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Wining and Dining with Jim White January 26, 2011

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“Our next film will be in color…”, but not GREEN!

Chef Joel Harloff

Pardon the paraphrase from a John Lennon quote referring to “Help” the Beatles motion picture follow-up to “Hard Days Night”.   All the color has gone out of the promising resurrection of the storied Green Room in Deep Ellum.  By all reports we can gather the rumors are true:  The Green Room has been dark since before the holidays, and despite protestations that it would soon “reopen”, the restaurant remains padlocked.  Executive Chef Joel Harloff is reportedly working at Le Cordon Bleu-the chef training school in North Dallas.  We were hoping against hope that the rumors were untrue.   It’s a bummer, because we were looking forward to having Joel Harloff and the Green Room at Savor Dallas on March 19th (still plenty of great restaurants there, though, at the International Grand Tasting).  All best to all associated with the Green Room.  I guess it really was a “Hard Days Night” for them.  And even though they may have “been working like a dog”, alas, the “Feed Me” menu slips once again into the annals of time.

Savor the Flavor with Jim White, “The Wining and Dining Guy” August 29, 2010

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Scattershooting while wondering what happened to my dining notes

(with a tip of the hat to the great Blackie Sherrod)

Save the Date September 16th.  Or, we could say “SAVOR” the date for our next “Dinner Club with Jim White” special event coming up Thursday September 16th.  As they say in radio, “stay tuned for more details” coming soon!

KRLD Restaurant Week is continuing through September 5th for many of the great participating restaurants.  See the participating restaurants at krld.com.  Help us hit the mark of 100,000 meals served this year to raise $700,000 to benefit the North Texas Food Bank and the Lena Pope Home.

People have asked us the date of Savor Dallas 2011.  Glad to report it will be March 18th and 19th.  Once again, we’ll be celebrating wine, food, spirits and the arts.  We will be returning to the beautiful Dallas Arts District, and the spectacular “International Grand Tasting” will once again be staged in the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.  There are some big surprises planned for our 7th Annual event.  Tickets go on sale October 1st.  See highlights and video from Texas’ largest premium wine and food festival at www.SavorDallas.com.

Best meal deal in town right now is probably the resurrected “Green Room” in Deep Ellum.  How could you beat “Feed Me” from Executive Chef Joel Harloff and BYOB?  Their liquor license is not in place yet, so for the time being, you can bring in wines you like and enjoy the cool scene, the cuisine, and a real value on your wine pairing.  Is this a great country or what?

Taste of the NFL

North Texas Dinner Series

The Taste of the NFL has an appetizing game plan for North Texas and it kicks off long before the Super Bowl ever pulls into town. With the big game coming to Dallas, North Texas chefs have teamed up to create the Taste of the NFL Dinner Series. This series of dinners will coincide with the beginning of the 2010 NFL season and run through mid-November. Proceeds from these dinners benefit the North Texas Food Bank and the Tarrant Area Food Bank.  Read on for the complete schedule.


Savor the Flavor with Jim White, “The Wining and Dining Guy” August 9, 2010

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Feed Me!  BYOB Style.

The Green Room has put the word out on Facebook:  “For the next 30 days we invite our guests to bring wine from their home collection, and we’ll pair an appropriate Feed Me with your selection. Email reservations@greenroomdallas.com or call 214.744.ROOM.  Hurry down to sample Executive Chef Joel Harloff’s version of this treat at the revived Deep Ellum classic.

WineTastic has some super wines from Toad Hollow for you to try on Friday.  Just $15 for the tasting.

Toad Hollow Vineyards began operation in 1994, with 3000 cases of 1993 Russian River Valley Chardonnay. Today they make Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine, Red Blends, Zinfandels and more. Their mission is to produce quality wines that are interesting at a reasonable price.  Their labels are whimsical, supporting another element of their philosophy – “We believe drinking wine should be FUN!”  I second that emotion.  The tasting is 6:30 until 9 p.m.


4140 Lemmon Avenue, Suite 130

Dallas, Texas75219


Here’s a good cause that Jon and Melinda Bonnell are involved in (Bonnell’s Texas Cuisine in Fort Worth).  The are the honorary chairs for the Careity Foundation’s “Branded” Event.  “Branded” is a western production featuring dinner, dancing with live entertainment, an upscale western style fashion show followed by a charity casino!  All funds raised will go directly towards pediatric palliative care through Cook Children’s in Fort Worth. Masters of Ceremonies will be Deborah Ferguson and Steve Lamb.   The event is Friday August 27th at Will Roger’s Memorial Center’s Roundup Inn.  Tickets are $200 per person.  Get tickets here.

Lanny Lancarte II is celebrating “5 Years, 5 Courses, 5 Wines for $55”.  Happy Anniversay Lanny!  Keep on keepin’ on.  He’s celebrating until August 14th, and then his “KRLD Restaurant Week” menu kicks in.  Take a look at Lanny’s Kitchen Anniversary menu.


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!

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