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Valentine’s survival tips for procrastinators February 9, 2017

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Egads!  You’ve waited until the last minute to try and get a restaurant cupidreservation for Valentine’s Day!  Curses!  I’ll try to find some other arcane exclamations or admonishments from the early 20th century later.  But for now, act quickly!

You must make a reservation lickedty split!

Here are some random thoughts that have worked pretty well for us, and used successfully by followers of wining and dining and other bon vivants.

Act now!  Go to opentable.com and see what you can get.  Tuesday may be impossible in your favorite restaurant.

Oh, but widen your horizons and try another night!  Valentine’s is in the middle of the week.  See if you can get a reservation Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday –  in that order.  Then, bring home some flowers on Tuesday – a card is also recommended, and breathlessly proclaim that you don’t want to take your honey out on some old weeknight when all the hoi polloi is around.  Mention the clever time shifting you’ve done by extending the holiday in his or her honor, and when you’ve made the reservation for your special romantic evening.  Order take-out.  Open a bottle of wine.  Relax.  You’re off the hook.

Some tips if Tuesday night out is a must for your Valentine:

Plan a double-date with your best friends; a four-top is sometimes easier to get than a cozy table for two.  Do NOT reserve a table larger than your needs and then saunter-in as a duet on Valentine’s and expect a warm greeting from the restaurant host (or a table).

Consider dining early.  5 to 6 p.m. is pretty quiet in most restaurants, even on Valentine’s.  Or, hey! Go dancing, or to a movie, or a play, and schedule a late reservation-9 or 10 p.m.  How European!

If your culinary skills exceed heating frozen chunks in a  microwave, make a delicious home-cooked meal with wine, and serve some nice Champagne for an aperitif.  Flowers and card are still recommended.  Or, better yet?  Jewelry!

Now, put a reminder in your phone to make a reservation for Valentine’s 2018 on January 15th–right after New Year’s for a five star restaurant.  Or, have Seri do it.

Follow one or more of these suggestions, and your Valentine will think you’re the cat’s meow.  (I promised more colloquialisms from the turn of the 20th Century).  Well, 23 skidoo, and hip-hip hooray for you!  Step out of the Wayback Machine now (mid-century), and have a very Happy Valentine’s .  Bon appetit!  And, good luck!

DFW New Year’s Eve Celebrations December 15, 2016

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Champagne First!Ring in 2017 with a bon appétit!

Here’s a sampling of New Year’s happenings around the area.  Please check with the indidvidual restaurant for availability.  Cheers!

Abacus, Dallas. Special four-course menu $125 per person http://abacus-restaurant.com

Asian Mint celebrates 2017 with a 3-course menu including a complimentary glass of champagne and featuring “Lucky Seven” dishes for $55 (plus, plus)  per person.  Includes a choice of appetizer and main course, and features “The Love Project” dessert of Green Tea S’ more with White Chocolate Ganache and Black Sesame Coconut Crust.  Asian Mint is located at 11617 N.Central Expressway at Forest Lane across from Medical City.  For reservations click bit.ly/asianmint or call 214-363-6655. www.asianmint.com .

Bird Cafe, Sundance Square, downtown Fort Worth.  Regular menu plus festive New Year’s Eve three-course prix fixe menu for $50 person, exclusive of tax, gratuity and beverages.

First course selections include:
Charred Leek and Potato Soup, 
Comice Pear Salad and
Acorn Squash Salad.

Entree offerings showcase:
Cornish Game Hen, 
Fresh Caught Black Grouper, 
Pan Seared Grass Fed Blade Steak, and
Honey Kissed Duroc Pork Shank. 
All served with seasonal vegetables.  

End the evening on a sweet note with a choice of tantalizing desserts crafted by Pastry Chef Laurel Wimberg.

Reservations are recommended but not required.  For more information go to www.birdinthe.net or call 817-332-2473

Bistecca-An Italian Steakhouse in Highland Village offers Three courses (numerous selections)—$175 per couple.  Reservations:  Call 972-318-0515 or stacey@bisteccasteakhouse.com

Boulevardier in Dallas (Bishop Arts) offers a four course dinner for $105, plus tax and tip, with an optional $45 beverage pairing.  http://dallasboulevardier.com/?page_id=2

Cafe Momentum, downtown Dallas.  Early New Year’s Eve dinner, 6 to 9 p.m. (one seating). Four courses, with wine pairings, and a Champagne toast.  $75 per person or $125 per couple. Reservations:  EventBrite

Cantina Laredo offers a spicy New Year’s Eve at its locations.  $35 per person (plus $8 for optional cocktail), featuring:

BEGIN
En salada de Arándano
Dried cranberries, green apples, candied pecans and blue cheese crumbles on
field greens with cranberry vinaigrette
Sopa de Calabaza
Pumpkin soup topped with cranberry-apple pico and roasted 
pumpkin seeds

ENTREES
Filet Portabella
7 oz. Certified Angus Beef ™ filet mignon with portabella mushroom sauce
Pollo Asada Tropical
Grilled chicken breast topped with Monterey jack cheese and mango-avocado pico, served over two Monterey jack cheese enchiladas with tomatillo sauce
Fajitas de Camaron y Piña
Bacon-wrapped shrimp filled with Monterey jack cheese and 
jalapeño, with grilled pineapple

CONCLUDE
Baya Mezclado
Fresh mixed berries with Don Julio Tequila cream
Churros
with chocolate raspberry sauce and Grand Marnier cajeta

COCKTAILS
Honeycrisp Reposado ‘Rita
Espolón Reposado Tequila, SKYY Infusions Honeycrisp Apple Vodka, Monin Granny Smith Apple Purée and fresh lime juice
Hornitos Black Barrel ‘Rita
Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, 
fresh lime juice and Angostura bitters
Reservations:  https://www.cantinalaredo.com
Addison             (972) 458-0962 
Dallas              (214) 265-1610
Fort Worth          (817) 810-0773 
Frisco              (214) 618-9860
Grapevine           (817) 358-0505 
Lewisville          (972) 315-8100

Casa Rubia, Trinity Groves, Dallas-Performance by Spanish guitarist and Midnight toast. Special NYE menu.  http://casarubiadfw.com

Cedar Grove, Dallas.  Regular menu, and special New Year’s Eve Prix Fixe menu for $60 per person:

First course selections: • Wild Mushroom Risotto – winter truffle,
smoked pecorino
Watermelon Salad – foie gras, citrus, mâche
Tassione Farms Beet Salad – vanilla goat cheese, hazelnut, baby greens• Classic Shrimp Cocktail – horseradish, cocktail, lemon, spiced cracke

Second course selections:Pan Roasted Seabass – melted leek, sunchoke, béarnaise
Brick Roasted Filet & Poached Lobster ‘surf & turf’ – potato
galette, bordeaux jus, spinach
Jidori Chicken – farm squash, baby carrot, vadouvan spice
South Texas Pork Duo – belly, brussles, cornbread, gala apple
Third course selections: • Salted Caramel Crémeux – chocolate sable,
berries, sea salt
Pear Tarte Tatin – roasted pear, vanilla cake, butter pecan
Nutty Opera – chocolate cake, peanut butter mousse, clotted cream, New York peanuts
o Dinner will be served from 4 PM- 11 PM
o Make reservations online @OpenTable or call (214) 522-3474

Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House, Addison, special menu from Chef Richard Chamberlain.  http://www.chamberlainssteakhouse.com

Chino Chinatown, Trinity Groves, Dallas-“Drag & Dragons”, a New Year’s Party at Chino Chinatown, drag show starring Jada Pinkett Fox, Raquel Blake and G’ Licious G. Small Bites menu through 2 AM. Equality Vodka specials and champagne toast.  http://chinochinatown.com

The Classic Cafe, Roanoke. 3-course meal for $75, plus tax and gratuity.  http://theclassiccafe.com

Cool River, Las Colinas offers special ala carte dinner and party band, The Good Question Band in the lounge.  Just spend at least $25 in the dining room and there is no cover for the entertainment.  https://www.coolrivercafe.com/?locId=cool-river-cafe-dallas

Dakota’s, downtown Dallas.  Full restaurant menu from 5 to 10:30 p.m. plus New Year’s Eve specials:

12 oz. Bone-in Filet-$55 – Wild Mushrooms & Black Garlic Demi
Crab Stuffed Lobster Tail-$55 – 10 oz. Canadian tail, Alaskan King Crab & Cornbread Stuffing, Bell Peppers, Onions
Champagne Glazed Fresh Berries -$9 – Raspberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, Mascarpone Whipped Cream, Grand Marnier Biscotti
o At the stroke of midnight, all guests at the restaurant will receive a complimentary champagne toast.
o Make reservations online @OpenTable or call (214) 740-4001

Dallas Chop House, 3 course pre-fixe menu for $70 per person served with a complimentary champagne toast! Wine pairings will be available for an additional $25 per person to enjoy with dinner.  http://www.dallaschophouse.com

Dallas Fish Market, 3 course pre-fixe menu for $65 per person served with a complimentary champagne toast! Wine pairings will be available for an additional $25 per person to enjoy with dinner.  http://www.dallasfishmarket.com

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Dallas –

Filet Mignon 8 oz paired with 8 oz Lobster Tail – $79 Complimentary Midnight Champagne Toast  https://delfriscos.com/steakhouse/dallas/promotions

Del Frisco’s Grille Dallas –

Lobster Tails 6 oz - $21
Two 6 oz Lobster Tails - $42
Prime Rib 16 oz - $42/Kansas City 18 oz bone-in strip $49 (available Saturday and Sunday Evening - Dec. 31-Jan.1)
Complimentary Midnight Champagne Toast

https://delfriscosgrille.com/dallas/promotions

Del Frisco’s Grille Dallas Plano –

Lobster Tails 6 oz - $21
Two 6 oz Lobster Tails - $42
Prime Rib 16 oz available Saturday and Sunday Evening (Dec. 31-Jan.1)
Complimentary Midnight Champagne Toast

https://delfriscosgrille.com/dallas/promotions

Dish Preston Hollow, Dallas.  New Year’s Eve prix fixe four-course meal, $65 per person:

For the Table: • Antipasti– marinated olives, toasted almond butter,
crusty baguette

Starter: Guajillo Lobster Bisque 
Lump Crab Louie Salad – baby iceberg, avocado, radish, pickled sweet
pepper, grated egg
Simple Greens Salad – roasted tomato vinaigrette, pita chips, crisp
shallot, feta
Lamb Dumplings – black eyed pea mousse, minted honey, ginger gastrique

Main:Sunflower Seed Crusted Flounder – crawfish sauce, thumbelina
carrots, black beans
Beef Tenderloin Roast – pommes aligot, huckleberry demi-glace, grilled broccolini
Roasted Chicken – pork belly red beans & rice, charred okra, fried pickles
Atlantic Salmon – carb avocado relish, sweet potato purée, brussel
petals, jalapeño beurre blanc
Grilled Cauliflower ‘Steak’ – cipollini, baby kale, calabrese, black radish, golden raisin brown butter

Dessert:Salted Caramel Crème Brûlée – toffee popcorn
Chocolate Mousse Trifle – kahlúa cake, cherry whipped cream,
feuilletine
Eggnog Bread Pudding – hot buttered rum, cashew brittle

Wine pairings also available.
o Dinner will be served from 4 PM- 11 PM
o Make reservations online @OpenTable or call (469) 941-7932

FT33, Dallas, Serving a 4 course menu for $95 per person with optional wine pairings for an additional $55.  http://ft33dallas.com

Front Room Tavern, University Park.  Regular menu plus New Year’s Eve prix fixe three-course menu $65 per person:  http://frontroomdallas.com

1st CourseStarter:Shrimp Cocktail – parmesan cracker, cocktail
sauce, horseradish, lemon
Foie Gras ‘B.B. & J.’ – savory waffles, hazelnut, roasted pear
Braised Pork Belly – served with cornbread, farro, pickled mushroom
and red currant
Roasted Beet Salad – vanilla goat cheese, tassione farms beets, honey vinaigrette, granola

2nd CourseMain:Stuffed Quail – traditional stuffing, roasted onion,goat cheese, rapini
Pan Roasted Scallops – maitake, winter squash, black truffle, brussels sprouts
Surf & Turf – roasted filet, buttered lobster, potato cake, spinach,
béarnaise
Potato Crusted Halibut – sunchoke, braised leeks, verjus

3rd Course – Dessert: 
Carolina Gold Rice Pudding – armagnac prunes, winter spice, smoke
Chocolate Pâte à Bombe – textures of chocolate, blood orange granite
Passion Fruit Tart – candied citrus, blueberry, clotted cream

o Dinner will be served from 3 PM- 11 PM
o Make reservations online @OpenTable or call (214) 219-8282

Grill on the Alley at Galleria Dallas will host a prix fixe New Year’s Eve dinner for $75 per person. The expansive menu includes:

STARTERS
Baby Kale Salad
Roasted Butternut Squash, Cranberries, Candied Walnuts, Bleu Cheese
Tossed in a Walnut Vinaigrette
Butternut Squash Soup
Shrimp Cocktail
Three Jumbo Shrimp with Tangy House-made Cocktail Sauce
Seafood Trio
Maryland Crab Cake with Beurre Blanc, Day Boat Scallop with Orange FennelBeurre Blanc Sauce and a Grilled Jumbo Shrimp

ENTRÉES
Pan Seared Salmon
Served over Sautéed Spinach and Topped with Shiitake Mushrooms Served
with Lemon Beurre Blanc Sauce
Kansas City Steak
18oz Prime Bone-In NY Steak
Filet Oscar
Jumbo Lump Crab, Asparagus, Topped with Béarnaise Sauce
Roasted Australian Rack of Lamb
Marinated in Rosemary Herb Seasoning with Spinach Yukon Mashed Potatoes \and Marsala Mint Sauce

DESSERTS
Hazelnut Kahlua Crème Brulee
Vanilla Custard blended with Hazelnut Kahlua, served with a Brown Sugar, Topped with Whipped Cream and Chopped Hazelnuts
New York Cheesecake With Fresh Berries or Chocolate Sauce
Reservations:  Call 214-459-1601

Kitchen LTO, Trinity Groves 5-course menu at $75 per person with a wine pairing option for additional $35 per person.   http://kitchenlto.com

Lavendou, North Dallas four course dinner with choices for $79.95 per person.  http://www.lavendou.com

Lonesome Dove, 4 courses with a champagne toast to top the night off!  Please call to make your reservations:

Fort Worth: 817-740-8810

Austin: 512-271-2474

lonesomedovebistro.com

Meddlesome Moth in the Design District, 4 course meal with seating times at 5, 7 & 9:30 pm. Early seating is $55/person & later seatings are $65/person with party favors and champagne for the last seating.  http://www.mothinthe.net

The Melting Pot in Arlington, Enjoy a five-course feature menu including champagne starting at $120 per couple. 3:30-11 p.m. The regular menu will not be available.  https://www.meltingpot.com/arlington-tx/

NOLA Brasserie, One Main Place in downtown Dallas brings New Orleans flare to Dallas with its authentic Cajun and Creole New Year’s Celebration

  • First course:
    • Crab & Crawfish Cake with a Jumbo Fried Shrimp- crab and crawfish mixed with creole veggies, pan seared- served with crystal aioli and a jumbo fried shrimp
  • Second course:
    • Strawberry & Walnut Salad- fresh Ponchatoula strawberries, bleu cheese crumbles and roasted walnuts served on a bed of fresh spring salad greens tossed in house-made strawberry vinaigrette
  • Third course choice of:
    • Cajun Filet Steak- 6-oz filet topped with Cajun hollandaise served with asparagus and fondant potatoes
    • Chicken Florentine- grilled seasoned chicken breast topped with creamed spinach and served with garlic mash potatoes
    • Redfish Acadia- Gulf redfish topped with crawfish Etouffee served with asparagus and mash potatoes
  • Dessert:
    • NOLA Bread Pudding- New Orleans-style bread pudding studded with pecans and topped with house-made NOLA rum sauce

Dinner seating will begin at 6pm with the last seating at 9:30pm. Noted Dallas musician Carlos Guedes will headline the entertainment on New Year’s Eve at NOLA Brasserie, beginning at 7:30pm. Reservations:  (469) 872-1820 or OpenTable

Oak, Dallas, 4 Course Dinner for $95 per person. Additional wine pairing for $45. Starting at 5pm.  http://www.oakdallas.com

Ocean Prime-Uptown Dallas, New Year’s eve features include Butter Poached Lobster, Wild Mushroom Risotto, Lemon Beurre Blanc, “Steak Frites”  Rosewood Ranch Wagyu NY Strip, Black Truffle Frites, Cognac Pan Sauce, Lobster Mac N Cheese

Reservations:  Call 214-965-0440

PINSTACK’s entertainment venue in Plano will feature two events on 12/31 – one catered to families and another 21+ event.   Packages for both events feature unlimited attractions, one game of bowling (based on availability), catered cuisine, non-prize video games, a complimentary glass of champagne (for adults, of course!) and more.  Family-friendly event 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Buffet $49.99 for adults, and $39.99 for children under 12.

21+ event 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Chef-inspired cuisine, $59.99 per person

Limited space at each event (only 500 tickets available) – can be purchased at www.pinstackbowl.com/NYE

The Pyramid Restaurant, Fairmont Dallas Hotel, hosts an Early Dining Event for those with plans later in the evening.  The early seating, at 5:30 pm, offers a 4 Course Menu with choices of entrée and dessert for $69 per person (plus, plus).  For an additional $25, wine pairings from the San Martino Winery are available. Complimentary valet parking.

The Feature Event at, 8:00 pm, offers guests a 6 course menu including entrée and dessert choices, for $125 per person (plus, plus).   Wine pairings are available for an additional $35 per person.  Winemaker Emilio Ramos will be in attendance to feature his Texas wines from the San Martino Winery. The 8:00 pm seating dinner also includes live entertainment by Tyra Taylor, dancing , photo booth, complimentary Champagne Toast at midnight, and party favors. Complimentary valet parking is offered. Reservations may be made via Open Table or calling the Pyramid Restaurant at 214-750-5249www.fairmont.com/dallas

Rapscallion, Dallas, with a special three-course menu from Chef Nathan Tate.  $75 per person, with wine or cocktail pairing option for $35 per person.  Reservations:  469-291-5660

Roy’s in Plano, four-course menu, starting at just $55. Extended hours until 1AM. https://www.roysrestaurant.com/locations/tx/plano

Saint Rocco’s New York Italian in Trinity Groves.  Various specials.  http://www.saintroccos.com

Sea Breeze Fish Market and Grill , Plano, offers a lobster feast for two for $100.

  • Crab Stuffed Lobster for two
  • Tossed Salad
  • Two specialty sides
  • Key Lime Pie

You can also get this to go (pre-order please) and have it at home on New Year’s Eve.

Call 972-473-CRAB (2722)

Sevy’s Grill, Park Cities, Serving a three course and a four course set menu. The three course will only be served from 5:00 PM to 6:45 PM for $55.00 per person. The four course will be served all evening for $75.00 per person.  http://www.sevys.com

Silver Fox, will offer a special ala carte dinner menu for New Year’s Eve, along with a robust collection of wines by the glass and specialty cocktails.  Each of the Silver Fox locations will be open from 5 p.m. – midnight on December 31.  Features of the special menu include:

Featured Dinner Selections
Filet Mignon with Cold Water Lobster Tail 79.95
Featured Sparkling Selections
Chandon Brut    187 ml 15.00
Iron Horse Rose        68.00
Veuve Clicquot Brut    99.00
Steaks & Seafood
All entrées served with potatoes, sugar snap peas, ripe tomatoes and 
spring onions.
Also, a pre fixe dinner is offered
$47.95 per person - $17.95 for children 12 and under
Includes coffee and iced tea. Tax and gratuity not included.
Contact the Silver Fox nearest you for reservations or more information.
Locations:     https://www.silverfoxcafe.com       
1235 William D Tate Ave, Grapevine, TX
1651 South University, Fort Worth, TX
1303 Legacy Drive, Frisco, TX      
3650 Shire Boulevard, Richardson, TX

Steve Field’s Steak and Lobster Lounge, Chef’s selected “Four Course Menu” including: appetizer to be shared, soup or salad, entrée and dessert for $89 per person. Party hats, horns and a champagne toast at Midnight. Lively piano entertainer, Rick Weidemann performs beginning at 8:00.   http://www.stevefields.com

III Forks in Dallas has two ways for you to celebrate whether you want an intimate dinner or a festive dance party. The downstairs dining area offers traditional New Year’s Eve dining, while the steakhouse hosts a Gala Celebration upstairs, complete with live entertainment.  Reservations are required for either celebration.

Offerings downstairs include an expanded menu, including a Filet Mignon with Cold Water Lobster Tail for $80.  Featured New Year’s Eve sparklers including Iron Horse Rose at $68 a bottle and Veuve Cliquot Brut at $99 a bottle.

Upstairs, guests will enjoy a bottle of Schramsburg Brut Rose for every reservation and party favors at midnight.  The party features five piece band Safira performing everything from big band to disco in front of the dance floor.

Downstairs dining from menu.  Upstairs party $125 per person

Reservations at 972-267-1776

Trinity Groves-Various dinner specials (TBA) and midnight toasts.  See venue events website for updated details.  http://www.trinitygroves.com/event-listings/

Windmill Lounge, Dallas. Ring in the New Year Every Hour Somewhere in the World wIth A Complimentary Champagne Toast.  DJs Chrs Roze & Black Frames Spinning from 10pm-2am.  Backed Eyed Peas and Southern fare dished out at 11ish…5320 Maple Avenue in Dallas.  http://www.windmill-lounge.com

 

DFW Food Festivals Galore! September 12, 2016

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Cornucopia of Fall Food (and more) Festivals

smoked_dallas-3002-1024x683There’s an abundant harvest of fun food festivals coming up in Dallas-Fort Worth, and most of them are family oriented, too!  We’ve been sharing these bite-sized morsels on our daily “Jim White’s Wining and Dining Update” series on 98.7 KLUV, 103.7 KVIL, and 1080 KRLD (made possible by our friends at the Crest Auto Group).  There are so many events coming up, however (and yummy to that!), we can’t get all the pertinent contact info for tickets in the radio reports–otherwise they’d be nothing but a blur of websites strung together.  So, whadda you say we list as many as our attention span allows, and string a bunch of event websites together for you here where you can scroll and click to your heart’s content?  That leaves the airwaves free to achieve what the legendary radio genius Gordon McLendon referred tonorah-jones as “theatre of the mind”.  Cheers! And, bon appetit!

OAKTOPIA-September 22-24 in downtown Denton.  More than 30 food trucks on hand for the first day.  Norah Jones headlines the music.  oaktopia.com

OKTOBERFEST-September 22-24 at Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth.  Indoor and outdoor biergartens, music, keg rolling.  All kinds of goings-on (gotta love the dachshund races).  Get your oom-pah-pah on and get details at oktoberfestfw.com.

CHEFS FOR FARMERS-September 23-25 various locations in Dallas.  As the name implies, expect lots of great farm fresh ingredients prepared by some of the top chefs in North Texas and out of town toques too.  Cool events happen in Lee Park and in the Design District Friday and Saturday night, and then the Main Event on Sunday afternoon in Lee Park features Matt McCallister from FT 33, Graham Dodds from Wayward Sons, John Tesar from Knife, Jeramie Robison from Uchi, Justin Fourton from Pecan Lodge and so many more!  Over 50 wines from which to sample, too.  chefsforfarmers.com

WESTERN DAYS-September 23-24 in downtown Lewisville.  Cool tunes from The Eli Young Band and the Old 97’s, gunfights (reenactments…made you look), a cattle drive, and the World Tamale Eating Championship.  Yee-haw!  lewisvillewesterndays.com20190909-10-300x300

GREEK FOOD FESTIVAL-September 23-25, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas.  The 60th anniversary! OH-PAH!! Great food:  gyros, lamb sliders, spanakopita, baklava and more.  Cooking demos, traditional dancing, food shops, a marketplace and so much more.  greekfestivalofdallas.com

SMOKED DALLAS-September 24 at Main Street Garden in Dallas.  Music and barbecue festival (who could ask for more?), offering tastings from top pit masters and chefs, and tunes from the Toadies, Shinyribs and others.  smokedallas.com

TASTE OF FIREWHEEL-September 24 at Firewheel Town Center in Garland.  This second annual family food festival offers all kinds of tastes, live music, and a kids’ zone with inflatables (while mom shops inside the center!)  firewheeltowncenter.com

STATE FAIR OF TEXAS-September 30-October 23.  This year’s theme is “Celebrating Texas Agriculture”, but you knowbig-tex you’re hankering for some of the wacky fried food.  Fried Jello and Cookie Fries are just a couple of this year’s Big Tex Choice Awards.  I’ve got my eye on the the Deep Fried Bacon Burger Dog slider on a Stick, and the Great Balls of Barbecue.  Go early while the grease is fresh!  Yum, yum, eat ’em up!  “Our state fair is a great state Fair!”  Sing along here:   “State Fair” opening theme; 1962 movie shot in Dallas at the State Fair of Texas (full disclaimer:  racing scenes with Pat Boone shot at the Oklahoma State Fair).  bigtex.com

PLANO INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL-October 1 at Haggard Park.  Music, dance, food, displays and art from over 100 cultures. planointernationalfestival.org

COTTONWOOD ART FESTIVAL-October 1-2 at Cottonwood Park in Richardson.  The semi-annual events features works from more than 240 visual artists, local bands, food, wine and craft beer.  cottonwoodartfestival.comoktoberfest02

SOUTHLAKE OKTOBERFEST-October 7-9 at Southlake Town Square.  Go for the weiner dog races but stay for the live
entertainment, food and beverages (I think they’ll have some brewskis on hand).  oktoberfestsouthlake.com

Go get ’em!  Drive safely.  Pass the Tums, please.

Great wine and food events in Texas coming up April 12, 2016

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Get ready to sample and savor

redWineWhether you say “sante” or “cheers”; “Bon appetit” or “enjoy the food”, food and wine celebrations abound in Texas this weekend and next.

How about a road trip to enjoy the Galveston Island Food and Wine Festival kicking off Thursday?  Chef Robert Irvine from The Food Network headlines.

If you love chocolate, head to Grapevine Friday and Saturday for Chocolate Fest featuring “An Evening of Chocolate and Wine” and “A day of Chocolate and Art” at the Grapevine Convention Center.

Then, make plans next weekend to attend the Austin Food and Wine Festival.  Local headliners include Chefs Omar Flores from Casa Rubia, Julian Barsotti from Nonna, and Kent Rathbun from Abacus.

Cheers!

If anybody asks you what you’re making for dinner….tell ‘em reservations.

 

#10 Richard Chamberlain-Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House “Wining and Dining with Jim White” April 11, 2016

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Top chef puts his heart into food and wine fundraiser

 

Jim White (L) with Chef Richard Chamberlain

Jim White (L) with Chef Richard Chamberlain

This week on the podcast Chef Richard Chamberlain gives us an update on the lineup of top chefs joining him at this year’s Côtes du Coeur benefiting the Dallas Chapter of the American Heart Association, and gives us a sneak peak at some new menu items he’s planning.  Richard helped create the fine dining scene in Dallas, and paved the way for chefs coming up through the culinary ranks.  Through the years he has consistently provided innovative cuisine at his signature Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House and Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill.  We caught up with Richard just before he was about to go on stage for a cooking demo at the Dallas Travel and Adventure Show. “Wining and Dining with Jim White” is the podcast devoted  to introducing you to the top chefs and winemakers in the world.     You can subscribe to the program on iTunes and never miss a meal…er, I mean episode!

Remember, if anybody asks you what you’re making for dinner, tell ‘em reservations!

Savor and support great tastes at Raiser Grazer and El Centro March 30, 2016

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Yummy!  Two great culinary fundraisers coming up

Raiser+Grazer+14+135One of the funnest foodie celebrations happens Sunday night at Farmers Market.  The 2016 Raiser Grazer benefiting the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier rolls out the flavors starting at 6:30.

Each year the Raiser Grazer event raises money for Les Dames’ scholarship fund by doing what its members do best:  serve great food and wine!

The event is in the resurgent Market (formerly Shed 2) at Dallas Farmers Market, 1010 S. Pearl in downtown Dallas.  You can get tickets for the tasting event online at Les Dames’ website or at the door Sunday night.

Bits and Bites the following Sunday

El Centro College is paying tribute to some hard working chefs who tirelessly support our community.  Janice Provost and

Janice Provost and Chad Houser

Janice Provost and Chad Houser

Chad Houser who came up with the great Cafe Momentum concept will be honored at the Bits and Bites Fundraiser for the College’s Food and Hospitality Institute on April 10th.  You’re invited to join the fun. Janice is chef/owner of Parigi in Dallas and Chad operates Cafe Momentum now.  The concept incubated in the kitchen at Parigi when he was executive chef, and via pop-up dinners all over town before Cafe Momentum opened downtown last year.  A lot of great Dallas chefs trained at El Centro including Chefs Richard Chamberlain, Marc Cassel, Nathan Tate, and Dunia Borga.  So, please support the college by attending Bits and Bites.  Contact El Centro’s Food and Hospitality Institute to buy $55 advance tickets, visit the college’s website or contact Cindy Bozzelli-Duke at 214-860-2213 or bo-duke@dcccd.edu.  Ticket are $60 at the door April 10th.

Upcoming wine festival highlights February 23, 2016

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Food and wine festival season is off and running.

Here’s a brief rundown of some outstanding events coming up both near and far:

South Beach photo South Beach Wine and Food Festival happens this weekend in Miami.  It’s a throw down, and lots of fun in the sun.  Get details at their website.

If you’re jaunting to Northern California this weekend, make time for VinoLivo featuring Sonoma Valley wineries and chefs.

The sublime Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival gets underway March 31st.   For tickets visit the website.

The 12th Annual Savor Dallas is April 7-10, with great foodie tastings in the Dallas Arts District and Fair Park.  Get a special preview taste on March 30th when you can Savor the Arboretum.

The Austin Food and Wine Festival returns April 22nd through the 24th, featuring celebrity chefs, cooking demos, and more.

That same weekend, the 12th annual Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit convenes, with Stephan Pyles hosting a dinner featuring his protégées Matt Mcallister, Tim Byres, Mark Kiffin and Katherine Clapner.  Tickets go fast.

May 18-22 the Nantucket Wine Festival.  For information visit the website.

The Food and Wine Classic in Aspen is June 17-19.  It’s the Granddaddy of festivals and worth the trip.  We’ve been 9 times! Get details online.   Hurry, many of the star chef cooking demos sell out quickly.

And, mark your calendar now for Taste of Sonoma Valley, Labor Day weekend, Saturday September 3rd.  The event brings together more than 200 of Sonoma’s top winemakers and growers, along with a collection of the area’s best chefs.  It takes place on the stunning MacMurray Estate Vineyards, Healdsburg, in the heart of the Russian River Valley Appellation.  Visit the website for details.

Remember the all important “6 S’s of Winetasting”:  Sight, Swirl, Sniff, Sip, Savor and Spit.  That last one may be the most important for your well being and enjoyment when hundreds of wines are available to sample.

A votre santé!  And, cheers!

#3 Darren McGrady “The Royal Chef” – “Wining and Dining with Jim White” Podcast February 22, 2016

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Dine Royally Everyday

"The Royal Chef" Darren McGrady on "Wining and Dining with Jim White"

“The Royal Chef” Darren McGrady on “Wining and Dining with Jim White”

Darren McGrady served royalty for 15 years before settling in Dallas.  He was chef to Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana and Princes William and Harry.  You can get the same royal treatment from Darren at home through his personal chef services, by having him cater a fabulous event for you, or by going with him on a royal wining and dining trip.  Get all the details at EatingRoyally.com. On this week’s Podcast Darren shares stories about the Royal Family; offers some handy cooking tips (he really loves to cook sous-vide); tells us where he’s hosting events you can attend; gives aspiring chefs some hints; and even tells you about some of his favorite restaurants–yes, The Royal Chef dines out, but he loves cooking at home for his family.

Tune-in to the Podcast devoted to introducing you to great chefs and winemakers, and subscribe to “Wining and Dining with Jim White” at the iTunes store.

The Market at Dallas Farmers Market is becoming foodie nirvana February 11, 2016

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Things are bustling at the Dallas Farmers Market.

Dallas-Farmers-Market_202439The first thing one notices when pulling into the parking lot is a spacious new restaurant Mudhen Meat and Greens, featuring an extensive menu with delicious options “for folks who try to follow a healthier lifestyle” according to owner Shannon Wynne.  According to their menu, Mudhen features foods “generally lower in carbohydrates (sugars), plus a larger selection of clean meats and greens, organic GMO-free whenever possible.”  In case you’re wondering, mud hens are actually migratory birds who live by the water but walk on land and are often mistaken for ducks.  Thankfully, neither of those species is on the lunch or dinner menu from Executive Chef Suki Otsuki.  You’ll find a range of delicious dishes from which to choose.

Across the parking lot from Mudhen, and inside The Market, formerly called Shed 2, You’ll find Stocks and Bondy from Chef Joanne Bondy.  She features tasty artisan broths and stocks, along with pulled meats, seasonal meals, family dinners, and an array of hand-selected wines.  All items are available grab and go, or pull up a communal table.

Joanne has an active calendar of special events on the way, including a special wine tasting curated by in-house sommelier Hayley Hamilton Cogill to celebrate France on February 20th.  The tasting features three selection from Stocks and Bondy’s wine list, paired with seasonal culinary tastes from Joanne, and her Farmers Market neighbor Scardello Artisan Cheese.  Limited tickets are available through Event Brite.  The cost is $40 advance, and $50 day of the event or at the door.

Scardello is so close, literally just a few steps away from Stocks and Bondy, that you can stop by after the wine and food tasting and pick up more great cheese selections to take home.  Cheesemonger Rich Rogers tells us he is specializing mostly in Texas cheeses in this new location.

And, Rex’s Seafood Market now has its third location in The Market.

If you haven’t been to Farmers Market lately, it’s a whole new world, and there’s more culinary excitement on the way!

And coming up at the Market, chef cooking classes featuring Hugh Stewart from Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill on February 13th, and Abraham Salum from Salum and Komali on February 20th.   Get details at aiwf.org—click on Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter.

Speaking of Richard Chamberlain…

Check out grilling tips with a pro, as Richard offers a “perfect grilling techniques” class at Premier Grilling in Frisco on February chamberlians120th from 10 until 2.  Richard Chamberlain is considered one of America’s leading chefs, and is the owner of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chophouse in Dallas.  Menu: 10 minute brined Rainbow Trout with Port Wine, Onion and Bacon Jam and Arugula Salad a40 Day aged Ribeye with Porcini Mushroom, Thyme and Marsala Butter.  Cost $135 per person.

And, Richard guest stars on our podcast,  “Wining and Dining with Jim White”, on March 28th.  You can check it out here, or subscribe to the program at iTunes.

Ciao for now!

 

Romantic Dining Options for Valentine’s Weekend February 5, 2016

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Valentine’s Day is next Sundaycupid

I hope you’ve made your dinner reservations well in advance.  It will be difficult to get a table most anytime over the weekend.   I direct this comment to men:  Guys, Calling a restaurant the day before won’t cut it.  And, if your idea of a romantic evening is pizza, a six pack and Netflix, you’re in trouble!  And, don think a jumbo box of candy and a cheesy bouquet or carnations will get you off the hook either.

But there’s still hope.  OpenTable.com is the quickest and easiest way to cruise the list of fine restaurants in DFW that still have reservations available this weekend.  Be prepared for early or late.  You have a better chance of getting a table if you can double date with another couple and reserve a 4 top.  Don’t cheat on this.  Only use this tactic if you plan to show up as a party of four.

Or, look into the Joule, Hotel ZaZa, The Mansion on Turtle Creek, The Adolphus, The Worthington or The Ashton.  If there’s room in the inn…. you might be able to get a table at these fine hotel dining rooms.

If that strategy doesn’t work.  Swing for the fences.  And check out The Robb Report online to see the five most romantic hotel getaways for Valentine’s.  Offering suggestions in New York, Paris, Marrakech,  and Barcelona.

You’ll undoubtedly exceed your normal Valentine’s day budget, but the payoff will be worth it.   Hey, Mariah Carey got a 35 carat diamond ring from her fiancé!  See, I told you should have made a reservation in advance.  Next year.  Call ahead!

Bon appetit.

But wait, there’s more

Here’s an escape this Valentine’s weekend.  Visit the Texas Bluebonnet Wine and Chocolate Trail at the 7 wineries along the route just about an hour NW of Houston.  We know Messina Hof, one of the participating wineries, also has a wonderful bed and breakfast at the winery in Bryan.  Sounds like fun.   Visit localwineevents.com for details. You’ll need to order your tickets through them by 5  o’clock Monday.

Good pickin’ and drinkin’

Learn about “Bourbon Through Bluegrass”  Tuesday night at III ForksChef Chris Vogeli features a menu of hors d’oeuvres and a tasting plate designed to pair with six whiskeys from Heaven Hill, then the Whiskey Professor, Bernie Lubbers entertains and educates you with a special Bluegrass experience.

And, furthermore….

Our new Podcast, “Wining and Dining with Jim White” debuts Monday with the talented Janice Provost, chef/owner of Parigi in Dallas, as our first guest.  Upcoming guests include Mike and Paul DiCarlo from Jimmy’s Food Store; The Royal Chef, Darren McGrady; Richard Chamberlain, chef/owner of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House and Fish Market Grill; Tre Wilcox, Tre Cooking Concepts; Stephan Pyles, on opening his new Flora Street Cafe; Chef Joanne Bondy from Stocks and Bondy in Farmers Market, and more!  You can subscribe to the series on iTunes.   We’d love to hear your feedback, and suggestions for guests you’d like to hear from the world of wining and dining.  Hope you enjoy.  In a way, it’s a bit like getting our old “KRLD Restaurant Show” on the air again.  Except this time, I don’t have to miss church to do the program, chefs and winemakers don’t have to drive to the Ballpark in Arlington, and you can listen anytime you want.  Ain’t digital wunnerful?

If anybody asks you what you’re making for dinner.  Tell ’em, reservations!

 

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