Tasting Notes: McCallister in running for ‘Best New Chef,’ Tesar does local wines

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Matt McCallister, above, chef-owner at FT33, one of Dallas’ top new restaurants of 2012, is in the running for Food & Wine magazine’s title of “The People’s Best New Chef/Southwest.” Now, those of us who has followed Matt from Stephan Pyles to Campo before he nestled in at FT33 might quibble about the term “new,” but he’s certainly worthy of a vote! (McCallister isn’t the only Dallasite on the list, though — his pal Omar Flores with Driftwood is also a nominee.) Voting continues here through Monday.

Tonight, John Tesar, chef of the hot seafood resto Spoon in Preston Center, will feature wines from local Oak Cliff Cellars at a special wine dinner, paired with fish from around the world. Four courses (plus an amuse and dessert) run $100, including, of course, all the wines. Starts at 6 p.m.

Thursday, you get a chance to sneak a peek at Trinity Groves across the Calatrava, as part of the expanded Savor Dallas. Then on Friday, check out the wine stroll (this year at the Perot Museum) before the seminars and major tastings on Saturday, culminating in the big event at the Irving Convention Center Saturday night (this year, it doesn’t conflict with DIFFA).

Asador, the surprisingly inventive farm-to-fire restaurant inside the Renaissance Hotel, celebrates its second anniversary on Friday with a free concert from Goga, and a $25, three-course tasting menu.

On March 20 at 6:30 p.m., The Grape will host an exclusive winemaker’s dinner featuring the wines of Petroni Vineyards, with winemaker Martin Mackenzie introducing the wines. Four courses are $85/person.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Weekly Best Bets

Friday 03.18

Footes won’t fail you now
Honoring the Texas playwright, the theater community unites for the first Horton Foote Festival. The fest kicks off with DTC’s Dividing the Estate. but even a touch of gay can be found with The Young Man from Atlanta, which Uptown Players will perform in April.
DEETS:
Various theaters and venues. Through May 1. Visit HortonFooteFestival.com for details.

Friday 03.18

When wine strolls attack
Savor Dallas is upon us again, filling the weekend with food, wine and fabulosity. The event starts off with an Arts District Wine Stroll within the museums and venues. Just don’t get tipsy and spill the wine on the art. That’s a whole lot of bad karma. And look for local celebrichefs like Stephan Pyles and Blythe Beck. Bon appetit!
DEETS:
Various venues. 5 p.m. $35. Through Saturday. Visit SavorDallas.com for schedule.

Saturday 03.19

Hey, why don’t you go take a walk
Designer Anthony Chisom took issues into his own hands starting the Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation and creating the inaugural South Dallas AIDS Walk. Seeing the impact of AIDS beyond the gayborhood, Chisom’s foundation strives to expand the city’s vision of where AIDS impacts. After all, it is the same fight for the cure.
DEETS: South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave. 8 a.m. SouthDallasAIDSWalk.org.

—  John Wright