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:
^ Crispy Pig Trotter, Watercress / Horseradish Sauce, Pickled Vegetables.
^ Pan-seared Sweetbread, Carbonara Ravioli, Sunchoke / Black Truffle Sauce.
^ Duck Meatballs, Duck Consomme, Foie Gras, Black Trumpets, Green Cabbage, Chestnuts.
^L: Chatham Cod, Potato / Cod Brandade, Tomato Confit, Capers, Lemon Brown Butter.
^ 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!
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.
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.
May 20th was the date for the annual bash at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek supporting TACA Dallas, the arts benefactor that has awarded over $1,000,000 to North Texas arts organization in each of the last four years (and a total of over $19 million since 1967).
^ Weather brought the party fully indoors this year; ^ the chefs assembled.
Chef’s stations occupied the Pavilion Ballroom, the Promenade, the restaurant dining rooms, and the upstairs event suites.
^ L: Wolfgang Eberle, Al Faisaliah Hotel – Pan-Seared Scallops with Hummus and Pomegranate.
^ R: Fabrice Guisset, Las Ventanas al Pariso – Chicken Pibil on Avocado and Wasabi Tostada.
^ L: Ned Bell, Rosewood Hotel Georgia – Ocean Wise Albacore Tuna Tacos.
^ R: Hemant Dadlani, Rosewood Little Dix Bay – Harissa Lamb Loin with Tamarind “Moong Chaat.”
^ L: Kevin Garvin, Neiman Marcus – Crab Cocktail with Cucumber and Basil Soup, Watermelon, Hearts of Palm and Avocado.
^ R: Sharon Hage, formerly of York Street – Green Tomatoes with Local Chevre, Pistachio-Mint Cucumbers and Crumbled Texas Cornbread.
^ L: Anthony E. Dawodu, Caneel Bay – Caribbean Conch Spring Roll with Papaya Salsa and Mango Barbecue Sauce.
^ R: Yann Giacomoni, Jumby Bay – Shrimp with Hibiscus Sauce and Confit Sweet Potato.
^ L: Tim Byres, Smoke – Smoked Allspice Rabbit Sausage with Fresh Herb Salad and Pickled Relish Vinaigrette. Always fun stuff from Tim.
^ R: Brian C. Luscher, The Grape – Country-Style Duck Terrine with Dried Fruit, Pistachios and Foie Gras.
Luscher’s was one of my favorites. I was asked to be among a handful of judges to award the best dish. This was at the top of my list. I was over-ruled however – so, moving on…
Intermezzo time. I joined Mansion Sommelier and Wine & Beverage Director Michael Flynn in the Hospitality Suite for my kind of refreshment – Krug!
^ A lovely view from the suite’s terrace. Back to it:
^ L: Juan A. Rosado, Rosewood Crescent Hotel – Slow-Roasted Pork Belly, Smoked Rosemary Oil and Masa Onion Tart.
^ R: Peter Rudolph, Rosewood Sand Hill – Louisiana Grey Shrimp with Asparagus, Potato Mousse, Chorizo and Candied Peanuts.
^ L: Scott Romano, Charlie Palmer at The Joule – Rabbit Agnolotti with Sweet Peas, Root Vegetables, Black Garlic and Rabbit Jus. Nice.
^ R: Graham Dodds, Bolsa – Veal Cheeks Braised in Milk and Graham’s Honey with Local Greens.
^ L: Luca Rutigliano, CordeValle – Pressed Watermelon and Crab Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing.
^ R: Daniel Echasseriau, Rosewood Corniche – Lamb Kofta over Hummus and Tabbouleh on Grilled Pita Bread.
^ L: Teiichi Sakurai, Tei-An – Seaweed Salad with Shrimp.
^ R: Jacques Sorci, The Carlyle – Beef Short Ribs with Carrot Puree, Brussels Sprouts and Zinfandel Sauce.
^ L: Bruno Davaillon, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek – Lobster Tartare with Fennel Puree, Bouillabaisse Jelly and Green Olive Crostini. My favorite version of this dish from Bruno.
^ R: Chefs know what’s up – congregating around Sharon Hage are Tei-An Chef/Owner Teiichi Sakurai, Mansion Exec Chef Bruno Davaillon, and outgoing Mansion Exec Sous, Eric Brandt (it was Eric’s last night!).
^ Nicolas Blouin, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek‘s new Pastry Chef created this Lollipop Flower Garden. We ate the many styles of these delightful confections late into the evening.
Between Savor Dallas’ heavily attended Arts District Wine Stroll on Friday and the Grand Tasting the following evening, discerning American Institute of Wine and Food members enjoyed Savor’s civilized wine and cheese pairing event at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. Well, somewhat civilized – things got rowdy in the Sheppard King suite about halfway through the eight wines. Of course, that’s part of the fun!
The delightful Paula Lambert brought along a lovely selection of her excellent Mozzarella Company cheeses, and The Mansion’s wonderful sommelier, Michael Flynn, offered inspired and clever wine pairings for each.
Michael Flynn is passionate about education, as devotees of his unpretentious and casual weekly Thursday Wine Chats, can attest. One lesson, that is always fun to explore, reveals that most cheeses actually pair much better with white wines – the results often sublime. The first four cheeses were paired with whites:
#1 Crescenza ~ “Singing” Gruner Veltliner, Laurenz V, Austria 2009
#2 Hoja Santa Goat ~ Terroir Coquerel, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa 2007 (Paula’s Hoja Sante wrapped Goat Cheese is a real treat.)
#3 Herbed Goat Log ~ Riesling Muhlheimer Sonnenlay, Dr. Richter, Mosel 2007
#4 Smoked Scamorza Cow ~ Folie à Deux Chardonnay, Napa 2009
#5 Montasio Festivo ~ Barbera Tre Vigne, Vietti, Piedmont, Italy 2007
#6 Black Pepper Caciotta ~ Alto Las Homigas Malbec Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina 2008
#7 Blanca Bianca ~ Moscatel Seleccion Especial, Jorge Ordoñez, Málaga, Spain 2007
#8 Deep Ellum Blue ~ Ferreira 20-year-old Tawny Port.
– some really amazing results.
Go visit Paula at her shop in Deep Ellum, and be sure to check out the fun at Michael Flynn’s Wine Chat at The Mansion, every Thursday at 6:15 sharp – it’s only 25 bucks, Michael won’t divulge the theme or selections before the event, and it”s the best deal in town!
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.
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.
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…)
^ The Mansion's Restaurant Week menu. "We'll do the Flynn's wine pairings as well."
^ 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:
^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).
^Michael Flynn's gracious table-side manner. Now to the RW menu: ^House-Made Salmon Gravlax with Shaved Fennel Salad.
^Watermelon Salad with Local Feta Cheese, Crispy Prosciutto and Pink Peppercorn Vinaigrette.
^Braised Veal Breast, Roasted Eggplant and Natural Jus; ^Sweet Corn Ravioli with Shrimp Bolognese Sauce. Nice.
^ 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.
^Chocolate Caramel Tart: Soft Caramel, Chocolate Ganache, Vanilla Ice Cream; ^Peach Sundae: Vanilla Panna Cotta, Poached Peach, Almond Crumble, Peach Ice Cream.
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.
For Leslie, here's a quickie post of some exceptional food I've recently enjoyed:
@ Tei-An ^ Tobiuo Sashimi (line-caught Flying Fish) with Ume Shiso Ae; ^ and my fave: Ankimo.
@ The Mansion:^ Bruno tried this "Surf & Turf" dish out on me as I sat in the bar: Crispy Pork Belly & Lobster Claws, Spicy Tamarind/Soy Sauce, Green Asparagus and Fresh Herb Salad. A version of this may show up here this Spring.
I was once again slinking around the bar at The Mansion recently…
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:
^ Charcuterie from Bruno’s family recipes. Nothing went to waste from this little piggy – and not a morsel remained on this plate.
^ 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…