If you are in the mood for some tasty wine, there are more opportunities than ever to enjoy some great wine, often with a tasty meal. Here are a few ideas to add to your calendar.
The next Dallas Wine Trail is tomorrow and a few tickets are still available here for $39.95 each. The fifth annual event taking place from 11am – 5pm tomorrow at all four of our Dallas wineries will include 3 tastes of the current release wines at each spot along with tasty food bites at each location. This is a great opportunity to meet the winemakers of Fuqua, Times Ten Cellars, Calais and Inwood Estates.
Tickets won’t be available at the door, so buy now if you can attend.
Nancy named The Grape as her #11 in the Top 100 restaurants in Dallas….and I couldn’t agree more as this neighborhood gem owned by Chef Brian Luscher and his fabulous wife with a great palate, Sommelier Courtney Luscher, consistently delivers tasty bistro cuisine paired with an ever evolving wine list, made only better while enjoying an evening on their Greenville Ave patio. Every Monday-Friday on that patio and in the bar you can enjoy 1/2 price wine from their by the glass list from 5:30-7pm, Monday until 8pm. An ideal way to start the week.
A must attend wine dinner happens Thursday June 13 at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse featuring Nickel and Nickel wines with special guest Jim Doehring, Central Region Manager for Nickel & Nickel, Far Niente, En Route and Dolce. Nickel and Nickel has become known for their single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from specially selected sites throughout Napa Valley. The wines are robust, refined and always remarkable. $225, reservations required – 214-366-2000 Continue reading "Upcoming Opportunities To Taste"Be The First To Comment
Last night, I went to Dean Fearing's house for dinner. (Believe me, I had a lot of fun telling people that was my Thursday night plan.) And I learned a couple things about Dean.
1. His house is very unassuming. When we turned onto his street, I told my husband/photographer that we had to have the wrong address. But it was correct. We peered beyond the valet stand and saw a black cat sitting on the doorstep, patiently waiting to be let in. I knew it was going to be a good night.
2. Dean is a great host. No matter who you are, if you're in his home, you're friends. He spent a great deal of time greeting guests. He's down-to-earth and seemed to generally care what you were talking about. But those of you who have spent time eating his meals probably already knew that.
3. Dean is a cat person. He has a dog, too, but the dog was being boarded for the evening so that people wouldn't be asked to play catch every five second. However, Dean's three cats (Roux, 18; Gumbo, 13; and File, 13) had the run of the place. My favorite was Roux. She got a lot of love last night. She started out on top of a chair and by the time I left, was sprawled out on a friend's lap. Continue reading "Dinner at Dean’s Place"4 Comments »
After two audition episodes, the four mentors (Ludo Lefebvre, Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain and Brian Malarkey) are finally ready to compete after choosing four lucky chefs to be a part of their teams. The mentors are ready to lead them, guns a’ blazin’.
The show’s first competition, a group competition, pits each cheftestant against each other, but in a group. It’s confusing. Gabrielle Hamilton (of Blood, Bones, and Butter fame) is supposed to judge an individual spoon (a.k.a. dish) made by an individual chef that is chosen by the members of their team. What really happens is this: the “mentors” (and believe me, this term is used loosely) yell, scream, kick, and push their chefs into choosing the dish the mentor believes is the best. The result: chefs that don’t like/respect their teams’ decision.
Here’s an example. As time ticks down, Ludo absolutely panics and shoves Sarah’s mac n’ cheese to the front of the table for the half-naked waitress to deliver to Gabrielle. As Gabrielle tastes and critiques the teams’ spoon, Ludo is upset at his choice and wishes he had gone with Shawn. Gabrielle hates the mac ‘n’ cheese.
It pays to be kind, though. Nigella, who decided to lead her team instead of bully them, wins. Her chef, Lauren, creates a delicious chicken stew that wowed Gabrielle, mostly due to Nigella’s help with the deep-fried chicken skin garnish. Lauren (the show’s youngest contestant) wins immunity and the help of Gabrielle on her team for the looming individual challenge.3 Comments »
2012 marks the 40th anniversary for one of Dallas’ best and consistently voted “most romantic” neighborhood bistros, The Grape. Throughout the past 40 years and through an ownership change, this little gem has stayed true to their opening idea of being a restaurant that celebrates classic bistro style cuisine with impeccable quality, while staying affordable, most recently coming from Chef/Owner Brian C. Luscher and his talented Sommelier/GM wife, Courtney Luscher.
I am a fan and visit The Grape often, as it is in my neighborhood and I am always guaranteed a fantastic meal and a great bottle of wine, usually involving their mushroom soup, a staple item that has been on the menu since the beginning, a gorgeous cheese and house-made charcuterie board, and whatever nightly special Chef Brian, or his talented sous-chef and Bravo Top Chef Season 10 star, Danyele McPherson, create in their Greenville Ave. kitchen. Here is what we had to say about The Grape in our October 1974 restaurant listings.
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The Grape. A unique and always crowded restaurant boasting 25 varieties of cheese and a menu of light entrees that changes daily. The tournedos bearnaise are a favorite. For a touch of pure excellence, try any of the homemade soups (fresh mushroom is the specialty). During busy hours, which is most of the time, service can be painfully slow. Unusual wine list. No mixed drinks. (2808 Greenville Ave./ 823-0133/ Lunch: Mon.-Fri. 11:30-2:30, Dinner: Tues.-Sun. 6-10:30, open later on Fri. & Sat. for wine and cheese only/ No reservations/ No credit cards/ $$)
Last night Landmark Vineyards winemaker Greg Stach led a group of Dallas media through a unique blending experience creating a true hands on approach to the process that he and his winemaking team go through each year to make their award winning Overlook Chardonnay. I was an invited guest of the winery. Though the process we went through last night only included 4 Chardonnay samples from four of the vineyards Landmark sources their fruit from each year, it was easy to see how each flavor added to the character of the final wine. Each year Greg and his team go through this blending practice to make their signature label with fruit from 23 different vineyards and about 46 individual vineyard blocks, each with their own style, structure, aroma and flavor that when blended come together to create one balanced wine. Continue reading "Landmark Vineyards Blends Its Way Through Dallas"
Friday night’s soirée, TACA Lexus Party on the Green, took place on the lawn at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. There were cars up for winning, a cork pull, fabulous trips and dinners in the silent auction, and food. Oh, so much food. More than 30 chefs gathered in the courtyard to offer up some of their best fare. And it was all going really well, too, that is until Mother Nature got involved. It was a bit muggy at first, then there were sprinkles—little ones that grew—and then it rained. Partygoers and chefs headed toward the doors of the Mansion. Within a couple minutes, Mansion employees walked around offering umbrellas to those who stayed outside. But within maybe 15 minutes, it all cleared up, people and chefs returned to their stations, and the party continued. Continue reading "TACA Lexus Party on the Green Gets a Taste of Mother Nature"
It’s been a year since I wrote about the opening of Asador, the restaurant in the Dallas Renaissance Hotel. The report announced the arrival of chef/proprietor Dean Max and, a young, talented and energetic chef with a focus on farm-to-table (or “farm-to-fire” as Asador would rather term it) principles. Ditto for onsite chef David Trubenbach. I also noted Marriott corporation’s commitment to a destination restaurant in the Dallas Renaissance Hotel, a promise they backed up with an extensive Tequila collection. As downtown Dallas restaurants convert, seemingly like flies, to steak houses, I decided to check-in, so to speak, at Asador to see if they are staying true to their original mission. Here is what I found.7 Comments »
Rat-a-tat-tat, here comes Chef DAT. The urchin of underground dining. However, it looks like Dah DAT will have a regular gig at The Mason Bar, the new restaurant in the groovy Masonic Lodge in Uptown Dallas, which is due to open soon. Developed by long-time Dallas entrepreneur Brandt (Trees, Green Room) Wood and the McFadden Group of New York City, the space is a “neighborhood bar with classic drinks and creative foods.”
Dah DAT is fixing a pre-tasting dinner on Friday, January 6. The “Deep Ellum arrival time” is 7PM. The (deep) six-course eclectic New Orleans-inspired tasting menu is $70 per person (plus-plus). This event is BYOB. But you must call Sir Wilkes for a seat: 214-680-5740. Absinthe butter is the new olive oil.
Oh, and one more thing about DAT. He’s offering you a chance to ride VIP. Here’s his crazy pitch:
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We about to make our list 100% PRIVATE. Which means that YOU will be an exclusive member of our list and the only way for an outsider to join this exclusive list of amazing people will be to pay a membership fee of $25 to receive the emails and information for these events.
We’re suckers for any press release that contains the following sentences:
It seems a couple well-intentioned entrepreneurs have teamed up with J&D’s Foods to create a little something they’re calling baconlube—the world’s first bacon-flavored, water-based, American-made, personal lubricant.
Billing itself as the “gold standard of meat-flavored massage oils” (natch) baconlube, they say, is like the McRib of sex: it’s delicious, makes men crazy, is here for a limited time, and is in short supply.
If you’re thinking “stocking stuffer!” (let’s stay on track here), we’re right behind you. But the boys only made 3,000 bottles of this pork-flavored nectar. It hit the interwebs yesterday at www.baconlube.com. How much, you ask, for a product that promises such a satisfying holiday season? Only $11.99.
you know you want more. jump for it… Continue reading "This Little Piggy Went Downtown"13 Comments »
If you are looking to get a jump on some early holiday shopping, find some great wine for Thanksgiving or just enjoy an night out with friends enjoying great wine and spirits, there are plenty of opportunities to taste around town in the next few weeks. Here are a few that promise to be great.
Thursday, November 17th at 6:30 Vino 100 partners with Bottled Poetry Imports to present a tasting of stellar Argentine Malbec and Malbec blends paired with beef roasted all day on a spit, along with other tasty offerings like beef empanadas, by Chef Andrew Ormbsy of Andrew Ormsby Catering, D Magazine’s Best Caterer 2011.
Wines will include:
· Caluna 2009 (a blend of 48% Malbec, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot)
· Amauta I 2009 (a blend of 60% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah)
· Finca Gabrielli Malbec 2010 (100% Malbec)
· Huarpe 2008 Seleccíon de Bodega ( a blend of 80% Malbec and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon)
· Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec 2008 (100% Malbec)
· Las Nencias Malbec Reserva 2009 (100% Malbec)
Reservations required – 214-969-9463
The March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction is a major fundraiser for the organization each year. The event on Saturday night was a sell out and over 800 people filled the Fairmont Hotel’s Regency Ballroom to participate in a live and silent auction and enjoy food prepared by 17 talented and generous chefs led by Kent Rathbun of Abacus (and other concepts). The money raised (watch this space for a total when announced) will fund the March of Dimes work to end birth defects. A major focus for the charity at the present time is premature birth. It is a startling fact that, despite a quarter century of rising living standards and technological progress, the national premature birth rate has increased 36 percent. Premature birth is now the number one cause of death for newborns. March of Dimes funds research, education and community programs in Dallas and operates state wide on public policy issues that impinge on this situation. November 17th is World Prematurity Day. Attendees of Saturday’s event met the Ambassador Family for the March of Dimes, the Strauss Family, who have a son born prematurely. Fox 4 weeknight sports anchor Mike Doocy emceed the event and gently cajoled the responsive crowd to give. In addition to donors on the night, a long list of local companies sponsored at various levels, making a major difference to the total funds raised.
Attendees spent most of the evening savoring food from the chefs. Not only did those chefs provide their food and staff, many also donated to the live or silent auctions. Most had created elaborate special meals for groups of between 4 to 12 people, but there were several that offered ‘additions’ to the meal.
Jump for the deals and the meals. Continue reading "Report: March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction in Dallas"
Wolfgang Puck will returns to Dallas on November 18 to host a reservations-only dinner at Five Sixty restaurant in Reunion Tower.
jump for the menu… Continue reading "Wolfgang Puck in Town Next Weekend to Host Dinner at Five Sixty"
This dinner event may be too groovy for words, but I’ll give it a shot. Our favorite forager Tom “Spiceman” Spicer is teaming up with Chef David Anthony Temple (aka underground chefDAT) and Artizone.com to present “Dinner in the Garden.” The event, benefitting the Family Place, takes place on Sunday, October 30 at 5PM. The food, paired with wine, will come from Artizone supported local farms and vendors or, if you speak DATspice: “Chef DAT will compose a one of a kind dinner concerto in 5 movements, to be performed in Spiceman’s urban garden with an orchestra of wines to match.” Oh, yeah. Get down on it for $100 per person. Tickets here . Phone answered here: 214-325-4642.
Monday afternoon Plate Magazine, a chef and restaurant publication out of Chicago, brought a group of local chefs, and a few writers, together for a lunch at Lucia in Oak Cliff honoring the beloved pig and featuring products from Italy, including Speck ham, Asiago cheese and wine from Alto Aldige. Continue reading "Lucia Welcomes Chefs for a “Plate”d Lunch"
Contributor Brooklynne Peters attended chef Nick Stellino’s cooking class at Abacus yesterday and files this report:
According to chef Nick Stellino, star of Nick Stellino Cooking with Friends, Cucina Amore I, II and III, Nick Stellino’s Family Kitchen I, II, III, IV and V, and the PBS specials Nick Stellino’s Dinner Party, Nick Stellino: Food, Love & Family, and Nick Stellino Cooking With Friends, the art of cooking is likened to knowing “what it’s like to stop the hands of time the moment your lips touch hers.” Catch phrases like this, in addition to his cooking, are what captivated Stellino’s Dallas audience Saturday morning at the cooking class he hosted at Abacus.
Stellino, a native Sicilian, led the class through some of his signature recipes, including garlic and oil pasta and clams with sausage and tomatoes. When Stellino wasn’t impressing the crowd with his dishes, he was entertaining them with anecdotes, jokes, and his theories about food.
Contributor Brooklynne Peters fills us in on what it was like to be a guest at NOSH’s Sassicaia wine dinner last night:
It was an evening of origins at NOSH Euro Bistro last night. The popular Oak Lawn restaurant hosted an exclusive five-course wine dinner, featuring Italian Sassicaia wines. Third-generation Italian family members were on hand to explain, in the charm of English spoken with a native Italian accent, the history and success of the winery.
Seats at the table went for $199; this writer (who was a guest at the event) was curious to see whether or not the evening would live up to the price tag.
Jump for pics… Continue reading "Sassicaia Wine Dinner at NOSH"
This Saturday, The Mercury’s executive chef Chris Ward will fundraise for our furry friends with a Dog Days of Summer event. From 2 to 5 pm, The Mercury will transform into a venue for cooking demos, tastings, and a silent auction at benefiting The Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT). The ticket price of $65 includes one drink ticket, a cooking demonstration, tastings, a souvenir recipe book of demonstrated recipes, and a doggy bag of special canine treats. VIPs (only seven slots available) get a front row seat at Chef Ward’s cooking bar are available for $125.
“We are so excited to have Chef Ward with us again this year,” say John and Susie McQuade, GALT co-founders. “The proceeds from the cooking demonstration will help provide for the growing needs of GALT and the growing number of greyhounds we currently have in foster care.”
The next few weeks include a handful of fantastic wine and dine events that should be marked on your calendars.
Monday, August 29th Marquee Grill will kick off their monthly supper club dinners with a tribute to the ubiquitous Hatch chile. This time of year everything seems to be about this well loved pepper and Executive Chef, Trey Wilcox and Executive Bar Manager, Mixologist Jason Kosmas have created a pairing dinner designed to excite the palate with unique combos over a four course dinner for $95 per person. Reservations required – 214-522-6035.
Here is the menu:
Hatch Chili Dinner Menu
Welcome Cocktail – Matador Dulce Vida tequila, cucumber juice, roasted mild hatch chili and pineapple purée with hot hatch chili oil.
Compressed Melons and Poached Lobster, Hatch Chili, Avocado, Crispy Taro Root Paired with Mohua Sauvignon Blanc
Grilled Sockeye Salmon, Hatch Chili-Jack Cheese Grits, Tequila Lime Sauce Paired with Laetitia Pinot Noir
Kobe Beef Cheeks, Green Chili-Bacon Potatoes, Baby Beet – Hatch Chili Chimichurri Paired with Titus Cabernet Sauvignon
Hatch Chili Citrus Panna Cotta, Grilled Pineapple, Cilantro Gel, Plantains Paired with Casa Dragones-super premium sipping tequila Continue reading "Upcoming Opportunities to Taste"
Even thought it’ll probably be hot until Halloween, that doesn’t mean you can’t fantasize about the fall. What better way to spend an autumn afternoon than whipping up culinary treats with sassy-pants chef Blythe Beck of Central 214? Throughout the coming year, Chef Beck will be hosting groups of 25 for instruction and collaboration on a variety of fall dishes, starting with a football-themed class on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 2 to 4 pm..
Each monthly class will feature a three-course meal and specially selected wine pairings. Chef Beck promises you’ll “leave with warm memories, a full stomach, and goodie bag of recipes and treats.”
Here’s the schedule so far:
Price is $125 per person. Complimentary valet parking provided.
Check the Central 214 website for class schedule and menus. For reservations, call 214-520-2865 or e-mail Karen.Pond@Central214.com