Restaurant News

Touch of Grey News: Greatfull Taco Loses Its Chef

The Grateful Dead once said that "the first days are the hardest days," and owner Paul West is finding that out firsthand at his new restaurant, Greatfull Taco (named for, yes, the Dead).

Chef Riccardo Palazzo-Giorgio has left the restaurant after only a few months, citing "irreconcilable differences" with West. It's a shame, not just because the food under Palazzo-Giorgio was top-notch stuff, but because Greatfull Taco is the subject of this week's cafe review. And it was too late to remove our glowing references to Palazzo-Giorgio's in the print edition, despite attempting to yell "Stop the presses!" all the way across Texas to Dallas, where our printers are located.

But it was worth a shot.

Meanwhile, the sous chef at Greatfull Taco, Miguel Romero, is still on board. So there's that. But it's starting to feel as if between this and the recent Stella Sola review that unintentionally corresponded with chef Justin Basye's departure, we're seeing the beginnings of a curse around here.

On the other hand, it could just be that West might be difficult to work with, something supported by this week's review itself as well as the first post we ever wrote about Greatfull Taco: "Self-Described 'Elitist' 'Asshole' Opening a Restaurant." Whatever the reason, I can only hope that the restaurant keeps up the quality of food it offered under Palazzo-Giorgio, who has moved on to new projects.

And while it's too late to amend the print review now, it's not too late to say that chef or not, Greatfull Taco still has some truly great things going for it, like a poolside ambiance despite its location on busy Shepherd and its excellent wine and beer selection.

You'll notice on that beer list that low-end beers like Lone Stars and Bud Lights are listed at roughly the same prices as craft beers like Scrimshaw or Left Hand Milk Stout. West laughingly said that it's an effort to discourage adjunct lager drinkers away from those beers and to American craft beers instead.

I can see where the man might be difficult to work with, but it's hard to argue with philosophies like that.

For more photos from the restaurant, check out our behind-the-scenes slideshow.

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Katharine Shilcutt