Trinity Groves, nestling at the western foot of Santiago Calatrava’s architectural masterpiece bridge, was packed on Thursday night as Savor Dallas kicked off its 2014 festival (March 20th-23rd, 2014) with a first-class event pairing the restaurants of what might be described as the opening fission of Trinity Groves, wines from the whole planet including Texas wineries Fall Creek Vintners and Becker Vineyards proudly leading with their wines from Texas-grown grapes and saying it loud and clear on the front label. Beer aficionados could choose between a beer made within a drunkard’s stagger of the event location (Four Corners Brewing Company – which is on the same street) or Belgium’s Stella Artois, where impossibly thin, impossibly blond, gals gave out commemorative glasses for attendees to take home. I previously reported how rapidly Four Corners Brewing Company is establishing itself, despite their newness on the Dallas beer scene (in fact, they have even taken design of their web site away from the four-year old that had it previously – next event is this Saturday 6pm — beer with local food — and it looks i-c-e c-o-o-l). Judging by the lines, they were a hit at the show.
On to the restaurants, and food vendors inhabiting Da Grove.
Resto Gastro Bistro opens in October. It is New American with Asian and French influences. I had no idea what to expect from that explanation except that is wasn’t BBQ. Their Ponzu Oyster Shooters fixed the concept more clearly for me. Imagine one of those plastic containers used for salsa at Taco Cabana – but empty. Plop an Oyster in it, then surround the oyster with mango-forward ceviche, then top it with a sriracha-like chile sauce. I only had eight of these, so that tells you how ambivalent I was. D.J. Quintanilla is the chef behind these glorious appetizers (just have cocktail sticks next time) and that nice lady in the picture is the owner. She told me her name but they put Resto right below the speaker system and it got drowned in rock music (please identify yourself in the comments!).
3015 at Trinity Groves had a most delicious, and impracticable, dish with Steamed Mussels with a Tarragon Cream Sauce. Only way to eat mussels is with your hands and mine still smell of seafood. Not sure when they open, but watch Crave to check this place out.
Kate Weiser of Kate Weiser Chocolates looks like the girl-next-door. Her chocolate truffles are filled with 15-year old Glenfiddich Scotch Whisky. I have always taken the view that any woman with a truffle filled with 15-year old Glenfiddich can’t be all bad, and Kate’s business, based in here in Trinity Groves, looks like it is going to be a huge success. If you have holiday events planned, check out her chocolates (including the truffle), and she will be at the wonderful Dallas Chocolate Conference on October 26th for those serious about comparing local producers (and, like craft brewers, they have multiplied in the last five years — lucky us).
I had to post the sign of St. Rocco’s. It says “Italian, Italian Food”. Like, did Greenland steal some? “Fetid Shark con ravioli”, maybe? These guys want to emphasize their authenticity and underlined the fact with Three Cheese Crepe Manicotti with House Marinara. Only their hyper-efficient service kept the lines building up, full of admiring food lovers.
LUCK (an all-too-clever acronym for Let Ur Chickens Kluck – actually Local, Urban, Craft, Kitchen) has a policy of only employing people with severe tatoo-itis and at least a metric tonne of piercings. None of them can get though the TSA scan without a manual anal scan. Ned, who served my chicken, appeared to have played with The Grateful Dead for at least 20 years. That means they are always in the country and at the restaurant where they make things like their Roasted Jerk Chicken with Habanero Pineapple Glaze. Despite the trying conditions on the night they didn’t miss a beat. The chicken was tender, but rich with sweet and sour notes due to the sauce. When LUCK opens, I recommend an early visit. There appears to be a real seriousness about Daniel, Jeff and Ned (owners) here and this could become a hard reservation to snag.
Chino, the victor, thus far, in the ‘fork fights’ at Trinity Groves served a Cochinita Pibil Steamed Bun. Uno Whatzaname (check the Crave Radio site) has obviously been stalking In-N-Out Burgers as she has that paper wrapping down so cool. I can’t wait to see her take on ‘animal style’.
Dallas has been strengthening its suite of seafood restaurants in the last few years with openings like Sea Breeze, Driftwood and Spoon. Add to that list Amberjax Fish Market Grille. Their Louisiana Blue Point Crab Cakes with Remoulade may have been out of the culinary school textbook but were a wonderful execution of a classic. My favorite on the night. I hope the restaurant is as accomplished.
Haute sweets patisserie may cause a lot of people to divert on the way to work. Those mignardise type desserts that you see there are 100% edible. Even the base is chocolate.
Kudos to the sponsors CBS Radio and Sigel’s.
I have to give a shout out to Sigel’s for their quality wine choices. How many events have the latest release Pinot Noir from Patz Hall? Or 2004 Neyers Unoaked Chardonnay? Or Brewer-Clifton Chardonnay? Likewise Frederick Wildman Selections had Pol Roger Brut Champagne. Good job both of you. In a world of corner-cutting, this is impressive stuff.
I could not find Savor Dallas organizer Jim White. But the only question will be whether the event in 2014 can live up to the promise engendered tonight. He can expect my call.