Smoking new restaurant in Richardson
Instead of expanding right after initial success, it's better to wait 'til you're truly established -- CSI was wildly popular from the start, but they held off two years before deciding that what happens in Vegas could actually happen in any other metropolitan area. Now expanding on his own initial success, the man behind Peace Pipe Cafe, opening today.
Pipe's a Medi-American eatery helmed by the Lebanon-born former antique dealer behind the same-named hookah lounge three doors down; after giving his sister operation time to breathe, he bathed this former pizza joint in warm tans, browns, and reds, then decked it out with selections from his personal antique & art stash, walnut-top tables from the defunct Voltaire, and a carved-onyx chandelier that once hung in Pat Summerall's home, where it replied "That's right" to any statement issued by John Madden's chandelier. He's hired four cooks (one from Ali Baba, one from...Cowboys Stadium) to prepare apps like hummus topped w/ pine nuts/almonds/spiced meat and beef/lamb-packed kibbeh shells, as well as entrees such as "Sharhat Ghannam" (lemon/herb grilled lamb), "Salmon Harra" (in pine nut/cilantro sauce), and the pulled-chicken-and-cheese sandwich "Djaj M'Sahab" -- which non-Arabic speakers will pronounce the same with or without a mouth stuffed with chicken. Meanwhile, indigenous items include pizza, rotisserie chicken, prime rib, and chicken fried steak; all meats are served in accordance with Islamic dietary rules, which, for your belly's sake, shouldn't be confused with Islamic on-a-diet rules.
Pipe's alcohol-free to start, though a BYOB policy's under advisement; also being considered is a roaming cart-style small-plate service for lunch, like dim sum in China, a place where what happens does tend to stay.