Category Archives: David Donalson

McCallister Does Cafe Momentum

by David Donalson               photos by Robert Bostick

Sunday night was the sixth installment of Cafe Momentum, a Dallas-based restaurant and culinary training program working in conjunction with the Youth Village Resources of Dallas (YVRD) to train students in all aspects of working in a restaurant. These students would be our waiters, platers, dish-washers and other such jobs that are crucial for a restaurant, giving them valuable experience that can help them get a job in the industry. In fact, several of the students present now have jobs due to their experience of working with such chefs so kudos to all who are supporting the program.

Our chef for Sunday night is a very busy man, Chef Matt McCallister, who was gracious enough to mentor these students just hours before the official opening of Campo Modern in Oak Cliff. I am sure it has been a hectic few weeks for Chef McCallister but I was glad he made time to cook for all 120 people at Hibiscus on Henderson.    Continue reading

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Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Do La Mancha

by David Donalson

I have been in this industry long enough to see regions die (I am talking to you Australia, hope to see you again soon) and regions suddenly spike in popularity. At Tex-Som, there was a focus on wines from South Africa and from Greece because these might be the next big areas to hit the market but I had to agree with Doug Frost, MS that the next area to hit it big is the area that is already booming, Spain.

Since the EU has allowed La Mancha to irrigate their lands, there has been a rapid interest growing in this arid climate. Known best for making the neutral-tasting Airen for Spanish brandy, this area is primed to explode on the world market as the next great buy at your local retail shops.            Continue reading

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Antinori Dinner at Ruth’s Chris

by David Donalson

Recently, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse has been partnering up with some heavy-hitting international wineries and I had the pleasure of being present in Dallas when the Antinori wines came rolling into town. Antinori is one of the biggest names in Italian wine, having one of the original Super-Tuscans (Tignanello, which we would be tasting later) as well as some domestic wines. Antica is actually owned by the Antinori family and stands for Antinori California.

We braved the construction nightmare near the DFW airport and made it just in time for a truly packed house and a great meal. (Literally, the entire dining room was allocated for the dinner, something like 70 people though I did not get an official count).   Continue reading

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Perrier-Jouet Dinner at Nosh

by David Donalson

When should you drink champagne? Some people will say at special occasions while some people like me will say as soon as you can get a bottle. So after receiving an invitation to drink GH Mumm and Perrier-Jouet while eating at Dallas hot spot Nosh Euro Bistro, I could not resist.

While waiting for the rest of the dining party to arrive, we were greeted by Agnes Laplanche-Jones, Brand Development Manager, and a glass of GH Mumm Cordon Rouge. Agnes was here to walk the party through the tasting of the wines. I always love hearing the stories behind the wines and the people involved in their creation, like how the top wine from Perrier-Jouet got its name.   Continue reading

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BubblyQ at the Ritz-Carlton

by David Donalson        photos by Steven Doyle

BubblyQ is a walk-around tasting and silent auction put on by Young Texans Against Cancer, a non-profit organization focused on raising funds for North Texas cancer research, a very noble cause we fully support and endorse. Held on the patio area in the Ritz-Carlton surrounded by Fearing’s  restaurant, it was an enjoyable evening of dining, sipping and hob-nobbing with beautiful Dallasites.  

We had several favorites with the food, led off by recently-resigned Scott Romano of Charlie Palmer and his rendition of rabbit agnolotti in parmesan broth with root vegetables. It was full of flavor, hearty and earthy and went well with Cotes du Rhone Village being poured at the bar.    Continue reading

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Filed under chefs, Crave, David Donalson, Drink Dallas, Events, fun with food, fundraiser, Nightlife, Uptown, Wine

Gloria Collell and Ferrer Wine Estates Collection

by David Donalson

What is Cava and why should we drink it? Cava is sparkling wine done in the traditional champagne method in Spain. In order to not have thousands of French lawyers from Champagne climbing down their throats, they call it Cava and it is delicious. Typically Cava is a bit lighter and brighter in style than your traditional champagne at a fraction of the cost. Many a good Cava can be found for less than $20, something impossible to do with champagne.

At a recent evening tasting, I sampled some of the better collections from the Heredad Collection that I just had to share.

The event was a meet and greet with Gloria Collell, winemaker’s ambassador for the Ferrer Wine Estates. After working a full day, I was happy to grab a glass of the Segura Viudas Brut Rose. Heavy for a Cava, with some good mineral and red fruit notes that were clean and refreshing. Perfect for sitting around and talking to other writers and wine people about the weather, the economy and the world of wine. This led to the introduction of Gloria Collell.    Continue reading

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Budin Azteca de Camaron at MesoMaya

by David Donalson

Growing up 5 miles from the Mexican border, I like to think of myself as someone who knows and appreciates good Mexican food so when I got the call to cover the press dinner at the recently opened MesoMaya at Preston and Forest, I jumped at the chance. Any chance to taste Mexican food that is not from a chain, I am a go. So a quick jaunt over to Dallas to see what MesoMaya has to offer.

One of the more interesting features of MesoMaya is the indoor patio that has windows that can be raised to make the restaurant have an open feel. This will be wonderful when this weather finally breaks and fall begins and tonight was a good example of how open the restaurant could feel. After walking in, I was greeted with a very good strawberry serrano margarita. It was a sweet heat from the muddled fruits paired nicely with the tequila and lime. A great way to start a meal.   Continue reading

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Filed under beer, chefs, Cocktails, David Donalson, Events, Food Photos, Mexican Food, Nightlife