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Spotlight Restaurant: Central 214-Chef Blythe Beck February 28, 2011

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Blythe Beck, Central 214

“The Naughty Chef” Offers Great Wining and Dining in Dallas

Chef Blythe Beck has had a lot of fun being “naughty”.  She even had a TV show called “The Naughty Chef”.  Before your imagination goes too wild, Blythe is talking more about loving to cook with some of the things that the “food police” say are bad for us:  like butter, and bacon, cream, sugar, and other wonderfully rich and enticing ingredients that make food taste good.  (aren’t these like three of the four “basic food groups”?).  Blythe is passionate about her job.  She loves to “love on” her food and her guests.

Central 214’s extensive menu celebrates the diverse flavors and substantial tradition of American regional cooking.  Chef Blythe’s menu evolves with the seasons to feature the freshest seafood, poultry and local produce. Central 214 sources its ingredients from regional purveyors across the country to heighten the authenticity of the menu. Diners experience the soul of American cooking with rustic flavors, approachable dishes and the intimacy of sharing familiar American food together with family and friends.

Central 214 Restaurant–5680 North Central Expressway–Dallas, 75206–214.443.9339

Check out “The Naughty Chef”, as she joins Jim White to discuss her appearance at the Seventh Annual Savor Dallas (March 18th & 19th) and to find out more about her cooking style and her wonderful outgoing personality.

Wining and Dining with Jim White February 27, 2011

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What Are you Making for Dinner?  Reservations!

Here’s a good way to begin March:  On Tuesday night Stephan Pyles in the Arts District will host a Neal Vineyards wine dinner. Mark Neal will lead guests through each selection of wine paired with a 4-course menu created by Chef Pyles. $125pp. Call Lisa Moore 214-999-1229 x 102 or email lmoore@stephanpyles.com.  If you can’t make the dinner, Stephan will be at Savor Dallas on March 19th.  First he hosts a great cooking class and full portion wine and food tasting at his restaurant on Saturday March 19th at 11.  Seating is very limited for the dinner.  Get details on the Savor Dallas website, and check out Stephan doing one of the dishes from the special luncheon on the website while you’re there.

Wine of the Week: Twin Flags Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 February 24, 2011

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One of the little known facts about Sauvignon Blanc is that it is considered to be the “mother” grape varietal of Cabernet Sauvignon. The cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc produced one of the world’s most popular grape varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon. The flavor profile of Sauvignon Blanc greatly varies depending on the environment in which it is grown. Grown in New Zealand it can have very distinctive notes of grapefruit, citrus and gooseberries. In Sancerre or Pouilly-Fume it can take on notes of lemon zest, green apples and melon with a mineral-like component.  The one thing to remember is that Sauvignon Blanc (wherever grown) is almost always a safe bet as a refreshing wine.

Surprisingly, Twin Flags Sauvignon Blanc 2009 is nearly the antithesis of stereotypical Kiwi Sauvignon.  This wine offers up a ripe pineapple and tangerine entry, followed by a mid-palate of white peach and lime. The finish is true to the varietal with mouthwatering acidity propped up by an intriguing white pepper component. Graciously absent from this well crafted endeavor are the overly pungent gooseberry and under ripe grapefruit notes that prevail in so many wines in this category today. This is versatile enough to stand alone as an aperitif or alongside an array of foods.

Special Offering:
Twin Flags Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Available at Almost All Centennial and Big Daddy’s Locations

Sale Price $14.99.  Retail $16.99. Save $2.00

Spirit of the Week: Don Julio Silver Tequila 80° February 24, 2011

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“Don Julio González began his journey in the world of tequila in 1942. He soon realized that to create a tequila that stands apart, one must control every aspect of the entire process, from the cultivation of the agave to the bottling of the final product.  He then established his distillery, La Primavera, and spent nearly forty years perfecting the craft that would produce extraordinary tequila with every bottle.  At first, Don Julio only shared his tequila with friends. But soon word spread, and Tequila Don Julio quickly became the most highly sought after tequila in Mexico. Today, the world is learning what Mexico already knows: that it is passion above all else that makes great tequila.  Our Blanco was given a ‘Classic’ rating in Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s review of the top spirits of 2007. ‘Classic’ is their highest recommendation and was awarded after noted critic Paul Pacult reviewed over 250 spirits.”   Excerpt from donjulio.com

This Special Offer Is Available Through Wednesday March 9th, 2011

Don Julio Silver Tequila 80° 1.75 Liter
Available at All Centennial and Big Daddy’s Liquor Store Locations

Sale Price $99.99. Save $18.00 Over Regular Price!

Enjoy Central Coast Tasting from Bridlewood Winery at Centennial February 24, 2011

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Sideways No More

Miles’ quest for the perfect Pinot Noir in the 2004 film starring Paul Giamatti brought national attention to the appellation’s Pinot Noir, but Chardonnay claims the most Central Coast acreage. At the southern end of the AVA, Bordeaux and Rhône varietals reign on south-facing hillsides and high benchlands. It is here that Bridlewood Winemaker David Hopkins finds the incredible grapes to make his complex wines.  You’ll have a chance to taste some of David’s kaleidoscope of flavors in a special tasting of Bridlewood Chardonnay, Arabesque (a Rhône blend), and yes, Pinot Noir, at selected Centennial Fine Wine and Spirits locations this Friday from 5 until 7 p.m. and Saturday from 2 until 4.

Experience California’s Central Coast this weekend at:

  • Centennial’s Lakewood store at 6312 LaVista Drive. Dallas (214-821-6294)
  • The new “Lowest Greenville” location at 1704 Greenville Avenue. Dallas (214-515-0683)
  • And Big Daddy’s at 1613 W. Northwest Highway. Dallas  (972-506-8193)

Click on the link for each location to see a map.  Centennial Fine Wine and Spirits has more great tastings coming up each week leading up to Savor Dallas March 18th and 19th.  You’ll have a chance to meet Bridlewood Winemaker David Hopkins at Savor Dallas on Saturday March 19th.  David is featured at the Arts District Wine Stroll, at the International Grand Tasting, and is featured in the Savor Dallas “Wine Panel” at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

We’ll bring you details on Monday about the next great series of winetastings at Centennial, featuring Louis M. Martini on March 3-4.

For more information about California’s great Central Coast Appellation and Bridlewood Estate Winery, read on.  Cheers!


Wining and Dining with Jim White February 20, 2011

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Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

Chef Stephan Pyles

The race is on for the 2011 James Beard Awards.  This Oscar of the food and wine world hasn’t been awarded to anyone in these parts for as long as memory serves.  Lots of nominations–particularly Sharon Hage of the dearly departed York Street–but no coveted Beard Award for the home boys and girls in a long time.  Well, hope springs eternal, and we are rooting mightily for some very strong local contenders who have been nominated–as semi-finalists for the 2011 Awards:

Stephan Pyles for “Outstanding Chef”, The Mansion Restaurant at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek for “Outstanding Restaurant”, and The Four Seasons Las Colinas for “Outstanding Wine Service” under the direction of James Tidwell, M.S.  These three awards are the “big dogs” of the competition.  They are selected from top chefs and restaurants all across America. A regional nomination for “Best Chef: Southwest” goes to Teiichi Sakurai for his outstanding work at Tei-An.

Congratulations to all for the well-deserved recognition.  In my book, they all belong in the finals.  The long list of semi-finalists will be pared down by a secret panel of judges from across the country on March 21st. You can see all the contenders at the James Beard website.  The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in Lincoln Center New York on May 9th.  Let the nail biting begin!  Take it from one who has been through the process (1999 James Beard nomination for “Viking Range Best Radio Show on Food” for the KRLD Restaurant Show with Jim White), it’s nerve-racking.  Both waiting to find out and the awards ceremony.  We found the audience a bit boorish.  They literally booed nominees who weren’t from New York!  Well, hopefully the folks in attendance for the 2011 ceremony will have better manners, and Stephan, James, Bruno Davillion (Executive Chef of the Mansion Restaurant), and “Teiich” will all get to give acceptance speeches!

We are honored to have Stephan and Bruno with us at Savor Dallas March 18-19.  Stephan is doing a special cooking class and lunch at his eponymous Arts District restaurant, and also joins us at the International Grand Tasting along with Bruno. Stephan’s lunch will definitely sell-out so get your tickets now!  Click here for more information.

Wine of the Week: Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon February 17, 2011

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“In 1964, Louis P. Martini, son of Napa Pioneer Louis M. Martini, purchased 178 acres of land in the eastern hills of the Napa Valley, which they developed into a vineyard.  The family named this vineyard Ghost Pines as a tribute to the native grey pines which at dusk appear to hover, ghostlike, throughout the coastal valleys.  Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon draws from multiple winegrowing counties to create wines as unique as the Ghost Pine itself.  Ghost Pines is defined by the philosophy that quality should not be constrained by geographic or political boundaries.  Our winemakers have the freedom to source from the finest appellations to achieve Ghost Pines’ signature consistent quality and flavor profile.”  Excerpt from ghostpines.com

Click Here For a Video Interview With Winemaker Michael Eddy

“In the December 2008 edition of The Wine Advocate (issue #180) the world renowned wine critic Robert Parker made  a direct reference to the Ghost Pines Winery with the following quote, “The Ghost Pines offerings merit serious attention from bargain hunting consumers.”  In a separate publication, the winemaker of Ghost Pines, Michael Eddy, further elaborates on the specific style found within the Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon.  “Our Cabernet Sauvignon displays flavors of dark fruit jams, bordering on a syrupy character.  Aromas of sweet nuts, sweet aromatics and black pepper complement the dark fruit aromas and flavors of this curvaceous wine.  The palate is dense and chewy without being overly astringent.

Special Offering:

Ghost Pines Cabernet Sauvignon, 750ml.
Available at Almost All Centennial and Big Daddy Locations
Sale Price $18.99.  Retail $19.99.  Save $1.00

Wining and Dining with Jim White February 17, 2011

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There is nothing like a Dame!

Susan Auler, Fall Creek Winery

Rodgers and Hammerstein said it in song, and the Dallas Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier says it with great food and wine!  Their 22nd “Raiser Grazer” is coming up Sunday March 6th from 5 until 8 p.m., at Cityplace Conference Center in Dallas, 2711 North Haskell.

This year’s Grazer, “Dames in the City”, is a Who’s Who of women who have redefined a new era in wine and culinary arts. The evening will feature luminaries of the wine industry and 20 well-known women chefs and culinary professionals offering samplings of food. In addition to the cork pull, a silent auction of culinary classes, private dinners, fine wines and more will be held. Guests will also enjoy specialty cocktail bars and ‘street performers’ at the event.  The group has raised more than $1 million for deserving women. Funds raised will benefit the Dallas Chapter’s established scholarship programs and endowments at five colleges and universities in Texas for women in the food, wine and hospitality industries.  Tickets to the Les Dames Raiser Grazer are available online for $50 prior to the event, and $60 at the door. The website address is www.LDEDallas.org.

And speaking of “Who’s Who”.  Read on to see all the great participants.  Thanks, ladies!


Spirit Of The Week: Buchanan’s 12 Year Scotch 80° February 15, 2011

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Aged 12 years.  Buchanan’s Scotch whisky was created over one hundred years ago by Sir James Buchanan, a Scotch whisky pioneer and one of the most celebrated businessmen of his era.  Buchanan’s Scotch whisky has remained true to his exacting standards of quality ever since. Buchanan’s spiritual home is Dalwhinnie Distillery in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, the highest distillery in Scotland. Dalwhinnie Distillery produces a gentle highland malt whisky. The Buchanan’s name and packaging stand for authenticity, quality, integrity and tradition. The original red seal on the bottle is a guarantee of absolute quality.  Today Buchanan’s De Luxe Scotch whisky is established as a whisky of uncommon quality and strong tradition. It is created using traditional skills and methods of distilling perfected over centuries. It’s quality is still measured according to the uncompromising standards set by Sir James Buchanan. Excerpt from zeer.com

This Special Offer Is Available Through Wednesday March 9th, 2011

Buchanan’s 12 Year Scotch 80°, 1 Liter
Sale Price $39.99. Save $10.00 Over Regular Price!

Available at All Centennial and Big Daddy’s Liquor Store Locations

Wining and Dining with Jim White February 15, 2011

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Chef Hoopla

That’s a technical term for a big event featuring lots of top-flight local chefs serving up what they do best for a good cause.  What’s not to like?  Bonne Santé, a wine and food showcase coming up on Wednesday features  Bijoux chef-owner Scott Gottlich and Chef William Koval of Lakewood Country Club  co-hosting the inaugural food and wine benefit for the National Kidney Foundation at the Westin Galleria Dallas.  Showcasing their dishes will be a talented lineup of chefs including Anthony Bombaci of Nana, Dean Fearing of Fearing’s, Bruno Davaillon of the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Abraham Salum of Salum and Samir Dhurandhar of Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse, to name only a few.  Chefs from Fort Worth, Las Vegas and Fort Worth are also represented at the food and wine tasting for a very good cause. More information can be found at www.kidney.org.

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