Fun Friday Fact Time: On Wednesday, some crazy winemakers dropped four cases of 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon into Charleston Harbor. No big deal. They’re just trying to replicate the taste of wine that’s been found from shipwrecks.
Ramen, ramen, ramen! After I read about these pop-up ramen shops on craveDFW, my instinct was to hide this bit of news from you guys. I wanted all the ramen to myself. Alas, the web editor told me that this is my job. I must do it. So here I am. Justin Holt (Lucia) will be at the Tradewinds Social Club on Friday and Ten Bells Tavern on Saturday, after midnight, with $5 bowls of ramen.
Since it’s National Margarita Day, Central 214 is doing a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ just for y’all. Bartender Amber West is making $9 Avaritas (tarragon, thai chili, infused el Jimador, Mathilde XO), and you can get a chicken confit quesadilla + mini Avarita for $12.
NOSH on Oak Lawn is having a Middle Eastern cooking class at 10 a.m. It’s $85 for the class, lunch, and wine pairings. Call 214.528.9400 to reserve a spot.
Chef David Anthony Temple is back with another weird, but interesting email. He’s hosting a pre-Oscar night celebration at 7:30 p.m. in Deep Ellum, where he’ll be featuring clips and short films to go with his Django Unchained soul food gumbo, Les Mis salad, and wild boar and smoked boudin for Beasts of the Southern Wild. To RSVP, email email@example.com. Continue reading "Pop-Up Ramen Shops, Oscar-Watching Parties, and Other Things to Do and Chew in Dallas This Weekend, Feb. 22-24"2 Comments »
Last night I dropped by Tried and True, the newest bar/restaurant creation by Nick Badovinus. I don’t know how this man does it, but he has pulled together another unique and spirited concept. Badovinus has a loyal team of chefs who helped him construct yet another ingenious food menu. It’s short, but oh so cool: whiskey pate, flat top pork chop and country ham sandwich topped with smoked cheddar and house made apple butter ($13); peppered beef nachos ($11); and platters of country hams from Broadbent (Kuttawa, KY), Meacham (Sturgis, KY), and Benton (Madisonville, TN). The full menu is here!
Cocktails feature 86 Company Spirits, founded by Jason Kosmas. The beer selection is divided into Texas, American, and International. The whiskey program at TNT is vast and includes bourbon from some of Kentucky’s legendary distilleries such as Woodford Reserve’s small batch, Makers Mark ‘46’, and Four Roses’ small batch listed alongside a Old Rip Van Winkle (aged for ten years) and the 100-proof Rock Hill Farms single barrel straight bourbon.
The Texas Sommelier Association’s 8th annual international wine conference at Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas ended last night. The closing ceremonies included the announcement that Ryan Tedder of FT33 Restaurant in Dallas is Texas’ Best Sommelier. The Texas’ Best Sommelier Competitions is run behind the scenes during the two-day conference organized by co-founders and Master Sommeliers Drew Hendricks and James Tidwell.
While wine experts gather for seminars on wide-ranging topics on wine, twenty-two sommeliers compete in a rigorous three-part wine examination involving service, blind tasting, and theory. The winner is picked by an elite panel of Master Sommelier judges.
Last night Ryan Tedder was the winning sommelier. Tedder has sniffed and swirled at Stephan Pyles and most recently Grace in Fort Worth. Tedder has joined Matt McCallister’s merry band of forward-thinking culinary rebels gathered together to open FT33 in the Design District this fall. Tedder received a scholarship of $2,500 from the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation to be used for a Court of Master Sommeliers certification program. David Keck of Uchi Restaurant Group in Houston was the second runner up and will receive a $1,500 scholarship from the Guild, and the 3rd place winner Steve Murphey of Mid-Stage Wine & Liquor in Plano will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Additionally, the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California will be offering scholarships to all three top placers.2 Comments »
It’s Friday and you’ve started to rely on my posts to get you through the weekend. This is good. This is very good. Lucky for you, I’ve picked out the best ways you can waste your time actually doing something.
Late Night at Scardello is exactly where you want to be tonight. If you love cheese (and, c’mon, who doesn’t?), drop by Scardello after hours to drink bubbly and builds build-your-own cheese plate. Live jazz starts at 8 p.m.
You guys are probably well aware KRLD Restaurant Week presented by Central Market is next week, but did you know that there’s a “Preview” this weekend from August 10 through 12? These restaurants will offer their same three-course prix fixe menus for $35 a person (with a portion of each meal still going back to charity). To get a preview of Restaurant Week, make a reservation at one of these 48 eateries right here.
Jump for more.
Score another win for East Dallas. This just in from Diane Savage of Stoney’s Wine Shop:
We are offering wine by the glass and by the bottle, cheese, charcuterie, and antipasto in a warm, contemporary, comfortable ambiance. Our new décor enhances the dynamic architectural elements of this historic wine venue (which began as Grailey’s by Lee Jaynes) The high wood ceiling, arches for cozy gatherings, wrought iron on the windows and door made by Dallas artist, Bert Scherbarth. We’ll host live jazz, regular tastings, special wine events with winemakers, private gatherings, and more. We will still operate as a full retail wine store for those customers who need a great bottle of wine to go, and, as before, offer temperature-controlled wine storage lockers.
Anybody remember Stoney’s when it was in that tiny rock house by AAC?2 Comments »
I’ve cruised past the construction site of John Tesar’s new restaurant, Spoon in Preston Center, several times this month and noticed zero activity. The permits were not on the windows and there was no construction taking place. Yesterday I checked Tesar’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, then texted and called him, and nothing. Last night I spoke with his rep, Bev Garvin. She says all is well and construction is “back underway.” They are preparing to knock down the front of the space and, after that, “expect a six-to-eight week turnaround.”
I asked her Tesar’s whereabouts and she giggled a bit. “I can’t tell you,” she said. “I only get to talk to him when they allow him access to phones or when they let him have phones.”
After I lifted my jaw off my desk, I asked, “Well, should I check the roster at Betty Ford Clinic or San Quentin?” She giggled again, nervously. “No, it’s all good I can’t tell you. If you poke around you might find out more.” She did say he would be back in Dallas on July 31.
I don’t feel like poking, so let’s play “Where’s John Tesar?” Prize worth $100 to the winner. (Some people, and you know who you are, are not eligible to play.)
I am going out on a long white oak limb here: Meditating in India.
Okay, your turn, GO!34 Comments »
The developers of Klyde Warren Park (The Park) have been busy building the 5-acre green space that covers Woodall Rogers Freeway. The area will connect the Arts District and downtown with Uptown. The $110 million dollar attraction will feature fountains, a botanical garden, a performance stage, a children’s garden, real trees and grasses, and a dog park. I’ve had my nose to the ground since they started trying to dig up the scoop on the restaurants that will be granted rights to serve at, on, or around The Park.
I’ve heard rumors (many) the main restaurant will be operated by Wolfgang Puck’s catering operation which already has a stranglehold on most of the Art’s District concessions. This morning I got confirmation on a new chef-driven restaurant that will open at 2000 McKinney. It’s called Lark (on the Park). The owner, as it should be, is long-(long)-time-Dallasite-veteran-restaurateur-and-reformed-party boy, Shannon Wynne. He of the Moth, Flying Fish, Flying Saucer and other flying related concepts.
“Plans today suggest Chef Nick Amoriello will be going over there from the Moth,” Wynne says. “We will be interviewing additional chefs for Lark where we plan to present non-cute food.” What does he mean by non-cute food? “No mac and cheese or mamas fried chicken. Just good meals at a fair price.” When I asked him to expand his thoughts a little he said: “The beer program at the Moth will not be traveling to Lark as there is room for only one deluxe gastro pub in Dallas, but Lark promises more wines and mixed drinks. We are slated to open in December or early January.” Fearing he’d hang up on me, I pressed on. What about the interior? (Wynne designs his own spaces) Just before the line went dead he said, “The interior is a secret. Dallas illustrators will be heavily featured.”
That’s all I got. But I have to say it’s always good news when a unique Dallas project adds other unique Dallas project to the mix. Or The Park in this case.
UPPITY DATE: My initial post flushed an elusive ivory-billed woodpecker from the bushes. It calls: “Wolfgang Puck was a smoke screen. John Muse of Hicks and Muse fame will be opening a restaurant there.”11 Comments »
Monica Greene has never been afraid of change. Moments ago she told me she is leaving the business of Monica’s Aca Y Alla in Deep Ellum to her partners who will close the restaurant at 2914 Main Street, remodel the space, and reopen as a yet-to-be-named Mexican restaurant. Monica is moving all of her energy over to the iLume Building on Cedar Springs where she has been in the planning stages of opening Tajin. When the Sushi Axiom closed, Monica decided to take the space and open up the walls of Tajin into the space and create a new concept. The 7,600-square food space will now be Monica’s Nueva Cocina and ME Lounge. It was a difficult decision for Greene to leave Deep Ellum where she has been a major player for over 20 years. More on the food later. Monica has written a letter to YOU. It’s below.
UPDATE: Monica is on her way to Houston. I got lucky when she answered her cell phone. “This [move] has been a real struggle for me,””Greene said. I’ve always been committed to urban development. I believe in Dallas but unfortunately the area [Deep Ellum] has taken a long time to develop. It’s time for me to expand and open my doors to a larger audience.”
I say, you go girl. It’s a great move. She has been in, what I would call, an abusive relationship with Deep Ellum for a long time. It’s time she made a fresh start. That girl has some balls. Oh, wait. Nevermind.22 Comments »
I am addicted to Shark Tank. And because I am too lazy to jump through the hoops to get on the show and present my idea, I’m using the power of my pudgy fingers to reach you. Let’s pick and roll:
I walk on the set of Shark Tank. “Daymond John, you are so out,” I say. “Barbara, if I wanted to sell my cellulite-reducing sous-vide hot dog you’d be my best friend, but I’m keeping it to myself. You’re out.”
I watch the other sharks glance around, really scared at this point, and go for the kill. “Kevin, don’t even open that ugly mouth. You’re out. Robert, you can buy me dinner after the show but, for now, you are dead to me.”
Cameras swing: Close-up of Cuban. Music swells.
Mark. We live in the same city. We love the same teams. More importantly, we eat in the same restaurants. Last night, our city’s finest chef, Bruno Davaillon of the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, lost Best Chef in the Southwest at the James Beard Awards in New York City to a young chef in Austin who appeared on Top Chef. It has been 18 years since a Dallas chef won this title. We need a local version of Shark Tank geared towards Dallas restaurateurs. That way, you and I can work together to tighten up our game and turn it around. We have the talent, we need the exposure. And that exposure shouldn’t have to come from the Food Network or Bravo.
I propose we put together a panel of experts and ask restaurateurs to pitch their ideas BEFORE they decide to sink their life savings into an upscale seafood and sushi restaurant in a bad location. Let’s kick the steak house wannabes to Fort Worth. Mark, I’m asking you to invest whatever it takes to help us bring the talent of the Dallas restaurant community to the international scene. In exchange, I offer you fifty percent of my idea. Oh, and you can keep the Mavs.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Nancy12 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 »
Nick Badovinus and chef Dan Riley have been hunkered down for over a year developing the menu and creating all kinds of delicious roasted meats for Off-Site Kitchen. Today he is finally opening the doors!
Now, hold your horses. The dining room is tiny. Off-Site Kitchen is basically a take-out restaurant with a few stools inside and some picnic tables outside. Here are some pictures of what you can expect. The food, inspired by “what line cooks eat,” is basically simple sandwiches and breakfast burritos made from quality roasted meats. Roll the Badovinus quote of the year:
“It’s light industrial food,” he said. “It’s the kind of food you want to eat before you go solder something.”
Off-Site Kitchen will be open for lunch only from 10:30AM until 3PM for the next two weeks. Then the breakfast menu will kick in and they will begin serving at 7AM and will remain open until 7PM. “After we hit our stride, we’ll start rolling out the meat-by-the-pound program,” Badovinus said. “I’m so excited. This place is a real man cave.”
The original date for OSK’s opening was February 14, 2011. After Badovinus missed his mark, he decided to workshop the place and open on Valentine’s Day this year. “You see how many financial sacrifices I made to pay for my original vision,” Badovinus said. “I mean I’ve got a wheelbarrow of pork rinds down here. Who doesn’t love that?”
Badovinus was only half-joking about the Valentine’s Day opening. He and chef Dan Riley have used the Off-Site Kitchen space to tweak the menus of Badovinus’ other restaurants (Neighborhood Services, Neighborhood Services Tavern, and Neighborhood Services Bar & Grill). They also use the huge kitchen as a commissary for the other restaurants. The receive, portion, and distribute all of the meat and seafood at Off-Site Kitchen.
SOLDER, EAT, REPORT. No call-in orders. Plan to show up and wait.
[Also, Neighborhood Services Bar & Grill in Preston Royal will open for lunch in two weeks.]
The menu and photos are below.
I dropped in to get a quick look at Hid In 2612, Michael Martensen’s newest pop-up bar in Deep Ellum. It’s gorgeous and fun and full of groovy people. The space is divided into four or five differently decorated spaces and some of Dallas’ finest bartenders are taking shifts at the bar. Food is available from Cane Rosso next door. I didn’t have time for a drink but I plan to get back before their last night which is Saturday Friday, February 10. They open at 8PM.
Go. Drink. Report.
SideDish photographer Desiree Espada roams the roads with her camera looking for good things to eat and shoot. Check out her photo essay of Bolsa Mercado. Then feast your eyes on what to expect when the Jerry Garcia of donut making, James St. Peter, opens Hypnotic Donuts on Sunday, January 29.
Glory be to the donut. Continue reading "Desiree + Camera: Photo Essay of Hypnotic Donuts in East Dallas"
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.
Although La Garza is all about sisterhood (“I am Sissy,” Garza says. “Sissy is southern slang for “sister” and I am developing every aspect.”) there will be no sissy in the kitchen. La G has plucked Jeffery Hobbs and named him “leader of the kitchen.”
Oh, it’s a tangled tale—an episode of As the Restaurant Turns. Here’s the synopsis: Lisa was married to Chef Gilbert Garza. Together they operated Suze Restaurant, the cozy spot on Midway and NW Highway. At some point, Jeffery Hobbs joined the happy couple to work on the kitchen team as chef and partner. Hobbs and Gilbert ran a great restaurant. Lisa concentrated on catering. Lisa was picked as a contestant on Next Food Network Star. The experience was devastating, as most former TV reality participants will admit is generally the case. The Garzas divorced and Lisa retreated for a couple of years. She emerged as a fancy caterer. Found a new guy. Got re-married and is now pregnant with new restaurant.
After eight years at Suze, Hobbs splits to partner with burgeoning bully restaurateur, Jack “Maple & Motor” Perkins. They’re consulting on taco joints. Then La G calls Hobbs and asks him to be the “leader of her kitchen.” According to La G, Gilbert has given his blessing to the deal. See, there can be happy endings. Or beginnings. Stay tuned.8 Comments »
Oh my, what a great idea and perfect timing. Today comes word that an unnamed “culinary incubator,” a space to help start-up food entrepreneurs launch their own businesses, will open when Sylvan | Thirty opens next year. Local chef Sharon Hage will be the Culinary Curator. She is, in my book, the Earth Mother.
What a great fit. Hage will help local artisans and food businesses get up and running. The focus, naturally, will be on local start-ups and chefs upping their game. Participants will pay a membership to join. They will have access to a shared commercial kitchen and retail space which will enable them to sell their products without the initial expense of building out their own space. Cox Farms Market and Matador Meat & Wine have already signed on as neighbors at Sylvan | Thirty.
I think this culinary incubator needs a proper name. Shall we give it one?16 Comments »
Forgive me Master Sommeliers and wine collectors around the world, I have sinned. I am here to confess my deepest darkest wine secret: I improperly stored four bottles of fabulous wine. For nearly 35 years.
Look at the photos and weep with (for?) me. I recently uncovered these bottles in a box buried beneath a pile of old Christmas decorations in my garage. Yes, my garage, where it sat for close to 35 summers, winters, springs, and falls. I am a human species of Phylloxera.
I could have pulled another Billionaire’s Vinegar and called Sotheby’s and claimed the wine was given to me by Richard Nixon and I’ve kept it hidden in a bricked-up Paris cellar. Instead I’m posting pictures of my crime. Perhaps there are others who have committed the same dirty deed.
Full confession below. Continue reading "Confession: I am Guilty of a Heinous Wine Crime"22 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 »