Tristan Simon's restaurant odyssey began in 1998 with Cool River Cafe, but in 1999 he left Cool River and later formed Consilient Restaurants -- the name is inspired by Harvard evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson's book Consilience. The word means unity of knowledge or connectedness, and Simon says it represents what he tries to bring to his restaurants.
Cool River, Las Colinas: opened in Jan. 1998. Still running, but Simon is no longer involved.
Cuba Libre, Dallas: Feb. 2000-Jan. 2010.
Sense, Dallas: Aug. 2002-Feb. 2007.
Candle Room, Dallas: April 2003-still running.
Fireside Pies, Dallas: April 2004-still running; (Plano location: Aug. 2006-still running; Grapevine: Jan. 2008-still running; University Park: April 2008-still running).
Hibiscus, Dallas: Feb. 2005-still running.
The Porch, Dallas: April 2007-still running.
Victor Tango's, Dallas Sept. 2008-still running.
Westside Tavern, Los Angeles: March 2009-still running.
Fireside Pies, Fort Worth: Oct. 2010-still running.
Alma, Dallas: Feb. 2011-Nov. 2011.
American F&B, Fort Worth: projected to open Jan. 2013.
Simon up close and personal
What he's reading: Simon is making his way through three books: One on parallel universes called The Hidden Reality, by Brian Greene; Coming Apart, a social history of America, by Charles Murray; and Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Nobel economics laureate Daniel Kahneman.
How he unwinds: Simon enjoys a good drink, like sampling a good bottle of Italian red wine or a high-quality tequila. He has a small coterie of friends whom he invites to his 4,000-square-foot University Park home, often building a party around watching a mixed-martial-arts contest on one of his flat-screen televisions.
Sports: swimming and walking.
Favorite possessions: A ship's wheel from a salvaged 19th-century British schooner that hangs above his fireplace. A Trojan Horse sculpture made entirely of driftwood. A letter from Ralph Waldo Emerson, dated 1866. A rare 48-star American flag.
Favorite pastime: Shooting pool on his classic Brunswick table.
Favorite art: A George Rodrigue Blue Dog original. A bronze sculpture of a female form embedded in a wisp of smoke, by Michael Dunlap. Painting of Paul Newman as Fast Eddie Felson (and Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats) from The Hustler. Huge 8-by-8-foot abstract painting by Shane Pennington, an abstract expressionist from Texas. Autographed black-and-white picture of the first fight, in 1971, between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in Madison Square Garden -- with Frazier shown throwing his famous left hook.
Family life: His mother, Erica Larkin, lives in Fort Worth. He is not married. "I've chosen a professional path that is so consuming that when I seek respite from it, it makes it difficult to integrate a family into that," he says. "I look forward to the possibility of a wife and children, but once I reach that point, I want to be a great husband and father."