Nosh Euro Bisto’s executive chef Jon Stevens’ last day at the popular Park Cities and Plano restaurant is Saturday, April 27. He’s leaving Avner Samuel’s kitchen with Samuel’s blessing. Stevens was hired by Samuel in September, 2010 and together they created two locations of Nosh. “We are parting as friends,” Stevens says. Avner and his wife,Celeste, are on “a San Francisco eating trip.” Celeste confimed Steven’s departure via email.
Stevens plans to open his own restaurant, Stock and Barrel, in the fall. Stock and Barrel will feature Americana food. “It’s a work in progress,” says Stevens.
Stevens will fill some of his time by helping his friend, Mico Rodriguez, open his new spot Mesero Miguel. Stevens was working in San Francisco in 2001 when Mico recruited him to work at The Mercury alongside chef Chris Ward.
Mico has taken over the space formerly known as Cuba Libre/Lemon Bar on Henderson and plans to open an “American grill with a Mexican menu.” Huh? “We are cleaning this place up and changing the interior. I’m really inspired by ‘60s Palm Springs,” Mico says. “I’m going to use organic ingredients and serve steak two ways. You can have it American-style or Mexican-style.”
Rodriguez plans to incorporate “a little Mia’s” into the menu. “We will have pork belly tacos and duck tacos,” he says. “But we will also have brisket tacos.”
The 5,000-square foot, two-story restaurant will seat 120 downstairs in the restaurant and the 2,500 square feet upstairs will be a bar with last call at midnight. “My other restaurant (Mr. Mesero) is only five minutes away,” Mico says. “I turn away so many people that this restaurant makes sense for my business.”
The prices at Mesero Miguel will range from $8 to $35. Opening date is July 11.
I don’t know who this governing body is that keeps sanctioning food holidays, but I understand that Friday marks the observance of National Chicken Fried Steak Day. Or something like that.
I have to say that I find national well-liked food days to be a bit on the goofy, self-congratulatory* side, although I suspect that stance is exactly what got me blackballed from joining the food holiday governing body. Even still, the shame of having missed national burger day, taco day and, yes, even Denver omelette day gnawed at me. So when I got word that chicken fried steak day was a thing, I was eager to exploit it in the name of SideDish.2 Comments »
Anthony Van Camp, the bright executive chef of Sēr, is still fiddling with the menu he’ll be presenting to the public when the Hilton Anatole’s newest steakhouse opens on October 1. So far, construction is well underway and the insides of what was once Nana, Anthony Bombaci’s domain, is now gutted, stripped, torn, and shredded. The wall between the bar and dining area is torn down, so the space for the steakhouse is more airy and open. Don’t worry, though, the 27th floor will be built back up in no time, and Sēr is bound to win people over with Van Camp’s menu despite its funny name. Last night, Desiree and I were invited to the third and final tasting where we tried items that could potentially end up being Sēr’s bar food.
Jump for more beautiful photos. Continue reading "Sēr’s Third and Final Tasting is All About the Bar Food"
It was a packed house at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Dallas last Thursday as the restaurant played its part in the simultaneous exclusive pre-release of 2009 Paraduxx Z Blend, Napa Valley Red Wine (a Duckhorn portfolio wine) at 81 US locations across the US. Z is a blend of predominantly Zinfandel. Also served were other wines from Duckhorn properties: 2010 Migration Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County; 2009 Goldeneye Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, Mendocino County and 2007 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot “Three Palms Vineyard”, Napa Valley.
Ruth’s Chris chefs at each participating location prepared the same five course meal which delved into filet, lobster, lamb and white bean and chorizo soup. They even prepared a salad that was so light on the acids that it went harmoniously with the buttery Chardonnay. Amid five fabulous courses I put the lamb lollipops at the top of my own personal flavor favorites and rank the Merlot the best wine of the evening.3 Comments »
Honig Vineyard and Winery is a Napa winemaker that has always seemed to fly under my radar. No longer. I was invited to a meal and tasting of Honig wines at Bailey’s Prime Plus in Dallas this week with owner Michael Honig in attendance. The wines showed Honig wines to be as good as any on the Rutherford Bench. Interestingly, Bailey’s sommelier Jennifer Jaco did not serve the latest bottlings. Rather, she procured older vintages that are almost impossible to find at retail.
Most exclusive of the lots was the 2002 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon, ‘Bartolucci Vineyard,’ ‘Premiere Napa Valley 2004,’ Napa Valley. It is worth deciphering that label. This is a 2002 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon from the Bertolucci Vineyard in the St. Helena region of Napa Valley that was produced exclusively for the Napa Valley wine auction called ‘Premier Napa Valley’ held in 2004. Napa wine producers participate in two wine auctions each year that they call their own: the Napa Valley Wine Auction that my colleague Haley Hamilton reported on here. That auction is the better known of the two and is open to the public. The secret auction is trade only. An exclusive list of only 200 Napa wineries are permitted to auction there, and they sell wines made exclusively for the auction. This Honig wine consisted of only six cases. Five went up for auction and were bought by Centennial in Dallas. In 2011 Centennial sold its fine wine collection, and Jaco swooped to buy some coveted lots, including this one.1 Comment »
I’m glad that Pappas Bros. Steakhouse really uses their massive wine cellar. While other high-end eateries present highly populated lists or display a large inventory of wine, Pappas Bros. services their customers and parlays their 2,000+ choice cellar into multiple formats of wine tastings. One of the best is the monthly tasting of several wines with themes chosen by Wine Director Barbara Werley, MS. The first of the 2012 tastings took place last Friday. The theme was Cabernet Sauvignon – Everybody’s Favorite Varietal. I attended as an invited guest.
Werley confirms California Cabernet is the most popular wine category among the patrons at Pappas. So popular that she said she would have to check her records to find which of several also-rans came in second (white Burgundy is the likely contender). It was fitting that this tasting of a dozen Cabernet Sauvignons should focus on California. Nine of the wines in the tastings were produced in California. Those choices were rounded out with one Ozzie wine, a rosé from South Africa, and a sample from Washington State.
It appears the restaurateur business in all of North Dallas and Plano has been zoned sushi only. There are at least 16 in Plano alone. Geisha Steak and Sushi in Plano held a media event this week to showcase their menu and illustrate they do much more than sushi. Geisha has a location that is at once very convenient (at the northeast corner of Coit and SH-190, close to the Plano Central Market) and easy to miss (they are set back from Coit, and below 190). However, those that find them can expect some interesting things.
Lots of needy guys popping up in my inbox today. (beat, beat) This guy is looking for romance and a big steak.
24 Comments »
I’m celebrating my five year anniversary later this month with my steak-loving wife. Any suggestion on a steakhouse that also has somewhat of a romantic vibe?
On October 20th at 6:30pm Ruth’s Chris Steak House is holding a tasting of Antinori wines with a set 5-course meal at 38 locations in the US. This includes the North Dallas location.
Details below.1 Comment »
I listen to a lot of public radio. A couple months ago, my home girl Terri Gross broadcast an interview on Fresh Air that focused on the logistical and ethical questions at play regarding growing meat from stem cells in a laboratory setting.
Before you jump to conclusions about real vs. lab-created meat, science writer Michael Specter, who traveled to laboratories in the Netherlands and North Carolina to examine the progress scientists have made in developing in vitro meat, is quick to point out that this is real meat. It’s real muscle cells, the same ones that live inside a real cow, minus the environmental bugbears such as pesticides, UV radiation, etc. (Specter wrote about the arguments in favor of lab-made steaks in the May 23 issue of The New Yorker.)
Even though the technology and global feasibility are still in development, I’d lay money on the fact that the technology’s not going to fade away. And being that this is Texas, this is a topic worth familiarizing ourselves with so that we can have a reasonable discussion about the technology’s pros and cons.
Pros: a reduction in animal cruelty and greenhouse gas emissions
Cons: You tell me. Especially in light of rising population numbers and the domino effect of socioeconomic and environmental pitfalls associated with feeding all those people.
Agriculture stats show that the largest share of Texas’ agricultural income is derived from beef cattle. Texas ranks #1 in the country in cattle raised—a number that can exceed 14 million head. That’s about 20 percent of the nation’s beef cattle.3 Comments »
Classic combinations: steak and eggs, ham and cheese, steak and Cabernet. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Dallas matched the cooking of executive chef David Holben with the iconic California Cabernet Sauvignons from Silver Oak Cellars. I was a guest at the dinner which also included other Silver Oak wines, and wines from Silver Oak’s other label, Twomey Cellars. As an added attraction, Silver Oak also brought along artist Thomas Arvid, an artist who paints still lifes of Silver Oak wines.
Jump for the pairings. Continue reading "Del Frisco’s Hosts Silver Oak Tasting in Dallas"
According to editor-in-chief, Wick Allison, Vongeertsem Butcher Shop in Oak Lawn is closed. I’m not sure if they are still working with Artizone, the groovy online grocery store. (Have you tried it?) Anywhoo, I feel guilty for not shopping there and supporting the efforts of owner Greg Geerts. It’s a loss for the local independent food operator’s scene. Watch this video and feel guilty too.
UPPITY DATE: Faith, a very nice representative from Artizone, just told me that VG’s Greg Greet is “currently developing another business.”
Exclusive! Breaking! Must credit SideDish!!
Minutes ago, Bob Sambol told his staff and investors that he is decamping the legendary Bob’s Steak & Chop House to take a job at MCrowd. Come Monday, diners at the Mercury Grill will find Sambol waiting to greet them at the front door. He’ll run that operation and will spearhead an MCrowd foray into fine dining with as-yet-unnamed future restaurants in the Dallas area.
Naturally, if you’ve been playing along at home, you are right now recalling that Sambol is a thief who recently copped to stealing $300,000 from an investor. I asked MCrowd co-owner Ray Washburne why he would take on that risk and the baggage that comes with it. I found it curious that he didn’t have a ready answer and seemed to be thinking out loud as he looked for one. Washburne said Sambol is a talented guy and a hard worker. “In the restaurant business,” he said, “you have very few people who are true restaurateurs, who work the door and know their customers’ names.” Sambol is one of those guys. (Washburne said Al Biernat is another.) But Washburne also said the hire was a real Dallas thing. “One reason Dallas is a great city is if you’re honest and you work hard, people are willing to listen to you,” he said. I replied, “Honest?” Washburne laughed and said, “We’re all sinners. Bob has addressed his issues. He’s looking for a fresh start, and working with the structure that MCrowd has, he can flourish.” Hang on, though. There’s one more reason Washburne gave for making the hire. Sambol got deferred adjudication and is on probation for 10 years. “If he messes up once,” Washburne said, “he’s done. He’s got a gun to his head.” In other words, he thinks Sambol is a safe bet.
For his part, Sambol told Nancy: “I’m really excited. I’ve had some incredible heart-to-heart talks with all of the partners. I’ve been honest with them, and I respect [Mercury Grill chef Chris Ward] and his staff. We are not looking back. We’re looking forward to increasing business and perhaps creating new projects for Chris.”
Ward is known for being, oh, let’s call it quiet. What is going to happen when MCrowd installs an operator at the Mercury who has grown accustomed, over the years, to having his name on the building? “Bob has a great passion for the restaurant business,” Ward said. “He has plans to boost the business at Mercury. We’ve also talked about doing another restaurant together.”31 Comments »
When La Fiorentina Tuscan Steakhouse opened its doors to the public on Dec. 1, we were first in line. Follow the link for some awesome pictures and to find out what Alberto Lombardi has up his sleeve with his new Tuscan steakhouse.6 Comments »
No, they haven’t shut the steakhouse and morphed into a winery. Rather, they have created a private-label wine for sale solely to their restaurant patrons. This is not your average house wine which is usually the least expensive and least explained wine on the list. Nick & Sam’s 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley is an altogether serious and big-league wine, inviting comparison with other top Napa Cabernets in blind tastings. It is made, as the back label explains, by Bob Egelhoff. His resume reads like a Who’s Who of Napa Valley royalty. Eglehoff worked at Beckstoffer Vineyards, Merryvale Vineyards, Robert Craig, and David Arthur during his 30 years of making wine. At David Arthur he crafted the 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon which the The Wine Spectator gave 99 points (out of 100). He got 10 job offers in the next six months. Little wonder he is the Tête de Cuvée Award Recipient at the 2011 Cotes du Coeur International Fine Wine Auction and Celebrity Chef Dinner in Dallas next April 9. And, while his winemaking expertise is self-evident, what may not be so apparent is his virtuosity with the ivories. Nick & Sam’s sommelier, Brian Soloway, revealed that part of the negotiations for the dinner ended up with a spontaneous session on the restaurant’s piano one night after the place had closed.
As the economy continues to kill restaurants, it also fuels the fires beneath the ever-burning rumor mill. One reason why so many stories are flying all over town is simple economics–as restaurants close, the supply of available restaurant real estate increases. Couple that with curious restaurateurs looking for a bargain or just checking out possibilities, and sparks fly.
While some entrepreneurs are seriously searching for deals, others may just be kicking grease traps and fantasizing. (Restaurant real estate porn if you will.) No matter, once anyone has poked around a few locations, the phone and e-mail lines light up like a modern day version of this.
Late yesterday, a juicy tale flowed my way. Word on the street: Bob Sambol,founder of Bob’s Steak and Chop House on Lemmon, was leaving to reconcept Hully & Mo at the Quadrangle. My source said the deal was “so done” they ‘d already picked a new name: Legends. Made sense to me—real estate mogul and owner of Hully & Mo, Tim Headington, is a Bob’s customer and friend of Sambol’s as is Mike “Mo” Modano.
I called Bob Sambol. “Hey, tell me about Legends,” I said right off the bat (at the drop of the puck). “Huh? What are you taking about?” said Sambol. “You know, your new restaurant. You’re taking over Hully & Mo and changing the name to Legends,” I said.
“I’m still here at Bob’s and business is really good,” said Sambol.”We’ve made a lot of changes and things are going really well. Our new wine guy, Ken Kuczwaj, is doing some great stuff. The people here at Bob’s have been great to me.”
Hmm. He certainly went into auto-mode awfully quick. I went for the neutral zone trap.”So, you have no idea what I’m talking about, ” I said. ”Well, yeah, I talked to them [Headington],” said Sambol. “They need some help. I’ve looked around. I’ve looked at Silver Fox [Centrum]. That place is immaculate. You could reopen it in 10 days. But my next restaurant is not going to be a steak place, it’s going to be a real New York Italian restaurant. I’m only looking now because I am curious and people call me every day with possibilities.”
Perhaps Headington and Mo (donde esta Hully in all of this?) will change the Hully & Mo concept without Sambol. After all, Modano seems to be headed to Detroit to play and Headington & Hully isn’t sexy. (Note to Mr. Headington, please don’t call it Legends. It doesn’t make me hungry or thirsty. It makes me think of strippers. However, “Modano’s” entices me to be all three.)
Anywhoo, I did “learn” one thing from rooting around yesterday: former Houston-turned-Dallas-turned Houston restaurateur Joey Vallone “has signed” a lease on the space formerly known as The Club in the Centrum. Remember Joey’s? It used to be in the space now occupied by Al Biernat’s. Joey is quite a character. Which reminds me, where in the hell is Matthew Antonovich? He never opened his restaurant in Louisville.
Stay tuned for another episode of As the Restaurants Turn.7 Comments »
Last Friday, Andrew Chalk caught up with Pappas Bros. Steakhouse’s Master Sommelier Barbara Werley at a Caymus Wine Dinner. On this video, Ms. Werley demonstrates the art of sampling Napa Valley Cabernet and discusses “tannin on the back of the throat.”