Disclaimer: Let me preface the following by saying that I was raised by Pennsylvania Dutch parents, which explains a lot about what I’m about to say:
When I was growing up, the list of what my parents “didn’t believe in” (mayonnaise, private cars, food made by strangers, and tuna from a can) was almost as long as the list of what they actively feared (avocados, botulism, spices of all kinds, and activities that attracted more than four people). That being said, both going to the State Fair and eating spicy foods were completely out of the question. (My only experience of going to a Fair came in 1976 when our elderly neighbors staged a pity-abduction and took my brother and me in the back of their wood-paneled Travelall. Sidenote: once we got there, I was both too thrilled and too afraid to eat anything.)
So, imagine the illicit charge I got (as both a food writer and Fair virgin) as I noshed my way through the tastings at last night’s Fair Food sneak peek in the Food & Fiber Pavillion. From this year’s bumper crop of TX commestibles, three standouts made my list for best bets for stocking the goodie-corner of my pantry.11 Comments »
As mentioned earlier in this space, last night was Il Cane Rosso‘s inaugural Thursday night outing to the Green Spot. The gentleman you see at left is the affable Jay Jerrier, the brains behind Il Cane Rosso’s mobile wood-burning pizza oven. If you want to know a little more about his rig, read this Q&A with Jerrier. Here’s what I can tell you about his Neapolitan pies: they are excellent in your mouth. Jerrier makes his pies in strict accordance with the guidelines of the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana. You can go here to learn exactly what that means. Chances are, if you dig pizza, you already know all this. I’d read about Il Cane Rosso before and had talked to some folks who’d raved about Jerrier’s work, but last night was my first taste. The pizza lived up to the hype.
My family ordered two pies: a margherita ($10) and an Emma with Jimmy’s sausage ($14). Il Cane Rosso’s website talks about how they hand-pull their mozzarella every day and how their tomato sauce is made with San Marzano tomatoes that have been hand-crushed so as to avoid breaking the seeds, which makes the sauce bitter. Yes, of course. But here’s what that means to me: I go to a place like Alphonso’s (right across the parking lot from Green Spot), whose pizza I really like, and I can stomach one, maybe two, slices. There’s just a lot going on with an Alphonso’s pie. Two pieces, and I feel like I need to lie down. And I don’t eat the crust because it seems like a waste of time.
That ICR margherita? I ate half of it, crusts included. It’s just so simple and delicate. The interplay of crust and sauce and cheese is a thing of magic. One bite might bring you all three; the next might bring you sauce and basil and a bubble of charred crust only, a different flavor profile. Am I making sense? Let me put it this way: my 11-year-old son will eat pizza if that’s all there is to eat, but he doesn’t particularly care for it. I always thought he was just strange. But last night I learned that the problem was, I’d never fed him a real Neapolitan pizza. He ate half that Emma (pictured) last night and declared that ICR’s was the first pizza he’d ever liked.
Frisco is home to Platia Greek Kouzina, a cozy Greek restaurant run by two sisters. Teresa Gubbins files this review in the latest issue of D Magazine.
7 Comments »
When Sally Maglaris opened Zorba’s with her then husband in 2001, their authentic Greek food stood out as the real deal, drawing a rapturous clientele and earning numerous awards for Best Greek in Dallas. Now Sally has partnered with her sister Rhea Manos and Yanni Garmiris at a new spot called Platia Greek Kouzina. The sisters come from a restaurant family. Their father had restaurants back in Chicago. The sisters took over a defunct pizzeria in Frisco and recast it as a kind of Greek-themed courtyard with faux stone, wall sconces, and high-backed upholstered chairs. Service can be distracted, but they have the food covered. The big magnet is the signature roast chicken with potatoes: a half chicken as juicy and tender as it gets, with thickly sliced potatoes baked until brown and soft. Pita bread is nifty with your choice of three dips, such as yogurt, eggplant, caviar, and a firmly textured hummus that makes the more common Middle Eastern version seem pallid. Greek casseroles are lush: moussaka with eggplant, and pastitsio made with thick macaroni and ground beef and capped with creamy béchamel.
The Libertine Bar is holding a Spaten Beer Dinner on Wednesday, September 29 at 7:00PM. Spaten is one of Germany’s most successful breweries and is deeply rooted in Munich’s venerable beer-brewing tradition. The details of the dinner and beer pairings are listed below. Tickets to the event are $50 per person. BUT if you are the first person to call The Libertine and say “Hey SideDish says I deserve two free tickets!” you and a friend will go for free. On you mark, get set, wählscheibe: 214-824-7900.1 Comment »
Earlier this week, Sarah Reiss became an employee at D Magazine. Long before she came to us, she was a brewer of beer and a freelance writer. As soon as she moved to Dallas, she contacted executive editor Tim Rogers and sent him a few clips of her work. Her timing was perfect. We were looking for a writer to do a feature on the Dallas beer scene. Sarah not only took the assignment, she did a great job of scouting the pubs and taverns across the city. She talked to brewers, bartenders, cicerones, and beer experts. Her report is the cover story of the newest issue of D Magazine. You can buy a copy, or read it for free right here.3 Comments »
Hey, Dishers. Where did you eat this week? Did you find something fabulous? Did you find something foul? We’d love to hear your thoughts on your latest restaurant experiences.12 Comments »