Former Bolsa chef Graham Dodds is the new executive chef at Central 214. He replaces Blythe Beck who left the fancy digs at the Hotel Palomar in late August. Dodds’ farm-to-table philosophy is a perfect fit for the direction management wants to steer the hotel’s restaurant. (Hah!) After his departure from Bolsa in mid-September, Dodds considered doing his own thing with an investor. “I loved being a part of the Oak Cliff community and watching it grow,” Dodds said in September. “But I have a five-year-old daughter and a mortgage to pay.” It looks like a steady gig with benefits turned out to be the better decision. He starts his reign on Monday.
Once he’s up and running, you can expect the buzzwords to roll: locally sourced ingredients, classic farm-to-table cooking, marathon-running chickens, artisanal baked-with-hypersensitive-heat breads, free-range bees with PhDs, penthouse-raised pork, unmolested meat, and “wholesome family” cheese with both parents, curds and whey. Sorry, I got carried away while waiting for a callback from Graham.
Ring, ring. H-h-hello? “Hi Nancy, it’s Graham. I am so excited,” Dodds says. “It’s a great fit. I’ve worked with a lot of people who have worked with this company [Kimpton Hotels] and everybody has great things to say about them.” Although nothing has been decided, there has been some talk of renaming the place and reworking the interior. [Although the name wasn't originally intended to represent farm-to-table, it kinda works with Dodds' cooking.]
“Graham, please don’t speak in press release,” I say. “I want to know what you are going to do with your bee hives? What floor will they be on?” [Dodds has made his own honey from his 20 hives for years.]
“Well my bees are way down this year,” Dodds says with a tear in his voice. “I’m down to 3 hives. I moved them to Eden Creek Farms and a neighbor did some crop dusting and I think it may have drifted over.”
“How in the hell are you going to make up for that loss?”
“Well, I plan to delve into nose-to-tail cooking,” Dodds said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to explore.”
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Each month, Moira Muldoon walks into a bar and writes about it. Here’s her look at the Bolla Bar at the Stoneleigh Hotel. Gotta tip for Muldoon? Leave it below.
At first glance, the Bolla Bar at the Stoneleigh Hotel is borderless. It’s hard to tell if you’re in the lobby or actually in the bar itself—or if somehow you’re in both at once. People wheel suitcases through. The sparkling chandeliers and the plush satin seating wrap around square marble columns and convey opulence and elegance. The smooth arch of the bar itself, a wooden semicircle, a proscenium of sorts, is lovely.
Rooms at the Stoneleigh start at $219, and the service at the bar is solid, the way you’d expect from a high-end hotel with a much-vaunted art deco style and a list of whites by the glass that start at $8 (happy hour wines are $5). When my glass neared empty, a server appeared. Water was refilled consistently, unobtrusively. My friend drank cosmopolitans, remarking that each was different in taste and texture and that each was good.7 Comments »
Kay Agnew sends word: her new restaurant, Margaux’s Bridge Bistro, is open. Agnew moved her Marguax’s Restaurant down the street to 921 N. Riverfront. She continues to do catering and offers a party space called the Twilight Room. The menu includes breakfast, soups, salads, snacks, and creative coffee drinks. Full menu here.
This holiday season I would like to devote some time and energy to supporting local small food businesses. This post is dedicated to spotlighting those who make food-related items one can purchase for gifts or serve at a gathering. If you make jelly, jam, chocolate, aprons, coffee cake, ham, table linen, turkey, casserole, wine opener, olive oil, brownie or any other groovy food item, send me an email with your information and a picture if you have one. Only products made in the DFW area or close by. The list will be updated daily.
Jump for for the joy of the season. Continue reading "Dallas Food Gift Guide: Celebrate the Holidays With Food Made in DFW"17 Comments »