Tasting notes

Pyramid scores chef trifecta; foodie app GrubHub debuts

IMG_1029edFor more than a decade, the Rising Star Chef competition of the Dallas Wine & Food Festival has singled out local culinary masters expert at pairing food and wine. For the first time ever, three past winners share the same kitchen: The Pyramid’s exec chef Andre Natera (2003 white wine winner) is ably assisted by exec sous chef Paul Peddle and sous chef Andrew McDonald (2011 white and red wine winners, respectively). Their winning dishes have changed a bit, but the quality of them is excellent, with Peddle’s pan-seared cod with caper sauce, pictured, unforgetably terrific.

There’s a new web site (and smartphone app) to help the savvy foodie find his way about the Dallas culinary scene. On Wednesday, GrubHub.com launched its Dallas version. The app (similar to UrbanSpoon.com) takes your address and your preferred style of cuisine and matches you up with something to your liking nearby. What sets it apart, though, is that you can also order for delivery or pickup. To induce first-timers, the site is offering a $10 off coupon at GrubHub.com/DallasSneakPeek until Sept. 11. Dallas is the 14th city covered by the app.

It takes balls to make cake for five years… or does it take five years to make cake balls? Whichever. Point is, the Cake Ball Company celebrates its nickel anniversary Friday with $1 balls — can’t beat that at a stripper bar. You can also get a quarter-off coupon from their website.

From Aug. 22 to 27, Sprinkles Cupcakes will donate 100 percent of its sales of the vanilla milk choc cake (adorned with a gold star) to Vogel Alcove, a charity helping homeless children.

Grant Morgan has been named executive chef at the Park Lane location of Bailey’s Prime Plus, following local stints at Luqa and Dragonfly. At the Landmark Restaurant at the Melrose, Mike Pacheco has been named exec chef.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 19, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Tasting notes • 11.12.10

If your last name is “Wines,” you’re probably destined to become a sommelier, and that’s just what Emily Wines is. In fact, she’s one of fewer than 100 people in the U.S. to earn the title master sommelier (even fewer are women — Barbara Werley at Pappas Bros. is another). Wines works for the Hotel Palomar in San Francisco, but she’s coming to its Dallas cousin Thursday for a fundraiser for Resource Center Dallas. For a $20 donation, you can enjoy Emily’s “Wines for the Season” intro to white, red and sparkling vinos, as well as Central 214 executive chef Blythe Beck’s tasty bites. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 18.

Landmark Restaurant inside the Warwick Melrose Hotel is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its parent company with “Three for $30 Dinner” during the month of November. Come in an order an appetizer, entrée and dessert, and even taste some house wine, for 30 bucks. To book a res, visit LandmarkRestoDallas.com.

Kent Rathbun’s three local restaurants — Abacus, Jasper’s and Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen — will do something they haven’t before: Sell the same item on all the menus while raising money for the North Texas Food Bank.

At a tasting this week, local foodies chose from among three yummy entrees to pick one that would make it on the menu. Anyone ordering that dish for $15 through Nov. 17 will get a complimentary pumpkin pie empanada dessert and earn a contribution to the NTFB, courtesy of Capital One Bank. The winner: A phenomenal chile-seared sea scallop on chipotle corn mash, pictured.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 12, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens