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El Celler de Can Roca, World’s Best Restaurant 2013: World Tour Tasting Dinner in Dallas

Most sophisticated restaurants attempt to entice the palate by way of culinary precision and indelible artistry. Then there are those that demonstrate the full embodiment of a culture; a family, a multi-generational dedication to a craft who embrace external influences, but are primarily motivated by what is immediately available within one’s local community, further encouraged […]

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Wine Dinner Review: Robert Sinskey Vineyards at Gemma

Last Wednesday, I sat down for a one-on-one media dinner at with Maria Helm Sinskey, executive chef and co-owner of the famed Robert Sinskey Vineyards in Napa Valley. Named Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef 1996”, Maria is no secret in the culinary world. Her notable cookbooks, Family Meals and The Vineyard Kitchen, have been […]

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Restaurant Review: The Standard Pour in Dallas

Technically, The Standard Pour is located on the corner of McKinney & Allen but, if you live in Uptown Dallas, you might as well consider it Main & Main. Center of the Universe. With the closing of Sfuzzi Uptown, TSP has formally established dominance as the perennial powerhouse for all things haute-cocktails and gourmet fare.

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Jasper’s Revamps Classic Menu After 11 Years

One of the most recognizable, genuine and approachable celebrity chefs in all of Texas, Kent Rathbun, recently decided to revamp his legendary menu at Jasper’s into one that satisfies loyal patrons, but exemplifies maturation, much in the way the restaurant has since its debut over a decade ago.

While many items on the new menu pay homage to the familiar, each offering is one that will drive every classicist forward, into a place that carefully allows for experimentation while opening the mind and expanding the palate.

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Matt McCallister of FT33 is a Whisky Man

For months I’ve semi-religiously stalked Instagram photos posted by FT33’s executive chef Matt McCallister, confident that they represent the sincerest form of culinary artistry that I’ve witnessed in Dallas. The portfolio is filled with images depicting early morning forage expeditions for oyster mushrooms, gastronomic kitchen toys, butchered Berkshire hogs, and plated works of art. Now he’s won Food & Wine’s 2014 title as the Southwest Region’s best new chef, again.

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Savor Dallas: New Events We Hope to See Again Next Year

As part of Savor Dallas, Republic National Distributing hosted a panel wittingly titled “Stirring Up Innovation” that focused on the craft spirit movement. Sly Cosmopoulous (yes, it’s on her birth certificate) led the effort as we ventured through a number of unique cocktails, both old and new. My personal favorite was the Dear John, a blend of Garrision Brothers Bourbon, lemon juice, simply syrup, cardamom and elderflower tonic. Second place was the Eclipse Punch, consisting of the five required components of spirit (in this case, chamomile infused Mt. Gay rum), citrus, water, herb and sugar.

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Savor Dallas: For the Love of Wine

Savor Dallas celebrated its tenth birthday this past weekend, and did so in elegant fashion. As the brainchild of Jim White and and Vicki Briley-White, the gathering continues to be one of the most respected and cherished events for oenophiles, chefs, and food-enthusiasts alike.

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St. Paddy’s Day is Over, But the Memory of Cook Hall’s Irish Beer Dinner Lives On

The Emerald Isle isn’t historically known for its culinary prowess, but rather a land blessed with bounties of cabbage, potatoes, carrots and corned beef, all of which are traditionally prepared with minimal transformation. Before we move on, let’s address a couple of things for those that don’t know me personally: Yours truly is a proud ginger who happens to appreciate cabbage, potatoes, carrots and corned beef, and does not relish, nor require, unnecessary fiddling with quality ingredients! Okay. Now that we’re friends (and that you trust my judgment), I feel that I can assuredly state that I sincerely enjoyed the authentic Irish pairings offered at Cook Halls’ pre-Paddy’s Day beer dinner last Friday.

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Mexican Sugar’s Cocktails are a Sweet, Thirst-Quenching Treat

Let’s start with the haute, traditional cocktails, 16 of which derive from a tap. For you stalwart margarita enthusiasts, they’ve got you covered. That’s not to say, however, that you will not suffer severe “order envy” when neighbors sample delicious, colorful concoctions crafted by beverage guru, Ivan Rimach. On the husky end of the spectrum is El Arrogante, which will satisfy any cigar-lounging scotch lover. El Arrogante’s base is Sombra Mescal—the agave-derived older brother of tequila—which exhibits a smoky profile from the agave having roasted in an earthen pit prior to fermentation. Rimach cuts the mescal’s intensity with pineapple juice, and adds layers of complexity by way of cilantro, lime juice, and serrano-infused tequila.

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Veuve Clicquot’s Pairing Dinner at Bistro 31 Hits a Home Run

Hailing from Reims, France since 1772, Veuve Clicquot is a name that Dallas has recognized and respected for generations. Featured at weddings, college graduations and debutante balls, Veuve is a brand that is aristocratic, yet approachable. Veuve’s Champagnes are there in times of celebration, but also readily available when your Monday goes bust. A sparkling for all seasons, they serve as a true companion reminding one that summer isn’t so unbearably hot, and also that winter isn’t insufferably long.

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Chef Nico Sanchez Boldens and Revamps Meso Maya’s Menu

Utilizing culinary techniques steeped in Mexican and Mayan culture, Meso Maya is known for flavors that are fresh, bold and robust. From the hand-crafted tortillas to the chocolate mole sauce, everything is made in-house, ground by hand, and finalized with care. Recently, executive chef Nico Sanchez expanded the restaurant’s menu with new traditional dishes, and further refined its current offerings. The result is astounding flavor, and a window to a culinary experience that many never knew existed.

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Preview: Five Sixty’s Chinese New Year Menu

According to the Chinese Zodiac calendar, The Year of the Horse embodies a sense of energy, intelligence, and ability. That being the case, Wolfgang Puck’s establishment, Five Sixty, atop Dallas’ renowned Reunion Tower, seems the appropriate venue to celebrate Chinese New Year, which starts on January 31 this year. Last night, executive chef Patton Robertson presented a picturesque, five-course prix fixe media dinner centered around the upcoming celebration. Admittedly, this is “Americanized” Asian cuisine, but the views of Dallas are the best I’ve ever seen.

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Dallas’ First Lionfish Dinner

Lionfish, an exotic native of the Pacific Rim boasting bright scales and long protruding spines, became a popular trophy pet during the 1980’s in the aquariums of the Western affluent. Sadly, to the horror of their new owners, it became readily apparent that lionfish are inhospitable neighbors with voracious appetites. After ravishing any and all cohabitants, many were re-introduced to a “natural habitat” (read: Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico).  This quick fix did not come without consequences as the absence of their natural predators in the South Pacific led to unchecked growth, which currently threatens the existence of many native Atlantic species. Solution? Eat them. Fortunately, the present concern happens to be a very, very tasty one.

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