The Bravo details:
No, you're not seeing things – this is a post about Domino's Pizza! I recently saw an excellent TV spot featuring Domino's President Patrick Doyle basically saying that he knew his pizza sucked, and that they had done something about it. Locally, I am a big fan of Olivella's Avera Pizza Napoletana across Hillcrest from SMU… but after a night of Chivas at Zen, the impulse to research this post was strong.
"The primary changes include: a garlic seasoned crust with parsley baked to a golden brown; sweeter, bolder tomato sauce with a medley of herbs and a red pepper kick; shredded cheese made with 100% real mozzarella and flavored with just a hint of provolone."
So? Yep, it's better – considerably, I think… but then again, I was at a bit of a deficit…
Never fear – next post is The Mansion.
Whatever… so Craft is in Victory Park, so Colicchio has ventures from coast-to-coast, so he's the co-host of a (pretty fun) reality show… the place is still quite good. My friends and I refer to it as "Crack," as in "they sprinkle crack on each dish as it is whisked from the kitchen to your table." Colicchio's philosophy of attempting to extract the essence of each ingredient seems to be generally adhered to at Craft Dallas. A favorite dish of mine is actually served at brunch on occasion: Hash of Shishito Peppers and Duck Confit – crack.
As it was my friend Michelle's birthday, her husband Jeff got a group of us together for a recent wine dinner featuring Colicchio and winemaker David Ramey in attendance. Tom joked to the packed house that it was great to actually see the restaurant full. I have to agree, it's a truly handsome room – one of my favorites in town – but it's usually a tad less booked than on this particular evening. We enjoyed the energy of the full room.
^ Canapés w/ 2006 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.
^ Tai Snapper, Shellfish Ragout & Black Garlic w/ 2005 Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay, Carneros.
^ Pancetta-Wrapped Monkfish, Porcini & Spring Onions w/ 2005 Claret; Roasted & Braised Guinea Hen, Fava Bean Raviolini w/ 2005 Larkmead Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
^ Elysian Fields Lamb, Crispy Belly & Morels w/ 2005 Rodgers Creek Vineyard Syrah; Chocolate-Hazelnut Turnover, Brandied Cherries & Vanilla-Mint Ice Cream… and we drank ALLOT more wine.
^ Crack Packs.
I have eaten here a number of times and Jeff & Michelle are actually regulars. We are accustomed to excellent service and delicious food – during this event we got that, with a few caveats. There were some issues getting the food out in a timely fashion, and in general the dishes later in the meal seemed more on par with previous visits. Our group had a great time, our server knew our party and kept the excellent wine flowing, Michelle got to meet Tom, and Jeff and I enjoyed chatting with the very personable David Ramey (who does a rather nice job making wine).
^ There's Tom after service (far right).
Colicchio says he plans to do more of these dinners, and why not? He's a restaurateur who's presence can pack the house. I think they learned a few things this time around. Based on the winemaker's they pair with in future, I'll likely attend again. Meanwhile, I encourage jaded food lovers to dine here once in a while, and look for that Crack Hash at brunch. I certainly have no problem with celebrity chefs when their restaurants serve quality food. Now I'll pack this post, and go.
It’s not very often you get fine dining anecdotes on late night talk shows, but last Wednesday the hilarious Martin Short appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and related his experiences from a recent visit to Yountville‘s culinary Mecca – The French Laundry. Stay tuned for the funny musical number that follows (and yes, that is the great Darlene Love in the chorus).