TASTING NOTES

This summer, Dallas became the latest Texas city to go fearless — with the Fearless Critic: Dallas Restaurant Guide. The collection of reviews and ratings of hundreds of local restaurants is a fun, informative romp through the food scene in North Texas. I should know — I’m one of the local food writers who contributed to it.

This weekend isn’t just Dallas Pride, it’s also the 25th annual Grapevine GrapeFest. Running through Sunday, the event focuses on Texas wines, features a champagne tasting and a grape stomping (just like Lucy and Ethel!). See the full schedule at GrapevineTexasUSA.com/Grapefest.

Got a recipe with taste and camp value you’re just dying to share? There’s still time to enter it in the Great Gay Cook-Off. Submit your recipe by Sept. 30 to be included in an actual cookbook, and win some of the $1,000 in prize money in three categories. The winners will be announced at Palm Springs Pride in November. Entry forms are available at GreatGayCookoff.com.

— A.W.J.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 16, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

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