Please excuse the generic post. I am on beyond blown deadline (BBD). Thanks to the many restaurants and fish markets that emailed the news: Copper River Salmon is Here! I can’t post you all, so if you’d like to sell yourself, do so below. Well, you know what I mean.5 Comments »
John Tesar will not be stopped. The former (fill-in-the-blank) chef has inked a deal to take over the former La Tramontana space on Westchester in Preston Center. In January, Tesar announced he would be opening Spoon Bar & Kitchen in another space. However, the landlord killed the deal and Tesar moved his operation down the street. Tesar has a signed lease, architect, and contractor and is scheduled to begin later this week.
Spoon will seat 68 and feature a 15-seat bar with a built-in raw bar and small plate menu. Tesar will be center stage in an open kitchen whipping up “three unique dining experiences”: an a la carte menu that will change weekly; two nightly tasting menus (one from the land and the other from the sea); and a private chef’s table for 10. Cooking classes! Wine maker dinners! Eight seats almost in the kitchen! He plans to open fall 2012. Bring it, Tesar! Let’s Spoon! According to JT’s PR machine: Spoon is “ranked number seven on Eater National’s “25 Most Awaited Restaurant Openings of 2012.”5 Comments »
An artsy-fartsy reader wants to know where to go to eat oysters. I can’t help him. Hear his plea:
13 Comments »
Just got Rob Walsh’s new book, Texas Eats, and I have a hankering for oysters. Who does them well in town? I’m just looking for a place that we know sources them from the Texas gulf (unless everyone does). Heck, maybe even if anyone does barbecue oysters or something interesting.
I realized a little too late that the Uptown Theater I purchased tickets to was in Grand Prairie, not in the Uptown neighborhood of Dallas, where I live. Always up for an adventure, I decided to make the most of my mistake — eat someplace on Main Street, Grand Prairie before the show. Surely a Main Street anywhere has something worth eating, right?
I hit up the city’s website for a recommendation after discovering D’s own couldn’t help and chose Agua Azul. The restaurant’s website read “Mexican Seafood.” “I don’t know what ‘Mexican Seafood’ is,” I wrote my dining companion, “but I am willing to find out.”
Imagine for one second that you happened to forget that it was Valentine’s Day next week. Maybe you were busy at work, maybe you were simply swamped with World of Warcraft, who cares. You forgot and now your wife is giving you the what for. I know how you feel, I’ve been there before. There’s a reason the arms of my micro-fiber couch have sleepy-drool stains on them.
Fear not compadres, there is a foolproof way to get yourself out of the dog house and back on that lovely pedestal.
Step 1: Flowers (they are all suckers for dead plants).
Step 2: Learn the value of a good-ole, tear jerkin’ apology.
Step 3: Surprise her with a night out at Stephan Pyles.
You wife will be putty in your hands.
Last week, the chefs realized that one of the losing contestants (either Bev or Grayson) would be returning through Last Chance Kitchen, which would increase their numero to cinco. Sarah (who looks like Austin Eater editor Andrea Grimes, don’t you think?) is noticeably disappointed when Bev walks through the doors to compete with the other four in this elimination challenge because tiny Bev is a fierce competitor. She is a beast.
Now three out of the five contestants are repping the Asian continent. I would just like to point that out. #minoritypride
Jump for more shenanigans. Continue reading "Top Chef: Texas, Episode 14 Recap"7 Comments »
This just in from Jon Alexis at TJ’s Seafood Market:
Like the mighty wild salmon, this spring TJ’s travels against the current from Preston Hollow to all points south, bringing fresh fish to Dallasites in every part of the city: Lovers/Inwood. Henderson/M Streets. Oak Cliff. Our goal in 2012 is to take the mystery out of cooking fish. Not just for our customers, but for all of Dallas. So we’re coming to you to answer all of your fish questions.
Feb 22 - TJ’s partners with DUO All Things Culinary for Fresh is Fabulous Cooking Class. 6:30-8:30, see DUO’s website for details and to book.
March 4 – TJ’s hosts a Roll Your Own Sushi class at Veritas Wine Room. TJ’s will provide everything you need to make rolls, Veritas will pair with sushi-friendly wines. Time & Price TBD, will be announced via TJ’s and Veritas FB pages ASAP.
March 15 -TJ’s brings fresh fish to sell at Bolsa Mercado. Emphasis on sustainable species. (Depending on response, could be a regular gig). 4pm-7pm.
Last Tuesday the Snooty Foodie attended the awesome idea for a dinner at Campo Modern Country Bistro. We’re running behind on getting the report up, but sometimes being late is better than not at all. Apologies to all concerned. John Alexis from TJ’s wrote about the Total Catch project in January. He was so inspired he helped organize a dinner to promote the movement. Hungry for grouper brains? Read on.
These sweet little babies above were pulled out of the cold waters off Nantucket yesterday and are headed to Dallas as I type. Some restaurants serving them include Fearing’s, Abacus, Stephan Pyles, Nosh, Lucia, T.J’s Seafood Market, and Eddie V’s. Restaurants, list your names below if I missed you.8 Comments »
If you come here often, you know the ubiquitous jonfromtjs. His comments are found on every food blog and social media outlet in Dallas. His real name is Jon Alexis. His real job is marketing his family’s seafood and catering shop TJ’s Seafood Market. I’ve known Jon’s parents, Pete and Caren, since the early 1700s. I’ve witnessed Jon’s profile and knowledge of business mature. Jon’s sends many enthusiastic announcements about the promotions at TJs. This one caught my attention.
Florida Stone Crabs – a trip to Miami without leaving your home. Stone crabs are sweet, mild, and delicious. Dip in TJ’s Creamy Mustard Sauce for an authentic experience. Prices are in flux – right now LARGE claws are 31.99/lb.
Thanks for that, Jon. Oh, and I love the video. It cracks me up.
It’s nice to see this tiny trend in Dallas—small seafood markets growing by stages into little restaurants. Rex’s on Lovers is one example; Sea Breeze in Plano is another. Owner Mark Alterman has created a dedicated following for the market’s New England clam chowder, lobster rolls, and fresh, wild seafood. Now he’s going to give his fans a place to sit. The space will expand by 50 percent and will allow for a full-service restaurant and bar. Additionally, they will ramp up their catering business. Construction is already underway and the project is expected to be completed in November.
Jon Alexis, know on every blog in the United States of America as jonfromtjs, handles the marketing for TJ’s Seafood Market, the successful fish market in Preston Forest. He is a conscientious student of seafood. Recently he learned about Total Catch Market, a project (and blog) run by PJ Stoops and Billy Tellez of Louisiana Foods. Their niche is selling by-catch fish, the innocent fishes caught by fishermen actually fishing for a higher profile fish. JonfromTJs was so moved when he heard about these guys, he jumped in his car and drove to Houston. He sends a brief story about his experience along with cell phone pictures. I am going to run it below. Grammar police be warned: the copy is unedited only because I am low on time at the moment. Take it away jonfromtjs:
What to expect: Meso Maya, the self-labeled “simple modern Mexican food” restaurant that opened in Preston Forest Shopping Center last week has success writ large from the kitchen to the curb. First, chef Nico Sanchez (The Porch, Hibiscus), whom owner Mike Karns (president of El Fenix) lured away from the Consilient Restaurant Group, is heading up the kitchen. Second, the management team is being wrangled, in part, by the lovely MCrowd veteran, Elizabeth Ruiz. Third, the menu is packed with abundant deliciousness from the fresh margaritas, to the guacamole, to the house-specialty budin Azteca.
We visited (undercover) last week and are still talking about it today. Here’s the scoop:
jump for pictures and details… Continue reading "First-Take Review: Meso Maya Rocks Preston Forest With Regional Mexican Moxie"6 Comments »
There’s about to be an angry mob with torches and pitchforks outside my cubicle, ready to string me up for disclosing their favorite hole-in-the-wall: Seafood Shack. Blame D’s director of online media, Julie Blacklidge Kinzie, for grabbing me at our Monday morning meeting to rave about the ceviche and margaritas.
jump for more.. Continue reading "Seafood Shack: Surefire Cure for the Monday-Night Blues"
If you missed last night’s second annual Bastille on Bishop celebration in Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District, you missed a tasty, sweaty good time. The 100+ degree heat didn’t deter the crowds from enjoying street side crepes, wine from Calais Winery, and mussels from local chefs such as John Tesar (The Commissary), Marc Cassel (Peavy Road), Tim Byres (Smoke), and others. In the end, former Stephan Pyles chef Matt McCallister won first place in the best mussels competition with Scott Romano of Charlie Palmer at The Joule taking second.
The last two Julys I spent some time in Boston. Not only do I love the city; I love the food. Particularly the seafood (duh). In 2009, I joined Jim “Sevy” Severson, wife/partner Amy, and their two kids on their family vacation. Yes, I am desperate for friends, but I wasn’t just busting into their family vacation, we’d all enrolled in Steve Connolly Seafood’s School for Chefs. Many Dallas chefs (Dean Fearing, Kent Rathbun, Marc Cassel, Sharon Hage) have toured and learned from the plant’s two facilities: one in South Boston, the other in historic Gloucester.
I ended up writing a feature about our trip. To this day it remains one of the most interesting (and fun) adventures of my life. Meeting the fisherman who risk their lives and fortunes on a daily basis changed the way I think about the food on my plate. Especially the seafood.
One of my fondest memories came during a tour of the plant in Boston where the fish are processed and packaged for delivery. Our guide at that point was Robert Chandler, a marine biologist, senior buyer, and general manager of the facility. As he was explaining how the scales were removed from fish, his right hand was massaging the mouth of a huge striped bass in a tub next to him. I made some snarky remark about his unconscious tendency to rub a fish and he laughed. I wrote:
“I love this fish,” he said, absentmindedly massaging the mouth of the fish with his thumb. “They are the quintessential Massachusetts summertime fish. You know when the striped bass are running. The Red Sox are playing, and times are good.”
Anywhoo, it’s summertime in Dallas and this morning I received word that the striped bass are running. Those in the picture will be served at Fearing’s, Neighborhood Services Lovers & Preston, Dragonfly, and Neiman Marcus downtown tomorrow.3 Comments »
Jon Alexis from TJ’s Market has an interesting message to spread. Hear him roar:
We [TJ’s] get calls every day asking about crawfish for NEXT year. The callers think the season is done. But in 2011 we could have 3 more months of crawfish. And not just from TJ’s: everyone should have crawfish much later this season. This year’s crawfish season has been slow. Icy weather delayed at the opening of the season (Super Bowl weekend). And now, the flooding along the Mississippi and subsequent opening of the Morganza Spillway is submerging some of the country’s best crawfish land under 8-10 feet of water. Crawfishermen in the Atchafalya Basin prefer 3-4 feet of water in the bayous. The bad news is the current market price of crawfish is higher than usual. The good news is this flooding could stretch the crawfish season into August or even September. High water is making it harder to catch crawfish, leaving a heavier supply to come later this summer. Furthermore, the rush of cold, oxygenated, nutrient-rich water will improve crawfish conditions throughout the region, and especially in stagnant ponds in dire need of fresh water. Much like forest fires rejuvenate wooded areas, floods are healthy and natural for basins. The entire ecosystem benefits. Not to mention those of us who want to have a Labor Day crawfish boil this year!
Jon Alexis, head halibut at TJ’s Seafood Market says the popular seafood market in Preston Forest will close from May 21-26 so they can do some renovation. They don’t want any seafood going to waste so they’re marking everything down. On Saturday, from 4-6PM, fresh seafood (including Copper River salmon), house-made sauces, take out food, and Vietri dinnerware will be marked down 25%. Don’t call and ask them to hold anything for you, just get over there and have your way with them.
In other seafood news, Sea Breeze Fish Market and Grill has a fresh batch of Copper River salmon and a fine selection of fresh fish.
These Crisfield soft-shell crabs were shipped this morning to Fearing’s, Hotel Adolphus, Smoke, Neighborhood Services (Lovers), and Neighborhood Services Tavern.4 Comments »
So I show up at TJ’s at 4:00 last Thursday—the last day of validity of the $50 Groupon that I had scored for $25 and had been taped to my fridge for several months—and the place was an absolute mob scene. Naturally. This is my penance for waiting until the 11th hour. Point taken. Luckily, I’m hardwired to not mind waiting. In this case (as in most) patience paid off, and I emerged an hour later with a mother lode of scallops, shrimp, and salmon. I just told co-owner Jon Alexis, who was working the counter like an ace, to package me up a $65 medley of whatever was left in the case.
As he meted out my order, he told me that they had sold $150,000 worth of Groupons on their one-day offering. Great news for TJ’s, but not such good news for the 4-foot tall bubbie in front of me who had to stand in line for 40 minutes to pick up her passover gefilte fish, fish heads, and bones—and who didn’t seem to understand what all the hub-bub was about. But, to Jon’s credit, he was as adept at appeasing her as he was in telegraphing the fact that to the rest of us that everyone would have to wait their turn. No one skipped the line; no one got special treatment.
jump to continue reading… Continue reading "TJs Rocked the Groupon"