Bruno Davaillon

Saturday Lunch with Bruno Davaillon at The Mansion, Dallas

As exceptional as Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek chef Bruno Davaillon's dinner tasting menus are, a little light lunch can be equally stunning. Err – light, in this case, may refer only to the time of day! Check this out:

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^ Crispy Pig Trotter, Watercress / Horseradish Sauce, Pickled Vegetables. 

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 ^ Pan-seared Sweetbread, Carbonara Ravioli, Sunchoke / Black Truffle Sauce.

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 ^ Duck Meatballs, Duck Consomme, Foie Gras, Black Trumpets, Green Cabbage, Chestnuts.

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^L: Chatham Cod, Potato / Cod Brandade, Tomato Confit, Capers, Lemon Brown Butter.

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^ Chesnut Mont Blanc, Chocolate Macaron, Vanilla Chantilly, Rum Ice Cream.

Yes – a little crazy – but ridiculously well-crafted and delicious. And better than another steak and bottle of – Heaven forbid – Silver Oak. 

A reminder to occasionally expand your horizons, and your palate. Cheers!

Timely update: Bruno Davaillon has just been nominated for the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef Southwest award. Sweet! 

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Magazine Watch: Bruno Davaillon in Wine Spectator

While we wait around for the circus to come when Tesar's D Magazine cover story hits the fan, here is a nice piece in the September issue of Wine Spectator featuring Chef Bruno Davaillon of The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek.

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The issue features French chefs with major operations in the US, including Alain Ducasse, Pierre Gagnaire, Joël Robuchon, Guy Savoy, Eric Ripert, Hubert Keller, Jean Joho, George Mavrothalassitis, David Féau, and Guy Savoy.

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There is a tease to Bruno's recipe – which is after the paywall – so go pick up a copy along with the new issue of D Magazine!

Quick Peek – Bruno Davaillon’s new Spring Menu – The Mansion, Dallas.

Last Thursday, after Michael Flynn’s Pinot Gris edition of Wine Chat, I headed into the kitchen at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek for a peek at chef Bruno Davaillon’s new spring menu.

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First up: ^ a fully vegetarian option – Vegetable Consomme, Goat Cheese Tortellini, Basil. It’s green, spring, delightful!

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^ Sous vide Rhubarb for the: ^ Seared Foie Gras – Rhubarb, Caramelized Pistachio, Pickled Strawberry. This was fabulous – perfectly balanced fat and acid. Bravo.

Bruno’s new Spring Menu (over 90% new dishes) should be rolled out by next weekend. Stay tuned for more details!

What’s Cookin’ with Chef Bruno at The Mansion?

…some really delicious and masterfully executed seasonal fare – that’s what.

But first, Michael Flynn’s fun and informative “Sparklers not from Champagne” edition of Wine Chat.

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Afterward, I grabbed my corner stool at the Mansion Bar. Chef Bruno Davaillon obliged with some tastes from the current regular and tasting menus:

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^ Dayboat Scallops – Oyster, Roe; and ^ a kind of Frog Leg Lollipop Fritter thingy!

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^ An amazing Pheasant Consommé – Foie Gras Ravioli, Black Trumpet, Alba Truffles; and ^ Seared Scallops – Pomegranate, Caramelized Cauliflower, Curry Oil – very nice.

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^ Roasted Texas Venison – Sunchoke, Red Cabbage Compote, Pear in White Wine, Bacon Jam …just killer. This dish tastes like December, and exemplifies the new Mansion Restaurant for me… excellent Texas protien, elegant balance of flavor, exceptional execution. Bravo; ^and a Jack Daniel’s Eggnog Martini for good measure!

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^ Afterward bartender Birk Baumgartner hit me with a “Calda”: Laurenz “Singing” Gruner Veltliner, Honey & Rosemary-Infused Syrup – (and a shot of Macallan by request). Like velvet Ambien.

Get over to the Restaurant at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek for a truly special holiday meal, tout de suite!

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.

Mansion Noir: Sexy Food in the Shadows. Bruno’s Charcuterie.

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I was once again slinking around the bar at The Mansion recently…

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LK and I sampled some of the tempting new cocktails under development while chatting up chef Bruno Davaillon. When I asked what was new, I was well rewarded:

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^ Charcuterie from Bruno’s family recipes. Nothing went to waste from this little piggy – and not a morsel remained on this plate.

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^ That Thursday, after enjoying Somm Michael Flynn’s Wine Chat, I was able to enjoy the Head Cheese once again, this time with Black Truffles; along with a little Squab, Foie, and Duck with Sunchoke and Truffle Purées. …Damn…

Sampling Bruno Davaillon’s Tasting Menu – The Mansion, Dallas

I met my friend LK at The Mansion bar the other night. She was in the mood to celebrate and I owed her dinner – so off we went to enjoy Chef Bruno Davallion’s current Tasting Menu in the Library at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. The dim, golden light of the room is gorgeous – but a challenge for my ‘in-the-moment’ snaps – I provide these photos to pique your interest and whet your appetite. I will soon cover the prep of a tasting menu from the kitchen – as I am like to do.

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^ The menu; and the amuse-bouche – a Shrimp & Cashew Skewer with Tamarind Sauce.

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^ We love this dish: Dungeness Crab Salad, Tomato-Jalapeño Gelee, Bloody Mary Sorbet.

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They kindly accommodated our request to mix up the menu a bit.

^L – Potato Gnocchi, Artichoke Ragout, Pancetta and Basil. 

^R – Crispy Pork Belly, Caramelized Cabbage, Daikon Radish, Black Truffles.

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^L – Nantucket Bay Scallops, Clam Chowder Sauce, Brandade Ravioli, Potato Chips.

^R – Roasted Wild Striped Bass, Littleneck Clams, Baby Bok Choy, Smoked Tomato Sauce.

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^L – Colorado Rack of Lamb, Crispy Lamb Shoulder, White Grits Gratin and Braised Texas Kale. The Lamb shoulder was in, like, a little taquito – great dish.

^R – Spiced Duck Breast, Chile-glazed Daikon, Roasted Baby Deets and Turnips.

Then came the Eggnog Martini Foam… that went quick – no pics. Then dessert:

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^L – Bruno’s Black Forest Tart, Kirsch Cream and Cherry Ice Cream.

^R – David Collier’s “Our Cheescake.”

Bruno – also an accomplished pastry chef – came back out to chat during dessert.  As the effects of Michael Flynn’s wonderful wine pairings took hold, I found myself telling Bruno how the firm cake of his delicious Black Forrest Tart was a formidable match for my spoon. He just kinda looked at me with a quizzical grin and encouraged: “It’s like a cookie, just get in there!” That kirsch cream is insane. 

Mansion Pastry Chef David Collier describes the tart: “Its all the elements of the classic Austrian Black Forest Cake (chocolate, cherries, kirsch and cream) but translated to tart form. The chocolate is represented with the tart dough as well and the 70% Guanaja ganache, the cherries are placed inside the ganache (we use griottines) then its topped with a kirsch crème légère (pastry cream, whipped cream, crème fraîche and kirsch). In the ice cream we find more kirsch infused cherries. Its garnished with a chocolate streusel for added texture, a chocolate disk and a bit of gold leaf.”

Next came Collier’s first major addition to the new dessert menu – The Mansion’s “Our Cheescake,” a deconstructed version of the classic. Collier: “The dessert started from Bruno suggesting we do something cheesecake themed but in a glass. I made the ice cream and berry portion and served them to him like a coupe. He changed his mind and said we could do something larger and more complex. I was happy to oblige and came up with this. I wanted something with alot of contrast that the guest could “play with”. He liked it, suggested I add citrus to the fried roll and strawberries to the compote. The roll filling is cream cheese, sugar, citrus zest and egg yolk rolled in fillo. I made the ice cream in the same way I made the brûlée 2.0 ice cream. I baked a standard vanilla cheesecake, packed it into a PacoJet container, froze it then spun it. Liquid graham recipe came from the old Chef’s Room S’mores dessert I did when Tesar was chef.” It’s fun, we dug it.

This is good stuff, kids! More to come… 

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Chef Bruno Davaillon offers Weekly Tasting Menus @ The Mansion, Dallas

We stopped by the Mansion bar for a quick glass of wine the other night, to take the edge off a dodgy week.

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^ The Amber Bell: Bell Pepper Vodka, muddled Basil; ^ a snort of the Mansion Egg Nog – frickin' deelish.

 …hmmm, "Can we see the dinner menu… ya know…" Damn, Chef Bruno Davaillon has quietly introduced a Weekly Tasting to the dining room dinner menu:  

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…we caved. It was very good, and Michael Flynn's wine pairings elegantly enhanced the experience, as usual. I took the night off – no pics.

I'm all about it… visions of Mix dance in my head… Stay tuned for future special menus from Bruno.

In the Kitchen: Chef Bruno Davaillon at The Mansion

Here we go:

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Bruno has arrived. We dined with some media types on Tuesday night, then returned with friends on Thursday. Between the two visits, we’ve sampled nearly the entire new menu – check it out below.

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But first, I want to give a big shout-out to my buddy Eric Brandt who, while retaining his title as Executive Sous Chef, has led the kitchen at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek with grace and skill for the past nine months. He is a class act.

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^Exec. Sous Chef Eric Brandt and ^Chef d’Cuisine Jason Maddy remain in the kitchen under Executive Chef Bruno Davaillon.

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Let’s start off with a bang! (No, that’s not for us…) But Bruno asks “How many at your table?” – and whips up 5 of these:

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^ Amuse Bouche: Hamachi with Green Apple Mustard, Daikon, Cucumber, Apple, Jalapeño Milk. It’s killer. “That’s going on the menu,” he says.

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^ Shrimp Cocktail – Horseradish Panna Cotta, Spicy Tomato Syrup; ^ Maine Lobster Salad – Tomato Confit, Caviar Cream.

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^ Components of the King Crab and Butternut Squash Soup (poured at table); and the accompanying King Crab Spring Rolls.

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^ Potato Gnocchi – Artichoke Barigoule, Pancetta, Basil; ^ Wild Mushroom Risotto – Duck Confit, Aged Parmesan.

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^ Eric Brandt’s Tartare of Spicy Ahi Tuna and Hamachi with Yuzu Vinaigrette and Jalapeño; ^ and his Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras – Roasted Texas Red Pear, Cornbread and Coriander Honey.

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^ Day Boat Scallops – Cauliflower Composition, Ice Wine Vinegar Emulsion; ^ Coriander and Chive Crusted Monkfish with Lobster Minestrone.

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^ Eric’s Pan Seared Wild King Salmon – Horseradish Apples, Celery Root and Parsley; ^ and new, Chorizo Crusted Atlantic Halibut – Stuffed Piquillo Pepper and White Bean Puree.

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^ Duo of Prime Beef Ribeye and Brisket Short Rib – Potato Fondant and Gorgonzola Cream.

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^ Bison Tenderloin “au Poivre” – Autumn Vegetable Fricassee; ^ Roasted Veal Loin – Crispy Sweetbreads, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Fig Chutney.

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^ As I document the goings-on, Mansion Wine & Beverage Director and Sommelier Michael Flynn drops by with a spot of wine. Meanwhile my table-mates consume most of my delicious Lobster and Cavatelli Pasta – Pancetta, Peas and Mint (hence no photo).

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^ Bruno prepping the “Special”…

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^ Sous Vide of Pheasant Breast – “Sausage” of Pheasant Leg, Foie Gras and Pancetta, rolled in Pistachios. With sautéed Green Cabbage, White Grapes and Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Roasted Quince and Seckel Pear.

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Bruno’s additions to the Dessert Menu: ^ Mansion “Candy Bar” with Lemon Thai Basil Sorbet; ^ Maple & Macadamia Nut Napoleon with poached Seckel Pear.

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^ Apple Seven Ways – I had this twice. That’s, like, 14 apples. (‘Apple Composition’: Apple Clafoutis, Poached Apple, Apple Sorbet, Compote of Granny Smith’s, Green Apple Foam, Crisp Apple Wheel, there’s another one in there, too…)

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^ Lingering after service.

So…? Well, it’s no secret that I am a fan of this place… and I am very excited about the food I enjoyed on these visits – as were my dining companions, as are the staff. Bruno – the man, and his food seem a perfect fit for this elegant and evolving institution. I hope to see you here. On this particular evening, I joined some friends at The Mansion’s Wine Chat, hosted by Michael Flynn each Thursday at 6:15:

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It’s fun, educational, only $25 and you never know what Michael is going to break out – typically four or five wines are offered, on a theme. I famously missed the wines of Burgundy one week, and have yet to hear the end of it! Read more about Wine Chat here.

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Bruno Davaillon to MIX it up @ The Mansion, Dallas

Sweeeet. Eaten at Alain Ducasse's MIX in Las Vegas several times – I dig it. Its chef, Bruno Davaillon, will debut in the kitchen at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in November as the new Executive Chef. Count me in. I didn't have a decent camera with me last time I dined at MIX…

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^ The view from the nightclub wing, the terrace dining tables are at left.

 

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^ Dinner; they brand you at the hostess stand. (Actually, late night, the bar turns into a club – best view to enjoy a scotch on the strip.

 

…but you'll be seeing plenty of Bruno's work on these pages soon enough. I wonder if, for fun, we'll see Baba ah Rhum (a Ducasse classic) on the dessert menu? Doubt it. 

 

Welcome, chef, and beware the snarky bastards that slink around the Dallas blogosphere!