Exclusive! Breaking! Must credit SideDish!!
Minutes ago, Bob Sambol told his staff and investors that he is decamping the legendary Bob’s Steak & Chop House to take a job at MCrowd. Come Monday, diners at the Mercury Grill will find Sambol waiting to greet them at the front door. He’ll run that operation and will spearhead an MCrowd foray into fine dining with as-yet-unnamed future restaurants in the Dallas area.
Naturally, if you’ve been playing along at home, you are right now recalling that Sambol is a thief who recently copped to stealing $300,000 from an investor. I asked MCrowd co-owner Ray Washburne why he would take on that risk and the baggage that comes with it. I found it curious that he didn’t have a ready answer and seemed to be thinking out loud as he looked for one. Washburne said Sambol is a talented guy and a hard worker. “In the restaurant business,” he said, “you have very few people who are true restaurateurs, who work the door and know their customers’ names.” Sambol is one of those guys. (Washburne said Al Biernat is another.) But Washburne also said the hire was a real Dallas thing. “One reason Dallas is a great city is if you’re honest and you work hard, people are willing to listen to you,” he said. I replied, “Honest?” Washburne laughed and said, “We’re all sinners. Bob has addressed his issues. He’s looking for a fresh start, and working with the structure that MCrowd has, he can flourish.” Hang on, though. There’s one more reason Washburne gave for making the hire. Sambol got deferred adjudication and is on probation for 10 years. “If he messes up once,” Washburne said, “he’s done. He’s got a gun to his head.” In other words, he thinks Sambol is a safe bet.
For his part, Sambol told Nancy: “I’m really excited. I’ve had some incredible heart-to-heart talks with all of the partners. I’ve been honest with them, and I respect [Mercury Grill chef Chris Ward] and his staff. We are not looking back. We’re looking forward to increasing business and perhaps creating new projects for Chris.”
Ward is known for being, oh, let’s call it quiet. What is going to happen when MCrowd installs an operator at the Mercury who has grown accustomed, over the years, to having his name on the building? “Bob has a great passion for the restaurant business,” Ward said. “He has plans to boost the business at Mercury. We’ve also talked about doing another restaurant together.”31 Comments »
Last night the 14th annual Rising Stars Chefs’ Awards Dinner celebrated exceptional food and flavors created by some of the cities best up and coming chefs. The second event in the five day Dallas Wine and Food Festival, this event has become one of the most anticipated for lovers of great food and supporters of our local chefs.
With Executive Director Nikki Miller at the helm, a tasting event was held in early April where various chefs presented their creations to the Dallas Wine and Food Festival judging panel, and last night at the Nasher Sculpture Center the winners were honored, with lucky attendees enjoying the tasty winning dishes with wine pairings from Napa Valley Artesa Chardonnay and incredible Pinot Noir from Domaine Serene in Willamette Valley. A special treat this year, a reception cocktail of Makers Mark and lemonade. All the food was decadent with one common theme…butter. Follow the jump for pictures of the festivities.1 Comment »
Katherine Clapner, the dudette behind Dude, Sweet Chocolate, is throwing a party to celebrate the first anniversary of her shop in Bishop Arts. She’s going all out—apparently she’s dressing up as Selena and her staffers will tote marshmallow guns and attend as The Three Amigos. The fun will take place in conjunction with Cinco de Mayo Wine Walk, on May 5 from 7-9pm. In true Dude form, EZ Eddie at the turntables,100 Anjos Reposado will flow, and pinatas in the likes of people you’ve always wanted to whack upside the head.
Has it escaped anyone’s attention that Mother’s Day is
next THIS Sunday TOMORROW?
Mom may be around constantly, but Mothers’ Day comes but once a year. Treat her right by taking her out to brunch. Ladies’ choice.
jump for the menus… Continue reading "Mother’s Day Cometh, Dallas!"2 Comments »
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This one’s for my frugal foodies [winks and points finger at’cha].
I’m starting a new feature called “Ate it for $8.” Every week I’ll scour the city for new places to grab lunch for less than eight bucks. Don’t like the places I pick or have a great idea for an $8 lunch? Send me suggestions; I’d love to hear about where you go for cheap eats!
For my first cheap lunch, I went to Taco Joint in east Dallas. I’m a sucker for good Tex-Mex, and my friends constantly rave about this place — I can’t even begin to say how many you’ve-never-been-there?!’s I’ve heard. Needless to say, my expectations were pretty high for this place before even stepping through the door.
The vibe was right up my alley with vintage records stuck to the ceiling and regulars packed around each table. I heard the tacos were massive, so I kept it to just two this time … and I’ glad I did. I ordered a crispy taco ($1.99) and soft taco ($1.99), and munched on some better-than-average chips and salsa ($1.99) while I waited for my name to be called.
If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Chef Hung at Kenichi, then you already know he is a kind and talented man. The recent tragedies in Japan and the wretched weather disasters in the U. S. have moved him to start a drive to raise some money to aid disaster relief. At the Second Annual Sake Festival at Kenichi on May 6, Chef Hung will add a special feature to the event.
We’re setting up for a special sampling, at $10 additional a pour. I’ve collected a few rare sakes in my travels to Japan–some have been honored gifts, some required fastidious seeking out, none are (or will likely ever be) available in the US. To these, I will add my collection of koshu–sakes I’ve personally aged. As you know, most sakes aren’t meant to be aged, and most don’t do well when “rested.” But certain ones can be interesting, and drinking aged sakes is a connoisseur activity, in some circles. Included in this collection are brews from regions of Japan which may not produce sake again in our lifetimes.
Attendees of last year’s festival sampled more than 50 sakes. This year there will be more. Friday, May 6th, 2011. 5pm – 8pm Kenichi Dallas. 2400 Victory Park Ln. 214-871-8883. $40 per person. Special tasting area with Hung, an additional $10 per pour.
Picture an extraordinarily proper woman with lovely pearls at Highland Park Village Starbucks at mid-morning who blurts to the barista: “I need a naughty mommy drink.”
A few years ago at Cafe Pacific in the dead of summer I will just never forgot the couple at the next table. The girl was dressed in a very shiny dress and her date in a shiny new shirt. They asked the waiter to describe Cafe Pacific’s famous ice cream pecan ball dessert. After listening to the description the gal asked, “Can we have that to go?” Ice cream?
Several weeks ago on SideDish a commenter who goes by “IntheIndustry” reported on a post the he/she overheard a customer announce “We’re Yelpers” to the waiter as if that qualified them to receive special service. I about spit my screen when I read that.
How about you? What are some of the funniest thing you’ve overheard while dining?24 Comments »
This just in from the press release department:
As you may have heard, the new Food Network series Best in Smoke on which Tim Love will be one of the judges, premieres Sunday, May 8th at 9 pm CST (it will air at 8:00 pm CST in subsequent weeks), and it features six of the best barbecue masters in the country. The contestants meet in New York to face off for a $50,000 grand prize and the right to claim the title of Best in Smoke. This competition tests the competitors’ endurance and skill as they take on multiple challenges in a day with limited resources and cook for vastly different audiences. From barbecue desserts to single bite hors d’oeuvres, no food is off limits. Contestants show off their personal style and quick wit throughout the competition, but a final mad dash to three separate venues around Manhattan and Brooklyn will determine which competitor will be awarded the coveted title of Best In Smoke.
The first episode is “Best Bite in BBQ” and the six teams are challenged to create their best “single bite” for the judges panel, which includes Tim Love. Once the clock starts, it’s an all-out scramble to the meat truck, and the competitor who cooks up the best “single bite” wins immunity from elimination and joins the judging panel for the next round. Then, the competitors devise the ideal BBQ hors d’oeuvre for an upscale art gallery opening. The fate of the finalists hangs on the opinions of the gallery guests who decide which competitor is safe from elimination.
You might be inclined to think you’ve reached a new low when Tim Rogers declares your night “the saddest sounding night ever.” Not I. I spent last night blissfully alone in a suite at Hotel St. Germain, drinking champagne, wearing a tiara, eating two-person servings of cheese and desserts, and watching American Idol. The original plan had me joined by my husband and dog at 9 pm, but when they played the wild card that allows them each one opt-out a year, I took it as a boon. How often do we, as adults, get a malice-free evening to just chill out and, as Elizabeth Gilbert (and the Italians) say, practice the fine art of doing nothing?
Not often enough, it seems. No matter how much you love your spouse and kids/pets, an evening of rolling around in blissful self-absorption doesn’t suck—especially when you do it in a foofy hotel room with butlers ready to buttle at the ring of a bell.
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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. Here’s what you reported last week.15 Comments »