Friday, June 25, 2010

How To Score A Goal In Service (World Cup Version)

Service is kind of like a soccer match - it's full of opportunities to score, and misses.  A few months ago I took Sister for her first visit to one of my favorite restaurants, I knew she'd love it and I was right.  We had a good server, in all respects technically good.  But during the appetizer portion of our meal, as we were faux fighting over the last deep fried asparagus spear (while the waiter laughed along with us) the damn thing flipped from both our forks and landed on the floor.  Awwww.  Completely our fault, granted, but an opportunity for the restaurant to make the goal........and missed.  The waiter simply laughed at the little guy on the floor, picked him up and that was the end. 

Now imagine if he had taken that situation, and gone back into the kitchen to get one more spear, just one, to present to us to "settle" our competition over who was going to get it.  Score. 

Tonight at Torchy's Taco's I had a manager score a goal off of a foul.  Twenty minutes after placing my to-go order, after people behind me in line were almost finished eating, they discovered my ticket was lost in the kitchen - no food started.  OK - first let me say they've been open for FOUR DAYS, so this is not the situation to be angry about.  But I wanted to see what the manager would do, so after requesting her and explaining reasonably the situation, Ms. Manager Kate delivered the points. 

I'd ordered 6 tacos and Kate gave me coupons for 6 free ones for future visits.  I'd ordered their deep-fried chocolate chip cookie balls (3 to an order) for three 15 year old girls, Kate gave me 3 more.  And the dude with the awesomely tatooed arms (best elbow I've ever seen done, IJS) sent me home with all three flavors of their brownies. (We are currently buzzing on sugar here, just sayin').

So yes, not all service scores a goal.  But I'm glad I gave Torchy's a chance to kick a penalty shot, because they delivered.  Missed goal or not, I'll be back.  Welcome, Torchy's, to our neighborhood.

Memory Lane, What Red-Blooded Girl Wouldn't Want A Guy Who Cooks Like This? Chapter 4

I remember the night I met my husband-to-be, at Beer Tent (aka Red Cedar Jubilee) in Williamston, Michigan 27 years ago this month.  Blue eyes, deep tan, tennis player legs, and can cook?  Dumb I've never been (and only stupid on a few occasions), I went for it.  In the intervening years we've put each other through college, lived in Dallas, Los Angeles, Poughkeepsie/Hyde Park (NY), raised two great kids, founded a business and faced cancer together.   It's been a delicious recipe.  I love you honey.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Memory Lane, Ultimate SideDish Supper - Chapter 3

Reason number one why I love D Magazine is because they have great writers.  Reason number two is because they have fun events, like the cruises they organized in 2003 and 2004, an opportunity to enjoy vacation with a group of Dallas chefs.   The picture above is from the 2003 cruise through the Caribbean with featured chef/restaurateurs Sevy, Kent Rathbun, Gilbert Garza, Lisa Garza, Chris Ward, Monica Greene, Joanne Bondy, and me.  The cruise left Ft. Lauderdale, right after they replaced the propellor that fell off as soon as we all boarded.  But a late start cannot stop a chef on vacation - I believe our group rocked that little ship like no other before it. 

Nancy Nichols, with Girl Friday Aimee Deputy (now at Central Market), set up such a fantastic program guests of the ship who were not part of our group were asking the cruise line if they could come to the cooking demonstrations.  Each stop included activities on islands with chefs, one time it was a market tour, another it was a round of golf, I believe Kent went scuba diving with a group.  And for those who had the stamina to stay up, Monica was crowned Queen of the discoteque by the time we left. 

Rocked. The. Casbah.

Memory Lane, Who Dat? - Chapter 2

From top, clockwise:  MM (left) with Robert Del Grande (Cafe Annie, Houston) at S. Texas Deer Ranch, 1988; MM (right) wth Sevy (left) in Florida circa 1992;  1989, Aspen Food & Wine Festival (from left), MM, Richard Chamberlain, Lisa Chamberlain, Sevy.

Let's just call him Mystery Man, or MM for short.  While here he earned raves for his cuisine, but I won't say where.    If you can give him a name and the place he imprinted with his excellent cuisine, you win a jar of Sevy's Ancho Chile Relish.   If you can give me the details on where he is now living and working, I'll cough up a $25 Sevy's Grill gift certificate.  Because there's a bunch of us here who miss him. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Memory Lane, Name the Chefs - Chapter 1

I have been shoveling cleaning out Corporate for two days now, and it looks like there's another 2 days of work left to go.  I'm not the most enthusiastic secretary when it comes to filing, let's just say I save it up for a 4-day file-a-thon.  Kind of like blog posts sometimes.

This week in the interest of (little) time, I will be posting old pictures from Dallas' kitchens.  So it's time for another contest:  whoever is first to name all twelve chefs in the picture above wins a $25 Sevy's gift certificate (hint, middle row right happens to be my boss).

UPDATE:  I'm changing the rules - whoever names the MOST chefs in the picture above wins (about 3/4 have their names on their chest, just sayin').  And this contest is open to everyone - professional or not.

June Wine and Food Dinner at Sevy's

Join us on Monday, June 28th for our special wine and food dinner,
"The Thrill of the Grill"
featuring four courses of grilled specialties for summer, each paired with a delicious wine to compliment each course. Sparkling reception begins at 6:30, dinner at 7:00, $59.95 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Seating is limited, reservations required, contact Jimmy, Stefaan or Amy M. at or (214)265-7289 (no OpenTable reservations please).

Chipotle Deviled Egg
Cristalino, Sparkling
Free Range BBQ Chicken with Iron Skillet Spoon Bread and Peach Chutney
Melville, Viognier, 2009
Watermelon, Tomato & Feta Salad with Balsamic Glazed Jumbo Shrimp
Pavi, Dolcetto, 2005
Jerk Spiced Flatiron Steak, Toasted Pumpkin Seed Rice with Pineapple Salsa and Crispy Plantains
Melville Syrah, Verna’s Vineyard, 2008
Banana Split
Steele, Syrah Port

8201 Preston Road, Dallas 75225
(214) 265-7389 * *

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Restaurant Scam Underway In Dallas

I heard about a variation on this scam on the news (yesterday?), wherein "city inspectors" were showing up at suburban businesses saying that they were there to perform a necessary inspection and the business would have to (immediately) pay a fee to the inspector if they wanted to "pass".  It may have been a local station, or it may have been on TXCN about another Texas city, in which case the scam has now moved to restaurants in Dallas.

Yesterday at the restaurant we received a call from the "city health department" saying we were due for an inspection, referring to Case #90908, and they would be coming by to perform the inspection.  Apparently they didn't realize we'd just HAD our city inspection, so Sevy's called the City of Dallas to ask "What's what?".

The city replied that it has received three other calls today from restaurants in Dallas who have received these same calls.  So if they happen to come by, do us all a favor.  Take them in the kitchen and yell to your staff, "Estos chicos son de Arizona y que 'El Tri' lleva su ropa interior madres."  Then just leave them in the kitchen with your guys while you call the police.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dallas Houston's To Become Hillstone

Stopped by the spot in Preston Center tonight for a bite to eat after the monthly "Syndicate" investment club meeting.  And there painted onto the front entry glass was "".  When asked, our server informed us that they would be making the name conversion by the end of July - however the Addison location would remain a Houston's.  And Cafe R & D will remain Cafe R & D.   Houston's, Dallas wishes you adieu (but hey, we join the ranks of New York, San Francisco and Boston, IJS).

NOTE:  I was once a Houston's server at the Walnut Hill location (which is supposed to be re-opening as Glen Lakes Grill per the TABC application pasted on the front window).  I just hope they keep the Grilled Chicken Salad.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sevy's Summer Scotch Club Is Back!

Join us for the return of our four course Scotch Club Tasting featuring the flavors of Glenmorangie on Tuesday, June 15th at 6:00 p.m.  Sevy and Buzzy have created an assortment of delicious petite bouchée to compliment each scotch.  $44.95 per person (plus tax and gratuity), seating is limited and reservations required.  Contact Jimmy, Stefaan or Amy M. at (214) 265-7389, or (no OpenTable reservations, please).

Chunky Lobster Cappucino
Glenmorangie, Original 10 Year

Jumbo BBQ Shrimp Skewered on Crispy Polenta with Texas Peach Relish
Glenmorangie, La Santa, 12 Year Old

Smoked Gouda and Ham Croquettes with Red Pepper Ranch
Glenmorangie, Quinta Ruban, 12 Year Old

Braised Beef Short Rib Sliders with Caramelized Shallot Mayo and Horseradish Pickle
Glenmorangie, Nectar D’or, 12 Year Old and Glenmorangie, 18 Year Old

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cooking For Success in DISD

Yeah, duh, if you've been reading this blog you'd know that I'm thrilled about the news of success in DISDNot that news, the news that Chef Brad Trudeau, Director of Production and Procurement is heading to the White House to help Michelle Obama figure out a better diet for school kids.  He, along with hundreds of chefs, school nutritionists and others are promoting "Chefs Move To Schools", which by its description sounds very much like the Days of Taste program held every year at the Dallas Farmers' Market. 

By bringing in chefs (and food producers) to talk to kids, and helping them find a way to make that food taste good, they are changing the impression kids have of fresh vegetables, and any mom knows that's half the battle.  One interesting addition to the First Lady's program is teaching the parents how to prepare fresh vegetables that the kids will like via cooking classes up at school.  I cannot tell you how many children participate in Days of Taste who have either, 1) never tasted most of the vegetables found in the market, or 2) a negative impression of how they taste.  Let's change that, shall we?

Brad Trudeau participates in Days of Taste, the picture above is from two years ago when he talked to the kids of Kramer Elementary (rated Academically Exemplary this year, applause) about the food they eat.  I remember him as a patient, quiet man who enjoyed answering the wacky questions 4th graders can sometimes come up with. 

Congratulations Brad - and remember, don't stop until every school has a salad bar!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quote of the Night

"Where is your salmon from?"

"It's Atlantic salmon, Pacific-ly raised."

Oh really?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Special B. R. Cohn Wine Dinner, Thursday, June 10th

With Winemaker Tom Montgomery
Join us on Thursday June 10, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. for a very special Sevy's Wine and Food Dinner featuring five courses of specially created dishes paired with excellent wines from B. R. Cohn Winery. Seating for this dinner is limited, reservations are required, $69.95 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Contact Jimmy, Stefaan or Amy M. at (214) 265-7389 or (no OpenTable reservations please).

Crab Gratin on Sourdough Toast Point
B.R. Cohn, Rhone Style Rose, 2009

Chilled Asparagus Soup with Shrimp SkewerB.R. Cohn, Sonoma County Chardonnay, 2008

Duck Confit Salad with Roasted Corncake and Blackberry Vinaigrette
B.R. Cohn, Silver Label Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007
Black Angus Strip Loin on Buttermilk Blue Cheese Whipped Potatoes with Summer Squash Hash and Caramelized Shallot Sauce
B.R. Cohn, Sonoma Valley Zinfandel, 2007

Dark Chocolate-Walnut Brownie with White Chocolate Ice Cream
B.R. Cohn, Sonoma Valley Merlot, 2007

8201 Preston Road, Dallas, TX 75225