Today we learned Ghostbar, once the highest grossing club in Dallas, is closing. According to one employee, most of the club’s workers found out they were jobless by reading about it on blogs. Ouch, that’s cold.
Our first concern was for Wade Randolph Hampton, the dude behind the vibe at Ghostbar. “What will happen to Wade,” cried one co-worker. “Oh, my gosh. I wish Wish FM were here so I could cuddle with him,” swooned another. If you don’t know Wade/Wish, you can read this interview.
Well, don’t worry about Wish. According to a lengthy press release I received, his has been granted. Listen up.
Hampton’s fans will still be able to catch his local shows every Friday at the intensely authentic yet still hushed discotheque (and 50’s dancehall of the same name) – It’ll Do – where he has partnered with heralded impresario Brooke Humphries. His bombastic Friday hoedown, called The ISH, will feature the absolute cutting-edge in bass music and indie-electro with a bevy of globally recognized artists, including members of the unstoppable Pretty Lights camp and Dallas dubstep prodigy, Spenca.
He’s also joining up with M3 Films execs and producers Michael Cain and Melina McKinnon. They are currently producing multiple projects including the STARCK PROJECT. Jump for the notes and quotes. Continue reading "Ghostbar Has Vanished? Where is Wade Randolph Hampton?"2 Comments »
The Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGAA) hosted the 2012 Lone Star International Wine Competition on June 4-5 at the Grapevine Convention Center. Co-Chairs, Michael Zerbach and Barbara Werley, and twenty-three judges from Texas and California judged 514 entries from all over the world. The Lone Star International Wine Competition is three competitions in one – Texas Competition, International Competition and Limited Production Competition.
Awards were given for Grand Star – Best of Show – in all three competitions in the Red Wine, White Wine, Fortified Wine, Late Harvest/ Dessert/Ice Wine, and Rose’/Blush Divisions. Eleven wines won Grand Star – Best of Show. Fifteen wines were honored with a Double Gold Award. Gold medals were given to 36 wines, Silver medals to 171 wines, and Bronze medals to 203 wines.
Get ready for Central Market’s yearly culinary salute to foreign food. In 2010, we celebrated Argentina (Hi, Francis!). Last year we pigged out on Spain (Hola, Paco!). This year they are throwing a two-week soiree for France, specifically the southern region of Provence, which will begin on May 9 and run through May 22.
Here’s a little poop I learned: Zee hottest ticket will be a seat in the outdoor tent where the kick-off event, “A Taste of Provence,” will feature a sampling of dishes prepared by Chef Patrice Olivon! C’est magnifique! You know Olivon, oui? He’s the cute French dude who won Iron Chef hosts “Dinner is Served,” a lovely show on PBS. It is set for Wednesday, May 9, and begins at 6 p.m.
The menu includes some personal favorites from his childhood (served family-style at long tables), which will be paired with French wines (shocker!). Think: Pissaladiere (thick, pizza-like dish popular in Nice and Marseilles); tomates farcies (tomatoes stuffed with beef, rice & herbs); cod with aioli; roasted lamb with ratatouille; and warm seasonal fruit cooked in red wine served over vanilla ice cream (really?). So frugal Francophiles, get a cheap trip ($35 per person) to Provence, if only for one evening. Tickets can be booked by clicking here or by visiting the Cooking School reservation site for Dallas.
Sancerre! Profiteroles! A truffle in every pot! Vamos, I mean, nous permettre d’aller!
(Below, I will copy and paste an actual MEDIA-ONLY release so you can get an insider’s look on how real food writing works. I will pair it with commentary from a professional media person.5 Comments »
Dallas dancers will have a new place to show off their sweet moves now that local developer Jeff Swaney of Delphi Group just acquired some land and buildings in the recently dubbed “New East Elm” neighborhood. This means the It’ll Do Club at 4322 Elm St., which falls under Delphi’s radar, will be getting a face lift and re-launch in the second quarter of 2012. Swaney is also taking over the Starlight Lounge on Main St., but no word on whether he plans to renovate it yet.
More about Delphi from the press release:
Delphi, (www.delphigroupinc.com) which led Deep Ellum’s renaissance in the 80s and 90s and birthed the wildly successful Club Clearview (1985-2005), are bringing the same artsy energy to New East Elm. Delphi’s 25 year experience in the Deep Ellum district, specializing in the renovation of older structures and it’s entertainment pedigree made this the group’s next logical project, sure to build on the momentum they’ve created in the area. The area historically was a haunt of Dallas legend Jack Ruby and nexus of the underground gambling rackets of the 1930s and 40s
Nothing beats stuffing your face with mashed potatoes and cherry pie while Abe Lincoln – that serious Civil War hottie – stares down at your plate.
Thankfully, Highland Park Cafeteria is making all your dreams come true with live patriotic piano music, fresh-baked pies, and decorated cookies between the hours of 11 AM to 8 PM today. Kids under ten eat free with the purchase of an adult meal for TODAY only.
What does Presidents Day have to do with kids eating free? No idea, but free food is never a bad thing. Plus, all the Presidents and their First Ladies will be there, eyeing you from their wall.
1200 N. Buckner Blvd.
I was away from my computer most of the day yesterday and when I finally got around to reading the food news, I realized I missed some significant action. Here, in no certain order, are a few things I failed to report.
Teresa “Gubbshoe” Gubbins and Mike “Whole In One” Hiller tied in a race to be the first to report the closing of Horne & Dekker. Gubbshoe coaxed a quote from owner Flynn Dekker. However, Hiller has some bitchin’ discounts on laundry detergent you can download from escapehatchdallas.com.
Leslie “LaLa” Brenner ran the inside track and clearly beat the field on this announcement: Michael Sindoni, formerly of AGAINN restaurant in Washington DC, has taken the reigns as The Joule hotel’s Executive Chef and will be responsible for overseeing all food & beverage for the hotel including private banquets, room service, and the new Charlie Palmer food hall which is part of the hotel’s 2012 expansion. The restaurant will close for a short while and emerge as Charlie Palmer Steak which will be overseen by executive sous chef Joel Harrington. “LaLa” also admits she has a mild eating disorder when it comes to bread crumbs: “I am a sucker for bread crumbs,” she writes. “And they seem to be very much in the air these days. Or in the kitchen, anyway.” And I thought it was ragweed! (SideThought: Who thought the name AGAINN was a good idea?) Moving on.
EaterDallas needs a boost to their self esteem. This morning they use today’s warm weather forecast as a clever lead into the riveting announcement of Eater Hottest Chef Competition. Then they bash themselves over the head for doing so: “…while we’ve never been great at weather metaphors we are about to get real good at giving you some eye candy. Who is the hottest?” I think the metaphor worked beautifully. After all, it is as hot as Dean Fearing outside at this very moment and the forecast says late afternoon temperatures will be as cool as Matt McCallister. Good work, Merritt!
The 8th Annual Savor Dallas is almost here! March 30-31 to be exact. Cue the press release quote from Jim “Red” White: “We are excited to see Savor Dallas grow from its downtown Dallas base to include new events in Bishop Arts and Las Colinas.” says Jim White, Savor Dallas co-founder along with his wife Vicki Briley-White. “We’ve added a cool concert at the Kessler Theater, and created some great cooking and tasting opportunities that will benefit local food and wine groups like Les Dames d’Escoffier.” The White’s and company have lined up some big names in the business and have 400 premium wines to pour. It’s all here. Or call 888-728-6747.4 Comments »
I once made my opinion of the (worthless) honeydew melon very clear. Today I bring up the yucky chicken wing. They have never appealed to me but apparently I am in the minority. This morning comes word from the National Chicken Council: “More than 1.25 billion wings will be consumed during Super Bowl weekend (100 million pounds!), and, if they were laid end-to-end they would circle the circumference of the Earth – more than twice – a distance that would reach approximately a quarter of the way to the moon.”
My initial response is: if you can circle the earth twice, why don’t you just drop off a few million pounds in places where one chicken for a village causes more excitement than the Super Bowl.
My secondary response is actually a question: How many chickens does it take to make 25 billion chicken wings. Hah! You say: do the math dummy; one chicken has only two wings. But your assumption would be wrong. I turned to the Wing-onomics department (true!) at The National Chicken Council for an answer.
You’ll have to jump because you, like chickens, cannot fly.6 Comments »
How long before Oak Cliff secedes from Dallas county to form their own little republic? Think how cool that would be for the business folk: the restaurateurs and funky food shops could make their own rules, they could charge a toll to enter and exit, and fine customers not wearing flannel.
Obviously either Tim Byres, Christopher Jeffers, or Chris Zielke (or all three!) would rule the roost. Today the triumvirate announced two more projects. The owners of Smoke and Bar Belmont took over the 3-acre plot of land that used to be Jack’s Backyard. (Fort Worth Avenue and Pittman St.) First up: Chicken Scratch, a family-friendly restaurant serving—wait for it—“cast-iron fried and wood-fired rotisserie chicken with wholesome handmade sides.” It’s “slow fast food.” (Wouldn’t it be fast slow food? I’ll leave that one for someone else like Jack Perkins.)
Next door to The Scratching Chicken, I mean Chicken Scratch, will be The Foundry. Sounds serious, right? Nope. The Foundry will be a bar offering simple drinks. (Drama! Do I sense a struggle between mixolgists v bartenders?) The drinks with be simple and strong. (I could say something about my ex-husband here but I’ll let it pass.) There will be beer—lots of drafts and bottles and microbrews plus “usual suspects.” Affordable! Live music! And, if they can swing it: the property will be able to “host food and merchandise trucks, drive-in movies, and other community themed events.”
The Foundry is scheduled in early January 2012 and Chicken Scratch “soon after.” (I still think they should have named it Petticoat Junction. Wouldn’t you eat chicken at the Shady Rest? Such a duh.)
Trending: “Scratch” in a restaurant name, fried chicken, and regular bartenders without pork pie hands and mutton chops.” Somebody get me a Realtor.
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?
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 »
Dear Chef DAT,
Who are you? I’ve been getting press releases from you for a long time but for the life of me I can’t remember meeting you. I do understand that you live underground and you cook a lot there as well, but do you ever actually come out during the day?
You talk funny. I mean, you write funny. You “sound” like you are totally hip and in with all of the IN people which explains a lot about our relationship. It’s so cool that you are throwing a birthday party for yourself on October 23! You must have lots of friends! Three LIVE bands, CAJUN food, and BYOB! Totally bitchin’. And Thursday, you only have 20 seats left for your super secret dinner in Deep Ellum. Have you done the math? Do you think you can get that many people under the ground in Deep Ellum? It must be so freakin’ dark, dude. Six courses for $66? That dinner is like so effin’ New Testament! And payable in “unmarked, untraceable cash only”? Brilliant.
Keep it up and maybe you’ll get your own restaurant one day. Oh, wait. My spirit is shaking. I’m getting an incoming subliminal message from, wait…oh…I can’t quite make out the voice, I can only hear pigs squealing. Oh, now it’s clear. It’s Steven Doyle LIVE from the State Fair. He says you have a “concept portfolio” for a future restaurant called Twenty-Seven. Far out, it sounds so Satanic! Will you take American Express? Awesome. Keep us posted.
Nancy Nichols43 Comments »
Men’s Health, the magazine I refer to as Abs! Abs!Abs! just launched a “Manliest Restaurant in America” contest. There are 45 restaurants on the list and two of them are from Dallas. Read all about it:
Maple & Motors and Bob’s Steakhouse are included among our 45 nominated restaurants in nine regions across the country. I thought you might want to encourage your readers to visit and vote for their favorite Southwest restaurant.
M&M is nominated cuz: “Packs of guys and families alike gather inside a nondescript little building in Dallas so short and squat it looks like it has a flat-top haircut, kicking it to the jukebox and chomping thick jalapeno-cheddar burgers and brisket sandwiches.” And Bob’s?: “It’s a classic steak joint where rich men with outsized egos feast upon hunks of prime beef with beautiful women of almost unfair proportions. It’s Texas, in every sense of the word.”
Well, down here we all know “rich men with outsized egos” is redundant. And “packs of guys”? The collective noun I would have chosen would have been “a rout of guys.” Why? Because the dudes at M & M tend to howl. So is it not “manly” to eat at a breastaurant? I’m so confused.
OMG, two of my favorite words in one headline. Free. Margaritas. Expect a tequila-frenzied mosh pit at Margarita Ranch at Mockingbird Station on Thursday from 6 to 7:00PM. The folks from Cointreau and Herradura finish pouring their FREE MARGARITAS, the restaurant will extend its happy hour specials.
Anybody else offering free margaritas in Dallas on Cinco de Mayo?
Update: Sevy’s Grill is offering complimentary Quervo Silver Margaritas or Palomas from 5 – 7 pm!