Last evening we were invited guests at a media dinner at Bailey’s Prime Plus as they were introducing their new Winter Menu. Chef Grant Morgan was on hand to discuss each of the menu items as they were served. Also on hand was Bailey’s wine director, Jennifer Jaco to pair each dish.
Recently stepping into the role of corporate chef for the multi-location restaurant Morgan has been given free-reign to select a handful of menu items that have been weak in sales and step up with replacements. In addition to the new dishes, Morgan has also installed a raw bar that will offer a seasonal selection of shrimp, oysters, crab claws and lobster claws.
“I would really like to include some of the West Coast oysters, but those are illegal in the state of Texas,” said Morgan as he served up East Coast Bluepoints.
In the late 80’s Texas passed a law protecting the Gulf from invasive species and thus banned many of the non-commercial species of oysters in the State of Texas.
What we are able to serve in Texas are many of the wonderful varieties from the East Coast and thus the inclusion of the Bluepoints, which seem to be a chef’s favorite and alternative to the massive Gulf oyster.
Sauces served with at the raw bar include a house-made cocktail, remoulade and a red wine mignonette.
Jaco offered a pairing of Miyasaka Arabashiri, which is a first run sake similar to what we would think of a Beaujolais. The sake selection was vibrant and full of soft fruit and floral notes making the sake extremely drinkable. If you have a difficult time picking out sake, look for this on the shelves.
Interesting to note that Jaco, who had a brief stint locally at Charlie Palmer, is from New York and a fairly recent transplant. After deciding not to leave Dallas she was recently joined by her boyfriend, chef Michael Ehlert. Ehlert has been busily prepping the bar Chesterfield that will open officially Monday evening. More on all of these people very soon.
Let’s check out a few of these new dishes that Morgan has prepared for us.
The menu will feature some of chef Morgan’s house-made pastas including this Mushroom Ravioli made with sage brown butter and aged sherry vinegar. The dish was paired with a 2010 Chapoutier Belleruche Blanc.
Morgan has added this beautifully broiled Venison Chop to the menu with carmalized turnips, carrot puree and a black pepper demi. This was paired with a 2009 Prima Tempranillo.
A surprise star for the evening was this Pan Roasted Duck Breast that was cooked perfectly medium rare without a hint of oiliness, and a crispy skin. This was served with a sweet potato ghnocchi, carmelized onions and a cranberry reduction. Jaco paired the duck with a 2006 Fontanafredda Barolo, which is also available by-the-glass. You will want to try this wine.
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