Tasting notes

Posted on 12 Jul 2007 at 7:08pm
By Arnold Wayne Jones Staff Writer

Pride Radio hosts weekly happy hour at Fuse; Taste of Dallas opens



Stephen Pyles and other top chefs join forces for a fundraising dinner in August.

Restaurant Week begins on Aug. 13, though many area restaurants extend the $35 prix fixe menus for two weeks ore more. A full list of participating restaurants hasn’t been released yet, so why not spend this weekend sampling the wares of places like Texas de Brazil and Dick’s Last Resort at Taste of Dallas in the West End. It runs all day Friday through Sunday.

Fuse chef Blaine Staniford promises that his long-anticipated new upscale concept, Scene, will open in November. Until it opens it doors, come by Fuse every Thursday night for a happy hour starting at 6 p.m., sponsored by Pride Radio.

Hector’s on Henderson chef Blythe Beck has developed a summer menu that includes pan-roasted scallops with avocado-mango compote, fried green tomatoes with lobster-chive tartar sauce and a duo of pork.

Jim Oetting, previously with Caf? Toulouse on Knox Street, has joined Ferre as the new executive chef.

Taco and Dunia Borga of La Duni open their third concept in Dallas this week: Alo Cenaduria & Piqueos, which will serve Mexican-Peruvian tapas-style street food. Its doors swing open in the former locale of Vermillion in the Knox Plaza on July 15. The executive chef will be Julia Lopez, who grew up in Chihuahua, where the cuisine took its form.

Chef Stephan Pyles returns with A Tasteful Pursuit, his fundraiser fighting hunger. On Aug. 12, you can sample Pyles’ cuisine plus that of Scott Gottlich (Bijoux) Tracy Miller (Local), David Gilbert (Luqa) and others. The all-inclusive cost is $175. Call 214-580-7000 for seats.



RATS IN THE KITCHEN? GREAT!

“Ratatouille,” the latest Disney-Pixar digital extravaganza about a rat who dreams of being a fine French chef is the greatest G-rated film that is entirely inappropriate for children… which makes it both puzzling and gratifying that it has already made so much money.

It is not that the film is kid-unfriendly, merely that much of its essence is beyond their grasp. (It’s on the edges for most adults, too.) The title alone is nearly unpronounceable (ads give the phonetic version below); don’t even try to spell it if you aren’t (a) French or (b) a foodie.

I can’t imagine how tots get riled up about it. With “The Little Mermaid,” they can scream, “Dad! It has this octopus, who is a witch, and she casts a spell on Ariel and is destroyed in this big battle on the ocean!”

But who’s gonna be running around the playground saying, “The villain is a dining critic whose witty but withering assault on the chef’s technique in making a beurre blanc sauce causes his restaurant to lose one entire Michelin star!”

Not gonna happen.

Which is not to condemn the film; far from it. Forget the exquisite rendering of the characters. “Ratatouille” is perhaps the smartest and talking rodents aside most technically accurate animated film ever, and certainly as good at capturing the tactile joys of food as any movie has ever attempted.

It may be aimed at tots, but you don’t need to be a preteen to love “Ratatouille” you just need to be someone who loves food. Bon appetit!

A.W.J.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 13, 2007

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