The rumors mills are churning with the news that Zinsky’s Deli is about to close their doors. Makes perfect sense to me, we just took a lovely photograph of their lox and bagels for our October issue and shipped it to the printers! D Magazine cover story (Best Breakfasts) jinx continues. Anywhoo, here is what peeps are saying:
A friend had food catered into his office today from Zinsky’s.
The guy who brought it in told him, “We’re closing the deli, no later than
Monday. We might still do catering, though.” My source promptly phoned the restaurant, where someone answered and said yes, we’re open today, but probably not for much longer.
I got the same reply on the phone and have left an email and phone message for owner Liz Baron. Why can’t Dallas keep any sort of deli alive? Especially it the neighborhood of Preston Royal.
UPDATE: From owner Liz Baron: “Yes, sadly it’s true.”64 Comments »
Imagine you run a restaurant. What do you do to attract patrons during the Dog Days of Summer? If you are The Capital Grille you devise a wine-food pairing that’s good dining, good fun and good information – all in one package. They call it their Master Wine Tasting Event. Basically, you choose from one to eleven wines from a specially selected list (quantity per pour is somewhat smaller if you choose a large number of the wines). The price is a flat $25! You pay à la carte prices for the food portion of your meal (food purchase required). So, essentially, you get a huge break on the wine part of the bill. Continue reading "A Capital Idea at The Capital Grille"1 Comment »
Veletta Lill, Executive of the Arts District, sheds a hopeful light on the possibilities of mobile food in the Central Business District.
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After a number of discussions with the city we learned all the obstacles to mobile food trucks. The largest of those obstacles in downtown is an outright prohibition of mobile food trucks (not push carts) in the CBD. After discussions with the folks in the planning department and learning of the extensive waits for development code changes requested by the city council or planning department, we in the Arts District decided to go forward with a code change for our area only and to file our own zoning request change (this means a filing fee close to $4000 that our non-profit will incur). The simple change in language is attached to this correspondence. When the city accepts the zoning change application the plan commission will still have to authorize it and we will still need to go through the public meeting notices, public hearings, etc. This will take months but it will then allow mobile food trucks in the Arts District.
I am also working with one of our restaurants to secure a small push cart for sandwiches, etc. Those are not prohibited but have exacting rules and guidelines. I hope we will be able to do that before long.
It has been and will continue to be a struggle, but at least if we are successful in this zoning change it will allow food trucks to come down when they are ready. In addition, one of our property owners is very willing to food truck[s] gathering on occasion. I should say that while downtown code doesn’t allow mobile food trucks there are many other zoning categories that already allow them.
The imminent closure of Avner Samuel’s Aurora need not be in vain. We have found the ideal location for his next restaurant. It has a picturesque location, stunning views and is barely a Cadillac Escalade’s 60-0 braking distance from downtown Dallas. In fact, it’s a proven restaurant location– the hilltop held Baby Doe’s Matchless Mine for longer than the Dallas North Tollway has gone to Oklahoma. Even the approach road has a locavore name Goat Hill Rd. Jump for the joy of discovery! Continue reading "Exclusive! We Find Ideal Location For Avner Samuel’s Next Restaurant!"3 Comments »
Those wacky Brits are going nuts over squirrel meat! Yuck, you say? Have you ever eaten squirrel?
I’m no Tony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern, but I have had my fair share of quirky meals. Once, on safari in Zimbabwe, I made nachos with the meat of a warthog and I’ve eaten most of the big game in Africa such as lion, giraffe, zebra, etc. Lately, I’m hearing a lot about insects as a new source of protein in the US market. Makes sense—I killed about 750,000 grasshoppers on my drive to East Texas last night. I might as well have harvested them and made chili or something (birds like them live). Bugs are great on salads. And you, how far will you go? Would you eat a crow? I want to know. And I don’t feel like working!14 Comments »
I was just flipping through Nation’s Restaurant News and found this article about chef changes around the country. The transaction that caught my eye was this one:
Shawn Armstrong has been promoted to executive chef of the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. Previously, he was executive sous chef of the hotel’s MOzen Bistro, and before that he was chef de cuisine of the Oyster and Wine Bar at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. He also has been executive chef of the Taj Resort and Palace in Maldives and chef de cuisine of The Cliff in Singapore.Replacing Armstrong at MOzen Bistro is Vivek Rawat, who has been promoted from that restaurant’s sous chef to chef de cuisine. Previously he was at the Mandarin Oriental in Singapore, where he was sous chef of Dolce Vita restaurant.
Why my curiosity? I was under the assumption that former French Room execuchef Jason Weaver left Dallas in March 2009 to chef at the Mandarin Oriental. I found his name on the catering page of the hotel’s website and called the banquet department. They told me he is no longer with the hotel. I searched the internet and found nada. Anyone?4 Comments »
One day, a Grape server’s wife gave her husband a St. Martha figurine. The figurine, which represents the patron saints of cooks and servers, has been a part of the restaurant ever since. While she generally sits by the POS machine, she got to be in the main dining room last night. And if you stop by The Grape tonight or tomorrow, she’ll be there to greet you.
The restaurant is celebrating the Feast of St. Martha. For the next two nights, you can get a three-course tasting menu for $36. Five dollars from each meal will go to the Stewpot Alliance.
The Grape co-owner Courtney Luscher says Brian, her husband and “the creative part of the team,” came up with the idea after seeing the figurine. The couple wanted to do the event last year, but with the slumping economy and being named best hamburger by Texas Monthly, the two had other things to plan.
Luscher says she’s excited for what she hopes to become an annual event. I got to test the tasting menu last night. Jump to see what the feast is all about.
Just got an update on the upcoming Texas Sommelier Association Conference(TexSom) , and the lineup looks fantastic. Celebrating its 6th year, TexSom and Texas’ Best Sommelier Competition is the brainchild of founders James Tidwell MS, CWE, Sommelier at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas; Drew Hendricks MS, CWE, Director of Beverage Education for Pappas Restaurants in Houston; and Guy Stout MS, Education Director for Southern/Glazer’s Distributors.
The event will occur over 2 days, August 15 and 16, at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas and will include a wine filled line up to make any novice or pro gain insight and find new favorites in the expansive world of wine. Classes range from the wine of Southern Italy, Sicily and Sardinia to Greece to Southern France to Portugal. The evening of the 16th TexSom will hold their Grand Tasting, and from what I can tell, over 100 wines will be available to taste including old standards to new favorites from around the world.
The Best Sommelier in Texas competition will be taking place throughout the weekend with some of the best in our city competing. An extra bonus, The Four Seasons has a special conference rate for the weekend.
If you have the slightest interest in wine this is a great event to enjoy. More information available here.
I spent a few months researching funky food trucks in other cities. Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Washington D.C., and New York all have a variety of mobile food units that either tweet their locations or rely on a regular schedule.
The most successful food truck operation is Kogi Korean BBQ in Los Angeles. The chef, Roy Choi, operates four trucks and recently opened Alibi Room, a brick and mortar restaurant in west LA. I guess you could say he backed into the restaurant business. (Rim shot.)
More interesting to me is that Choi was chosen as one of the ten Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine.
Why can’t we find these kinds of stories on our local streets, especially downtown or in the Arts District? After speaking with city officials, restaurateurs, code enforcement officers, and anyone in between, I determined that the future of funky food trucks in Dallas looks grim. Even Michael Sigel, owner of Green House Truck, the first operation to make some headway in Dallas, seems to be using his truck more for catering and special events.
Anywhoo, the whole story about food trucks in Dallas is here. Read it and scream.
Parting note: During the course of researching this story, I tried to reach chef Choi for some perspective. Here is the reply I received (3 weeks after the call followed by an email):
Thanks so much for your interest in Kogi, but unfortunately we are not accepting any press requests at the moment or anytime in the unforeseen future. As it stands, we are on a media sabbatical. I wish you all the best on your project.
From the guy who used to make tacos on a truck in the bowels of Los Angeles? Gotta love this country.10 Comments »