May 2009

First Look: Cobb Switch BBQ

Ran over to Cobb Switch today for lunch – thought I’d post some pics.

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We thought the porch had a great feel, the door pictured here leads to the bar, which is separated from the dining room (below).

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^ A slab of Brisket; The Frito Pie (Pete really liked this).

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^ The Jalapeño and Cheese Sausage and Brisket, Potato Salad and Slaw.

Fine, but the real hit: the Fried Pies!  

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^ Apricot Fried Pie; and a delicious version with Apple and Cranberry.

Cobb Switch Selects - 3689 They also offered Cherry and Chocolate. Good stuff, indeed.

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Dali exhibit at the Beard House – a preview:

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Dali Wine Bar & Cellar Chef Joel Harloff and proprietor Paul Pinnell have been invited to prepare dinner at the James Beard House on June 8th. The menu will be matched with wines from Hall Napa Valley. Talking with Joel, who has previously cooked at the Beard House while chef at the Melrose, I was surprised to hear of the logistical challenges involved with pulling off a dinner at the House. It’s far more dramatic than I had imagined – for instance, the team only has access to the kitchen from 8am on the day of the event, causing visiting chefs to beg borrow and steal square footage from chef pals with nearby New York kitchens. Joel will be bringing a number of chef colleagues from around the country to help him prepare the meal for 75 Beard Foundation members, food journalists, friends and family. This past Sunday I attended a preview dinner at Dali, featuring most components of the meal that will be prepared on June 8th.

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^ Chef Joel Harloff and his “three guys” work wonders from the small, open kitchen at Dali.

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^ Roasted Octopus with Capers, Smoked Paprika and Endive; Triple Cream Brie Meltaways (w/ Hall Napa Valley Savignon Blanc 2008).

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^Citrus Marinated Crab Crostini; the menu.

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^ Dali proprietor Paul Pinnell welcomes the guests; the wines of Hall Vineyards, Napa (with excellent stand-in’s for the the unavailable Hall Darwin Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2005, Jack’s Masterpiece Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, and the Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2005).

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^ Brazos Valley Texas Brie and Wild Mushroom Soup with Duck Confit and Fresh Thyme Crostini (Hall Napa Merlot 2005); Grilled Texas Quail with Fresh Herb Polenta and a Pomegranate-Syrah Reduction (Dierberg Syrah 2005).

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^ Porcini Braised Beef Short Ribs with Yukon Gold-Parsnip Puree, Petite Spinach, and a Cabernet Demi Glace (Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2005).

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^ Seared and Smoked Veal Tenderloin with Asiago Mashers, Roasted Garlic Washington State Mushrooms and a Fresh Blueberry Veal Sauce (La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon 2003).

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^ Brazos Valley Texas Blue Cheese with Blackberry Sauce and Lavosh (Kathryn Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005).

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^ Spiced Pecan-Apple Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise and Dried Apricot Compote (Château Cantegril Sauternes 2005).

Afterword, Chef Harloff chatted with guests and discussed refinements and adjustments he’d like to make for the event in NYC.  View the planned menu here.

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Time for a cold one, elBulli style.

This is an open call to all my Chef and Sommelier pals: Somebody get some of this – NOW!

Inedit Ferran

Ferran Adrià, famed chef of the impossibly brilliant elBulli restaurant in Roses, Spain, has teamed with Damm brewmasters to create INEDIT, a beer specifically designed to pair with serious modern cuisine. "Inedit is a unique coupage of barley malt and wheat with hop, coriander, orange peel, liquorice, yeast and water. After bottling and capping, a secondary fermentation in the bottle occurs, leading to a more complex product." Sounds good to me!

Sharon in the House!

Well, even though the James Beard people persist in forestalling an acceptance speech by Chef Sharon Hage (FIVE nominations!)… we are all winners here, by her presence at the forefront of Dallas dining. I will be heading back to York Street very soon, but in the meantime – a look at a winter lunch I enjoyed a few months ago:

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Perusing the wonderful menu with a little White Burgundy (surprise).

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^ Soft Poached Duck Egg, with Polenta, Roast Local Chile, Corn Truffle, Queso Fresco.

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^ Lobster Salad, "Lemon-y" Avacado & Endives; THE best Hummus in town – she must put crack in it.

Ragu Monkfish_Liver

^Scottish Game Ragu, with Risotto Rosso; Sautéed Monkfish Liver, Texas Sweet Lemon-Caper Brown Butter, Parsnip Puree. Ankimo is my favorite thing… and this dish frickin' slayed me.

Bread_Pudding Tea

We wrapped it up with some Bread Pudding and Tea. Lunch at York Street is served Wednesdays only. A winner, for sure.


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