August 2010

How to do Restaurant Week – The Mansion on Turtle Creek

What is that line about opinions…? Well everybody has one about Restaurant Week. Mine is generally of the "skip it" camp, but I give it a go once in a blue moon. Such an event occurred last Thursday, quite organically.




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I was attending Mansion sommelier Michael Flynn's weekly Wine Chat (every Thursday at 6:15 sharp). My buddy, former Mansion mixologist – now bad-ass spirits ambassador Michael Martensen, brought along another spirits guy and his friend to check out the venerable Mansion Bar.

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I ducked in to say hi to Chef Bruno and check out how RW was going. After a quick glance at the enticing offerings, the boys and I scored a table in the Salon (for the record I had a suit on – rabble…)

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^ The Mansion's Restaurant Week menu. "We'll do the Flynn's wine pairings as well."

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^ Vichyssoise amuse. Martensen and I wanted the boys to have a taste of the regular menu as well – so we ordered some starters for a pre-course:

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^A kindly split order of the Shrimp Cocktail, Horseradish Panna Cotta, Tomato Syrup; ^and my fave, the Asparagus and Wild Mushroom Risotto, Meyer Lemon Dust. Mike had the brilliant King Crab Soup with Potato Capelletti (not shown). 

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^Michael Flynn's gracious table-side manner. Now to the RW menu: ^House-Made Salmon Gravlax with Shaved Fennel Salad.

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^Watermelon Salad with Local Feta Cheese, Crispy Prosciutto and Pink Peppercorn Vinaigrette.

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^Braised Veal Breast, Roasted Eggplant and Natural Jus; ^Sweet Corn Ravioli with Shrimp Bolognese Sauce. Nice.

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^ I took Bruno's advice and ordered the chicken: Crawfish-Stuffed Texas Chicken, Roasted Potato and Baby Spinach and Shellfish Reduction. Fantastic – beautiful and delicious.

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^Chocolate Caramel Tart: Soft Caramel, Chocolate Ganache, Vanilla Ice Cream; ^Peach Sundae: Vanilla Panna Cotta, Poached Peach, Almond Crumble, Peach Ice Cream.

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I am a big fan of Chef Bruno Davaillon and The Mansion, and eat here as often as I can. This meal was cleverly conceived – and executed with the same skill and nuance as any other I've enjoyed here. Nicely done.

The Brad’s August Mea Culpa… and some Dallas Foodie Shenanigans!

Hey there! I ask my faithful fans – and curious newcomers – to remember that I maintain this blog with a mix of self-deprecating hubris, legitimate altruism, and great regard for others passionate about the joy of food. (See the "About" blurb on the upper right corner of this page for all you need to know.)

As I am not a journalist by trade, occasionally my real job distracts me from my passion to update my blog.

I ask you, once again, to bear with me. I offer this photo essay to keep you interested. There are fascinating stories behind each and every photo. I will endeavor to relate as many as I can… and I will continue to cache many to come. 

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OK – I'm on it!

Deep Ellum’s Green Room Reopens with Chef Joel Harloff at the Helm, Dallas

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The only thing cooler than the return of Deep Ellum’s Green Room – Dallas’ one-time Rock and Roll fine dining favorite – is that Chef Joel Harloff and his “modern American cuisine” have found a new home. When last we left Joel – I was off to buy him a beer at Tei-An after the heartbreaking closure of Dali Wine Bar. He spoke of opportunities… it didn’t take long – he was announced as Green Room executive chef, like, two days later.

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I was pleased to get an invite from Chef Joel to attend the ‘friends and family’ test run at Green Room last Saturday.

The room is reminiscent of the original, but I do miss the darker, sexier feel. “If it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it,” or something like that. They are still tweaking some lighting and decor details, so we shall see how that evolves. The food, however, is good to go. I’m a fan of Joel’s food and was not disappointed.

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^Pan Seared Georges Bank Scallops – Pickled Radish and Sweet Red Onion, Two Potato Galette and a Bing Cherry Beurre Blanc; ^Grilled Texas Quail – Scamorza and Fresh Herb Potato Gratin, Purple Hull Peas and Wild Oregon Mushrooms and a Fresh Thyme Quail Demi Glace.

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^Nova Scotia Halibut – Maine Lobster, Roasted Sweet Corn and Yukon Gold Potato Succotash, Buttered Sugar Snap Peas and a Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc; ^Grilled NY Strip – Sea Salt & Champagne Vinegar Potato Wedges, Texas “Caprese” Salad, Fresh Herb Demi Glace.

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^Grilled Texas Peaches – Texas Peaches Lightly Grilled and Served Warm with DuIce de Leche Ice Cream and Mixed Nut Struesel Topping; ^Assorted Sorbets and Ice Creams.

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A little H2O was nice after indulging in the BYOB option that will be in place for the next couple weeks (or you can enjoy complimentary wine selections with dinner while they wait on the liquor license).

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^My somm’ buddy Scott Barber joined and brought a bag of goodies; ^Chef Harloff after service with his favorite vintage.

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The much lauded “Feed Me, Wine Me” dinners are back as well, which should be a real treat – a nice match with Chef Joel’s style and enthusiasm.

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There will also be a special menu for the awesome rooftop patio – can’t wait for fall. Green Room, once again, goes in the “Regular Hang” column. They are booking up already – see you there!

Green Room on Urbanspoon

Carl’s Jr coming soon to Carrollton

Just three years ago this location was the scene of crazed enthusiasm and long lines for bags of Krystal's steamed burgers. Like Krispy Kreme before them, eventually the mania abated. On to the next:

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Carl's Jr is under construction at Trinity Mills and Midway in the former Krystal's location.

Don't expect the frenzy an In-N-Out may eventually spawn – but these burgers are pretty good, for fast food anyway.