May 2010

A few bites of Taste Addison 2010

Time to walk across the street and do the yearly graze-fest at Taste Addison - featuring about 55 Addison restaurants. The event is in its 15th year and continues to pull in the crowds – some 60,000 over three days.









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^ We always hit Fogo de Chao and get the sampler.

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^ Here is Costa at his newly re-christened Ziziki's Taverna booth – and a gyro bite.

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^ Teiichi inspects the mini-yakitori grill at Chow Thai; and we enjoy some excellent sour chicken sausage skewers.

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^ Beef Shawarma from Al-Amir – one of our local lunch buffet destinations.

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^ From Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant - delicious YeBeg Wot (a spicy lamb stew) served over spongy Ingera bread (I had this each of the three days).

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^ Behind the scenes at the Italian Club of Dallas. Chef Tommaso Lestingi (previously at Grotto) serves up the goods. 

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^ Chamberlain's Chop House's famous Half Pound Honey Glazed Pork Chop, a must have.

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^ Oh… and beer. We got some Dogfish Head 60 on tap from Flying Saucer; ^ and this year even The Macallan had a tasting event in the air-conditioned WaterTower Theatre.

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^ This years Saturday night headliner was Train. Good times!

A little of the ol’ In-N-Out… Coming to Dallas

In honor of the news that Texas' first In-N-Out Burger will soon open at Firewheel Town Center in Garland – here is a look at a recent visit I made to a San Jose location:

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^ Lines are normal at any location of this venerable favorite.

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^ It's all pretty straight forward – but you need to know about the "not-so-secret" secret menu.

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Double-Double Animal Style x 2.

This will all be fun, but I can't help remember the hoopla that surrounded the openings of Krispy-Kreme and Krystal.  I'm afraid I'm actually on the "leave it out West" team. It's more fun that way. But I'll be there week one – anyway.

Update: Volos Taverna is now Ziziki’s Taverna in Addison

…ran over here with "Teach" this afternoon – A quickie iPhone report:

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Volos / Ziziki's owner Costa Arabatzis was prepping for Ziziki's booth at Taste Addison and explained that the Volos name was simply confusing his loyal Ziziki's customer base – and in this market, why rock the boat! So a couple weeks ago – a quick name change. Business is already up. Same great vibe and satisfying food.

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^ Calamari; ^ Leg of Lamb Gyro.

The name change comes just in time for the popular Taste Addison event – and as an added bonus, Ziziki's Taverna won the Grand Prize in the festival's first ever food competition with it's Organic Free Range Sliced Leg of Lamb topped with Sweet Red Onions, Eggplant Salata flavored with Truffled Salt; Served on homemade Pita Bread and finished with Ziziki Sauce. (A different version of the dish above.)

I'll go report on the dish and the event over the weekend. Happy Eating!

Patio / Cocktail Watch: Pimm’s Cup @ Charlie Palmer at the Joule, Dallas

I was over at Charlie Palmer at the Joule a couple times last week. The first night I met some friends and enjoyed some Macallan at the bar. Chef Scott Romano dropped by – "What you got?!," I asked…

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^ First a little something from the Bar Bites menu, Jalapeño Stuffed Quail Legs – Smoked Bacon, Ale Glaze. ^ But the bomb was the Andouille Pâté by Charcuterie Chef Richard Blankenship – brilliant and decadent.

The next night I met some other friends and we enjoyed perfect weather on the patio. The Joule sits in the middle of a particular block of downtown Dallas that actually has some foot traffic in the evening – almost seems like a city, even! 

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Pimm's sounded a great choice to compliment the temperate air and the handsome Adam Tihany room glowing through the restaurant's wall-to-wall glass front.

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^ Here is the Pimm's Royale: Pimm's No.1 Cup, Aureole Cuvee Sparkling Wine, Nikolaihof Elderflower Syrup, Cucumber. Only 5 Bucks on the Happy Hour Menu!

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^ I had to get more of the delicious N'duja Pâté w/ Brioche Toast: ^ Then a traditional Pimm's Cup: Pimm's No. 1, Lemon, Cucumber, and here, the bite of Fever Tree Ginger Beer. Great! 

Charlie Palmer's at the Joule on Urbanspoon

Tomato Porn: Heirlooms from Ken Pirkle’s Rain Drop Farms, Donna, TX

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No need for small talk. Just sit back and enjoy…

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You will find these in the arsenal of many a talented Texas chef.

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These were courtesy of Kent Pirkle at Rain Drop Farms in Donna, TX. 

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There's no website, but find him here: raindropfarms@yahoo.com or 512.784.6633. There's a minimum order of 8 lbs. – so call your friends!

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I ate most of them raw with Sea Salt; made some Tomato Water; but last I diced some up and simmered with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Oregano and Basil from my patio, and Maldon Sea Salt – awesome.

Exec. Chef Matt McCallister is Rockin’ it OUT at Stephan Pyles, Dallas.

Food

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This Matt McCallister guy is a cool dude – and seriously bad-ass in the kitchen. Stephan Pyles and Matt McCallister (Exec. Chef of Pyles’ eponymous restaurant) attended the envy inducing Madrid Fusion summit this past January. As is often the case after returning from Spain, they were itching to shake things up. Here is a look at some of the new stuff on the Tapas Bar and Hot Apps menus:

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^All ten of the new Ceviches – (My guests couldn’t wait – shaky pics!) I no particular order: Aji Tuna with Jicama and Grilled Orange; Bronzini with Fennel and Vanilla; Laughing Bird Shrimp with Passion Fruit and Coconut; Lenguado with Smoked Corn and Sweet Potato; Sea Scallops with Creamy Garlic, Aji Amarillo and Cucumber;  Mixto with Spicy Tomato, Celery, and Tarragon; Ceviche de Hongos with Black Bean and Lemon; Merluza with Saffron pil-pil and Garlic Croutons; Salmon Veracruzano with Capers, Green Olives and Jalapeños; Lobster with Guayaba and Avocado.

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^The new Tiraditos: Hiramasa with Lime and Toasted Coconut; Halibut Cheeks with Spicy Orange and Ginger; Loch Duart Salmon with Dill Lemonette and Mustard-Coriander Oil. ^And the Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions and Balsamico Flatbread.

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^Matt is having some fun pickling anything he can get his hands on; ^An inspiration from this night: Hearts of Palm, Corn, and Black Garlic – wonderful.

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^A little Delarche for me, thank you. ^Matt ‘splaining the goods.

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^Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras Tacu Tacu with Brûléed Banana; ^Sea Scallop Migas with English Pea Emulsion, Spanish Chorizo and Parmesan “Snow.”

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^Pressed Pork Shoulder with Grilled Pineapple Empanada and Caramelized Texas 1015s. ^And my favorite gift of Spring, Shad Roe – here with Scamorza-Risotto Croquette, House Bacon and Sorrel. Happy.

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^I love this room! I’m also all about this new menu – very nice work, guys. Matt and Stephan have some other stuff up their sleeves (tatted or not). Stay tuned for more culinary adventures at Stephan Pyles.

Stephan Pyles on Urbanspoon

I’m a moth to the bright flame that is The Meddlesome Moth – Dallas

So much for my scoop. I do this blog for fun, so my real job intervenes once in awhile.


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We dropped by Shannon Wynne's four day old venture, The Meddlesome Moth, late Friday night to check it out. Incendiary will soon be the appropriate descriptive for this joint. What a sexy space. I'm into mood and detail, and felt like moving into this place immediately. 


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^ First of all, I love the taps – no clutter of branded pulls, they are uniform. But the handwritten chalkboard descriptions add a clever and personal touch.

The most stunning element of the room took a second glance to register:

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^ Yes, these are the original (restored) stained glass windows from the stage of "The Supreme Court of Rock & Roll" – Dallas' first outpost of the Hard Rock Cafe.

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Opened in 1986, our original branch of that eventually tired concept was once one of the most stunning in the country.

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The now razed 102 year old building was at 2601 McKinney Ave – kinda across the street from the original Sfuzzi. Back in the day, we had quite a bit of fun down there.

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^ A nice touch, and very Shannon.

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^ My buddy Scott chatting up Moth chef Chad Kelley as we discuss plans to assault the menu for the next post; ^ Meanwhile… there's pie!

The menu gets me twitching with phrases like:

Shin of Beef – Vanilla Porter, Brie, Walnuts

Point Judith Squid – Braised Oxtail and Parsnip Purée

Veal Sweetbreads – Oyster Mushrooms, Bacon Jam

Five Spice Pork Belly – Pickled Carrot and Black Strap Glacé

Bone Marrow – Salsa Verde and Crispy Capers

Fried Hominy –  Cayenne with Lime

Cajun Boudin Blanc – Buttered Leeks

Moth Balls –  a nod to The Spotted Pig

(There's also, like, normal stuff for the less… adventurous.)

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^ Moth GM Lon Goodwin (C) flanked by sommeliers D'Lynn Proctor and Scott BarberWe all agreed that in keeping with Lon's 'green' philosophy – he needs to knock down the wattage of the fixture over this corner power table.

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^ As it was opening weekend and the throngs had yet to descend, Lon passed me the iPhone remote and I did the mix for awhile as we sampled the wares – including the exceptional Westmalle Trappist Ale.

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^ A little Beer porn. …then…

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^ Lon's 'green' restrooms feature Dyson Airblades, among other amenities.

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^ The sweet patio.

Next up: a post on the food – it better match up to the space, Chad! Love this place so far. Stay tuned.

Meddlesome Moth on Urbanspoon

Topical Cocktail: Bulleit Bourbon Mint Julep

Well, I'm getting better. After a disastrous planning snafu a couple years ago, I've now taken to growing my own mint – just for such an occasion as the 136th Run for the Roses at the Kentucky Derby. Thanks to a Michael Martensen leave-behind, I have some of the terrific Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey.

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The classic Mint Julep consists of Kentucky Bourbon, Mint, Sugar and Ice. This year we did two versions: one with lightly pressed mint leaves and simple syrup, the other with mint muddled with brown sugar. I think I dug the latter. A nice way to celebrate Calvin Borel's third in four. Now, once again, I must plan ahead and get some dang Julep Cups!