Summer’s heat is just starting and already you feel the need for a pick me up? How about a little Champagne? Some say favorite sparkling wines should be saved for special events, but isn’t every day some sort of occasion?
So, everyday is a day for Champagne. Tiny bubbles in a glass tickling your nose, bringing a smile, a giggle, a laugh. What could be better? Follow the jump for sparkling ideas.
This week there are a lot of creative wine dinners and tastings. Check out the list that includes Hotel St. Germain, The Grape, Olenjack’s Grille, Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill, Taverna (Fort Worth), Fuqua Winery, Café Toulouse & Bar, Pappas Brothers Steak, Sigel’s at Café Marrakesh, Charlie Palmer at the Joule, and Sevy’s Grill.
Teresa over at Pegasus News reports that the West Village Paciugo Gelato is sporting a new look and new flavors. I dropped by after lunch to try a scoop. Today’s flavor was Texas pecan sea salt caramel. One word: Tasty. Who doesn’t love a little sweet with their savory? Other new flavors include Texas peaches and strawberry sorbet and—the one I really wanted to try—chocolate jalapeno. “Ugh,” replied my co-worker when I described it. Me? I think chocolate goes great with spicy flavors like red chili and curry. Has anyone had Paciugo’s choc-jalapeno creation? I’m dying to taste it.6 Comments »
I get a kick out of menu writing, but sometimes it gets out of hand. Years ago, I think it was at the Mercury, I came across a dish that boasted “wind-dried” tomatoes. I’ve always chuckled at “baby lettuce” and brought my dinner companions to tears by ordering “teenage squash” or “middle-aged mushrooms.” There are endless possibilities for romanticizing any dish.
But seriously, when you read “diver scallops” on a menu don’t you imagine some hunky dude in a Speedo and snorkel gear skimming the ocean floor. He pauses briefly to inspect each scallop before he gently picks it up and places it in a velvet box on ice. Next stop? Your plate.
I got curious when Urbano Café announced earlier today that they were serving diver scallops. I don’t know a whole lot, but I do know that there is no commercial diver scallop season open at the moment. Scallops are now being harvested by boats that rake the bottom to harvest. The guys on the boat are not wearing Speedos or singing this song.
So, I contacted my buddy Willy at Steve Connolly Seafood in Boston to see what is open now. He says:
Areas where they are being harvested by boat [now] are DelMarva (Delaware/Maryland/Virginia) , Elephant Trunk (Delaware), Area 2 (Georges Bank) etc. [See map.] This is a highly regulated fishery and that is why there are seasons and openings and closings of areas to ensure the exploitable biomass maintains.
Doesn’t sound quite as tasty, eh? Think of this: What if half of the menus in Dallas had diver scallops that were actually handpicked by a flipper-footed stud muffin? How many flipper-footed-stud-muffin divers would it take to feed us scallops? Then think of the whole country? Yow. Zah. The Eastern coastline would be a mass of bobbing heads.
Is “diver scallop” creative menu writing or misrepresentation of a product? Why not be real and write Elephant Trunk Bay or George Bank-harvested scallops? Or is it more important to create the image that some guy is braving the North Atlantic for your dinner? Just a thought.9 Comments »
This isn’t going to be a long recap. I didn’t take notes last night, because I thought I might be giving up on Top Chef Masters, because Tim Love isn’t on anymore, and I was kinda bored last week. But I just turned it on for a second last night and ended up watching the whole thing. I thought it was much more interesting than last week, partially because I just wanted to see what Wylie Dufresne could come up with. Jump if you want.
Photo courtesy of Bravotv.com. (Sidenote: Kelly Choi: prettier than Padma? Discuss.)5 Comments »
This just in from our seafood-lovin’ intern, Sara:
Raquel Garcia’s Seafood Shack is the definition of a neighborhood dive (c’mon, it’s got shack right in the name!) with its Dairy Queen-esque structure and daily specials painted on the window. Heck, it’s even got a drive-through.
It also boasts some of the best ceviche in town, and on Mondays you’re practically robbing the place with happy hourmargaritas at $1.50, ceviche for $1.25, shrimp ceviche for $1.50 and
shrimp ceviche tostadas (pictured) for $1.50 each.
The lunchtime crowd is fun and eclectic; scoot up to the bar and rub shoulders with students from the nearby Cordon Bleu culinary school, businessmen, large Hispanic families with screaming children, and construction workers drinking copious amounts of beer at11:30 in the morning. Other good nights to go are Tuesdays (25-cent oysters) and Thursdays ($1.50 shrimp ceviche tostadas). Located on Webb Chapel just south of Forest Lane.11 Comments »
Too hot to cook or just plain lazy? Either way, these places can ease your pain. Thanks to our editorial intern, Jonathon, for his roundup of ready-to-eat chicken. Around the world flavors in alphabetical order.
Ali Baba Café
$10.00. Whole Middle-Eastern rotisserie chicken served with garlic sauce, rice, and pita bread.
Each bird cooked 1 hour and fifteen minutes
Garlic, olive oil, Middle-Eastern spices.
Each bird is cooked for about an hour.
Flavor options: Classic, Beijing (seasoned with fiery and pungent spices such as sugar, garlic, salt, ginger, cayenne, star anise), Citrus Peppercorn, Herb, Sonoma, Spice Trade, Spicy Thai, Tuscan, Vanilla Pepper.
Chic from Barcelona
$14.95 for whole chicken with roasted apples
Family special pick-up:
$39.95. A whole chicken, a half chicken,
a quarter gallon of gazpacho,
choice of two salads
“Secret chicken recipe” Continue reading "Price Check: Rotisserie Chicken in Dallas Roundup"
Kristen and Mitch Kauffman share the news:
Urbano Cafe will start serving dinners tonight! Our hours (for now) will be Thursday-Friday-Saturday from 4 – 10 pm. Lunches, by the way are 11 – 4 Monday – Saturday. it’s been going great!
We’ll feature appetizers like Caprese S’mores with melted Buffalo mozzarella between toasted Crostini with tomato and balsamic syrup and boursin stuffed beef carpaccio roulade with burgundy paint and entrees such as Tom’s mushroom risotto (featuring Spicer’s ever changing exotic mushroom assortment), Tagliatelle with Ahi tuna, capers, kalamata olives and lemon, pan-seared diver scallops over lemon risotto and a cambazola crusted petite tenderloin over roasted butternut hash with star anise demi. We’ll also have our house-made soups, salads with Tom’s fresh greens and more. I just updated the website with the new menu.
Our chef is Ke’o Valasquez, who is from Hawaii so don’t be surprised to see things like papaya or lava sauce on the menu. You might remember him from Ferre and Kitchen 1924.
I saved the best for last: Urbano is BYOB. And Jimmy’s Food Store is nex door.4 Comments »
When Watel’s, the charming cozy French bistro in the Allen Street Cottage closed on April 12th, many insiders felt owner Rene Peeters was getting out of the business. He has spent the last few months holding special occasion meals at different locations around town. Today, he outlines his new grand plan. “I have signed leases in the Lower Greenville area,” says Peeters, “Within the next few months I will open three venues.”
First, he’s opening a café and market with casual dining at moderate prices. “The recipes will be a reflection of my world upbringing and travels,” said Peeters. “Some dishes will be authentic; some will be creative. The size of the portions will be suitable for mezze-tapas-sushi bar-style dining. The menu will change daily.” The market side will be small and feature food and nonfood items from around the world. There will be pastries, breads, prepared dishes, and deli dishes all made on premises plus canned, jarred, and dry goods. Other items include “trinkets and practical items” from around the world. Peeters describes them as “fair-market-minimal-or-no-middlemen-eco-friendly-green-hipfit-help-poor-tribes” items.
The café and market will be called World Piece.
Next door, Peeters will open an antique store and art gallery that will double as an events space. “I hope to call it “A Few of my Favorite Things,” says Peeters. “I hope I don’t get sued by Rodgers or Hammerstein estates.”
His third business, on Lewis Street near Greenville, will be the reopening of Watel’s, a white tablecloth dining room also available for private parties and events.9 Comments »