A couple of weeks ago, I posted an episode of Posh Nosh. The show is a 2003 BBC show parodying TV chef. I think it may be ten minutes long. The program stars Arabella Weir and Richard E. Grant as the chefs Simon and Minty Marchmont and is telecast from their make-believe restaurant The Quill and Tassel. Whenever I’m tired or grumpy, I watch an episode. I think it’s time for another show.5 Comments »
This holiday season I would like to devote some time and energy to supporting our hard-working small food businesses. We all know you can get great local products packaged together at Whole Foods and Central Market, but I’d like to create a post dedicated to those who need a little free advertising. Do you make a jelly, jam, chocolate, apron, coffee cake, ham, table linen, turkey, casserole, wine opener, olive oil, or brownie? Items you can purchase for gifts or to serve at a gathering. If so, send me an email with your information and a picture if you have one. If not, drop a sample by the office and we will photograph it. Some examples of businesses I am referring to are Dude, Sweet Chocolate, Crumbzz, Mozzarella Company—products made in the DFW area or close by. Send your sales pitch and contact or ordering information along with address, phone number and website. We’ll do the rest.
She’s a gay old gal who loves some cake with her coffee. Hear her plea:
Hi Nancy, I sent you an email last year and you suggested a certain coffee cake. I’m sorry I can’t remember where I bought it but it was yummy. Can you remember? I am having a house full of people during the holidays and like have several around and in my freezer.
Hmm. She likes to put people in her freezer? That’s kinda scary. Plus, she is relying on my memory? Right-o. Now go. (Actually I think it might have been Crumbzz. )11 Comments »
Alberto Lombardi has downgraded his upscale Tuscan steakhouse to a more approachable Tuscan grill. The menu prices and offerings have been changed to reflect the new “rustic, comfortable interior” which is “like being in an old Italian farmhouse.” I’m not sure of the fate of the La Bistecca Fiorentina, but Lombardi claims La Fiorentina Tuscan Grill is “my most authentic Italian restaurant.” No specifics of the new menu were released. Looks like fine dining is going to have to wait a little longer for its comeback.
I love press releases. I live for them. I get maybe 60 a day. Sometimes more. Sometimes they piss me off. Other times they crack me up. In the spirit of fun, I bring you the opening line of : RATHBUN’S BLUE PLATE KITCHEN INTRODUCES CHEF JENNIFER NEWBOLD
“Today Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen introduced Chef Jennifer Newbold, who will work directly under Executive Chef and Partner, Kent Rathbun.”
Yow. Zah. That could make it hard to reach the salamander! But seriously, Rathbun has added a new female chef which always makes me happy. Newbold has been in Rathbun’s fold (clearing throat) for some time. She’s cheffed at Jasper’s. Before that she cooked at Blue Point Coastal Cuisine in San Diego. She’s originally from Washington where “she often hunted, fished, and cooked with her dad, as well as cultivated fruit and vegetable gardens at home. Working directly with the land and its bounty developed her interest in food and has carried over into her career, as Newbold regularly engages with local farmers to ensure that Blue Plate Kitchen’s menu features dishes as fresh and local as possible.”
Kinky. Okay, all in fun. If we can’t kid each other who can we kid?
If you happen to miss the September “come as you are” wine dinner at The Grape which featured the highly rated Domaine Serene winery from Willamette Valley in Oregon you are in luck. This Friday, December 1st, Bailey’s Prime Plus on Park Lane will host an exclusive wine dinner featuring some of the best made by the winery, including the 2008 Coeur Blanc and the 2006 Monogram. Dinner starts at 7pm and there are only a handful of seats left, reservations required – (214) 750-8100.
If the “come as you are” wine dinner is a little more your speed, this month The Grape will host second generation winemaker Fernando Frias of Napa Valley’s Frias Family Vineyard and their estate grown, single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon on December 7th. As always with The Grape, reservations start at 5:30pm and go until 9pm, you come when you like. With this guests have an opportunity to have one-on-one discussions with both the winemaker, and owners Chef Brian Luscher and Sommelier/GM Courtney Lusher, while enjoying the tasty pairings. Reservations – (214) 828-1981
If you prefer to enjoy some of the many artisinal products we have in Dallas in the comfort of your own home without having shop for it, and live in Frisco, Allen and McKinney, Artizone has now expanded their delivery area of their Dallas specialties including Scardello, Empire Baking Company, Hirsch’s Specialty Meats, Rex’s Seafood, Holy Ravioli, La Duni, Dude, Sweet Chocolate, JJ&B – Jams, Jellies and Butters, Busy B’s Market (100% Organic-fed, free-range eggs), and many more, they can even deliver wine from their partner Dallas Fine Wines. Artizone’s delivery area also includes Dallas, Oak Cliff, Richardson, Plano, Addison, Carrollton, Las Colinas, Farmers Branch, Irving and Coppell.2 Comments »
Loren Means gives us a snapshot of what to expect at Bistro 31, Alberto Lombardi’s newest creation in Highland Park Village.
What to expect: Prolific restaurateur Alberto Lombardi’s newest creation is in the heart of Highland Park Village. The restaurant is named to honor the year the original structure was built in: 1931. On my trip to the bistro, the Village was packed with shoppers and locals enjoying the holidays. With the holidays in full swing, you might be pressed to find a parking spot but there is valet parking available next door.
Setup: The interior is sleek and elegant without feeling stuffy or fancy. Beautiful chandeliers, which were immediately identifiable as Murano glass, hang from the ceilings above the marble topped tables. The floors are oak herringbone, the booths are covered in cream-colored leather, and abstract paintings on the white walls create a very European feel. The open-air patio, tiled floors, and two tops spilling out onto the sidewalk create a true bistro feel. You could be in Italy or the south of France. We opted for a sidewalk table. The weather was perfect for outdoor dining and the ceiling of Christmas lights from all the trees created a lovely atmosphere. If you choose to dine al fresco during the day, I would forgo the sidewalk option as you may feel like you’re eating in a parking lot without the night sky and Christmas lights to disguise it. Additionally, the actual patio has heating and air conditioning as well as a retractable roof that will keep you dry should the weather take a turn. Continue reading "First Take: Bistro 31 in Highland Park Village"
I reviewed MesoMaya in the December issue of D Magazine. I ate there four times and ran out of friends and family willing to give it another try. And you? Have you been? Let’s talk.
The tagline on the menu at MesoMaya promises “an adventure into the fresh, bold, and earthy flavors of authentic interior Mexican cuisine.” I asked the waiter what that meant. “It is the food from where I come from,” he said, without telling me where he came from. “It is not like what you find at Mi Cocina. It is real Mexican food.”
Maybe his oversimplified explanation is all you need to know when you peruse MesoMaya’s menu, filled as it is with trendy items such as mole, guajillo, and pozole. But alarms went off in my head when a basket of warm chips and a bowl of salsa were set on the table. This ritual isn’t performed in the interior regions of Mexico; it’s a play straight out of a Tex-Mex handbook.
I’ve seen a lot of moose and, guess what, they don’t smile. They’re ornery, awkward and introverted. Like most animals, the male gets the better outfit: bulls are adorned with spectacular racks (antlers) while the cows (females) look like ugly donkeys. But I’m off target.
A Smiling Moose has been spotted in Carrollton. It is a deli and the first location of the Colorado-based sandwich shop in the DFW area. If Dallas-based real estate broker and managing partner of Racalico, llc, Jennifer Frank has her way, there will be 12 Smiling Moose in Dallas and 50 in Texas. Here’s the menu.10 Comments »
Company Café made it to our list of Best New Restaurants in 2011. The locavore philosophy behind the menu is important and so is the wide variety of gluten-free dishes. I like Company Café because the food tastes good. I will go there as long as they can resource sweet potatoes.
On December 6, the second location on Company Café will open on the Katy Tail. The address is 3136 Routh Street and the parking entrance is on Browning just off Cedar Springs. The menu will include most of the healthy, organic dishes such as the Deep Bowl, gluten-free chicken and waffles, and gluten-free cakes. But their will be more. They are adding a Little Red Smokehouse from J&R Manufacturing in Mesquite and will offer smoked fish and meat.
And a La Marzocco Strada MP coffee maker like the one at Oddfellows. Company Café co-owner, Stephen White, says, “It’s the Maserati of coffee makers.” Several (hundred) web sites refer to this machine as a “barista’s wet dream.” There are fewer than 20 in the U.S. and Dallas has two. Somebody order another so we can make the La Marzocco Strada MP an official trend in Dallas. (It takes three of one thing.)
If you prefer a different buzz, Company Café on the Trail will have a full bar featuring house-infused vodka cocktails and, the waxing trend, a large patio. Remember, all distilled alcohols are gluten-free.
So, there you have it: something for everybody at Company Café on the Trail.
A few minutes ago I noticed a tweet from Torchy’s Taco: “Yes, Torchy’s is closed. No, the world is not over.” I called the Preston Forest restaurant and got a recorded message. I called an all of the other locations and got voicemail. However, the Austin location on South First says: “we closed for repairs on Tuesday the 4th and Wednesday the 5th and re-open on the 6th.”
Now Andrea Grimes @Eater says they are closed for a holiday party. “Which you can find out if you read like, five of their tweets.” Guess I shouldn’t use the phone anymore.6 Comments »
This week, we see the demise of Jackalope Mobile Vegan Kitchen. Entrepreneur Alex Salas tells us that there just wasn’t enough business. His father, who owns the truck, will re-purpose the vehicle to serve construction sites. Jackalope could serve as a Harvard Business Review discussion for how not to start a business. They started with weak marketing, a limited audience, under-capitalized, and poor product. We had eaten their food twice and it needed improvement. All trucks go through this startup phase of learning what their customers want and how to properly prepare it in the mobile environment. Unfortunately, Jackalope was so under-capitalized that they didn’t have the time to improve. Lessons learned.
This week, we add Good Karma Kitchen, a vegan food truck, to our lineup. GKK is mostly serving Fort Worth while they work on their Dallas permit. GKK has been rolling for a few weeks now, but is carefully rolling out to avoid problems associated with a startup. While I haven’t tried their food yet, Good Karma appears to be the opposite of Jackalope when it comes to proper marketing and rolling out a new concept. GKK shows up this week at the new Fort Worth Food Truck Park.
And with that, we give you the schedules for the week. Reminder, trucks move, trucks break. Jump for the schedule. Continue reading "Your November 28 Weekly Food Truck Schedule in Dallas"7 Comments »
Ed Bailey can’t do anything simple. The restaurateur once owned 64 McDonalds. He spent bazillions of dollars on several locations decorating the interiors with Ralph Lauren wall fabrics, gold-framed oil paintings, and Austrian crystal chandeliers. Today, he operates multiple locations of Bailey’s Prime Plus Steakhouses and Patrizio’s. And he’s backing local barman Eddie “Lucky” Campbell in The Chesterfield at 1404 Main St. in downtown Dallas.
You know, Chesterfield. Like the cigarettes. The cigabutts that make you look cool like Don Draper. Bailey and Campbell are going way retro with The Chesterfield. It’s “modeled after the barrooms of the early 1900’s considered the Golden Age of Cocktails.”
There is nothing subtle about The Chesterfield. Catch this: “Guests will order cocktails from an 11 chapter menu, modeled after the first American cocktail manuals, arranged by style of drink – sours, fizzes, smashes, juleps, etc. Mixed into these chapters, guests can also expect cocktails smoked-to-order, in addition to modern chapters with seasonal and house specialties called classics re-crafted. The Chesterfield’s bar will be one of the most technically engineered in Dallas. Each bar station will have a freezer, refrigerated drawer, access to illuminated ice blocks, bottled house-made mixers, and a chilled produce bar top display. They will also feature one of the most extensive ice programs in the south, including ice chipped from blocks, cubed, flaked, made from molds and flavored.”
I can dig the ice deal. I’m very picky about my ice. So look for the aptly named Lucky and his ice chipper soon. Oh, and small plates by Executive Chef Michael Ehlert imported from DBGB Kitchen & Bar in New York. And yes, this location was once to be the collaborative effort of Lucky and local mixologist Michael (Cedars Social) Martensen. But it looks like Martensen was kicked to the curb. That’s just my take. Nobody’s talking.10 Comments »
Scott DeGraff, the man who launched the N9NE Group with Michael Morton died on Thanksgiving Day. DeGraff’s body was found in the garage of a home in east Aspen. An autopsy will be performed today to determine the official cause of death which police are calling an apparent suicide. DeGraff was 47.
DeGraff and Morton ran restaurants and nightclubs in Chicago, Las Vegas, and Dallas. They opened N9NE Steakhouse and Nove in Victory Park and Ghostbar in the W Hotel Dallas. Both N9NE and Nove closed. However, Ghostbar is still going strong. According to the Aspen Daily News, DeGraff moved to Aspen in late 2008 and hit financial problems.
What a strange coincidence: In September, Billy Reiger, one of the partners of Kenichi Dallas, also committed suicide in Aspen. Dallas Kenichi is just down the street from DeGraff’s businesses.5 Comments »
Tonight Dallas baker Chad Fitzgerald will get his close-up on Next Great Baker. The show airs on TLC at 8PM. D Magazine intern Arti Sharma interviewed Chad. Get to know him before tonight’s show. He’s a former-teacher-turned-drag-queen-turned-baker. Join him for a debut party at Magnolia Hotel at 7PM.
Chad Fitzgerald claims he and his partner, Edward Navejas, owners of The Cake Guys in Duncanville, are just normal guys. But that is about to change. Since Fitzgerald returned from his appearance on Next Great Baker, the two have opened a second location on Oak Lawn across the street from Pappadeaux. He seems a little anxious when he tells me others have warned him of the potential transformation that could take place once the show airs. He’s nostalgic about the days he baked cakes in his own garage and is excited, and perhaps, a little uneasy about what the future will hold. It is uncertain if he will welcome fame or retreat from it. Continue reading "Season Two of Next Great Baker Airs Tonight: Dallasite and Former Drag Queen Chad Fitzgerald is a Contestant"3 Comments »
Yow. Zah. Bill Conrad of Star Local News, a content partner at Pegasus News, reports Morgan Wilson, the former head pastry chef at Dallas’ Ritz Carlton was indicted for transferring child porn across state lines. Wilson also appeared on the first season of Top Chef Just Desserts.
D Magazine intern Carol Shih prowls Dallas for the best Asian cuisine and also writes a blog about sandwiches.
Every month or so, my dad gets this craving for A Wok, a Taiwanese family restaurant in Plano, and moans about their fish fillets until we all get dressed and eat there for dinner. It’s become our go-to place of the century. Don’t feel like cooking tonight? Time for A Wok. It’s Christmas Eve and the whole world has shut down? Hey, A Wok is open. Located on Independence Parkway, this grungy little establishment has saved my family on several occasions whenever we needed Taiwanese food.
Chef and owner Steve Kang, a Taipei man with dark circles and the ability to ramble on a good bit, arrived in 1977 and has been cooking Chinese food on American soil ever since. If his customers don’t like a dish, he takes it off the menu. “It’s a success when six out of ten people like it,” Kang says. “You can’t please everybody.”2 Comments »
We’re looking for a new online assistant dining editor. Interested?
Here are the details:
D Magazine.com seeks an editor to keep our online food and dining content the best in Dallas. Responsibilities include continual management and enhancement of the thousands of listings in our restaurant directory, keeping up with the latest openings and closings, and ensuring that the information we provide our readers is the most accurate and helpful in the city. This editor should be the sort of person who would wake up in night sweats realizing that he or she accidentally marked a restaurant’s closing time on Thursdays as 10 p.m. when it should have been 11 p.m. Also required of the position are regular contributions to our SideDish blog, including first looks at new restaurants before any other outlets in town, and voicing opinions to spur a lively daily discussion of the Dallas dining scene. We don’t want just one-sided rewrites of press releases. This editor must have a competitive nature that causes him or her to become extremely irritated at, and to swear revenge upon, any blog or publication that might beat us to reporting an important piece of local industry news. But the job isn’t all eating and writing. The editor must be comfortable working with an online CMS and not break into hives when confronted with a massive spreadsheet full of data that must be manually entered (like typing a phonebook), often for hours at a stretch. If you’re interested, please don’t apply merely by emphasizing your “passion” for the subject matter. Tell us instead about the knowledge and skills that make you the absolute best fit for our needs. To do so, email a cover letter and resume to email@example.com.
UPDATE: Yes, you also have to be able to play nice with Nancy.11 Comments »
Check out the recent write-up of Malai Thai-Vietnamese Restaurant in our Best New Restaurants 2011 story. I could eat this green curry chicken everyday.
D Magazine’s Loren Means loves to watch Top Chef. Therefore, she volunteered to watch all of the episodes this season and write a recap. She’s reviewed episode one, two, and three. Today she spills the chili beans on episode four . Go, Loren.
For the fourth episode of the season’s Top Chef: Texas competition, we return to San Antonio to watch the remaining fifteen chefs fight to the death! Just joshin’ – you know why they’re there. The remaining cheftestants listed in particular order based on personality and/or skill, are Paul, our resident Texan, Nyesha, Heather, Edward, Chris J. (although I would like to roundhouse kick his sunglasses off the top of his head), Chuy, Ty, Richie, Chris C., Grayson, Dakota, Whitney, Lindsey, Sarah and Beverly.
The chefs are greeted by Padma and guest judges, Mary Sue Millikin and Susan Feniger, chef/owners of Border Grill Restaurants in LA and Vegas and a few Top Chef Masters alums. Behind the judges are bowls of chile peppers and a board listing temperatures and dollar amounts. The heat of a chili is rated by the Scoville Scale varying from 0 (no heat) to 15,000,000 (pure capsaician). The Anaheim pepper usually ranks between 500-2,000 while the ghost pepper tops the edible chart at 1,000,000. According to Chuy, eating a handful of these babies would be “like eating a pile of fire.” (I’ve had a habanero drop me to my knees so I think I’ll take Chuy’s word for it.) The challenge is for the chefs to create a dish highlighting one type of pepper and show the judges you have cojones. The higher the tolerable heat, the more moolah you win. Continue reading "Top Chef: Texas: Episode Four Recap"7 Comments »