OUT OF THE MOUTH OF AVNER

Ok, it’s no secret that Avner Samuel is my favorite chef. Aurora is by far the most cutting-edge restaurant in this city and Avner, who turns 50 next week, has been making headlines–and damn fine food–in Dallas for 26 years. He commutes regularly to France and returns to his kitchen on Oak Lawn and spins out innovative European cuisine. So I was concerned when I learned that he was about to expand not only to the George location, but to Las Vegas. His past track record hasn’t been great when he’s attempted to be two places at once, only to wind up nowhere at all. I spoke with him minutes ago and here are snippets of our conversation:

“It is my time to make money. … I can cook as good as Alain Ducasse and every time he comes to Dallas, he eats at my restaurant. … He makes $150 million, so it is time for me to start thinking about that level of business. … It is time to expand and do the things I need to do. … I’ve gotten more mature and humble and now I understand what to do. … I am going to open Urban Bistro Mediterranean Cuisine, a low-priced Bistro A-style restaurant [in the George space next month]. … Then I’m going to take it to Coppell and Plano. … Then at the end of next year, I will take Aurora to Vegas, where I am currently looking over four deals.”

Then he yelled at me because I never come across the street to eat lunch at Aurora.

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