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MAX’S WINE DIVE September 22, 2012

Posted by jwdineline in Chef Tips & Video, Home, Spotlight Restaurants, Wining & Dining Videos.
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Bubbles and breasts.  Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Max’s Wine Dive roared to town just a little over a week ago.  Already it’s become a foodie and wine lover destination.  No wonder.  You’d expect a place whose mantra is “Fried chicken and Champagne…Why the Hell Not!” to be off to a good start in Dallas.  Comfort food from former Craft Dallas Chef Patrick Russell and a few more refined items headline a fairly simple “let’s get it right before we expand” menu.  It’s paired up with an eclectic wine list and priced retail, which usually means it’s just double the wholesale price instead of triple like most restaurants.  We’ll take any savings in this economy.  More good news:  Dallas-Fort Worth beloved restaurateur and wine expert Paul Pinnell is the GM.  That means good service to go along with the cool, casual atmosphere.  Paul has been in New Orleans for the past year and is delighted to be back in Dallas.  He was sorely missed on the dining scene.   The “Dive”, by way of Austin, Houston and San Antonio occupies the former Border’s Books space across from West Village at Lemmon Avenue and McKinney.  Dinner is served nightly.  Cool Idea:  They do a reverse happy hour the last two hours they’re open each night featuring the same prices available in the early evening happy hours.  Brunch is also served, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Valet parking is available for $5, and you’ll find free self parking in the adjacent garage.  Check out their website for  menus and more www.maxswinedive.com/dallas

Livin’ la vida Duni March 23, 2011

Posted by jwdineline in Home, Spotlight Restaurants.
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They say, “Life is uncertain.  Have dessert first.”

La Duni is the place we would head first to fulfill this mission.  If given a choice, Cuatro Leches Cake might be our selection for last bite on Earth.  La Duni founder and namesake Dunia Borga and Espartaco (Taco), her husband and co-conspirator in their delightful pursuit of culinary expression and hospitality, have built a group of outstanding restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area over the last several years.  Each with its own personality and appeal.  Each extending their menu well beyond the aforementioned sweet treats that have become Duni’s signature.

The original restaurant, la Duni Latin Cafe at 4620 McKinney Ave, set the stage for the success of their concept, and introduced Dallas diners to a whole new world of Latin delicacies beyond the prevalent Tex-Mex offerings in the area.  See what the New York Times has to say about the food and flair at La Duni in this recent review.

Next came the expanded la Duni Latin Kitchen and Baking Studio at 4264 Oak Lawn Avenue, where the team began to showcase empanadas and other South American taste treats that showed off the savory side of Duni’s considerable baking expertise and passion.

La Duni Latin Kitchen and Coffee Studio followed in NorthPark Dallas.  Here, one could while away the hours sipping aromatic coffees, noshing on artisan desserts and other Latin specialties, while tracking email and holding court with friends.  Or, slip in for a quick bite before heading off to the movies upstairs. Look for an offshoot of this wonderful concept coming to the Village of Fairview this summer.  For now, la Duni is delighting taste buds in the Allen/Fairview area with the new concept called Dulce, featuring cupcakes, confections, shaved ice (raspas), Latin Beignets (bunuelos), Latin paninis (grillados), coffee, mojitos, cocktails, wine, and much more.

If you’re concerned that there isn’t a la Duni close to you.  Fret no more.  La Duni is now part of a new, innovative concept called Artizone.com, that allows you to order great artisan products online and have them delivered to you within hours.  Ah, livin’ la vida Duni!

A quote from la Duni’s website sums up their philosophy:  “At la Duni, as in all Latin America, family is the foundation of life. However, we don’t just consider family our blood relatives, but anyone who sits at our table and shares our meal. Whether servant, neighbor, friend or stranger, during those precious moments, they all become family.”

Kitchen operations are directed with loving care by Executive Chef Julia Lopez.

Feast your eyes on some of the delicious treats and sights you’ll discover at la Duni with this special slide show.

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

Posted by jwdineline in Home, Spotlight Restaurants.
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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.

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