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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 February 1, 2011

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Bite Size Bytes

They may have to go to three shifts at Nosh to keep up with the demand.  They’re so busy,  about every conceivable service option short of staying open all night has already been added.  Chef Jon Stevens tells me they are continuing to hire folks just to cover lunch and dinner shifts at his collaboration with Chef Avner Samuel on Oak Lawn.  Brunch is proving to be extremely popular.  And, with entrées like these is there any wonder?

Torn from the pages of a ubiquitous eBlast:

  • Duck Confit & Root Vegetable Hash poached egg & béarnaise
  • Baked Farm Eggs gruyere, potato, spanish chorizo & tomato
  • Braised Beef Short Ribs Benedict red chard & black truffle hollandaise
  • Caramelized Pear & Mascarpone French Toast “Sandwich” vanilla bean ice cream & pecans

Yummy.  Nosh is located at 4216 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas, TX 75219-2312.  Phone: 214-528-9400

When Palette and Palate Combine:  Coco Chanel, Wendy and Emery Reves, Entertaining at

Villa La Pausa in the South of France

If you love art, wine, food, and the South of France (and what’s not to love?), Lavendou hosts an evening on February 10th, combining all four. Dr. Olivier Meslay, Senior Curator for European and American Art at the Dallas Museum of Art is the special guest for the Essilor Vision Foundation benefit dinner and art lecture.  The evening is built around the theme of how fashion legend Coco Chanel and the Reves entertained their guests at Villa La Pausa on the French Riviera. Not a bad way to party.  RSVP and Tickets, call 972-248-1911 or email provencial@aol.com.  Read on for all the details.
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Savor the Flavor with Jim White, The Wining and Dining Guy July 10, 2010

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Bastille Day Parties

Celebrate French Independence Day on July 14th. Storming the Bastille is so over (and besides it’s gone, so no use looking for it).  Instead, hang with the moist and cool set poolside at Hotel ZaZa and nosh on “petite treats” and sip delicious bubbly from Veuve Clicquot.  The happening is 8 til 11 at ZaZa’s Urban Oasis.  Get more details at their website.

Meanwhile, if you’d like a taste of the real deal, with people who speak real French.  Join the folks at the French American Chamber of Commerce Dallas Chapter as they present a Bastille Day Gourmet Dinner at Lavendou at 7 p.m.  The five-course dinner with Mouton Cadet Wines is $70 per person and is all inclusive (tax, tip included).  Call 972-241-0111 or visit their website.   Read on to see the entire menu.

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Yummy Easter Happenings Galore! March 21, 2010

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Here comes Peter Cotton Tail, hoppin’ down the

bunny trail.

Waiter, ask that rabbit to refill our tea, please!

In honor of one of the most important family dining times of year, here is a sampling of some restaurants featuring Easter specials.  Add to this in the comments section if you are a restaurateur and would like to have our readers know about your Easter specials.  Thanks.

Chef Doug Brown (Dish), is offering an Easter Jazz Brunch at the Orion Ballroom in Oak Cliff, five minutes from downtown at 400 South Zang Street, 15th Floor, from 10 until 3.  This is the Bank of America Building.  The Orion Ballroom sits atop it. Chef Brown is featuring a lavish array of salads, fresh fruits and vegetables, smoked salmon, carving stations with ham and steamship of beef, an omelet station, pasta and fajita station, plus a temping array of cakes, pies and desserts.  The price is $24.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids under 12.  Make reservations by calling 214-942-1661 or email brunch@theorionballroom.com.

Lavendou Bistro Provençal Owner Pascal Cayet and Executive Chef Francois Soyez are offering something for almost everyone at their Easter Brunch.
First Course:  Soupe Froide de Concombre (Cold Cucumber Soup);  Prosciutto et Melon Sauce Sangria (Prosciutto and Melon with a Sangria Sauce); Salade César (Traditional Caesar Salad); or Vol au Vent de Fruits de Mer (Mixed Seafood served in a pastry shell).

Second Course:  Oeufs Poché Norvegienne (Poached Eggs on an English Muffin with Smoked Salmon and Spinach); Filet de Sole au Crabe et Champagne (Filet of Sole with Crab Meat and Champagne Cream Sauce with Basmati Rice); Gigot d’Agneau Provençal (Roasted Leg of Lamb with Gratin Dauphinois); or Poitrine de Volaille Chasseur (Breast of Chicken with Mushroom, Tomatoes and Demi-Glace Sauce with Fettucini).

Dessert:  La Tarte au Citron Meringuée (Lemon Tart with Meringue); Profiteroles au Chocolat (Ice Cream Filled Pastry Puffs with Chocolate Sauce); Feuillantine aux Fruit Rouges (Mixed Berries in a puff pastry with Chantilly cream); or Gâteau au Fromage (White Chocolate Cheesecake with raspberry coulis).

Easter Sunday, April 4 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Lavendou’s Easter Brunch is $29.95 per guest, plus beverage, tax & gratuity.

Lavendou is located at 19009 Preston Road, Suite 200, in Dallas (75252). Make reservations by phone (972-248-1911), fax (972-248-1660), by e-mail to provencial@aol.com or through their web site, http://www.Lavendou.com.

The Capital Grille is offering Easter Brunch from 1030 until 230 and suggesting you might want to try a dry aged steak or some fresh seafood along with one of their 350 wines.  This is starting to sound like a celebration.   Brunch is $35 per person (the wine is extra).  Call 214-303-0500 for reservations.  Or go to this reservation site.

Chef David Bull welcomes you to Easter brunch at Bolla in the Stoneleigh Hotel from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  He is offering a special three-course prix fix menu for $36 ($48 with Champagne and Mimosas) and $18 for children.  Call 214-871-7111 for reservations.  Or email reservations@stoneleighhotel.com.  See details of Easter Brunch and other special events at the Stoneleigh here.

Boi Na Braza in Grapevine has an Easter special, offering their full course meal, huge salad bar and desserts for $47.50 per person.  This is the place to go if you’re hungry and want meat and more meat.  They’ll be open special hours on Easter from noon until their last seating at 8:45 p.m.  Call 817-329-5514 or 81-251-9881.  Or email julio.matheus@boinabraza.com.  Located at Highway 121 at Hall-Johnson.

Cadot Restaurant is offering a three-course Easter Brunch for $29.95 person from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  Call 972-267-5700 for reservations.  Here’s the menu:

FIRST COURSE
Duck Terrine With Pistachios And Truffles
Or
Tropical Gazpacho
Or
Poached Eggs In Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Smoked Salmon Hollandaise Sauce
Or
Warm Goat Cheese Salad With Baby Mixed Greens And Balsamic Vinaigrette

SECOND COURSE
Crusted Almond Tilapia on a Bed of Risotto, Served with Champagne Sauce
Or
Lamb Chops with French Fries and Green Beans Served with Curcumin Sauce
Or
Short Ribs with Horseradish, Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root Puree, Topped with Baby Arugula

THIRD COURSE
Chocolate Heart with Mixed Berries and White Chocolate Sabayon
Or
Cherry Clafouti Ginger Confit
Or
Floating Island with Caramel Sauce

Chef Avner Samuel and Aurora offer a Kamen Estate Wine dinner on Tuesday April 6th.

It’s a six course affair featuring Kamen Cabernet and Syrah with special guest Robert Kamen, winery owner and screenwriter.  Mr. Kamen’s projects include The Karate Kid series (including the new film), the Transporter series, and his ode to Napa Valley winemaking “A Walk in the Clouds” starring Keanu Reeves.  The dinner is $150 per person.  Call or email for a reservation, 214-528-9400, or auroradallas.sbcglobal.net.  No slipping any “blockbuster screenplay” ideas to Mr. Kamen during the third-course!

Happy Easter!  Cheers!  Jim

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