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Savor the Flavor with Jim White-The Wining and Dining Guy January 28, 2011

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Yummy Oak Cliff Gets Tastier

Congratulations to long-time friend, and longer time restaurateur Monica Greene on the opening of her new place in Bishop Arts:  Best Enchiladas Ever (“BEE”).  People on Yelp are describing it as a “grownup Chipotle” with build your own enchiladas instead of burritos.  Prices are cheap:  $4.99 for one enchilada; $7.99 for two.  You choose the tortilla (corn, flour, blue corn) the filling (beef, cheese, pork) the sauce (red, green, etc.) to totally customize your dish.  The physical address is 202 W. Davis St., near West 7th.  The phone is 214-941-1233.  And you can visit their facebook page here. It is so cool that Monica is back in town and taking care of biz.  She describes her new operation as an “enchiladeria–a new fast-casual concept where enchiladas are made your way with fresh, natural, and organic products”.  BEE is open daily from 11 a.m. til 10 p.m.  We will make a concerted effort to bring Monica and BEE to you at Savor Dallas March 19th.

Savor the Flavor with Jim White, “The Wining and Dining Guy” September 23, 2010

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“Boss” Top Chef Perfects the Craft

Fans of TV’s “Top Chef” get to bask in the glow of one of America’s most accomplished, and successful, chefs as he rolls into town next week to cook for fans of his restaurant Craft Dallas.

Chef/owner Tom Colicchio will be joining Chef de Cuisine Jeff Harris in the kitchen at craft | DALLAS on September 27th and 28th (Next Monday and Tuesday).  They will be preparing meals using some of their favorite seasonal ingredients, including Jerusalem Artichokes, Brussels Sprouts, Guinea Hen, and Chanterelle Mushrooms.  Make reservations by calling 214 397 4111.   Craft Dallas is located in the W Hotel in Victory Park, at 2440 Victory Park Lane Dallas, TX 75219.  For more information visit Craft’s Facebook page.  Complimentary valet parking offered.

Time to Nosh

Chef Avner Samuel’s new Dallas restaurant & bar, NOSH euro bistro and bar, is now open in the space formerly occupied by his ultra lavish Aurora (4216 Oak Lawn Avenue, Dallas, TX 75219-2312).  The expanded space includes a full bar, additional seating areas and a food bar that has been incorporated into the open kitchen. The menu, featuring casual European/Mediterranean inspired fare is offered throughout the day, 11:00am – 11:00pm weekdays and 5:00pm – 11:00pm on Saturdays. A relaxed and comfortable atmosphere is complemented with moderately priced food and wine list.  Read on for a look at chef/partner Jon Stevens’ opening menu at Nosh.

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Savor the Flavor with Jim White, “The Wining and Dining Guy” September 7, 2010

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Dining Specials

Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse in Addison is offering some specials on dinner.  Their “summer special” (through September 25th) lets you enjoy all 16 cuts of their Churrascaria style grilled meat, salad bar and desserts for $29.95 per person (50% off regular price for kids 6 to 11).  You can take up to ten hungry people in for this special price.  You’ll have to ask for this special when you make a reservation.  Call 972-733-1110 for more details.  Visit Rafain’s website for details on “Dinner for two for $50”.

Über chef Avner Samuel is back in business mid-month with his Euro Bistro and Bar:  Nosh.  The former Aurora space is completely remodeled.  Casual Euro/Mediterranean fare will be offered throughout the day from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.  Chef Jon Stevens has joined the NOSH team as Chef/Partner.  Jon has lived in Dallas for 8 years, and worked previously at Neighborhood Services, Aurora and Abacus.  He is a native of San Francisco and worked at Jardiniere and The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton.  And, a rather extraordinary vote of confidence from Chef Samuel, ” I’m giving Jon complete authority in the kitchen, from the development of our concept to menu creation, say’s Samuel, we are very excited to have him on board”.  Call to see exactly when the restaurant will open:  214-528-9400.

Chef Casey Thompson seems to be right at home at Fort Worth’s Brownstone serving Southern style cuisine.  The restaurant is nestled in the West Seventh Street development, and is offering all kinds of enticing specials, including:  Happy hour and drink specials–even a “Purple Friday” special if you wear purple or show a TCU ID.  The restaurant is serving lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch.  And, if you’re interested in trying some of Casey’s special Southern cooking at home, we share one of her recipes with you here…just read on for more.

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Savor the Flavor with Jim White, “The Wining and Dining Guy” July 6, 2010

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Follow the bouncing ball (or musical chef chairs)

Whew!  Whadda weekend!  There were fireworks galore–both inside and outside. Especially in Dallas restaurant kitchens.   While you were off having a grand Fourth of July celebration (I certainly hope so), here’s what was happening with the fates and fortunes of some of our favorite culinary types (chefs).

In the interest of time, let’s see if I can condense all this for you:  Dali is gone.  Aurora soon will be.  Paul and Avner are tired.  Dallas Chop House is sans executive chef.  Kenny is tired of John.  New chefs for The Green Room and Villa-O; Joel and Kenny have new gigs (yea!).  Whoa! This is too condensed. Even for the attention-span challenged (and you know who you are).  Here’s what we know today:

There is good news, in the wake of the sad news over the weekend that Paul Pinnell is closing Dali in One Arts Plaza.  Dali executive chef Joel Harloff is going to The Green Room as executive chef!  This is doubly good news, because the CIA trained chef, who has worked in some of the top kitchens in Dallas (Melrose Landmark, Nana, Mi Piaci), will help speed up the renaissance of the cool Deep Ellum restaurant.   The restaurant is located at 2715 Elm Street, Dallas, Texas 75226. For more information, please call 214.744.ROOM.

Now, as for Dali proprietor Paul Pinnell.  The press release sent out to announce the closing of Dali was a very positive spin, but short on specifics.  He noted that after taking a break he would return “to work in Dallas’ vibrant restaurant scene with plans of future innovation.”  According to Nancy Nichols on her D Magazine blog, she spoke with David McMillan (from Screen Door across the Plaza) who says Dali is closing “temporarily”.  We’ll keep you posted on this one.

As we continue making lemonade and chicken salad out of the restaurant news.  Word came just before the holiday that Dallas Chop House chef Kenny Mills had left the restaurant.  It turns out there was friction in the kitchen with John Tesar (culinary director for Dallas Restaurant Group).  See details below.  Kenny is bouncing to Villa-O as of today to start his new job as Executive Chef!  His and John’s comments on the situation (again courtesy of Nancy):

“I put in my notice two weeks ago,” says Mills. “They [DRG] fired my sous chef and put in one of Tesar’s guys. I came in on June 1 and there was a whole new crew in my kitchen.”

“Tesar wouldn’t let me run my kitchen. He told me I was an over-the-hill no talent cook. Life is just too short to work with people I don’t like.”

John Tesar commented, “This is just as big a shock to me as it is to you. I had no idea.”

We’ll be getting more news on future concepts from DRG and hearing about Kenny’s plans at Villa-O, but don’t expect too many more details on the breakup.  Sometimes best to just move on.

We reported last week that Avner Samuel has decided to close Aurora at the end of July.  The stress of the economy and the rigors of running a small, upscale restaurant have caused him to rethink his priorities.  Avner says he is emotionally and physically drained and needs time off to recharge.  Look for the lion of the kitchen to come roaring back with another concept after his respite. Again, we wish God speed to Chef Samuel and his wife Celeste who have poured their heart and soul into the fine dining concept.

We also have good news that Chef Jeff Moschetti (formerly with the Warwick Melrose Landmark, Stephan Pyles, and Beau Nash at the Crescent Court) is the executive chef of a new restaurant opening in Frisco called One2One.  It’s at Legacy and Highway 121, so geographic inspiration is at work here for the name.  Check out their website for more information.  1339 Legacy Drive, Frisco; 214-618-2221.

Stay tuned!

INTERVIEW w/Mike Pacheco of Warwick Melrose Hotel June 14, 2010

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