Package deals of old, designed to provide an attractive yet economical middle ground, have been badly in need of a facelift for some time. Thankfully, the folks in the Arts District cottoned on to the need for change and took it upon themselves to dream up some new ways to package dinner and a show while still letting food and art lovers feel like they have some choices.
jump for the restaurants… Continue reading "Dinner and a Show Made Easy Thanks to AT&T PAC and Downtown Restaurants"2 Comments »
The saloon-inspired Nodding Donkey, brought to us by the folks behind State & Allen Lounge, rolled up its garage-door walls last weekend with a theme in place and a menu in development. With flat-screen TVs numbering in the teens, including the area’s first public 3D TV, and a dual-level, wrap-around patio, the Donkey drew sports fans who like their beer canned and their food hearty…
Yesterday afternoon, a contingent of Japan’s most notable sake makers from the Niigata province converged in Tei An in One Arts Plaza for a sake tasting and rice-wine education. Turns out there’s a lot more to sake than the hot bottle that appears in front of you at the neighborhood sushi bar. (In fact, of the seven sake makers I spoke with yesterday, the consensus was that sake should only be warmed by resting the bottle in warm water. According to the experts, warming it above 112 degrees ruins the delicate flavors.)
jump for the faves… Continue reading "Sake To Me! Niigata Sake Debuts at Tei An"
OK, Dallas. There’s something that needs clearing up: MoMo Italian Specialties on Forest (awesome) is not the same as MoMo’s Pasta on Knox. I know, I know, they have the same name (they used to be affiliated). However, after the split, MoMo Italian Specialties on Forest (a.k.a. the original) retained the on-site fresh pasta making rights, the traditional recipes, and the loyalty of a devoted group of foodies who’d rather you didn’t know about it lest they not be able to get a table on a Friday night.
jump with me; here’s where it get’s really interesting… Continue reading "There’s MoMo’s … and Then There’s MoMo Italian Specialties"
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the corner of Thomas & Allen in Uptown no doubt you’ve watched The Nodding Donkey rise from the rubble and wondered when those doors will swing wide to welcome the Uptown hordes. Wait no more — tonight’s the night. This evening, TND is hosting a soft-soft opening in the form of a Texas Rangers-watching party for friends and the neighborhood with grilled hamburgers and hot dogs on the patio. The Donkey will close on Wednesday (to regroup and recover we guess), then reopen (firmer than Tuesday but still soft) on Thursday at 3 pm. Friday they’ll again close, but reopen on Saturday & Sunday at 11 am. (Are you still with me?) Monday and Tuesday they’ll close again, but as of Wednesday the 20th the Donkey will open for good at 11 a.m.
Even though tonight’s menu is limited, the bar will be stocked and open. As for the future menu, expect Tex-Mex with a twist (smokey guacamole, jalapeno cornbread, tacos, enchiladas, and deep-fried PB&J) inside a sports bar atmosphere.
Love the Fair but end up steering clear of the Midway on vegan principle? Your reunion with Frito Pie is in the offing. The first State of Texas Veggie Fair on Oct.16 (sponsored by DallasVegan.com) combines cruelty-free vegan food (think veggie corny dogs, Frito pie, and funnel cakes) with carnival games, fried food, and fire dancers.
jump here to read more… Continue reading "Oh, the (Lack of) Cruelty! at the Texas State Veggie Fair"
I’d love to kick this off with a cliché like, “I’ve never met a taco I didn’t like,” but I’d be a big, fat liar. I’ve met a number of tacos that rubbed me the wrong way. (For the record, I’ve met an equal number that I don’t even remember because they made so faint an impression.) Top of the list (sublime): the calamari soft taco from Taco Loco in Laguna Beach. Bottom of the heap: the Nebraska-truck-stop, E. coli time bomb of ’93 that stranded me in a deserted campground for 30 hours straight.
Luckily, today’s lunch of fish and crawfish tacos at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop on Mockingbird did not fall into the latter category, nor did it fall into the former (admittedly, that bar is set pretty high). Where it fell instead is in the “old-reliable” category, which means I’d go there again and order the same combinations again but not stray too far from my choices (my companion was not so fortunate and marked hers in the “feh” category). Take my suggestions or not – nothing about this is life-or-death – but you can trust me that these combos won’t disappoint:
What’s your favorite taco joint in town? I really would like to know, but feel free to leave out your graphic tales of woe; I’ve amassed plenty of those on my own.32 Comments »
He specializes in the food of Italy, a country that pioneered ice cream as we know it. However, in the event chef David Uygur decides not to make his own ice cream at Lucia, he might want to source it from just a few blocks away at Paletas Fruititas on Jefferson in Oak Cliff. Two of the many interesting flavors are shown here.
The biggest buzz in the Dallas dining community is the opening of chef David Uygur’s Lucia in the Bishop Arts District. The exact date is unknown — beyond the fact that it will be this fall. However, Uygur has a clear idea of the type of restaurant he wants Lucia to be. I caught up with him yesterday.
He may have had deconstructed food, but this is an unconstructed restaurant. A crew of five worked busily while David gave me a tour.
Jonathan Calabrese and Tony Winkler, owners of State & Allen, are adding The Nodding Donkey to the Uptown scene. The Nodding Donkey will be a “Texas Sports Saloon” and will open in the old 2900 building. Listen:
The Nodding Donkey is going to have a huge indoor/outdoor bar with tons of
seating and 16 TVs – inside and out. We will have great Texas Style bar
food – and what everyone wants to hear — Valet Parking! We are scheduled
to be open in early October, and are planning a great Grand Opening Party
with huge surprises!!
I’m confused. Will they only show Texas sports? If not, what is a Texas sports bar? Do we really want to hear valet parking? What do y’all think?12 Comments »
Let’s take a break from the restaurants still here and think about those that we miss. Imagine you had the power–a genie in a bottle of Chateau Latour Pomerol to grant you one wish. If you could rub her it and be granted the gift to bring one dead restaurant back to life, which one would you revive and why? Riviera? Routh Street? Nero’s?
UPDATE: After roughly 24 hours, over 100 Dishers had asked their genies to revive their favorite restaurants!! Let’s dig through and see. After 146 genie rubs, Lola gets the most requests, at 8. Lots of love for Il Sorrento with 6 rubs and Cuidad at 5. The Wine Press and Uncle Tai’s had 4 mentions. Surprises for me included Routh Street and The Riviera only getting one comment each. Lots of love spread out for Stephan Pyles’ concepts including Baby Routh (3), Star Canyon (3), and Aquaknox (2).120 Comments »
Long before there was Houston-based Perry’s Steakhouse and Grill opened in Dallas, there was Perry’s Steakhouse. Now the two Perry’s are operating in Uptown about two blocks apart. You’d think Dallas diners would be smart enough to figure out which is which but apparently we aren’t. I’ve had several e-mails fro co-workers and readers who made a date or appointment at one, only to have their date or meeting mates appear at the other.
I feel bad for the original Perry’s. After nine years, they had to change their name to The Place at Perry’s because Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille owned the name Perry’s. On the other hand, the new name gave the Dallas-based Place at Perry’s a chance to rework their concept from an upscale steak shop to a more casual beef-centric spot (they only use Niman Ranch meat). The Place at Perry’s now offers half-price wine every day from 2 to 7 pm and live music.
Perry’s Steakhouse and Grill also has live music in their super-chic bar. The dining room is dark and sophisticated. They feature table side productions—salads, meat carvings, and desserts are brought out on trays and flamed or tossed while you watch. I’m sorry but these little shows are just that—the guy making the salad or dessert has tiny plastic cups like the ones you take pills from in the hospital with pre-measured ingredients. He tosses them around like he’s on the Food Network.
Let forget about Restaurant Week for a few minutes. For once the masses have cleared, I head back to my favorite, small, intimate venues. I look for spaces with hushed tones, unobtrusive service and memorable food that isn’t so heavy that the valet has to wheel you out. (Tramontana in Preston Center and Sardines in Fort Worth spring to mind.) Nero’s (R.I.P.) was a great, relatively inexpensive setting that had a lot of sex appeal.
While some big-name restaurants hire expensive teams of designers to create a sexy setting, other restaurants achieve sexiness by default–perhaps they’ve been open for a long time and the sexiness comes from familiarity. Maybe it’s the lighting or the color of a wall. Whatever it is, let’s try to put into words what makes a restaurant sexy.
So, Dishers, what elements of a restaurant make it a sexy? What are the sexiest restaurants in Dallas and Fort Worth?9 Comments »
Most chefs and general managers are well-traveled. That’s a good thing–they pick up bits and pieces of information and ideas. The review of Urbano Cafe in current edition of D Magazine reminded me how much I’ve loved Urbano since I discovered it at its first location. Not only has Urbano traveled, but its owner and front man, Mitch Kauffman has been around the Dallas circuit for quite a while.
Today’s challenge is a two-parter. The current incarnation of Urbano is on Fitzhugh. Where else has it been? That’s the easy part. Call it TAKS for Dishers.
Now the tough part. Where else has Mitch been? He’s well-traveled, well, up and down Preston and McKinney anyway, but that’s all the hints that you’re going to get.
UPDATE: Urbano started on Fairmount, then moved to McKinney/Routh, and then to its current location on Fitzhugh. Mitch reports that “prior to opening Urbano I was previously at Four Seasons, the original Sfuzzi, Director of Op’s for Sam’s Cafes, Lombardi Mare and briefly at Popolo’s.” Now we see what a great lineage can do for a restaurant.
The rumors mills are churning with the news that Zinsky’s Deli is about to close their doors. Makes perfect sense to me, we just took a lovely photograph of their lox and bagels for our October issue and shipped it to the printers! D Magazine cover story (Best Breakfasts) jinx continues. Anywhoo, here is what peeps are saying:
A friend had food catered into his office today from Zinsky’s.
The guy who brought it in told him, “We’re closing the deli, no later than
Monday. We might still do catering, though.” My source promptly phoned the restaurant, where someone answered and said yes, we’re open today, but probably not for much longer.
I got the same reply on the phone and have left an email and phone message for owner Liz Baron. Why can’t Dallas keep any sort of deli alive? Especially it the neighborhood of Preston Royal.
UPDATE: From owner Liz Baron: “Yes, sadly it’s true.”64 Comments »
One day, a Grape server’s wife gave her husband a St. Martha figurine. The figurine, which represents the patron saints of cooks and servers, has been a part of the restaurant ever since. While she generally sits by the POS machine, she got to be in the main dining room last night. And if you stop by The Grape tonight or tomorrow, she’ll be there to greet you.
The restaurant is celebrating the Feast of St. Martha. For the next two nights, you can get a three-course tasting menu for $36. Five dollars from each meal will go to the Stewpot Alliance.
The Grape co-owner Courtney Luscher says Brian, her husband and “the creative part of the team,” came up with the idea after seeing the figurine. The couple wanted to do the event last year, but with the slumping economy and being named best hamburger by Texas Monthly, the two had other things to plan.
Luscher says she’s excited for what she hopes to become an annual event. I got to test the tasting menu last night. Jump to see what the feast is all about.
I stopped by Patina Green Home & Market yesterday while I was out doing some research for the next issue of D Home. I was looking for the latest and greatest in home furnishings, so I wasn’t expecting to find a market that offers only fresh, local ingredients under the same roof as a vintage furniture and accessories shop. Of course I couldn’t resist the urge to pick up a few treats. I’m sure glad I did.
Over on Go Oak Cliff, a little game is going on: Four vacant spaces in the Bishop Arts area and four potential restaurants opening soon. It’s fun speculation. But I have a bigger question: How many restaurants can North Oak Cliff comfortably support? I live in the area and eat out most nights. Yet there’s new restaurants even I haven’t tried. I’m happy to see the OC bursting with new business. But when is enough enough? Discuss.11 Comments »
The next SideDish Supper Club is in the works and it’s going to be a doozy! And I’m not talking about the sandwich! Space will be limited. The price will be low. And the fun, well, will be priceless. If you haven’t already signed up to receive the first e-mail announcement of the event, please type your e-mail address in the box under the SideDish Supper Club logo on the right side of this page. See you there! Feel free to guess where the event will take place. I’ve got a big prize for the winner. Go.12 Comments »