When Jim White, and co-founder, Vicki Briley-White, started Savor Dallas in 2005 to showcase Dallas’ top chefs, restaurants and food, paired with some of the best local, national and international wines available, they likely had only hoped it would have grown to what it is today – one of the largest gatherings for foodies and wine lovers in the region.
Each year it gets bigger and better, and 2010 looks as if it will not disappoint.
Beginning Friday, March 5, the AT&T Performing Arts District welcomes Savor Dallas with the “Arts District Wine Stroll” starting at The Dallas Museum of Art through the Meyerson Symphony Center, Nasher Sculpture Center, The Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theater. From 5pm-7pm guests will stroll through each venue tasting and toasting wine from Cakebread, Grgich Hills Estate, Mumm Napa and Texas Winery Fall Creek Vineyard and distillery Dripping Springs Vodka, to name a few with snacks from the One Arts Plaza restaurants. Continue reading "6th Annual Savor Dallas Next Friday"5 Comments »
Some of the comments under yesterday’s comments post about Leslie Brenner’s picks for Best French Restaurants went a little east of France. Like to Italy. At one point I wrote:
“It took you a year of eating red-sauce Italian food and steak au poivre to come to the conclusion that the majority of Dallas diners do not have adventurous palates. (R.I.P Il Mulino)”
The line caused several commenters to steer off topic and question the quality/authenticity of IL Mulino. I used IL Mulino as an example of a restaurant that failed here because Dallas diners refused to accept the, for Dallas, adventurous menu. “Authentic” Italian or not, whatever that is around here, is not the issue. Whatever Il Mulino was—gasp, modern Italian?! New York Mob Italian?! French Italian?!—it was, in my opinion, a good restaurant. Why? Because, without going back to my notes or reviews, I can clearly remember (and taste) the food I ate—the ravioli in champagne sauce, the Dover sole, the complimentary appetizers. Strong taste memories are hard to come by when you eat food for a living.
Il Mulino was expensive—Dallas doesn’t like to pay for high prices for Italian unless they are in New York or Los Angeles or Italy. However, they don’ t blink at forking over $50 for an 8-ounce filet of beef. It’s a reality of how the majority of palates and pocketbooks in this city roll.
On another note, I don’t like using the term “authentic” to describe food from another country. For the sake of argument, an Italian recipe can be authentic but unless all of the ingredients are sourced in Italy, the resulting dish is not truly authentic. Chew on that one. And spit it out below.18 Comments »
I am stuck at a doctor’s appointment so I willl attempt to post ffrom my phone. Sounds silly, right! Well, it is now required for all D bloggers. Good times. Anywhoo, as some of you know, I have been on a dangerous eating regime which I’m sure could be exlpained by a therapist. (if you are out there I am listening.) For the last two months I have eaten large quantities of Pinkberry, pancakes, and pizza outside of my working meals. I feared the nurse as she steered me to the scale. I’m down 2 pounds!!! Somebody pinch me!13 Comments »
Jimmy’s Food Store. Good News: John Mariani (no, not that one) of Banfi Vintners will be at Jimmy’s on March 3. This John Mariani is the CEO and family proprietor of Banfi Vintners the distributor for wines produced at Castello Banfi in Montalcino, Italy. Great Italian wine at good prices. I haven’t met Mariani, but I’ve toured the wine-making facilities at Castello Banfi. If you are planning a trip to Italy, I suggest you make reservations at the restaurant on property and please take time to tour the balsamic vinegar cellar. Details and wine below the jump.
Eddie V’s. Eddie V’s Restaurants, Inc. owners and longtime friends Guy Villavaso and Larry Foles have announced that they will open their Dallas Eddie V’s Prime Seafood this April at Avondale and Oak Lawn. They will begin taking reservations for their first evening, April 19, 2010, in early April. The seating capacity is–beat, beat–300. Full release below the jump.
Central Market. Take out Italian from the Central Market Deli—they offer “fresh pastas and sauces. Their stuffed pastas include a hearty ravioli loaded with mozzarella, basil and tomato; half-moons, or mezzaluna, pasta filled with shrimp, lobster and cheese; spinach-stuffed rigatoni and more. Tender fettucini, ricotta cavatelli and rigatoni require just a few minutes of cooking before revealing velvety noodles. And with eight fresh sauces such as prosciutto-loaded Filetto di Pomodoro, creamy Champagne with a hint of red pepper, or rich Alfredo, you can mix and match to create your own perfect pasta menu. Don’t forget the Parmigiana Reggiano!” Yes, don’t forget the cheese.
Tre Amici Prime Steakhouse & Seafood. This spot is now open for lunch and chef de cuisine Chris Hughes has a new menu. Bottles of wine are 25 percent off. They have a nice piano bar featuring Adrian King, which is pretty groovy. Deets below. Continue reading "Restaurant News: Bits and Bytes"1 Comment »
Un petit oiseau just told me that the new Whole Foods at Park Lane & Central in Dallas, set to open on March 15, will have an intimate wine bar. (Un petit oiseau also says it will be named “Wine Bar.”) Cute, n’est pas il? They will offer flights of selected wines and wines by the glass. See something you love in their wine department? Buy it and they’ll uncork it at Wine Bar. If you insist on doing your own shopping, they’ll pour it in a portable cup and you can sip and shop. Or–and this is my favorite part–hand your grocery list off to the concierge service and sit at the bar and nibble on antipasti plates while they shop for you.
Foodie Fun Fact: The new 62,000-square-foot Whole Foods store is the same size of Hamtramck, Michigan, home to 33 different nationalities. Hamtramck was originally a “Pole Town” and Polish food and festivals are still very popular.12 Comments »
I just received a note from Benjamin Calais, at Calais Winery, regarding the next Wine Trail in Dallas. This will be the 4th our 4 Dallas based wineries have put together, and is a great opportunity to raise a glass the latest releases from our neighborhood wineries.
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(Dallas,TX, 2/25/2010) – We are pleased to announce the next event of the Dallas Wine Trail to be held on March 27th 2010 at the 4 Dallas wineries.
The event will start at 11AM and run until 5PM.
Each participant will receive a gift bag including:
- a bottle of wine of one of the participating wineries
- a beautiful 19oz Dallas Wine Trail glass
- a map of trail
- a tasting sheet of the 12 wines to sample
Participant will start at CALAIS Winery or FUQUA Winery where they will pick their wine glass and their wine bottle. Each participant will sample 3 wines at each winery. Light food pairings will be available at each winery.
The Dallas Wine Trail is a wine trail that includes the four wineries located in Dallas, TX:
Inwood Estates Vineyards
Times Ten Cellars
Personnel from each winery will be present and available to explain the winery’s philosophy, wine profiles and production method used for each wine. All the wines poured will also be available for sale to drink onsite or offsite. Tickets are available here on preorder for $39 and $45 at the door if available.
The event will be limited to 200 people.
The opening date for the new eatZi’s Market & Bakery inside The Pavilion on Lovers Lane, originally scheduled to open tomorrow, has been pushed back at least two weeks. Carry on.10 Comments »
OMG. I mean, oh mon dieu! DMN dining critic Leslie “Caron” Brenner has lost more than weight on her Restaurant Critics Diet. She has lost a large portion of her cerebellum.
This morning La Brenner reveals Best in DFW: French Restaurants along with a little essay on French food in Dallas.
Her top picks are Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Toulouse Cafe & Bar, St. Martin’s Wine Bistro, Bijoux, Rise No. 1, Saint-Emilion, and The French Room.
Excuse my probable overreaction to her words but I am on Day 3 of pancake withdrawal and this article really pissaladière-ed me off.
I would like to go into a short back story on French food in Dallas and then talk a little about the endangered status of French food in Dallas and the U.S. Then I will do a Q&A with La Brenner’s text. Okay? Let’s get this party started.59 Comments »
On Tuesday night, Laura Kostelny and I attended the media dinner for Naga Thai Kitchen & Bar in Victory Park. According to co-owner Jeffrey Yarbrough, he had Nancy to thank for spilling the beans about the restaurant’s opening; people showed up when the staff wasn’t quite ready to serve, but no one was turned away. So much for a soft opening, right?
But things are rocking and rolling these days at Naga, where Yarbrough and partners Tom Chawana (founder of Nandina), Lam Promwanrat (partner in Jasmine), and Kitti Lirtpanaruk (New York restaurateur with 20+ Thai restaurants) are serving some old favorites from the gone-but-definitely-not-forgotten Liberty, such as Annie Wong’s coconut chicken soup and spicy noodles. Continue reading "Where To Eat in Dallas Right Now: Naga Thai Kitchen & Bar in Victory Park"2 Comments »
In the current issue of D Magazine, Teresa “Twinkle Toes” Gubbins writes about Mandola’s Italian Market. The Italian grocery/deli originated in Austin and was brought north by Larry “Chili’s” Lavine. Larry had plans to roll Mandola’s out all over Dallas and potentially into other markets. Well, Mandola’s may roll, but it will grow without Larry Lavine. He’s out of the deal. “I am in the process of selling my interest to my partner,” said Larry via e-mail from his Turtle Creek Restaurant Group account. Another source tells me that there is an uglier side to this story. Of course, isn’t there always? I’ve called and left a message for Larry’s partner, Michael Share, who lives in Boston. Jimmy’s Food Store, your future looks good.1 Comment »
I was on the phone with Lee Harvey’s owner, Seth Smith, awhile back, and the subject of tacos came up. I mentioned that I was a fan of Fuel City’s tacos. Seth made a noise that suggested I was an idiot. “You gotta come try our tacos,” he said. “They blow Fuel City’s away.” So yesterday Laura “TV With Laura” Kostelny, Queen Peggy, and I made a quick trip to Lee Harvey’s to see if Seth was full of it.
Short answer: yes, I believe Seth is full of it. But his tacos are damn good.
Long answer: for $7.95, you get what you see pictured here. They do steak tacos, too, but I ordered the fish tacos: firm catfish filets, strips of white cabbage for texture, spicy chipotle aioli, and sweet jalapeño relish cradled in a flour tortilla. I had already eaten lunch by the time we went over to Lee Harvey’s at around 3, when it opens. So I wasn’t hungry before the tacos arrived. They were so good, though, that I almost ordered another plate after we finished the first.
Fuel City will always have a place in my heart. But Lee Harvey’s does do some first-class tacos. Seth don’t lie. (PS: If you go on Monday, from 3 to 10, they serve the tacos a la carte for $1 each. Even Fuel City can’t beat that price.)8 Comments »
This morning comes a cheery note from a pancake-crazed Disher named Jeff. He writes:
I must say Nancy, you’ve been touching my heart lately-pancakes and now pizza! I’m always always ALWAYS eating pizza, and oddly enough, I was on a pancake tear of my own the past few months in a search to find pancakes in Dallas as good as Clinton Street Baking Company in NYC. The sad results–nowhere even came close. However, you can make above-average pancakes at home. (Dean Fearing’s old pancake recipe is after the jumperoo.)
“Always, ALWAYS, always”? This guy has a real problem. Making pancakes at home is not a healthy activity for people with pancake-itis.
What happens if, one lonely night, you find yourself eggless, drinking syrup straight from an Aunt Jemima bottle while chopping the sugar, baking powder, and salt with a straight-edged razor? Who are you going to call? I don’t think so. Continue reading "Pancakes in Dallas: Make Your Own With Dean Fearing’s Recipe"8 Comments »
February 22, 2010
MEDIA ALERT…MEDIA ALERT
OSCAR’S PARTY KIT
Throw Your Own Oscar® Viewing Party
Provide your readers, viewers and listeners with insider tips on how to throw an award-winning Oscar viewing party at home!
Download Oscar® ballots, party play-along games, recipes, cocktails ideas and much more – invite your family and friends.
Event producer Cheryl Cecchetto shows you the “10 Must Haves” for throwing an awarding-winning party.
Master Chef Wolfgang Puck cooks and provides you with delicious and easy-to-make-at-home recipes.
Executive Pastry Chef Sherry Yard shows you how to bake a yummy dessert.
Moët & Chandon, the exclusive champagne of the 82nd Academy Awards®, provides a special cocktail that will wow your guests.
The cooking/planning demonstrations are available in broadcast quality formats upon request.
I® am sure Sherry Yard’s desserts are yummy but there is one detail missing from this notice, and without it, nobody can throw a proper Oscar-watching party. Go Dishers, give ‘em hell.2 Comments »
Dan Koller, the managing editor of People “Who Need People” Newspapers, took his lovely and talented wife, Jessica, to dine at the first supper at 48 Nights @ Slyvan Thirty, the guerrilla restaurant on Sylvan operated by the Smoke/Bolsa dudes, Chris Jeffers, Chris Zielke, and Tim Byres. The restaurateurs have teamed up with the Mass Care Task Force (American Red Cross Dallas Area Chapter, North Texas Food Bank, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Area Command, and Volunteer Center of North Texas). Chefs participating in the project will rotate and all of the proceeds for these dinners will go to these charities.
Anywhoo, Dan is writing a full report on the OC phenom for Friday’s edition of Oak Cliff People, but today he has a brief recap of his experience here. First chef up was/is Marc Cassel from Park. (There is a second Cassel dinner tonight.) I looked over the menu and I have three (dumb) questions. One of the items is braised Kobe beef cheeks, stroganoff risotto & Tom’s microgreens.
I am assume “Kobe” cows have two cheeks. Are they big cheeks that are divided into smaller servings? I would assume Kobe beef cheeks are very expensive. Were these cheeks donated to the cause? If everyone at the dinner (30) got two cheeks, does this mean it took 30 Kobe cows to fill the order for last night’s dinner? Or were the cheeks cut up and tossed in the stroganoff? I am curious. I love cheeks—veal and haddock are my favs. Just curious. Anyone?18 Comments »
Yesterday, a spirited conversation about pizza broke in our company kitchen. One of our IT guys, Jeff Nelson, was reheating a pizza in the oven and I asked him where it originated. “We made it at home,” he said. Hmm, the only “pizza” I have made at home involved a Boboli pizza crust, bottled barbecue sauce, roasted chicken, red onions, and fresh cilantro. Sooo 1980s.
Of course, I ripped off the idea from the original location of California Pizza Kitchen in the Beverly Center in Los Angeles. When they opened in 1985, this place was the bomb. Until then, no restaurant that I knew of (and I lived in Los Angeles!) had ever substituted barbecue sauce for marinara. There was Spago up on the hill on Sunset , but you had to be a celebrity to secure a table at Wolfie’s spot. Then you had to pay a bazillion dollars for a boutique pie just so you could sit so close to Michael Bolton you could count the split ends of his frizzy mullet (hint: bazillions). CPK was the gourmet pizza outlet for the masses.
Yes, this is a long lede into my rendezvous with CPK last night. I was jonsing for pizza when I left work so I decided to call CPK. (BTW, their number was not in Directory Assistance—add $1.75 for the cell call.) I will say this—at 6:40 p.m., they were doing a bristling take out business and the staff was efficient and over-the-top nice.
Too bad the pizza crust tasted like the like the cardboard box that held the pizza until I got home (five minutes). Too bad the barbecue sauce was almost non-existent. Too bad the chicken was stringy. Too bad my friend Evan Grant is going here this week. Too bad I tasted a much better version of CPK’s barbecue chicken pizza at Puck’s fast casual spot in the Denver airport last Thursday.
Pancakes are soo last week. Now, I’m binging on pizza. Best take out or delivery please! I want to gain 20 pounds before bikini season. I hate it when my hip bones do this.38 Comments »
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Don Panza was, until recently, one of very few Argentinean restaurants in the area. They had great empanadas and chimichurri pizzas. There have been reports of an imminent reopening for months. Now a colleague has pictures! This appears to be the place– next door to Beckley Brew House and close to Spiral Diner in The OC. It may not be called Don Panza–La Carreta Argentina was mentioned by Teresa Gubbins on Pegasus News but there are building supplies out the front and a temporary banner so work appears to be underway.
Yesterday, the James Beard Award Foundation announced Samar by Stephan Pyles in Dallas as a semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant in America. Today, Andrew Chalk, who has been working on a story on Samar chef Vijay Sadhu, received an e-mail update from the jet-setting Stephan Pyles. He files this report:
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Stephan Pyles reports that he and chef Vijay Sadhu parted company this week “on the best of terms” and “have the utmost respect for each other.” Sadhu did not comment on the departure but told me last night that he is staying in Dallas and plans to open “a very specific concept, the like of which has not been seen before in Dallas.”
Plyes, who is currently traveling, recently attended the glorious Madrid Fusion, a three-day summit of chef/speakers. “The menu [at Samar] will be changing soon and, as in my other restaurants, I will sit down with key staff to brainstorm ideas,” said Pyles. “In addition to management, I have one Indian sous chef, 2 employees from Turkey, and 1 from Bhutan. Having just returned from Madrid Fusion, you can expect the Spanish section to be “pushed” a little further.”
Before he cheffed at Samar, Sadhu was the chef at Clay Pit in Addison and, before that, Bukhara Grille in Richardson. “People move on in this business and personnel is pretty much in constant flux,” said Pyles. “Jon Thompson is the executive chef [at Samr] and has been acting as such for a few months now. Vijay was a terrific source for inspiration in the Indian section. We remain close friends and he may be involved in future menu development as well as future projects.”
I threw our intrepid intern, Sam Todd, a fastball and, at the last minute, sent him over to cover Ricky/Ricardo Avila’s hearing at 1:30. He is outside of the courtroom and files this report from his Blackberry:
The courts just adjourned. Ricardo is talking with 2 people in the hallway now.
The 24-hour rule is no longer in place–all things taken from the restaurant must be back in back and working by close of business on Sunday or Ricardo will be fined $500 a day. If Ricardo takes any length of time, the judge will take more extreme measures.
The plaintiffs lawyer asked where the books for the business are located. Ricardo said “at the accountants office.” The defendant’s (Ricardo) lawyer noted that without Ricardo on the property, the plaintiffs can not sell alcohol at the restaurant.
Judge Molberg said, “I’ll be damned if I see another small business closed by lawyer’s fees.” Then he asked to speak to the lawyers off the record in his chambers.
Woman with Ricardo, Suzanne, is on the phone discussing sinks and drains. Ricky is talking about pvc, sinks, drains, and she’s relaying the information to another person. Probably a contractor.
UPDATE: Anita Avila Speaks:
Mother (Anita) is here and seems fine. She said, “I want to be in there like I was because I’m capable and I have a lot of help. It is frustrating, and I’ve never dealt with anything like this. It’s heartbreaking.” She also adds, “The restaurant has run smoothly for 20 years, but since [Peter] Tarantino came in, it’s been down. Peter wanted me out of there because he his not a nice person” Mrs. Avila also claims, “It (the restaurant) belongs to me, I never sold it to him (Ricardo).”12 Comments »
I’m a little late to the PegasusNews party hosted by Teresa “Gumshoe” Gubbins. She has written an enlightening essay on the proliferation of food photography in public restaurants. It’s a great subject for debate. Apparently some restaurants have a “NO PHOTOS” policy while others are “flattered.” Gubbins is now my heroine—she managed to get thrown out of a frozen yogurt store in Richardson and used the “copyrightable” on the same day. That is just pure awesomeness. How about you? Do you take pictures of your meals in restaurants? Do you believe a plate of brisket tacos is copyrightable? Have you ever been thrown out of a restaurant?11 Comments »
Earlier I posted the semi-finalists for the James Beard Awards. Several people have asked me about the qualifications for nominations. Here are the voting instructions I received:
Dear Texas and Oklahoma Beard judges
1. BEST CHEF SOUTHWEST. Chefs must have worked in the Southwest region (TX, NM, AZ, UT, CO, OK, NV) for a minimum of 3 years–and must have been a working chef for 5 years.
2. RISING STAR: Born on or after Jan. 1, 19879.
3. BEST NEW RESTAURANT. Opened in the calendar year 2009.
4. PASTRY CHEF: Five years working minimum.
5. RESTAURATEUR: Multiple locations; 10 years working minimum.
6. OUTSTANDING CHEF: Five years working minimum.
7. OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT: Open 10 years minimum.
8. WINE & SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL: Minimum of 5 years working in the industry.
9. WINE SERVICE: Restaurant open 5 years minimum.
10. OUTSTANDING SERVICE: Restaurant open 5 years minimum.4 Comments »