A View to a Steakhouse – SER Steak + Spirits, Hilton Anatole – Dallas

We've had time to mourn the passing of Anthony Bombaci's Nana Restaurant, the previous occupant of the 27th floor of the Hilton Anatole Hotel – now let's look at the handsome replacement – SER Steak + Spirits. Yes, another steakhouse – but this one is pretty cool.



^ Selections from a unique collection of early 20th century "Mascots" (hood ornaments) accent the dramatic entry.


The room has been opened up a bit and the textures and surfaces exude a clubby elegance. I joined my friend (a guest of the house) for dinner last week:


^L: Nifty new iPad wine list is actually fun and informative.
^R: Duck Rillette & Jamon Iberico. 


^A dramatic and delicious Wagyu “Big” Rib: sous-vide and served with chocolate glaze, basil, green mango.
We also had (Not pictured) the 7oz Wagyu “Spinalis”: w/ fingerling potato and a nice house "SER steak sauce;" Creamed Corn: candied cipollini onions, popped corn; House-Made Tator Tots: house-made ketchup; Hen of the Woods: lightly grilled, garlic, parsley. All nicely done.


^L: Pistachio Layer Cake: morello cherry compote.
^R: Butternut-Apple Crisp: yogurt-pecan ice cream.


^The communal table and open kitchen are very inviting.




I know – we don't need another steakhouse – but one could argue that this hotel does. The result is a beautiful room with stunning views and a rather nice menu from Exec Chef Anthony Van Camp. With the design district about to be a culinary hot-bead, the Anatole doesn't seem so far off the beaten path these days. I will be going back.


Dipping into TJ’s Seafood Market and Grill on Oak Lawn – Dallas

Quickie here:

Jon Alexis can be proud of his new digs in the Shops of Highland Park.


TJ’s Seafood Market and Grill is now open – I just ran in to take a look and loved the place.


There is a daily menu available – or grab a piece of fish and have them prepare it for you – or select a marinade and a finishing sauce and do it yourself, at home. Dig. It. The Lobster Roll is already news. More on this later. …and the ‘Charcuterie of the Sea’ looks amazing.



We could not resist and snagged some caviar and blinis, then bribed Avner next door at Nosh with a bite in return for a set up and some lovely lemon crème fraîche. 

Fried Paradise 2012 – Fried Food Fun at The State Fair of Texas

State Fair time again!


I took a year or two off from my Fried Food Fiesta, but was back in the mood this year. We did our best to find each of the finalists for the 2012 Big Tex Choice Awards. Alas rain and fatigue conspired to cut short the search. We did get some serious research done, however:


^ Deep Fried Mac-N-Cheese Slider
Baked three-cheese macaroni, battered in bread crumbs, and deep-fried. Placed on a slider bun with a griddled beef patty. Hmmm – I found that just a bite of the fried Mac n’ Cheese part was fine. I liked the waffle fries.


^ Fried Mexican Fire Crackers
Spicy chicken, cheese and jalapeno wrapped in masa dough and deep fried. Served with fiery TNT sauce. I liked it. What can I say. The GF just looked at me. She passed.


^ Fried Bacon Cinnamon Roll
Crispy fried bacon crumbles fill a cinnamon roll dipped in a sweet pancake batter, then deep fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. We nodded and smiled. OK good enough.


^ Fried Pork Wing – Six hour slow-cooked pork rib lightly deep fried, tossed in a smoked bacon chipotle glaze. Fine. We had a few bites.


^ Picnic on a Stick – A skewer alternating with three pieces each of spicy fried chicken, sliced dill pickles and tater tots, then dipped in batter, rolled in bread crumbs, and fried. Ha! Yep! She wouldn’t touch this one either. Meh. More for me.


^ Deep Fried Jambalaya
Jambalaya with shrimp, cajun sausage and seasonings, coated in lightly seasoned flour and fried – served with spicy ranch sauce. This was the taste winner. I agree – not bad!

Now some non-finalist fun:


^L: Cyclone Potato
Turned potato deep fried on a stick. Sure!
^R: Pork Chop
She claims victory!


These rig is seriously bad-ass.


Of course, I had my Fletcher’s Corn Dog drenched in mustard – but I was drenched while eating it. No matter – it was nice to be back in the spirit!


Tip: Find one of the Freshly Brewed Iced Tea stands. Only 4 coupons, and you get a refill for 2. Not bad tea, and you can mix between sweet and un-sweet. A real Fair bargain.

Dallas’ John Tesar, Danyele McPherson, and Joshua Valentine on Top Chef Season 10 in Seattle. Let the fur fly!

The Bravo details:



“… is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin.”

This is about to get crazy all up in here.