What's Eric Eating Episode 21
Preview of new restaurant, exciting openings, and best bars in the world are hot podcast topics
Get an in-depth preview of one of this year's most anticipated new restaurants on this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating." Emmaline owner Sam Governale and chef Dimitri Voutsinas join CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss the neighborhood restaurant that's slated for a "mid-fall" opening in the space formerly occupied by Teala's on West Dallas.
Governale and Voutsinas go through their roots in the restaurant business and discuss the circumstances that led to their working together. Then they dive into much of what diners can expect from Emmaline, including its overall atmosphere, style of cuisine, and the restaurants in New York that inspired its direction. Governale explains that Emmaline will include elements of an Italian-style trattoria with pizzas, pastas, and a great wine list but also be able to handle more extravagant multi-course dinners.
As a former operating partner at Fleming's, Governale brings a huge network of relationships and lots of experience to his new project, but how is he balancing his personal vision for Emmaline's cuisine with letting Voutsinas has some creative control over the food?
That's something he and I often speak about, because I do want to honor and respect absolutely his craft, his trade, and his talent. I think we've been able to do that with, again, going back to that philosophy of what we believe makes a spot really work and makes it easy. For me, the menu, having accessibility, at least on paper, is a component of hospitality. It's important to me.
I want to make people feel comfortable. I want people to be able to come in any time of the day and feel comfortable either indulging or not. I want it to just be a place where people are comfortable coming. From there, we can do a whole number of things from a culinary standpoint that he can jump off into.
Finally, the conversation turns to the role Voutsinas played in assisting Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Working alongside chef Richard Knight at the Midtown Kitchen Collective, Voutsinas helped lead the team that prepared over 100,000 meals for evacuees, volunteers, and first responders.
Prior to the Emmaline interview, Urban Swank blogger Shanna Jones joins Sandler to discuss the news of the week. Topics include the recent openings of places like JuiceLand in Montrose and Cloud 10 Creamery in the Heights and Anvil being named one of the best bars in the world. As a follow up to a recent discussion about funds that are assisting members of the hospitality who suffered during Harvey, Sandler notes that Southern Smoke is now accepting applications for financial assistance.
In the restaurants of the week segment, Jones and Sandler recount their recent trip to Katy, where they dined on lobster rolls at recently opened Cape Cod Cafe Express, soup dumplings at Tiger Noodle House, and Instagrammable treats at Stacked Ice Cream. Just look at this: