each country. On our global trot we picked the Kalua Pig Wonton Tacos ($7) from the New American appetizer selections. Then we had the Salad Nicoise ($8) from France and the Arugula and Fig Salad ($8) from Italy. Then we moved on to entrees: Paella ($26) from Spain and Peruvian Roast- ed Chicken ($16) from Latin America. Every dish was prepared expertly with the correct flavor notes we expected from each cuisine. And, as you can see, the prices are affordable, starting at $6 and topping out at $30 for Roasted Maine Lobster. Save room for dessert. We shared the Cheesecake Tempura and Fruit Sushi ($7), which came attractively served on a large, square white plate with four compartments. One held the fruit sushi, sweet sticky rice rolled around fresh raspberries. Another held three balls of fried cheesecake. The other two compartments held a bowl of chocolate dipping sauce and a bowl of raspberry dipping sauce. The finishing touch was a pair of chocolate chopsticks that you actually could use to pick up the “tempura” and “sushi.” Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for brunch on Sundays, after which an interim menu is available until the dinner menu is available, from 5 to 9 p.m. Call 475-8000 for reservations. Minimum wage thoughts A recent Table Talk column about the minimum wage prompted this response: “I was totally amazed at the article about the new pay raises for restaurant employees,” Patricia Harris wrote in an e-mail. “You didn’t mention how much the owners make a year. Can they not absorb most or at least some of the cost? I am sure none of them are living at the Red Cross shelter and try to get their families fed on $3 to $5 an hour. Life is tough and they do not seem to care how tough it is for their employees. Many years ago, I was a waitress and things have not really changed much for the wait staff or the owners.” Switching gears Restaurant space rarely stays vacant for long. Here are some spaces that have new owners or new owners on the way. - Burger City, 3357 Cinema Point (near the Cinemark theater on Powers Boulevard) has new owners, Elliot and Renee Sousa. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and Sundays; and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. - Wong’s Kitchen Restaurant, 1014 S. 21st St., is now House of Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. for lunch and 4-8:30 p.m. for dinner Mondays-Fridays; and 1-9 p.m. Saturdays. - Mr. G’s Diner, 132 W. Cimarron St., will reopen as Mr. B’s, a barbecue joint. - The Sports Page, 965 Summer Games Drive, will reopen as Horton’s Sports Page. CONTACT US: Please join our blog to discuss restaurant issues at gazettedine.blogspot.com. Send tips about restaurant openings, closings, menu changes and food specials to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 636-0271. Do you own or manage a restaurant? Send us your e-mail address so we can keep in touch and let diners know what you’re doing.