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Wining and Dining with Jim White February 7, 2011

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Valentine’s Treats for the Sweet

And, you know who you are!  Valentine’s is like the Super Bowl of dining for the restaurant industry.  Expect big crowds at all the popular places.  Know that you will need a reservation, and for the best table in the really cool spots, you should have called by now.  But never fear, dear heart, because February 14th is a Monday, the window of opportunity is wider this year.  You may confidently choose a rendezvous with your dearly beloved from Thursday February 11th through Valentine’s.  You might even be so bold as to include Tuesday 2/15 if you can sell it on the basis of your “great wisdom” in wanting to “avoid the crowds” and have an intimate dinner in your favorite restaurant (go for it).  I would event submit that you will gain numerous bonus points for making a Valentine’s reservation, and then “extending the romance” by getting you and your honey tickets to the Savor Dallas Wine and Food Festival on March 18-19.  You can enjoy the major part of the DFW dining scene in one night at the International Grand Tasting.  But first things first.  Here are some Valentine’s wining and dining suggestions that we think will be helpful.

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Savor the Flavor with Jim White, The Wining and Dining Guy June 14, 2010

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“Any man can be a father.  It takes someone special to be a Dad.”

Not sure to whom goes attribution on that salient message. It hits home, though, no matter who first said the words.  Father’s Day, June 20th, is getting first-class treatment in some top establishments. Here is an interesting, but by no means definitive listing.  We’ll add more as we receive them.

Charlie Palmer at the Joule is doing some tasty sounding pairings made with and paired with beer.  What could be better than a beer and a Brat (as in Bratwurst)?  Bratwurst and braised white beans highlights the appetizers section on the full Dad’s Day menu offered below:

Appetizer Specials

BEEF TARTARE

HERB AIOLI / CELERY CROSTINI

SHINER BOCK BRATWURST

BRAISED WHITE BEANS

Entree Specials

ALASKAN KING CRAB

PAULANER MUSTARD PAN SAUCE

KUROBUTA PORK CHOP

BLACK PEPPER SPAETZLE / FAT TIRE GLAZE

Dessert Specials

GUINNESS CHOCOLATE STOUT

GUINNESS ICE CREAM/ DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE

Featured beer: Estrella Damm 750 L

Charlie Palmer at The Joule
1530 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75201, Tel: 214.261.4600

Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse is offering a “Dad deserves more than one steak” promotion.  Of course, their menu features the multitude of great Churrascaria style meats, as well as pork and chicken treats and the salad bar that goes on for days.  They are featuring a lunch special for $35 and a dinner special on the sumptuous spread for $32 (not valid with gift certificates or other offers).  Limited seating, so call for reservations: 972-733-1110.

Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse
18010 N. Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX 75287

Similar treatment, and equally tasty Churrascaria, is available in Grapevine at Boi Na Braza for $37.99 on Father’s Day.

Boi Na Braza

4025 William D. Tate

Grapevine, Texas 76051, 817-251-9881

Master Chef Morris Salerno knows how to make fancy cookin’ taste down home and dazzling all at the same time.  His ever popular The Grotto Restaurant in Highland Village is offering a prime peppered New York Strip with a brandy cream sauce served with asparagus and cottage fries that is making my mouth water just thinking about it!  It’s $22.50 and just one of the Father’s Day specials at the restaurant.

The Grotto

2300 Highland Village Road, Suite 500

Highland Village, TX 75077

Call 972-318-0515

Or, if dad is into Italian, take him to family style Salerno’s in Flower Mound.  One of their Father’s Day specials is a 10 ounce tenderloin with sauteed mushrooms in a Burgundy sauce with veggies and a baked potato for $28.95.

Salerno’s Italian Restaurant
3407 Long Prairie Road
Flower Mound, TX  75077
972-539-9534

Regular menu available at both locations on Father’s Day.

If Dad is a “Beef! It’s what’s for dinner!” at home kinda guy…

Then, the godfather of Texas Cowboy Cookin’, Tom Perini, from Perini Ranch in Buffalo Gap has a solution:  his enormously popular mesquite smoked peppered beef tenderloin.  They’ll deliver dinner to dad’s doorstep.  All you have to do is supply the fixin’s and his beverage of choice.  This product won the Fancy Foods “best of show” category about 15 years ago in New York and put Perini’s on the map.  People all over the world order this tenderloin like it’s going out of style (it isn’t, thankfully).   Tom was chuckwagon choice for the Bush W. White House.  His cookbook “Texas Cowboy Cooking” (with forward by Robert Duvall) is a perennial best seller.  He’s been honored at “Savor Dallas” with the Lone Star “Culinary Award” in 2006.  All the accolades aside, it’s damn good beef.  Check it out online or by phone at the link above, or for the real deal in person:  Visit Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap.   Named one of America’s “Best Rural Restaurants” by Gourmet Magazine in 2004.  The popular establishment is only about 3 hours west of DFW outside of Abilene.  They’ll bring you all the good peppered tenderloin you want, plus a full menu of steaks and other great entrées.   Plus great country side dishes like Green Chile Hominy, Cowboy Potatoes and Zucchini Perini.  Dine on a working cattle ranch and enjoy a taste of the real West at Perini Ranch.  They even throw a big city style wine and food event every April called the Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit. Big names in the industry and lots of hungry, thirsty folks make the annual trek.  We’ve been a few times ourselves.  It’s the best way to have oak with your wine, as the late, great Fess Parker used to say.  Outside under the stars sippin’ wine under the Live Oaks at Perini Ranch.

Side note about Buffalo Gap:  Had it not been for a little railroad re-routing way back when, it would have been the big city in the Big Country and Abilene would have been an afterthought. Buffalo Gap is an interesting historical slice of Texas and offers features some great local artists, in addition to some pretty darn good dining.

Savor the Flavor with Jim White-the “Wining and Dining Guy” May 13, 2010

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Great dinner-great cause

Taste of the Nation Dallas is back Saturday (May 16th) at the Hotel Palomar.  Join the city’s finest chefs for an intimate, gastronomic seated event to end childhood hunger. Each table of ten will be treated to a lavish cocktail reception followed by a four course dinner with wine pairings exclusively prepared for their table by one of the featured chefs. Don’t miss the chance to bid in our exceptional silent and live auctions featuring one-of-a-kind trips, wine, culinary experiences and more. Click here to purchase individual tickets.  To purchase a table please contact Terri Provencal at 214-642-1124. Tickets and tables are going fast, so be sure to purchase today!  100% of ticket sales supports Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger.  Participating restaurants include Stephan Pyles, Fearing’s, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Charlie Palmer at the Joule, Central 214, Abacus, Nick & Sam’s, Nobu, Bolsa, Arcodoro Pomodoro, The Place at Perry’s, and John Tesar with Dallas Restaurant Group.   Chef Blythe Beck (right) is the host chef from Central 214.  Enjoy!

Help train the chefs of tomorrow and have a value priced lunch or dinner in the bargain

Technique is the student run restaurant of the world famous Le Cordon Bleu Dallas Location.  The restaurant serves lunch and dinner (Tuesday through Friday) and is operated by students who are about to graduate from their 21 month associate program from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.  The budding chefs take turns running the back of the house (preparing the meals) and the front of the house (hosting and serving) during their last semester in order to gain some real world experience.  This helps prepare them for the rigors of working 6 or 7 days a week in the very demanding hospitality environment.  I had lunch there this week.  Overall it was great. The menu is varied and changes daily.  The service is ever so attentive (under the watchful eye of instructor coordinators fulfilling the role of maître d’ and executive chef).  The price is fantastic–soups, salads and starters range from $3 to $5, sandwiches are $7,  main courses are $8 and desserts are $3.  I have not seen the dinner menu prices. Expect them to be slightly higher.  They even have a very serviceable wine list.  My guests and I nibbled on a delicious White Pizza starter with grilled chicken, red onion, aged Mozzarella and spinach.  The Fried Goat Cheese Salad with dried blueberries in a rosemary and citrus vinaigrette was dandy.  Of the three main course selections, we tried Le Rosti–cumin crusted chicken breast with herb risotto, haricots verts, with basil oil and aged Balsamic.  The chicken was a little dry and too salty.  Otherwise the dish overall was satisfying.  Another of us tried Le Pasta–Linguini Carbonara with bacon, sweet peas, cream and cracked pepper.  No complaints from that side of the table.  Desserts-untried (sorry-I’m trying to get back to my fighting weight after vacation!), but intriguing were the Chocolate Soup with a hazelnut phyllo crisp, and Apple Crisp with vanilla bean ice cream.  The dining room is very attractive.  If you’re looking for someplace different, or as I suggested at the top of the piece would like to help train a young chef, I highly recommend you make a reservation.  Lunch is served from 12 until 1:30 and dinner is offered from 6 until 7:30.  Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts is located at 11830 Webb Chapel Road (at LBJ), Suite 1200, Dallas 75234.  Reservations are recommended.  Call 214-647-8509.  Our appreciation to Chef Aaron Hubbard (back of the house supervisor and instructor), Jeffrey Gregory (front of the house supervisor, sommelier and instructor), and Maureen Clements, Campus President, for all the information and for running a great program.   The campus has about 750 students currently and also offers an associate bakery and patisserie degree.  Bon appétit!

Savor the Flavor with Jim White, The Wining and Dining Guy May 5, 2010

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Here’s “news you can use” about Mother’s Day Brunches–

Bolla Restaurant at the Stoneleigh Hotel, 11am – 2:30pm, three-course Prix Fix menu, $36 for adults ($48 including Champagne or Mimosas) and $18 for children.  Reservations: 214-871-7111 or reservations@stoneleighhotel.com.

Cadot Restaurant, 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  $38.95 per person.  Multi course and dessert.  18111 Preston Road, #120 Dallas, Texas 75252, 972-267-5700.

Central 214 at the Hotel Palomar, Price is $47.00 per person or $22.00 for children, 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. 5680 North Central Expwy. at Mockingbird Lane Dallas, TX 75206 – 214.443.9339.

Charlie Palmer at the Joule, 11am – 3pm  Brunch and 5pm – 9pm  Dinner, $75pp / $35 children. 1530 Main Street, Dallas, TX 75201, 214-261-4600.

Craft, Dallas, 11 a.m. until 2:30.  $45 per person.  Located in W Dallas – Victory at 2440 Victory Park Lane Dallas, TX 75219.  214.397.4111.

Dali Wine Bar & Restaurant, 11:30 until 2:30 p.m.  $38 per person.  469-385-9360.  In One Arts Plaza downtown.  1722 Routh St.

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is offering a package featuring Mother’s Day brunch at Opus Restaurant in the Meyerson Symphony Center, followed by a performance of the DSO with Ravel’s Ma Mère ľOye–Mother Goose–how appropriate!  Special pricing begins at $55 per person and ranges to $78 per person and includes brunch and a ticket to the symphony performance.  For more information contact 214-871-4550.  Or email:  groups@dalsym.com.

The Grotto, Adults $32.50, Seniors $24.95, Children $11.95, 6 and Under Free, 972-318-0515 or email morris@thegrottotonight.com.  2300 Highland Village Road, Suite 500, Highland Village, TX.

Kirby’s Steakhouse – 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., Southlake, DFW Airport North, 3305 E. Hwy 114, Southlake, TX 76092, (817) 410-2221.

Orion Ballroom, 10 a.m until 3 p.m. 400 South Zang Street 15th Floor Dallas, Texas 75208.  214-942-1661. Or, brunch@theorionballroom.com.

Steve Fields Steak and Lobster Lounge is featuring regular menu and specials all day.  Call 972-596-7100 for information and reservations.  5013 W. Park Blvd, Plano 75093.

Trece, brunch and children under 15 dine free.  4513 Travis St., 214-780-1900.

Villa-O, brunch and children under 15 dine free.  4514 Travis St.,  214-780-1880.

Other happenings–

Of course, it’s Cinco de Mayo.  Trece hosts one of the biggest parties around starting at 4 p.m. with music, dancing, eating, and of course, Margaritas!

A great benefit for the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center happens tomorrow (Thursday May 6) poolside at Hotel ZaZa.  It’s “PJ for PJ’s”.  Bring a pair of pajamas and a $25 donation to help a kid and sip delicious Perrier Jouët poolside.  Get it?  PJ for PJ’s.  Fun.  5:30 til 7:30 at the “Urban Oasis” at Hotel ZaZa, 2332 Leonard St.

Send us your wining and dining news:  jim@savordallas.com.

Cheers!

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