Friday, July 31, 2009

On The Road - Where I Would Eat In Boston Again, and Again

As I mentioned before, we made a quick trip to Boston and had a great time eating while we were there. Here are some of the highlights.

Regina's Pizza was worth the 45 minute wait in the rain, and I'm married to a guy who will not wait - usually. Located in the North End, that's all they sell, pizza, no salads, no desserts, only pizza. OK, so you can get a nice pitcher of beer there too, the wine selection is limited and adequate, but who cares - it's about the pizza.

Toro, a Spanish tapas restaurant rocked our world. Their menu is extensive, using only the finest ingredients, except we all were a little puzzled at their house specialty corn (on the cob) . For being prime corn season, it was amazingly small kernels, but that may be due to their preparation methods. It wasn't the best thing we had there, but it was pretty darn good.

Fajitas and Ritas near Downtown Crossing was a quick stop after a 5 hour flight and hunger pangs in everyone's stomach, it was within a quick walk of our hotel. Not bad, it had an unusual system of ordering food and beverages, the waiter gives the guest a checklist for them to fill out their order. For a chain not located in the Southwest, it was pretty good food. Tucked in next to them was Brattle Book Shop, located in an old 3 story house with an open air lot full of books marked down to $3-$5, bonus!

Wagamama is a small local chain of Asian fusion, mostly noodle dishes. We went to the one at Faneuil Hall, sat on the patio and watched the street performers that draw crowds to the area. By the time our noodles were ordered, delivered and eaten we watched a guy strung upside down in a straight-jacket, contort his way out and end up right side up.

Lambert's was a small grocer/deli on Tremont Street across from the Commons. We just stopped in for limes, but wish we'd purchased some sandwiches there to picnic in the park. We instead dined on leftover pizza from Regina's on a bench by the Swan Pond, but there are many great sitting areas within this beautiful setting, and be sure to walk the Freedom Trail, it begins here.

We had a late lunch bayside at The Barnacle in Marblehead after our outing of lobstering. It is a truly local place with a charming hotel attached, heavy fresh seafood emphasis on the menu, however I had a BLT (I don't eat fish or seafood), but the setting was beautiful, it reminded me of Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.

We took a cab out to Cambridge and enjoyed a family dinner at Grafton Street across from Hah-vahd Yahd. It was very lively even at 10:00, the open windows along it's front fed from the energy of the street and vice versa. It looked like a nice local place.

We also went to a Tuscan Italian spot in the North End, Antico Forno Pizza Restaurant, it touted it's gnocchi which is one of those foods in my "must eat" rolodex. Our waiter tried to convince us on another dish, we should have listened. Unfortunately, the pizza and pasta were pretty good, the gnocchi was just OK, and the service, well I think we insulted him when we ignored his advice. I pinned 2 $1 bills on the Saints collections strips just in case.

While we were up there a huge controversy ensued - not just Gates vs. Crowley, but Mike's vs. Modern for Italian pastries. While we had one lady at Starbuck's swear by Modern, we had six people recommend Mike's so we waited in line (in the rain) to purchase a box of four pastries. Let me just say, that whether or not Modern is better (since we didn't compare we couldn't say for sure), it could only be by a minutely incremental amount because Mike's was downright damn good.

Best thing I had in Boston? Why it was at the Red Sox game, they have TWO flavors of cotton candy, I tried both, and they actually had flavor (unlike our Ballpark) of cherry and blueberry. And their peanuts were the best I've had in the last 4 years of baseball games, it was amazing how fresh they were compared to those we get here in Dallas. What's up with that? Kevin?

Caesar Chef

All Hail the 18th Winner of the Annual Caesar Salad Competition. Who will it be - well you will decide if you attend this Romaine event. Featuring an afternoon of wine, salad, raffle, silent auction, live auction, Scott Murray as Celebrity Emcee and Chef John Tesar who was Caesar 17, anchovies! - how could it miss for fun? Hubby (Caesar 6) usually takes one of the kids, they love tasting one of their favorite salads made in ten different ways.

So buy tickets today for this fun, endive(r) on August 30th from 4:30 to 8:30 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, downtown. Tickets are available from the American Institute of Wine and Food $65 in advance for members, $75 for non-members.

And remember, not only is there an open wine bar, but the finest restaurants in Dallas will be competing their salad forks off for the title for Caesar 18, including: Anthony Bombaci (Nana at the Hilton Anatole Hotel), Eric Brandt (Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek), Tiffany Derry (Go Fish Ocean Club), Eric Dreyer (Fearing's at The Ritz-Carlton), jW Foster (The Pyramid Restaurant & Bar at the Fairmont Hotel), Tracy Miller (Local), Grant Morgan (Dragonfly Restaurant at the Hotel ZaZa), Jeff Moschetti (The Landmark Restaurant at the Warwick Melrose Hotel), Daniel Nemec (Kirby's Steak House), Brian Wubbena (Truluck's).

This party sells out quickly, make your reservations today!

Sevy's August Cocktail - Dripping Springs Rickey

A delightfully fresh classic cocktail with a Texas twist. We will be featuring the Dripping Springs Rickey, with Dripping Springs vodka, raspberry syrup, fresh lime juice and club soda, $7.95.

Dripping Springs Vodka is made about 3 hours south of Dallas by former Dallasites (and brothers) Kevin and Gary Kelleher, who in the brief 3 years of operations have had to battle back from two fires and a flood. But I could see why people keep buying out their small production, it was smooth and lovely, and well perfect for this summer cocktail.

OK, so I had a similar drink in Boston at Toro, and I loved it - and I don't drink vodka (very often). And at the SW Food Expo, I had four tastes of Dripping Springs vodka, four, and I don't drink vodka (very often). But it was a natural to pair these two up, and since there is a GO TEXAN expo in town this month, why not feature a great Texas product?

So I called dibs on the Cocktail of the Month at Sevy's, and I even got to make the raspberry syrup, which I've been using all week to make virgin Rickey's at home.

I'll leave the making of the perfect cocktail to the boys down at the bar, but I'll share with you here the makings of a perfect raspberry simple syrup.

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. water
12 oz. fresh raspberries

Mix together in small pan, heat over low heat for 20 minutes. Do not let come to a boil - the lower you keep the temperature the clearer the raspberry flavor. Remove from heat, mash lightly to release juices, let set for 1 hour. Strain with fine strainer. Keep refrigerated.

AARRGH It's Friday, and $1.65 Gas

I have finally come to the breaking point, it's Friday afternoon, the last day of July and even though I'm on a deadline to finish June's financial statements, I'm giving in to the list of things waiting to be blogged about (sorry honey!).

So I'm tucking away the Quickbooks in favor of blogspot to do a quick blogathon for your Friday afternoon reading enjoyment.

And starting it off is my sharing of the $1.65 premium gas I pumped into hubby's SUV this week. What does this have to do with food? Well for years I've been shopping at the Tom Thumb on my corner, dutifully recording each transaction on my Rewards card, answering the checkout clerk "Uh, hunh", whenever they asked if I was aware of their gas special. But few Tom Thumbs in North Dallas have gas pumps, so I've never put it to the test.

Then this week I stopped by the Tom Thumb on Lovers, across from Central Market, and lo' and behold, I'd earned a discount of $.90 per gallon! I don't know if I blew out my discount in that one 20 gallon fill, but my car's getting low so I'm going to try it again pretty soon!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sex a la Lobster (Note: This Contains NO Adult-Only Content)

Courtesy of lobstermen Captain Bruce and hunky First Mate Fred aboard the F/V Hannah Mary, they were kind enough to take our group on the bay to show us how lobsters are harvested from the approved hunting areas.

Sorry about the poor camera shots, it was done with a regular Nikon camera, and the boat was bumpy, and there were all these lines and plastic tubing to navigate around. That having been said, it was the Cleanest Boat Ever, and a great lesson on the hard work these men do to make a living.

I can only imagine that this title will result in the most google hits ever to my blog.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back From Beantown

The family went up east to visit our seafood purveyor, Steve Connolly Seafood who ships our seafood fresh, overnight to Sevy's as well as to many Dallas area restaurants. It was a great time, the temperatures were blessedly cool, yet the high humidity kept it from feeling chilly (most days). We fed the swans at the Swan Pond in the Commons, ate twice in the North End, took in a Sox game, sat oceanside at a park in the South End. We were all enthralled with the history, the cuisine, and the traditions of this fine city.

I came home with 5 new old cookbooks, and there's some great seafood recipes going back to the 1860's. We had some of the best restaurant service ever, Kitty (aka Kirsten Amann), who introduced us to the organization, Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails, or LUPEC (Boston Chapter), whose mission statement is "Breeding, raising, and releasing nearly extinct drinks into the wild". I'm going through my oldest beverage books to see if I can send them a few they don't already have.

Learned a few new things, things like: noodling, wolffish, how to tell a boy lobster from a girl (film coming soon), how to pronounce Gloucester, Regina's has the best pizza in the world (sorry Lou), and wearing a Texas Rangers shirt is not so smart when they sweep the Red Sox in all three games. I don't think we had a bad meal the entire time, and while I don't review restaurants, I'll be sharing later the list of places that we'd go back to again.

Dallas Zoo's "Gone Wild!"

Last year's event got "Sp-Iked", forcing a rescheduling to a later (and cooler) date than the traditional late September. Everyone loved it, so this years party is being held in the early Dallas fall, when temperatures are more comfortable in the evenings.

So get wild with the others at 5 o'clock October 10th down at the Dallas Zoo for the annual Zoo-To-Do fund raiser, a great event with exclusive evening party at the zoo. This years event is raising funds for the new Savannah exhibit (Lucy's new home), a 10 acre habitat which will also house the giraffes, lions, and wild dogs (got a few of those myself). Libations, auctions, dancing and live entertainment accessorize the 25 restaurants that will be preparing some of their delicacies for the guests that evening.

Tickets are not inexpensive at $250, but it's a fund raiser, and the food, the evening, the entertainment do give a great deal of value to offset the cost. And there are only so many tickets available - they typically sell out.

Here's the list of participating restaurants and their chefs/owners that will be Going Wild that evening: Abacus (Kent Rathbun, Rick Griggs), Chamberlains Steak & Chop House and Fish Market Grill (Richard Chamberlain), Dakota's Steakhouse (Gerardo Hurtado), Dallas Affairs Cake Company (Travis Barrett), Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House (David Holben), Eatzi's Market & Bakery (Jim Dunleavy), Empire Baking Company (Meadors Ozarow), Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck (Sara Johannes), Go Fish Ocean Club (Tiffany Derry), Gregorio's Catering (Greg Draxler), Kenny's Wood Fired Grill (Kenny Bowers), Maguire's Restaurant & Catering (Alberto Solis), Margeaux's a restaurant by design (Kay Agnew), Maximo Cocina Mexicana and Margarita Lounge (Amador Mora), Mozzarella Company (Paula Lambert), Nick & Sam's Steakhouse (Israel Voirin), Opio Restaurant at the Hilton Park Cities Hotel (Billy Webb), The Place at Perry's (Travis Henderson, II), Sevy's Grill (Sevy, and me too), Shinsei (T. J. Lengnick, Tracy Rathbun, Lynae Fearing), Sullivan's Steakhouse (Kenny Mills), Suze Restaurant (Gilbert Garza), Taste of the Wild Catering at the Dallas Zoo, Tillman's Roadhouse (Dan Landsberg), Woodlands American Grill (Carlos Marin, John Nickolas).

Also providing culinary services before this great event: Al Biernat's who will be hosting the Patron Party, Cabot Creamery is donating the Wine Tasting Party, and Gregorio's Catering is doing the Kick Off Party.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Is Tea The New Food Franchise Trend?

I noticed at the SW Food Expo earlier this month a heavy emphasis on beverages, from smoothie mixes to teas. And then today when getting my quarterly coiffure the girls at Michael Raymond (Hi girls!) told me the former Quizno's spot at Preston/Forest is going to be a tea shop.

Village Tea Company has a sign up, they're moving quickly (September according to their website). They have a kid's area, "a supervised, comfortable, educational and fun experience for kids while parents continue with the things they do, all while parents can keep an eye on them via closed circuit television." This could be very handy for PTA meetings for moms with younger kids at home.

It appears to be geared towards a sit and relax environment, rather than a get your drink and go, or in their words, "where moms, friends, young professionals, all of them finding their own personal escape". IJS, mine does not involve a shop with kids running around it. And it looks like smoothies will be on the menu as well.

Anyhow, I guess tea is the latest in a series of stores seeking to sell a $3 price point for something that costs pennies to produce. If that game plan still works, somebody needs to start a cotton candy store on this corner!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"We're Not Worthy!"

Said the perfectly ripe beefsteak tomato to the juicy sweet peach. They were referring to the Curds 'n Cream "cottage" cheese made by Dallas' own Mozzarella Company. I had picked up the tomato and the peach at McCall's stand in Blanco two days ago, and wanted to make a salad when Sevy told me about this culinary delight!

So today I ran down to their Deep Ellum factory (open to the public) and picked up a small container for $4.98. Once home I made this salad based on a childhood full of cottage cheese salads, which was enough for two to share, well except I was the only one home.

Large dice beefsteak or heirloom tomato
Large dice (peeled) peach
1 c. Curds 'n Cream cheese
Chopped fresh chives
Salad grind pepper (to taste)
Salt (to taste)

According to Mozzarella Company owner Paula Lambert, this cheese is not made like a traditional cottage cheese, indeed it's mozzarella influence shows in it's mild flavor. The milk used to make this cheese is also the same milk she uses for mozzarella, from farms in the Stephenville/Cleburne area. I usually prefer a cottage cheese with drier curds - but this cheese's cream mixture was absolutely wonderful.

Originally created for Kent Rathbun's Blue Plate Kitchen, he had a 90 day "exclusive", but now also uses it at his Jasper's Restaurant. It is also available for sale at Central Market, put it on your shopping list today!

281 Reasons To Drive To San Antonio

What do you get when you put two 15 year old girls, a laptop, headphones and three seasons of CSI Miami on DVD in the back seat of a car for a 5 hour drive? Silence. But to be fair to Sister, only the day before we'd driven 9 hours from Columbia, Missouri to Dallas, so she was a little road weary. Not me, I couldn't wait to get on the road, because I love the drive south - no, no, no, not the drive on I-35, the drive on Highway 281. Most people believe that because you stop in several small Texas towns along the way that it is longer trip - every time I've gone this way (non-stop) it's taken 5 hours flat, which is about the same as the interstate, just delete the semis and the crazy drivers.

And the towns are the point of this ride. They have some great treasures, from antiques to food to historical significance, even the smallest communities have something of interest to look at as you pass by. For those not in a rush, spend an entire day stopping along the way - it's really a hidden Texas jewel of a road trip.

From Dallas you head south on Highway 67, passing the ugly monolithic Midlothian cement plants, dusty and dry structures plopped in the land of flat. But beyond, the scenery becomes more beautiful beginning with the semi-arid plateaus that emerge from the rolling prairies in Glen Rose. Turning south to catch 281 in Hico the landscape becomes more agricultural, hay was being harvested, cattle, horses and goats are plentiful. The hills become taller as you approach the "lake region" around Marble Falls, a beautiful town on the west end of Lake Travis. Between the lake and San Antonio is the Pedernales, and their hilly beauty is accentuated with the rivers Comal and Guadaloupe winding within.

And food? This route could be an orgy for Texas gourmands: BBQ, jerky, bakeries, cheese makers, a chocolateria, fruit stands. And for those willing to go off-roading a bit, shooting off to the east and west of 281 are the Texas wineries in Llano, Wimberly and other small towns. Also olive farms are in abundance in the region as discovered recently when researching where to buy one for my backyard.

Yikes - I need to set this up as a food tour for others looking for an agri-licious experience!

Maybe you too collect aged items related to food, well US281 has the density of antique stores to keep even a quick shopper busy for a week. And some years there are nesting bald eagles over towards Llano that can be fun for those who love bird watching. Looking for a higher activity level? There's tubing or canoeing - you can rent equipment on the Brazos river in Glen Rose or choose between the Colorado, Comal or Guadaloupe rivers in south Texas.

Ultimately you come to San Antonio, and we took advantage of the summer's special rate at Hotel Contessa, $129 (weeknight rate, as advertised in this months DMagazine) for a suite in a beautiful hotel located along the river. Our room overlooked the "marriage island", one of several small islands with over 150 years of history. Additional costs at the hotel include $30 per night valet (pretty standard to pay for parking in downtown SA), and $10 per night for Internet connection (or you can use their business center computers for free). But hey, they stock Aveda products in the bathroom, the rooftop pool is amazing (especially at night), and their bar knows what a "healthy" pour is.

During the days we went to Seaworld (very hot) and Schlitterbahn (hot, but who cares if you stay in the lazy river all day?). Seaworld was having an internet rate special as well, adult tickets were lowered to the kids ticket price. I thought the $2 we saved online for Schlitterbahn was good, until I realized that we could have saved another $10 per pass by purchasing them at the HEB down on the corner in New Braunfels (or any located in the Austin/San Antonio region - just not Dallas, we don't have HEB in Dallas).

At night, all the riverwalk restaurants were just a block away, our customary first evening meal at Casa Rio did not disappoint. You can even combine the river boat tour with an evening of dinner, they have several "dinner boats" that feed you while you learn about the city's history.

On the road trip back north, we stopped at a fruit stand between Marble Falls and Blanco, I'd noticed the large peach orchard next to it and had made a mental note to return. McCall Creek Farms - this place, out of all the others is the one I would return to again and again. Peaches, tomatoes, melons, peppers, okra, home canned and home baked items, homemade vanilla ice cream made with chopped peaches folded within. Total spent $71, but we left with a car full of eats.

Now here's my really helpful hint, Hamilton has a state trooper's headquarters, and they take the 70 mph speed limit on that stretch of road very seriously. They'll be warning you too if you're going too fast.

Sevy's July Food and Wine Dinner Menu

Join us on Monday, July 27th for a sizzling
Gourmet Backyard BBQ
at Sevy's monthly Food and Wine Dinner. Each course features grilled specialties paired with wines selected to compliment each course. Four courses plus a refreshing summer cocktail reception, $59.95 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Reception begins at 6:30, seating is limited. Contact Jimmy, Stefaan or Amy M. at (214) 265-7389 or at

BBQ Shrimp on Grilled Pineapple Square
Watermelon Spritzer

Grilled Lobster Tail with Golden Tomato Gazpacho and Cilantro Butter
Kenwood, Yulupa Chardonnay, California

Grilled Portabella-Texas Onion Skewer on Arugula Salad with Balsamic Streaks
Kenwood, Pinot Noir, Russian River

Grilled Sirloin on Creamy Buttermilk Blue Cheese Orzo Pasta with Lemon Poached Asparagus and Caramelized Shallot Sauce
Lake Sonoma, Cabernet, Alexander Valley

Peaches and “S’mores”
Korbel Brandy with Chilled Soda and Peach

Is there a "dream menu" you'd like to serve a group of friends? We can create a personalized wine and food menu for you, either in our private dining room or in the comfort of your home if you'd prefer. Contact us about our catering and private dining room experiences at (214) 265-7389 or .

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hunting For A Quick Getaway

Hot in Dallas in late June, hot in Glen Rose as well, so why not be hot out there? "There" being Rough Creek Lodge, where friend Gerard Thompson is Executive Chef over this upscale hunting resort approximately 1 1/2 hours southwest of Dallas. It's a quick trip that transposes you from the "citified" green North Texas to the cusp of the desert southwest, with semi-arid plateaus arising from the ravines that mark the northern end of Texas' Hill Country. This is the Texas of the 1800's, the Chisolm trail, and on the drive out you'll pass by more than a few longhorns.

Rough Creek Lodge sits at the base of Chalk Mountain, quite a distance down a county road that continues seemingly forever until you turn into the resort entry. A long and beautiful drive across the rolling grounds, over four dry creek beds and around the lake, you arrive at the limestone building, modern, yet fitting of the starkness of it's setting.

While built primarily as a hunting resort/lodge it is no less a luxury hotel with an emphasis on 5 star accommodations in every respect. It is quintessential boutique: small, elite, with a purpose that services the upscale hunting niche. Or the guest who wants to get away to a world-class resort within a close driving distance of Dallas.

An exclusive hotel with only 51 rooms, the initial reaction to the room rate of $270 per person (based on double occupancy - essentially $540 per night for two) may elicit a slight gasp. But the price includes such things as a three-course dinner, a full gourmet breakfast the next morning, and the list of included resort activities is impressively lengthy.

Unlike a recent San Antonio stay which charged an extra $30 per night for parking and $10 for Internet access, about 90% of the activities are included with the nightly rate (among the extras - spa services, horseback riding, small charge for skeet shooting for ammo and clays). And they invite people to continue their stay even after checkout time, offering to hold their bags until they choose to leave the lake or pool, this stay could conceivably be stretched into two days and one night.

After check-in, everyone in the family had their eye on a different activity. Since it was over 100 degrees, mine involved (air conditioned) antique shopping in Stephenville, 20 minutes down the road. Sister was treated to her first massage, she declared afterwards it was glorious, then she enjoyed their large pool and water slide. The Boy and his Dad used the resorts guns to shoot skeet, then utilized their fishing boat for a little "catch and release". We all met up back in our amazing accommodations, all rooms face the north/north-east and overlook the lake and as the sun set the temperatures began to drop as hubby and I enjoyed a bottle of Chardonnay we'd brought along.

The restaurant's dinner menu is based primarily on product that is in season, chef Gerard is a California native and loves to utilize the freshest ingredients in his cuisine. I can't do his cooking justice, and I don't review restaurants, so I'm just going to post the entire menu for that evening - just remember it changes:

Starter: Grilled Texas Quail (Beluga lentils, Tasso ham & sherry maple glaze), Pan Roasted Hudson Valley Foie Gras (black pepper biscuit, shaved parma proscuitto, house made Texas peach chutney), Peach Barbecued Gulf Shrimp (Anson Mills grits and sun flower sprouts), Iron Skillet Seared Rare "Kobe Beef Sirloin" Tostada (tomatilla sauce), Poblano Pepper & Cheddar Cheese Soup (smoked duck-sweet corn fritter), Oak Grilled Wedge of Romaine (tomato caper relish & romano cheese), Warm Baby Spinach Salad (hard cooked egg, oak grilled mushrooms, red onions and mustard vinaigrette).

Main Course: Potato Crusted Halibut (oak grilled locally grown zucchini, warm heirloom tomato saffron vinaigrette and radish micro greens from the green house), Bourbon-Molasses Soaked Moulard Duck Breast (goat cheese-asparagus "mac & cheese"), Hard Wood Grilled Pork T-Bone (wild flower honey-chipotle chile whipped sweet potatoes and spinach roasted over the oak grill), Oak Grilled Filet Mignon (caramelized onion whipped potatoes, roasted asparagus, charred tomato-red wine sauce and aged black garlic), Black Pepper-Lime Marinated Hanging Tender Steak (house smoked bacon-sweet corn hash & tomato chutney).

Desserts: Valrhona Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Pound Cake (peanut butter ice cream), Vanilla Bean Banana Pudding (crisp phyllo & ginger caramel sauce), Warm Texas Pecan Pie (bourbon molasses sauce and vanilla bean ice cream), Baked To Order Texas Peach Cobbler (vanilla bean ice cream and peach ginger-lime sorbet).

Enough about the food, except that they grow their own herbs and greens in their green house, and except that we porked out on the breads that they make in-house (as well as all the sorbets and ice creams). In fact, we had no room for dessert by the time the course came around, and requested it "to go", which they informed us would be awaiting us in our room. And it was. A sign of the exemplary service they offer, reinforced the next morning when they called the room to let us actually know that brunch was ending - and we'd been missed so they just wanted to be sure we knew. The boys had gone out for more fishing and the girls were eating dessert for breakfast, but the call was very much appreciated.

From the blazing bright stars in a moonless sky that accentuated the ruralness, to the deer that wandered in the strip of land between the hotel and the lake the next morning, we were transposed to another Texas, close but not Dallas, if only for one night.

So why else read this useless blog, unless to get some extra inside scoop. Here's what I'd suggest to stretch the most out of your stay, this is the kind of place that will accommodate if they can. If you are staying on a slower evening, say a weeknight in late July or August - at check-in you may want to see if they'll upgrade your room to one of the Presidential suites, it can't hurt to ask. Or at dinner, ask if the excellent breads are available to take home, we left with a goodie bag of 3 different breads and two kinds of cookies for our drive. It was almost gone by the time we arrived home.

DISCLOSURE: We didn't get free accommodations, but we did have an "employee rate" based on the chef-brethren relationship (and many years of dining at RCL over the years). I don't think they even know I write a blog, nor was it ever discussed. I in no way altered the delightfulness of our stay in order to convince people to visit this wonderful place. I think I'm pretty sure, anyhow.

I Think They Should Call It Woodie's

Y'know, casual bar, 19th hole kind of thing. From Restaurant Hospitality, word on Tiger's latest project.

Everyone wants to be a restaurateur.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On The Road - Points North, South, East and West

Travel over the last month has consisted of quick family getaways, but they've all had two things in common. The car and the heat. Some destinations, like Van, Texas (east) and Columbia, MO (north) were definitely not food related, but points west (Glen Rose) and south (San Antonio) were about the food as much as the mini-vacation.

After this week's airplane mishap I'm beginning to see hubby's aversion to flying, friendly skies or not. Besides, we're more "it's about the ride than the destination" folks. I could easily see us in semi-retirement with a little traveling home, equipped with a little Combi Oven and a wood-burning grill, going from fishing spot to fishing spot around the country. Well, maybe after college tuition for both kids have been paid.

Hot, hot, hot, of course my theory is that wherever we go it is going to turn hot. In a couple weeks I'll be putting that theory to the test. IJS, regardless of the forecast, Boston, break out your summer clothes.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Perfectly Crappy

Reading the UT-D School of Management alumni ('90) magazine turned up the greatest "Dallas" food find, Jennifer Schaertl and her website, . A 2003 graduate of UT-D, she then spent several years in Brooklyn, learning how to manage to cook in a 300 square foot apartment.

Returning to Dallas she attended El Centro's culinary school, and in March was hired as the head chef at the North Central Surgical Center at Central and Park Lane. Previous Dallas employers include Savory, Taste, The Grape and Suze restaurants.

But the juicy part is the publication in the fall of her book, Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens (HCI Books), and apparently a proposed TV show which is being shopped to producers according to the website. Until such time, you can enjoy her gig here, her Crappy Little Kitchen Video and sign up for her newsletter at her Crappy Little Guestbook with the 115 others who have already done so.

She credits skills she learned in The School of Management for helping her draft her business plans and proposals. I completely concur.

I love this crap! Good luck Jennifer!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sevy's Summer News

From the July newsletter, what's new this month includes:

4th of July weekend hours: Open for lunch and dinner on Friday, Dinner on Saturday and Dinner on Sunday.

Our July Food & Wine dinner is on Monday, July 27th, "Grilling on a Summer Evening". Four courses (each with a grilled element) paired with the tasty wines of Kenwood Vineyards. Champagne reception begins at 6:30, $59.95 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Seating is limited and reservations are required. Contact Jimmy, Stefaan or Amy M. at (214)265-7389 or .

July bar promotions include:
Monday - Bacardi Dragonberry Rum, $5.95
Tuesday - Moretti Italian Bierra, $3.50
Wednesday - Dewars 12 year old, $5.95
Thursday - Prairie Vodka, $4.99
Friday - Partida Tequila Margaritas, $5.99
Also, Monday through Friday at the bar for the ladies, selected wines by the glass, 1/2 price!

Come by and see us at 8201 Preston Road. We take reservations for any size party.