Sunday, December 30, 2007

Deep in the Heart of Phil Romano's Dallas Mansion

SELLER: Phil Romano
LOCATION: Strait Lane, Dallas, TX
PRICE: $17,500,000
SIZE: 14,748 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 7 full and 4 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: This spectacular contemporary estate is situated on exclusive Strait Lane on a 4.697-acre gated estate with breathtaking views of a private lake with fountains and waterfalls flowing down to a creek, a jogging trail, tennis court, resort-like pool, and scenic grounds. Additional features: Guest Quarters, Handicap Amenities, Lake Front Lot, Library/Study, Media Room.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Alright children, Your Mama is going to bring y'all one more house of scratch out your eyes upsetting interior decor before we begin the New Year. Now puppies, this one is a doozy, so hurry and gitchyer nerve medication or your big bottle of booze or whatever else will prop you up as we wade through this decorating disaster deep in the heart of Texas.

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and trust Your Mama children, it is. We have been there, done that and seen just how big it can really be. And real estate is no exception to this old adage about the Lone Star State. This Texas-sized contemporary mansion occupies nearly five acres on Strait Lane in a swanky section of Dallas and belongs to Phil Romano, a well known restaurateur who mints money creating and developing mid-priced concept and themed restaurant chains including Fuddruckers, eatZi's (now nearly defunct), and Romano's Macaroni Grill.

According to public records, Mister Romano purchased the 4.7 acre property in February of 2000 for $4,535,300. Records provided to Your Mama by Texas's own Billy Blabbermouth indicate the current residence was built in 2001 and measures a Texas sized 14,748 square feet. Listing information for the property reveals a few other big numbers associated with the house: 8 bedrooms, 7 full and 4 half bathrooms (which adds up to enough damn terlits to require a part time gurl just to scrub all the bowls), 5 fireplaces, a 4 car garage, and a tremendous temperature controlled wine cellar large enough to satisfy any well to do winos oenophilic needs.

Accessed down a long and purdy tree lined driveway that terminates in a large circular motor court, the copper roofed Romano residence overlooks a small man made lake complete with the sort of fountain that only very rich people install in their back yard lakes. The estate features a tennis court at the front of the property, a large swimming pool complex with cabana, and a 1,204 square foot detached building that property records indicate are staff quarters. For all those amenities, property records reveal that the new owners can expect a staggering $180,000+ bill from the tax man each year.

Now children, Your Mama has looked hard at the photos of the interiors of this house. In fact, we have looked really damn HARD. We have tried and we have endeavored, but alas and with all do respect to the Romanos, we simply have nothing nice to say about what we see. Not. One. Thing.

It appears to Your Mama that the Romano's rather unwisely and unfortunately hired whichever person or company that is responsible for the interiors of Fuddruckers or one of the other money making chain restaurants Mister Romano created. And therein lies the crux of the interior decorating issues. Quite simply, a $17,500,000 home should never look like a mid-priced themed restaurant in some middle brow mall in Peoria, or Tallahassee or Dallas. Ever.

The "decorator" must have finagled some kid of steep discount on leather furniture and those alabaster bowl chandelier things. Your Mama is so troubled by all the leather seating groups and seeing that same fixture in just about every damn room that we are nearly speechless. Who does that? Who? Okay, so people who don't have the financial wherewithal to hire a high priced decorator might do it if the fixture is on sale at Home Despot, but it's just criminal for someone of Mister Romano's financial stature to allow this to have been down in his multi-million dollar home.

Your Mama does not even know how to begin to make sense of the kitchen with that horrific abstract pattern painted on the wood ceiling. What's left to say about his room except that Your Mama fully expected to see a overweight family of o-beasts in matching sweat suits chowing down on one-pound bacon cheddar burgers, milkshakes and a few baskets of chili cheese fries.

Up in the Master bedroom we are concerned about the wrath of PETA and we are perplexed and puzzled by that yellow lighted strip thing mid-way up the wall. A large and well equipped dressing room and closet is dee-voon of course. But a giant two floor dressing room fitted out with (more) leather furniture, another alabaster bowl chandelier thing looing like a not very elegant haberdashery in Milan, not so much.

Even with the help a big fat sleeping pill, Your Mama could never get a moments rest in a house like this. However Mister Romano and his family sleep well on Strait Lane secure in the knowledge their neighbors possess similar sized bank accounts including billionaire Kenny Troutt (Excel Communications), former loud-mouthed billionaire politico Ross Perot, and Ralph and Cathy Oats, who made boo-coo bucks selling water filters and Ephedra based weight loss supplements and currently live in a house that looks like a scaled down model of the damn White House. Now that's klassy.

Your Mama is not too familiar with the luxury real estate market in Dallas so we haven't any clue if $17,500,000 is a decent price for this house or not. Perhaps all your Texas real estate freaks can weigh in on that. In the meantime, Your Mama wishes Mister Romano and family a Happy New Year and we sincerely hope they make their New Year's resolution not to hire a restaurant designer to do up their next mansion.


Anonymous said...

Yikes! This place looks like a cartoon inside. So much square footage, so little taste. And what's up with those ceilings? Make that no taste. On the bright side, at least the Romanos stayed in Texas rather than build their mess in L.A. like the Sapersteins did. It could always be worse, scary.

luke220 said...

It's no worse than the Leonard Ross house in BH, at a fraction of the price!

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...


Hell is full and the Devil is decorating in Texas . . .

We just returned from our New Year's Eve soiree and I dare not examine the interior more than the cursory glance I've given it - I fear I feel that the canapes may come up (which, upon introspection, might look better than this abortion).

More tomorrow, children.

Anonymous said...

I'm speechless.

Happy New Year to Mama and all her naughty chilruns! And even the good ones if there are any.

Anonymous said...

I hate all 176976 square inches of the place. Especially the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

I think Your mama has got it wrong on this one...personally, I prefer leather furniture because I like the feel of it vs. fabric furniture, and this house looks to me like it was designed with comfort in mind instead of what a bunch of gay people with (probably) no money think of the decor, which is how a home should be decorated...looks a helluva lot more comfortable than most of the places people think is "well decorated"...

Anonymous said...


HaHa! You clearly have as much taste as the owner of this monstrosity!

Well, in all honesty ... Do we expect to find architectural taste in Texas? NO!!

Anonymous said...

I'll never understand people who build mammoth houses like this with low ceilings in otherwise expansive public spaces -- when they could actually achieve a much better effect if they reeled in the square footage and raised the ceilings.

And then, in a wacky twist, they give the bedrooms, closets and wine cellar the double-height treatment. It's the tract house mentality gone wild.

On the plus side, the house's position on the pond reminds me a little of Anif Castle near Salzburg. Might not be so pleasing from the ground, but from the air I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

Where do I start?

From the air it looks like one of the better-sited Holiday Inns that dot the highways and byways of this great country of ours, where only here could someone construct something so monstrous and not be jailed for it.

Mama, are you sure that's a copper roof? Even with a dozen years of patina, it will only look like an older motel . . .

As for the interior, I now truly understand what my dear sweet Nana meant by the term, "riot of color."

I agree with pch about the low (and exquisitely vulgar) psychedelic ceilings; the living room reminds me of the waiting lounge at Frankfurt Airport, where, surrounded by soldiers with semi-automatics, BGD and I were forced to wait on the floor for our connecting flight to Narita. Given the seating choices in this room, not so bad in retrospect.

As for the plethora of leather - hot pink, black and every other color of the damn rainbow - this is frat house furniture, children, and does not belong in a supposedly upscale home. And don't give me that "lived in look" argument, unless we're talking about a herd of Wookies on acid.

And is that TRULY a kitchen? More like a vomitorium to me, dedicated to unswallowing food, not nourishing family and friends. Imagine poor Rosita having to face THAT every morning, working her fingers to the bone just to put her children through college. For shame. Looks like the playroom at a Chuckie Cheese.

The wine cellar is passable, and I'm assuming the requisite (just had to slip that word in!) ladder is out of frame and one doesn't need to climb Spiderman-like up the wall to retrieve a decent bottle of Los Vascos.

What I don't get is the loggia; it's lovely. Doesn't look like part of the same house at all; Mama, are you sure this belongs in this photo montage?

Finally, the bedroom/dressing room combo; Mama's said it all much better than I can, so I leave you with this: Nairobi Sheraton.

Anonymous said...

It's awful. Mama, what did us chilluns ever do to you to make you do this to *us*?

Every picture except the aerial shot gives me retinal burn.

Big virtual hugs, Sunny

so_chic_darling said...

I just fainted from shock and almost fell off my lani!

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear ... Well, I like the loggia!

Anonymous said...


Thank you for finding a fittin' house for me and Bushie after his kingdo...presidency.. ends.

I love the place! My two favorite rooms are the library (you know I was a school marm) and the kitchen (it will remind the help of their colorful villages down south of the border).

I am a little concerned about the wine cellar. I would have to have that restocked at least once a week. I guess that is ok as we promised to find jobs for Condi and the Cheney Girl. They could handle cases of wine as easy as they carry me and the twins off to bed after one of our nightly drinking games.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Resale appeal obviously wasn't a factor when planning this place. The exterior skin's nice, but those ceilings scream (unique LOL) personal appeal. Wonder if architect pointed that out?

Little Buddy...loggia looked too familiar. There's a garish hotel/conference center nearby where I stayed recently (Grapevine Texan). It's loggia is just like this one, down to the Texas Stars in rafters. Was my secret place to check messages, so had lots of time to take details in! Wish I could find a pic. You'd shudder.

RE: everything else, love a large-scale piece art, and not real picky, long as it's colorful. So, I dig those graphic splashes. But the soft goods and everything else are WAY too overabundant and overbearing.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I've had a closer look. The kitchen is a pay as you go affair with the cash register and drinks cooler up front near the camera. When you run restaurants, there's no free lunch. Next. There are way too many beverage containers on that piano and if I've told you once I've told you a hundred times! NO DRINKS ON THE PIANO! Third. I don't know what would be more dangerous. Trying to get a bottle of wine or your favorite cashmere cardigan. Finally. I guess there wasn't enough going on in that bedroom so they needed that neon yellow stripe around the room to keep you awake.

Anonymous said...

And I thought the Seacrest manse was a hideosity (again, thanks Joan Collins, that word is brilliant).

Anonymous said...

Mama, I'm confused by full bathrooms and half bathrooms?

Anonymous said...

The kitchen is like one of those horrid airport food kiosks in satellite gates.

To all of this I can only say...WTF?

Anonymous said...

Strait Lane is a narrow blacktop road lined with multi-million dollar estates, many hidden behind hedges and gates. Some are 50 years old and others are brand new (built to look old, of course) - and all are gorgeous from the outside. I am shocked - SHOCKED - that the interiors of ANY house on Strait Lane would look like this. It looks exactly like Phil Romano's restaurants - except one's home shouldn't look like a theme destination burger joint. The new owners will have to completely redo it.

Anonymous said...

Why do I feel like I just visited a Carnival Cruise ship?

Anonymous said...

Sweet Cheeks, you had me rolling!

"it will remind the help of their colorful villages down south of the border"

Picture the morning scene, as Laura enters the kitchen, looks around and sighs with pride, "It's mine; all mine!"

"Buenos dias, Senora Bush."

"Rosita, I've asked you to call me 'La Reina' " (She calls all the female help Rosita, as she neither knows nor cares where they come from. She figures, after all, "a rose by any other name . . . " - she knows she read that somewhere, but can't place the author; perhaps it was that nice Mr. Grisham?)

"Oh, no, Senora, I cannot; it would be bad juju."

"Whatever do you mean, Rosita? And speak English, please, I've told you a thousand times, E-N-G-L-I-S-H."

"Well, Senora . . . O, Dios mio."

"LA REINA! Well what?"

"In my village . . . O Madre del Santos, a woman who decorates her hut this way . . . "

"What way? Just a little color?"

"It is, como se dice, an affront to nature. They shave her head and flay her alive before burning her hut down."

"I don't believe you - you're making this up because you don't want to call me Queen."

"No, no, seno . . . I mean La Reina, it's true. After they flay her, they feed what's left to los perros y gatos. Those that do not die are set free; they dead ones they place on the burned ground to ward off the bad juju."

"Good gracious! And the skin?"

"Papel del bano, how do you say, toilet paper? And I for one, La Reina, have no wish to wipe my ass with you."

Anonymous said...

you don't understand what "vomitorium" is. sounds funny though-good enough for a writer on strike. get back to work.

Anonymous said...

Volumitouium - VOLITORIUM? Either you are a writer of things that cancel or you are really the LGB ... LG Bore.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe Phil's house looks like this. I live in Dallas and his house is on the Top 5 Highest Price Lists. At $17 million, it is hard to get that in Dallas unless it is a hedge fund manager that nobody has ever heard of.

There is a house about 5 houses down that is on the market for $12 million that is new construction. It looks a whole lot better than this $17 million monster.

All that money and no taste. Please tell me he didn't pay someone to decorate, because he got robbed.

Why pay $17 million for 17,000 square feet of mess, when you can build for half the price?

TheTart said...

Yo Mama ... What were they a thinkin?

The Tart
; *

Anonymous said...

I know that family and dang their rich.

Anonymous said...

Phil sure has come a long way since that house on Flagler drive in West Palm Beach and Romano's 300 in Palm Beac. And he's still a first class human as he was there. Good luck Phil.

Joe and Lois

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