Teresa “Gumshoe” Gubbins is reporting chef Marc Cassel is leaving Park Restaurant on Henderson. His replacement will be Garreth Dickey, a chef who, like Cassel, worked at the Green Room. Sounds like owner Donald Chick wanted to make some changes—they are announcing a new menu in a few weeks–that Marc didn’t either want to make or his talent was too expensive to make. Tune in tomorrow for another episode of As the Chef Turns.8 Comments »
We have some smart interns here at D. If you don’t believe me, check out the Japanese Meredith Stein uses in the following recap. (Photos by Meredith Stein)
Where the Geisha House once stood (on Cedar Springs at Gables in Uptown), NAAN’s second location has opened its doors in its place, along with the new sports bar, Orange. The official grand opening for the Japanese eatery is next Monday, but I scored a preview last night. And let me tell you—とてもおいしかったです(oishi-katta-desu, meaning it was very tasty). The new location houses the restaurant’s first hibachi grill, a must-try. Our chef was cute-as-a-button as he flung his utensils around in showman’s style, cooking up a tasty beef number. It was my favorite dish. I also tried their volcano roll, which seemed to melt in my mouth. And the head bartender was pretty much a rock star, as his martini concoctions were right on. Though service was a bit on the slow side initially, the geniality of the staff made up for the waiting time.
Need an idea for an afternoon snack? Intern Valeria Turturro knows what you should be craving.
Move over cupcakes; cake balls seem to be the next hot item on the scene. If last night’s Cotes du Coeur Wine Society Holiday Cake Ball Bash was any indication, these bite-size creations are catching on fast. With flavors ranging from the beloved red velvet cake to seasonal ginger snap andpeppermint chocolate, six bakeries provided delicious treats to pair with numerous wines (what’s a wine society event without wine?).
The wine society kicked off the holiday season in preparation for its 20th annual Cotes du Coeur event in April. Cotes du Coeur is a fine wine auction and celebrity chef dinner that benefits the American Heart Association. For more information, go here. —Valeria Turturro2 Comments »
D Magazine‘s Administrative Coordinator, Loren Means, is nutso about Top Chef. I asked her to give us her take on episode 2 of Top Chef All-Stars.
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As a lover of all things food and wine, I have been watching Top Chef since the beginning. I was especially excited for Tre and Casey’s season because I’d dined at both of their restaurants many times. I still have dreams about Tre’s Duck Three Ways when he was cooking at Abacus.
All of the faces in the All- Star cast are familiar. While I am thrilled to see some, I wish others would have stayed in the past. Obviously, I am thrilled to see our Dallas crew as well as a few other characters. Fabio makes me smile. He won’t win but I hope he hangs around for a while. I’m really interested to see what Angelo pulls out. He always impressed me during his season. Jamie, though she won’t be winning any congeniality contests, is also a great chef and I’m excited to see what she brings this round. Marcel is the worst. Not the worst chef, but the worst nonetheless. I would be pleased to see Marcel and Stephen pack their knives and leave in the near future. Fingers crossed. On to last night’s show.
Nick Badovinus has a new concept in the works. “It’s light industrial food,” he says. “It’s the kind of food you want to eat before you go solder something.”
Off-Site Kitchen is the name. The small 1,100-foot spot will open in the former Danny’s Chicken spot at Wycliff and Industrial Irving Blvd. All the butchering and seafood production for Badovinus’ other three restaurants will take place at Off-Site. The “cuisine” is line cook food. “I want to honor the kind of food that cooks eat,” says Badovinus. “Ninety-five percent of the calories ingested by cooks takes place while they are standing on their feet. Some of the best food I’ve had comes from the stuff cooks throw together before or after a shift. This spot will be a celebration of that cool culture.”
Off-Site Kitchen will offer items such as short rib sandwiches and carnitas tacos—all breakfast and lunch food you can eat with your hands. Also, popular Neighborhood Services dishes such as veal schnitzel, steaks, and meat loaf will be available for take out along with a small selection of beer and wine.13 Comments »
I went to The Second Floor a couple of weeks ago to test out the newest cocktail on the Molecular Mixology list: the Pumpkin Vanilla Martini. I’d like to start this little recap off with my conclusion: I think The Second Floor is a little gem lost among the Oceanaire and The Grill on the Alley giants at the Galleria. I’m no food snob, but I do love to eat, I am a little finicky, and I can tell you I enjoyed everything served. The martini was beyond delicious. The pumpkin concoction was served with a sprinkling of cinnamon for spice, a dollop of frozen Godiva white chocolate liqueur (which is created in front of you at the bar), and a side of candied cranberries. An invitation to try a smattering of dishes was welcome, and everything from the flatbread to the house-made potato gnocchi was tasty. Jump for details.
Pay no attention to Tim. He’s clueless. However, I’ll say this about Dallas Observer restaurant critic, Hanna Raskin: she’s got ginormus matzah balls. I just finished a quick read of her cover story “Homesick Restaurants: How Dallas Became a Dining Nowhereville.” It’s is an interesting read, but I have a few problems with some of her observations. Like:
“The Dallas dining scene is broken, as anyone who’s eaten out lately can attest. It’s slipped from being a city that drew international attention for its renegade restaurants to a town where corporations serve as tastemakers, chefs aren’t taking chances and customers are so stingy with their food dollars that restaurants can’t engage in the type of fine-dining play that distinguishes cities such as Chicago and San Francisco.”
Well Hanna, “eat out lately” is all you have done. Hence your statement: “Atlanta has grits, Chicago has pizza, Memphis has barbecue and Dallas has—well, mussels.” Mussels are a trend (with chorizo!). You are right: We aren’t San Francisco or Chicago (or Los Angeles), we are Dallas. So, we don’t have what they have and that makes us broken? Yikes! Another outsider’s perspective on what we need.
At the risk of sounding like a female dog, I ask you why you chose to print this:
“Many chefs who chant the organic, local, seasonal mantra advocate a hands-off approach to cooking. “Chefs need to let ingredients speak for themselves,” Dallas Morning News critic Leslie Brenner wrote in her prescription for the city’s restaurants, published last summer.”
I’ve been writing about food here for 14 years. Why didn’t you call me?
Horrors! Sharon Hage closed York Street! Avner Samuel reinvented himself again! Cool it. Sharon will be back and Avner’s ability to shed his skin every few years and open another concept is, and has been for 30 years, an important dynamic here. Oh, and by the way, Avner was an integral part of the “Gang of Five.” Born in Jerusalem, he cooked all over Europe before moving to Dallas in the early 80s and started making tortilla soup from scratch at the Mansion. Stephan and Dean will confirm his influence. They all learned a lot about their techniques and regional ingredients from the Mexicans in their kitchens. One of which, Amador Mora, now has his own restaurant, Maximo.
Dallas has ALWAYS been the way you find it now. Our cuisine sprung from cowboys and Mexicans, not a gold rush and a culture filled with ethnic neighborhoods. We have a long history of Tex-Mex. And chili. And Helen Corbitt’s casseroles (Have you eaten at the Zodiac Room? There’s some vintage Dallas food there.)
“Dallas’ untethered cuisine is so thoroughly out-of-step with how most epicureans are now thinking that the city’s begun to exist in a sort of self-imposed isolation, a decidedly unhealthy position for a city with culinary ambitions.”
Oh my head. I believe the kitchens in Dallas are more vibrant and progressive now than they have been in years. We have more farmers markets; we have a stronger “eat local” movement; we have vegetarian and vegan. Our locavore scene may not be as big as other cities, but it’s a hell of a lot bigger than it was ten years ago or even five years ago. TWO years ago. We are not broken. Quit trying to fix us. Grrr.
UPDATE: A smart chef in town just called me to say, “Dallas diners are the problem. They talk about being epicureans but at the end of the day they prefer to go to Houston’s.”68 Comments »
Only two more days to submit your favorite appetizer recipes in our Central Market Recipe Contest! Get your creative juices flowing: here’s your chance to win $100 to Central Market. (It doesn’t get much simpler than that, people.) We’ll announce the winner Monday, so get to enterin’.
Need some inspiration? Jump for some recipes recently submitted.
Hanna Raskin’s cover story in the Observer this week is a must-read. In it, she makes the case that the Dallas scene has lost its moorings. Not only do we not have world-class comestibles (oh, to be world class!), but she raises the question of whether Dallas deserves to be ranked higher than Austin, San Antonio, or Houston (Houston!). It really is a very thoughtful, well-written story. It will no doubt spark some good conversation, quite an accomplishment given that the North Carolina transplant has only been eating in this town for a few months.
To balance the effusive praise: how the hell do you publish a story like that without showing even one picture of food? Or of the several players on the scene that Raskin talked to? I sense budgetary constraints. Shame.9 Comments »
New Year’s Eve can be a real bummer if you don’t have a gang and a plan. While we may not be able to provide the gang, we can at least provide the plan. Check it out below: