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Ice Didn’t Stop John Tesar From Cooking at Cedars Social in Dallas

D'Lynn Proctor works the crowd which included sommelier Scott Barber (seated). photography by Randy Yarbrough.

I must say I am impressed by the intrepid foodies who risked their lives last night to eat The Tesar’s cooking at Cedars Social. The Brad was there. And so was The Steven, as in Steven Doyle. Here is his report.

As Snowmageddon 2011 continues and we etch ever closer to Sunday’s Super hoopla, I’m happy to report that people are braving the weather to attend the special events scattered across several counties.  Last evening at least 40 courageous diners made their way to the second in a series of five “Supper Bowls” at the soon-to-be-open Cedars Social located in old Sala spot in the South Lamar area of Dallas.

The hosts for the evening included owner and former Green Bay Packer Brian Williams, who was surrounded by a posse of former players, local sommelier legend D’Lynn Proctor, who serves as a wine consultant for Cedars Social, and chef John Tesar who sprang into action with his own virile brand of cookery when Bradley Ogden was unable to make the trek to Dallas.

The restaurant will prove to be an ample playground for those quartering in the nearby South Side lofts. The interior of Cedars Social oozes quietly lit and comfortable ski lodge feel. The space is sparsely decorated but with a unique feel that defines the inclusion of Social to the name.

The Supper Bowl was not meant to be a foreshadowing of what is to come next week when the restaurant goes live. The “real” menu will be much more playful and hearty. The list of food items includes sharable plates, seafood dishes, and comforting food such as lobster pot pie and ground beef and short rib burgers served on Tesar’s signature English muffin.

The cocktail program is the brainchild of be veteran Dallas barman Michael Martenson. His vision is to create a list of old-school-pre-Prohibition cocktails that are happily so rampant in Dallas these days.

Beef tongue appetizer. photography by Randy Yarbrough.

Our dinner last evening began with a flurry of passed hors d’oeurves and cocktails, but quickly swept into the starters which included a butter poached king crab with parsley puree and garlic foam served with a Russian Standard Vodka “zakuski” toast.

Jump for more.

Next up was  a large roasted Gulf prawn with finnochetta (a sweet and salty fennel salame), avocado, and lemon garlic aioli. The dish was at once breath-taking and paired with tea vodka cocktail called Colonial Tea Time.

Chef Tesar served a rustic Bolognese with penne and large shards of a creamy aged pecorino as his pasta dish, paired with a 2008 Villa San-Juliette Petite Sirah.

The prize for braving the weather for this special dinner was a plate containing enormous whole-roasted sweet breads served with creamer potatoes, oyster mushrooms, and Tom Spicer,s greens dressed with a truffle vinaigrette. The course was paired with a 2009 Borgo Magredo Pinot Grigio Friuli.

The night was finally sweetened with a hazelnut, milk chocolate and banana torte prepared by former Mansion sous pastry chef Corey Thompson.

The evening broke up quickly and the crowd skated out the door for their safe journey home. Tonight Matt McCallister is expected to take over the kitchen to create one of his incredible 7-course dinners. Thursday Tesar goes back into the kitchen, followed by Friday with Top Chef sweetheart Tiffany Derry.

Butter-poached king crab with parsley puree and garlic foam. photography by Randy Yarbrough.
Hazelnut and milk chocolate banana torte. photography by Randy Yarbrough.
Petite Syrah poured at Cedar Social for Supper Bowl. photography Airon Peralta.

17 comments on “Ice Didn’t Stop John Tesar From Cooking at Cedars Social in Dallas

  1. didn’t TGI Fridays serve their burgers on english muffins as far back as 1980? How can it be Tesar’s signature

  2. Because he is known to serve them on a muffin. Had it at the Burgers and Burgundy fundraiser and they are really good.

  3. Excited for Matt McCallister’s dinner tonight. Rumor has it Bradford Hodgkins (formerly of SP) and Katherine Clapner are in the house as well tonight. It’s the Sp Alums…

  4. The photo Randy Yarbrough took of Scott and D’Lynn looks like he was sitting in your seat, Brad. Would love to be there tonight, I just caught wind of the menu from Matteo.

  5. @really: for Tesar the muffin came about from his youth when he worked at a place called Magic’s Pub in Southampton Beach. They used an English muffin on their burgers. You will probably see this on his menu in the future listed in some fashion as the Magic Burger. It’s an homage to the place that he started cooking.

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  7. Where does D’Lynn normally work. I see him at different things like this and never really heard.

  8. I can’t wait to try tis place. Funny about foil cut. You guys don’t miss a thing!

  9. @OldDallasNative …the first rule of being a smart ass is not making a mistake when pointing out someone else’s mistake.

    ;)

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  11. Steven, I know the history but was referring to the “Tesar’s signature English muffin.” If indeed it was from another restaurant he worked at in his youth and TGI Friday’s did it as well how is it his signature? Just askin…

  12. Somm “LEGEND”? They work very hard and have been accepted into the presitgous local circle but labeling them “Legends” is a bit pre-mature. They are top notch and deserve great respect but they have a way to go before they reach “legendary” status.