Zaytinya is the star of the restaurant game at The Star in Frisco

Like all Renaissance men, Iron Chef and Puerto Rico peacekeeper Jose Andres is effortlessly graceful (and alarmingly good) at everything he does

Which sums up Zaytinya to a fault.

The new Frisco spot, a partnership between the chef’s restaurant group and Turkey-based d.ream, is exceedingly attractive. The service is attentive but never uncomfortably so. And the food, well, the food is superb.

Quelle surprise.

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Just the second U.S. outpost — the other is in Washington, D.C . — Zaytinya’s North Texas location might strike some as curious, but one visit to The Star in Frisco, and you’ll see the Mediterranean-influenced restaurant is in good company. (See accompanying story.)

Still, I can’t see choosing any of the other options over this elegant ode to Turkish, Greek and Lebanese food.

You’re in able hands the moment you walk through the doors into the bright-white dining room, where the staff is warm, and has more than a clue. And as you’re led to your table, various open kitchens provide glimpses of the assured dance of veteran cooks.

The vibe: At the time we visited, the restaurant was less than a week old, but Zaytinya was giving a clinic in stellar service. Bread appeared on the table moments after we settled into our seats, our water was zealously refilled once it ventured into half-empty territory, and when a certain someone who has an uncanny knack for needing the facilities the very moment any food is deposited on the table required a trip to the restroom, a staff member materialized and offered to lead the way.

Our Sunday early dinner saw the main room perhaps half-full, yet many patrons seemed to sport a certain smug expression. Andres acolytes view the man as virtually infallible. Knowing this, who could ever doubt that the meal to come would be anything less than exceptional?

The food: Think Mediterranean tapas, and you’re on the right track. "Sharing is caring" is encouraged here, with the menu composed of types of mezze, or appetizer, plates. And with head chef Jonathan Thompson, who helped open chef Stephan Pyles’ Samar and Stampede 66 in Dallas, at the helm, you know you’re in more-than-capable hands.

First, puffy pylons of bread, not unlike the discs served at Fort Worth’s long-missed Hedary’s, are placed at various posts on the table. Dusted with a light cornmeal, the bread was airy and a delicious vehicle in which to gather the oil and pomegranate molasses mixture, which comes in a small bowl.

The hummus ma lahm ($9) was unlike any hummus I’ve ever had. A pool of near-pureed chickpeas surrounded a mound of ground lamb. Pickled julienned parsnips and pine nuts serves as garnish for texture, and I could have eaten just the smooth dip all night long.

The mushroom saganaki ($12) was a generous serving of wild mushrooms interspersed with silky sun-dried tomatoes and melty nubs of salty cheese. The mushroom lover at the table was in heaven, and yet the earthiness quotient was off the charts. It was almost — almost — too much of a good thing, and I did wish we had more adults at the table with whom we could share. Kids + mushrooms = disaster (or at least to my offspring).

Even more crowd-pleasing, however, were the Greek fries ($6), a cone of superior spuds I wish had existed when I wrote an article on the area’s best fries. The golden-brown lengthy spears, crispy on the outside and super-creamy on the inside, were perfect for dunking into the tzatziki-esque accompaniment — and for mopping up any errant hummus.

A touch more highbrow were the sea scallops ($14), two large, luscious beauties wading in a pool of dill yogurt and paper-thin radishes. The seared spheres were exceptional, just a touch briny, and topped with a sesame rose seasoning that added spicy oomph.

On terra firma, the chicken shish taouk ($20) and beef keftedes ($10) were also accomplished takes. Grilled pieces of juicy chicken with a garlicky white sauce went into the bread, which went into the little ones’ mouths quite quickly, and the two beef and lamb meatballs, dusted with feta and allspice, rivaled the heartiness of the mushroom saganaki.

The verdict: We’re still dreaming of those scallops and French fries — and, come to think of it, the hummus and the mushrooms —because our dinner at Zaytinya exceeded our already-high expectations. Here’s hoping Andres is behind a new fast-speed train that might whisk Fort Worthians to Frisco in under 15 minutes. I think he has it in him.

Zaytinya
6555 Winning Drive, Suite 600Frisco972-324-3060www.zaytinya.comHours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. Brunch, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (full menu available during brunch hours)

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The Dallas Cowboys offered a sneak peak at their new practice facility, which will be shared with all Frisco ISD high schools. ezarate@star-telegram.com

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Novare Group, Batson-Cook Development readying SkyHouse arrival in Texas – Atlanta Business Chronicle

An Atlanta-based development group — including Novare Group and Batson-Cook Development Co., a subsidiary of Kajima USA — has begun construction on SkyHouse Frisco Station, a new 25-story luxury apartment in the $1.8 billion Frisco Station mixed-use development. in North Texas.

The 242-acre Frisco Station project, which is being developed in partnership with Fort Worth-based Hillwood, The Rudman Partnership and VanTrust Real Estate, was attractive to the development group because interwoven design, said Novare Group President Jim Borders.

"SkyHouse Frisco Station will be urban mixed-use social center living at its best, combining all the amenities expected from a premiere luxury development with the convenience and excitement of living within walking distance of work, restaurants, shopping, and of course, the neighboring mixed-use development The Star," Borders said in a statement.

The 25-story, 332-unit luxury apartment tower will include studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments with a 25th floor Sky Deck amenity floor for residents that includes a resort-style pool, outdoor kitchen, fireplaces, a pool table and shuffleboard.

The residential tower also includes a fitness center, dog spa, business center with a coffee bar and Wi-Fi throughout the common areas of the community.

The Frisco Station development group wanted to bring in a residential option that would appeal to a wide range of would-be residents, from young professionals to empty-nesters, said Mike Berry, president of Hillwood, which is the master developer of Frisco Station.

"SkyHouse is an essential addition to Frisco Station to help us meet this growing demand," Berry said, adding the amenities and features complement the existing Station House community, which will begin deliver apartments this summer.

Upon full build-out, Frisco Station is expected to have 2,400 urban-style apartments in the growing Frisco corridor.

The SkyHouse Frisco Station residents will live in The Hub neighborhood of the development, which, upon completion, will include more than 200,000 square feet of restaurant and bar concepts, entertainment and retail shops. The Hub will also include 600 hotel rooms through the dual-branded AC Hotel and Residence Inn by Marriott, and a Canopy by Hilton.

The luxury apartment tower is being built with the help of a venture with Stockbridge Capital Group with Compass Bank and Trustmark Bank providing the construction financing.

Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart is the project architect. Balfour Beatty Construction is the general contractor. Upon completion, this will be the Atlanta-based development group’s 18th project in the United States.

A construction timeline was not immediately available Friday morning.

Atlanta’s Top 5 Commercial Office Developers

Ranked by Square feet developed, 2016-2017*

Rank Company Square feet developed, 2016-2017* 1 KDC Real Estate Development and Investments 1,800,000 2 Cousins Properties Inc. 1,019,000 3 Seven Oaks Co. LLC 504,500 View This List

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Texas Autism Expert Added to TSD Conference Lineup

Texas Autism Expert Added to TSD Conference Lineup

Jo Mascorro, an autism and behavioral expert with nearly four decades of experience in education and training, is presenting the March 10 keynote as part of next month’s TSD Conference in Frisco, Texas.

Mascorro, a San Antonio native, previously presented at TSD about a decade ago. She previously worked for Education Service Center 20 as an education specialist and later as a behavior managment specialist in addition to serving as a consultant to the Texas Education Agency and Texas Rehabilitation Commission. She has been a private consultant since 1991.

Her keynote is titled,"Where Do We All Begin? What ALL Adult Brains Should Know About ALL Student Brains When Responding to Challenging Behavior Demonstrations," which provides student transporters with valuable information on the dos and don’ts of responding to behavior on the school bus that is tied to the student’s disability. Her talk will emphasize how school bus drivers can best intervene in such incidents while keeping other students safe as well as themselves and the student in question.

Later on March 10, Mascorro dives deeper into the topic with a breakout session, "NO! DON’T! STOP! So How Exactly Is That Working for You?"

More information on Mascorro’s sessions can be found on our updated Workshop Details page.

Mascorro replaces Patrick Mulick on the agenda. Mulick, the autism coordinator for Auburn School District in Washington state, canceled last week due to health reasons.

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Food News: Michelin-Starred Chef Opens a Restaurant in Frisco, El Corazon Reopens and More

Chef José Andrés opened a new restaurant in Frisco this week.

In this week’s DFW food news roundup, a famous chef opens a famous restaurant — but not in Dallas proper — and two local restaurants reopen:

The big news in Dallas food this week: Michelin-starred chef José Andrés, famous for his above-and-beyond humanitarian work during Hurricane Maria, has opened his new Turkish restaurant, Zaytinya, at the Star in Frisco. This is the first Texas location for the famous Washington, D.C., restaurant, and the Frisco site is about to set a new bar for dining in the ‘burbs. "Taking inspiration from Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisines, Zaytinya offers an innovative mezze menu," according to a release. "With a focus on small plates, guests are encouraged to share the authentic and innovative fare." The restaurant is open for dinner, with lunch and brunch forthcoming. You can make a reservation — which we recommend — on Opentable. Yet another spot opening at Plano food hall Legacy Hall on Monday, Feb. 12: the Juice Bar, where you’ll find "chef-created juices, smoothies, pressed juice, juice cleanses and delicious and nutritious food," according to a press release. The Juice Bar opens at 7 a.m. with Legacy Hall’s other breakfast offerings: Glazed Donut Works, Berry Naked ("organic pops and purees"), Whisk & Egg, Press Waffle Co., FAQ (breakfast tacos) and Eiland’s Bottomless Coffee Bar, which offers bottomless $2 coffee. El Corazon’s building in Oak Cliff was razed for a CVS, but the Tex-Mex restaurant has reopened — far, far away from Oak Cliff. The new location opened this week in McKinney at 1222 N. Central Expressway. The building "once housed an El Chico, the brand started in 1940 by Macario and Adelaida Cuellar," according to a press release. "The old location in Oak Cliff was also a former El Chico." One of Dallas’ biggest bartenders is stepping out from behind the stick. Mate Hartai — who’s worked everywhere from Shoals to Black Swan to the late Remedy and also owned an ice company called the Cold Standard — is taking a route that’s becoming increasingly popular with career bartenders: working with a liquor brand. In this case, it’s Ford’s Gin. Hartai, Ford’s latest brand advocate, is relocating to Austin for the gig. Dallas is about to get another falafel spot: Mamoun’s Falafel, "known for being New York’s oldest falafel restaurant," is opening Saturday, Feb. 10, at 3839 McKinney Ave. This is the brand’s first Texas location, and it’ll be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. After taking a brief hiatus, 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House in Frisco has reopened with a new menu and new management. "New items to the traditional Texas barbecue menu include jalapeño-cheddar sausage corn dogs, Texas poutine with brisket chili, a BLT with house cured pork belly and fried green tomatoes, and a scratch-made warm donut bread pudding," according to a press release. "The restaurant is also upgrading some of its current offerings including USDA prime brisket and house made sausage prepared in the new sausage production room, which Pit Master Bryan Shanahan will oversee." Poke Bop, famous for its "poke doughnut," has opened a second location, this time in East Dallas at Abrams and Mockingbird. "At this new location, guests of all ages will enjoy the Boba Bar where a variety of iced or blended Boba Teas are available in a variety of flavors and adults will also be able to enjoy a frozen Sake-Tini or glass of Frozen Rosé," according to a press release.

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Texas Pinball Festival Takes Place in Frisco, Texas, March 16-18

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Frisco, Texas, Jan. 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Texas Pinball Festival returns to Frisco, Texas, March 16-18, 2018 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Frisco Conference Center, 7600 John Q. Hammons Dr. Each year this popular event, the largest of its kind in the industry, welcomes guests from all over the United States and beyond.

The Texas Pinball Festival will feature more than 400 vintage and new pinball machines, as well as classic arcade games to be set on free play. Enjoy a variety of adult and child pinball tournaments throughout the weekend to test player�s pinball skills against others for trophies and prizes. Vendor demonstrations, parts, supplies, equipment and memorabilia will also be available. There will be a presentation by well-known pinball artists and designers on Friday and Saturday, followed by autograph signing and Q&A from the audience. The DFW Pinball group will host a swap meet in the parking lot on Saturday at 8 a.m. Door Prizes for pinball related memorabilia will be drawn throughout the weekend, including a grand prize raffle drawing Sunday awarding a full size Pinball Machine to benefit Military Veterans.

Festival organizers are excited to announce next year�s event will feature an appearance by famed actor and bodybuilder, Lou Ferrigno. Best known for his role in the CBS television series, �The Incredible Hulk,� Ferrigno�s bodybuilding career included an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Mr. America title, two consecutive IFBB Mr. Universe titles, and an appearance in the bodybuilding documentary, �Pumping Iron.� Ferrigno will be present at the 2018 Texas Pinball Festival to visit with fans and show guests all weekend, as well as be available for autographs and photos. During his visit, Texas Pinball Festival event organizers will also present Ferrigno with a beautifully restored 1979 Gottlieb �The Incredible Hulk� pinball machine.

The Texas Pinball Festival will be open:
Friday, March 16 from 5 p.m. � 1 a.m.
Saturday, March 17 from 10 a.m. � midnight
Sunday, March 18 from 9 a.m. � 2:30 p.m.

One-day passes are $30 for adults and $15 for children on Friday, $40 for adults and $25 for children on Saturday, and $25 for adults and $10 for children on Sunday. Weekend passes are $65 for adults and $40 for children ages 5-12. Children under 5 get in free. Save on a weekend pass by purchasing ahead of time online.

For more information, call 214-471-5777 or visit visitfrisco.com/texaspinballfestival.

Attachments:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/29fed16e-ef05-4d59-8d78-071a1dd5f8ed

Attachments:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/62d36fd5-4f0d-488b-85f6-3c564f6dc5cc

Attachments:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c63c0f5f-fb09-440c-8222-1587f681b616

CONTACT: Wesley LucasVisit Frisco9722925266wlucas@visitfrisco.com

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Texas man has leg amputated after being caught in trenching machine

FRISCO, Texas – A Texas construction worker had to have his leg amputated to free him after he was caught in the blades of a trenching machine Thursday, Dallas.com reported.

A surgeon was flown to the construction site after first responders were called to the scene shortly before 9 a.m., KTVT reported.

Firefighters called for a surgeon when they were unable to free the man, Frisco Fire Department spokesman Kevin Haines said.

The worker, who was not identified, was flown a hospital in Plano for further treatment, Dallas.com reported. His injuries were characterized as severe but he was expected to survive, KDFW reported.

© 2018 Cox Media Group.

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Market Street recycles space for a second store in Frisco

Market Street recycles space for a second store in Frisco

Market Street

Market Street believes it’s opened a store in Frisco that will be successful in a 62,000-square-foot building that’s had a couple other tries.

The store, the eight Market Street in North Texas, opened Friday on the southeast corner of Legacy Drive and Lebanon Road across from a Kroger. The building at 4268 Legacy Drive has housed a Walmart Neighborhood Market and before that an Albertsons.

A beer and wine bar in the center of the store branded on the outside of the building as Taphouse 16 is also staffed for barista coffee service and smoothies.

The area has seating for 94 people and customers can leave the area with their wine glass to shop. The only other local Market Street with a Taphouse is in Flower Mound, but municipal rules there prohibit alcoholic drinks from leaving the bar area.

It’s the first Market Street store to open locally since 2013 when Albertsons bought the Lubbock-based United Supermarket, which created Market Street and brought it to North Texas.

The new Frisco store, which is five miles from the Market Street on Eldorado Parkway, has made-to-order Asian rice bowls and pho. Sushi has been popular for a longtime, said Mary Myers, spokeswoman for Market Street, but consumers have asked for additional Asian cuisine choices such as poke bowls and Vietnamese pho.

The store has 300 employees to run its prepared food section, fresh meat and seafood counters and its curbside online grocery shopping service launched last year under the brand Streetside.

The big chains have been active in and around Frisco.

Whole Foods Market says it wants to open a store in Frisco, but the development it chose, Wade Park, broke ground three years ago but has been delayed by legal woes. That project is east of the new Market Street on Lebanon and the Dallas North Tollway.

In addition to the two Market Street stores, the fast-growing suburb with a population of 160,000 has three Krogers, two Tom Thumbs, an Aldi, a Sprouts Farmers Market, two Walmart Supercenters, a SuperTarget. Frisco’s Asian population of 18.1 percent has also attracted ethnic grocers. It has three South Asian supermarkets: Patel Brothers, Spice Bazaar and India Bazaar.

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Developer buys over 280 acres in Frisco and plans to build at least 1,000 homes

A local developer and homebuilder, Green Brick Partners Inc., has purchased three parcels of land in Frisco with plans to build more than 1,000 homes.

Green Brick says the new neighborhoods on Coit Road and Eldorado Parkway will be valued at more than a half-billion dollars when they are completed.

The residential projects will range in size from 172 to 354 homes and will include a mix of home types and prices. Construction has started on the first project, called Frisco Springs, on Eldorado Parkway west of Preston Road. It’s next to where the city is buying land for a new park.

"Over the next 24 months, all the projects should come on line," said Jed Dolson, Green Brick Texas region president. "It’s all being driven by the employment growth along the tollway and in Legacy West."

Dolson said the new neighborhoods will include a mix of townhomes, patio homes and traditional single-family homes.

"Our townhomes will start in the mid-$300,000 [range]," he said.

The 97-acre Frisco Springs project will include 172 single-family homes constructed by Village Builders and Toll Brothers, along with 154 townhomes built by CB JENI Homes.

The 67-acre Park Vista community will be built at the southeast corner of Eldorado Parkway and Coit Road. Plans call for 333 single-family homes, patio homes and townhomes built by Green Brick subsidiaries Normandy Homes and CB JENI Homes.

Edgewood will be a 120-acre, 354-home development at Coit Road and Main Street in Frisco with houses by builders Southgate Homes, Normandy Homes, Meritage and M/I Homes.

"With some of the highest job growth rates in the nation, Frisco has continued to expand at a rapid pace," Jim Brickman, CEO of Green Brick Partners, said in a statement. "We made an investment in Frisco because it is a great place to live and work, and we are seeing demand for new construction greatly outpacing supply."

Green Brick’s purchases give it a dominant position in Frisco, said Ted Wilson, principal with Dallas-based housing analyst Residential Strategies.

"Frisco is one of the most dynamic markets for lot development in D-FW. Presently, Green Brick is the most active developer in this market," Wilson said. "Projects under way represent about one-third of all new development."

Plano-based Green Brick is a homebuilding and land development company with interests in four homebuilding companies in North Texas. The company has been in business since 2008 and also has builders in Colorado and Georgia.

Green Brick Partners’ new Frisco projects marked in red and numbered 1 through 3 will be valued at about $500 million when finished.

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Rene Archambault to run for Frisco ISD School Board

Rene Archambault to run for Frisco ISD School Board

Nine-year Frisco ISD resident and Griffin Middle School parent René Archambault (pronounced “ar-SHAM-bow”) announced Tuesday that she filed the paperwork necessary to run for the Place 7 trustee position on the Frisco Independent School District Board.

The Place 7 seat is held by John Hoxie, who was first elected to the Frisco ISD Board in 2009. Hoxie has indicated that he will not be filing to run for re-election when his current term ends in May.

“With five teachers and a district superintendent in my family, I grew up watching the challenges of Texas public school educators – but I also witnessed the immeasurable rewards,” said Archambault about her interest in running for FISD trustee. “With that insight comes a duty to help keep Frisco ISD a ‘destination employer’ for the best and brightest teachers. I want to make sure that our kids benefit from the kind of passion, dedication, and inspiration which can only be provided by fulfilled and engaged educators.”

Archambault earned a bachelor’s of business administration degree from Texas Christian University and then went on to Southern Methodist University to earn a masters of education degree specializing in educational policy and leadership.

Professionally, she has served the campus of SMU as a graduate admissions and marketing officer for 14 years. During this time, Archambault has worked to strengthen the reach of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and curricular offerings to graduate and undergraduate students. She serves on the steering and advisory committees for Emmitt J. Conrad High School’s Collegiate Academy, and has been instrumental in building collaborative partnerships between SMU, the Dallas County Community College District and the Dallas Independent School District, a press release states.

Archambault is active in the Frisco ISD community, serving on the Frisco ISD Long Range Planning Committee, Frisco Education Foundation Advisory Board and Frisco FastPacs Board of Directors. She is a member of Frisco Women’s League, Griffin Middle School PTA and volunteers as a Griffin MS Band Booster. She is a member of the second annual Frisco ISD Insight program, a forum which provides community stakeholders a behind-the-scenes look at school district operations.

“It has made a huge impression on me, through my time involved with our kids and schools, that parent and community involvement opportunities in FISD are available … but aren’t always easy to find or get plugged into, for busy families or those without a child on a campus. I want to improve this access, so that more citizens can connect with and support our schools,” Archambault said.

She said she believes that increasing the community’s engagement with and visibility into public schools are one long-term solution to issues around funding, transparency, and partnerships.

Archambault is a fifth-generation North Texan and attended St. John’s Episcopal School and Bishop Lynch in Dallas. She and her husband Randy, a business intelligence officer for a national analytics firm, were married in 2001. They have one daughter, Zoë, who is in sixth grade at Griffin Middle School (FISD) and is active in band, community volunteering and Frisco Youth Theatre. The Archambaults are also members of Hope Fellowship.

Although Frisco ISD has not yet formally called for an election, the Place 7 contest is likely to be scheduled for May 5 since the first Saturday in May is a uniform election date for local jurisdictions in Texas.

Rene Archambault

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