Keep voting for your favorite food and drinks in Best of Big D until Sunday, March 31. Then the poll shuts down and you have to wait until next year. We’re on the last leg, voters. Keep chugging.
AllGood Cafe is now open later on Sundays. Instead of closing doors at 2 p.m., it’s serving breakfast until 3 p.m., and lunch/dinner will run until 7 p.m. WOOHOO. Oh, and the good news isn’t over yet. AllGood’s starting something cool called “Brainless Sundays” with Kelly Cutler. Basically, eat and listen to live music every Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m.
Tim Love’s new steakhouse, Queenie’s, opens in Denton on April 4. The Denton-Record Chronicle has a great article about the upcoming steakhouse that Tim Love’s always envisioned for Denton’s Love Shack location. Looks like a hipster steakhouse to me.
Estilo Gaucho, another steakhouse, just opened in Frisco. It’s supposed to be “authentic Brazilian” and “serves 15 gourmet cuts of meat, 40 varieties of freshly made sides and vegetables on a salad bar, homemade desserts like Brazilian Flan and Papaya Cream and offers a selection of more than 1,300 wines.” Hey, I’m down with that.
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"
I love wines with scores higher than my IQ, so when the peeps at Ruth’s Chris in Fort Worth invited me to a meal organized in conjunction with Wine Enthusiast Magazine and accompanied by wines that scored 90 or more points out of 100, I jumped at the chance.
We started with a sparkling wine from Italy. Ferrari Brut Metodo Classico, Trentino is a 90-point non-vintage crisp sparkling wine made from 100% Chardonnay grapes grown in the Trentino region in the northeast of Italy. This wine is designed to be a perfect substitute for Brut (dry) Champagne: Same grape, same style, same method of production. However, it is at a lower price point. It sells for around $25, and can be considered a good value. We had it as the pre-prandial and with the first course of warm brie and pecan tartlet with savory apple-mango chutney and guava sauce. This wine’s perfectly honed acid level enabled it to harmonize with and lift the cheese and pastry at the heart of this dish.
This week Ocean Prime in Dallas held a media dinner to promote its new summer menu. Prior to attending, I knew its a steakhouse. I knew that the decor was upscale. But there were lots of things that I did not know. For instance, Ocean Prime placed third on D Magazine’s 20 top steakhouses in 2011. It also has about as many seafood dishes on its menu as it does meat. And, very importantly, Ocean Prime changes its menu seasonally.
There are several noteworthy wine tastings happening in the next couple of weeks. Get your calendars and get tasting.
April 24th Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek: 7:15pm. Wine dinner featuring wines from California’s Continuum Estate and Hirsch Vineyards. Mingle with Carissa Mondavi and Jasmine Hirsch and enjoy a reception and four-course menu created by Executive Chef Bruno Davaillon. 214.443.4747
April 28th, 7pm at Café on the Green at The Four Seasons Resort and Club in Irving has a wine dinner with Côte Bonneville wines and winemaker Kerry Shiels (972) 717-0700. The take: check out this rising star winery from Washington State. It is going to get a lot more national coverage in the next few years. New chef at the Café is worth checking out too.
May 1st Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse: “US Release of Penfold’s 2007 “Grange”. Details here, but it’s basically a national release party for one of the top ten wines in the world at 59 Ruth’s Chris steak houses across the country. The Dallas location hosts the dinner in north Texas.
“Hey, honey I’m in the mood for a good steak tonight. Where should we go?”
“How about Sēr’s?”
“No, I don’t want a new washing machine, I want a cowboy rib-eye. Why would I want to go to Sears?”
Okay, it needs a lot of workshopping but so does the name Sēr. That is the name of the new steakhouse replacing Nana in the Hilton Anatole. Sēr is set to open on October 1, 2012.
If a restaurant name is sent out in a press release and followed by “(pronounced “sear”),” I can tell you there will be trouble. Names should be easy to read and say. A customer should be able to glance at the name, style of font, and get an idea of what they are to expect.
Contemporary marketing people: We are stupid. Asador may be a great restaurant, but it doesn’t sound like one. We like our names simple. Even CampO Modern Bistro can be shortened to as CampO’s. Nobody has to pronounce that silly big O. What would have been wrong with Nana’s Steakhouse? You could have combined some tradition along with your fancy “open, airy layout that is both casual and sophisticated. Warm cognac and whiskey leathers, locally sourced end-grain mesquite walls and community tables, rich mesquite floors and solid walnut tabletops create a masculine, yet hip and urban feel. A chef’s table and wine display will be an intimate destination adjacent to the exhibition kitchen. And, of course, its stunning views make it unique among its competitors.”
Sēr that! Full press release below. Continue reading "Oh No! Say It Isn’t So! Nana Will Turn Into A Contemporary Steakhouse Called Sēr"
One of the titans of California, and later, Oregon, winemaking is Tony Soter. After successes consulting to Araujo, Niebaum-Coppola, Shafer, Spottswoode, Viader and Dalle Valle he scaled back to focus on his Californian venture, Etude and, more recently, his Oregon property Soter Vineyards. Last week his winemaker at the Oregon property, James Cahill, worked the crowd at Bailey’s Prime Plus in the latest in a series of impressive wine dinners that the restaurant has hosted.
I was an invited guest and had the opportunity to talk to Cahill directly about some puzzling questions that surround Oregon wine. For example: In Europe, the most successful Chardonnay is found growing in the same region as the most successful Pinot Noir (the French region of Burgundy). Yet in Oregon, world-class Pinot Noir has been accompanied by generally average to forgettable Chardonnay. Cahill agrees with this widely leveled view. He attributes the situation to early plantings of the wrong clone of Chardonnay grape. He explained that early growers took a lot of their cues from California Chardonnay growers (who, after all, were a model of success). That included the Wente clone of the Chardonnay grape. It did poorly in Oregon’s cooler climate. Later plantings using Dijon clones, he noted, had started to produce impressive Chardonnays. Continue reading "Bailey’s Hosts Soter Vineyards"
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 »
My plea: I can’t write it, sing it, dance it, or say any better than Neil Sedaka. You can help save Nana by writing your stories about your experiences at Nana. Put on your go-go boots and come-a come-a, down dooby do down, down to the comments.
This news breaks my heart. Nana Restaurant at the Hilton Anatole, led by the talented and innovative chef Anthony Bombaci, will close on June 9. The restaurant will undergo reconstructive surgery and emerge as an upscale steak house in late September.
Here are some of the details I’ve beat out the bushes. The new name has not been selected. (We can certainly help with that. Leave your suggestion below.) The interior, designed by a California firm, will be “contemporary with an LA-inspired design.” (The skyline view will remain Dallas’!) The menu will be “all about steaks and one-of-a-kind sides and desserts.” The executive chef of the steakhouse hasn’t been confirmed, but that person will work under Anthony Bombaci who has been promoted. I don’t know his position at this point.
Oh, Nana. You have been such a blessing to this city. We loved you when Doug Brown was the chef and Jason Foss was the pastry chef. We loved you during the fancy days when David McMillan sent entrees out of Versace and Rosenthal china and general manager and wine expert Paul Pinnell roamed the room. We love you for bringing Anthony Bombaci to Dallas. This news makes me appreciate my last meal at Nana even more.
Make a final visit and pay homage to Nana. You have a little over three months to get your Bombaci fix. Make a reservation now: 214-761-7470. And name the new restaurant below!
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.
Capital Grille rolled out a new lunch option earlier this month – serve customers a high quality, multi-course, customizable meal in 45 minutes flat, allowing those of us who watch a lunch hour clock the ability to have a delicious meal and still meet time constraints. A friend and I were invited guests of The Capital Grille in Uptown earlier this week to try out the Plated Lunch menu and test if we really could get in and out in 45 minutes. Continue reading "Capital Grille Gets You In and Out of Lunch in 45 Minutes Flat"
Waterbrook may be the largest wine brand you haven’t heard of. They are based in Washington State and part of Precept Wine, the largest family-owned wine company in the state. Recently they were in town for a media event at Mignon in Plano and I was fortunate to be an invited guest.
See how the wines paired with Mignon’s winter menu. Continue reading "Chalk Talk: Waterbrook Wine Dinner at Mignon in Plano"2 Comments »
When popular Dallas chef Joanne Bondy left her post at Ciudad to work at the ginormous Gaylord Texan, industry folks thought she was crazy. Now, almost six years later, we’re crazy for the improvements and the personal touches she has added to Old Hickory’s menu. It’s still mostly a steak restaurant. Filets, Cowboy rib-eyes, and the Prime rib-eye, topped with blue cheese, smoked bacon, and tobacco onions, are big sellers. But Bondy also offers a separate farm-to-market menu with local and regional ingredients.2 Comments »
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 »