Saturday, October 3, 2009

Celebrate with Hector's on Henderson and when will Doug Brown's new restaurant open? Jim White has news you can use about wining and dining.

Happy birthday to one our dining treasures, and a labor of Love, Hector's on Henderson celebrating its fifth anniversary! Restaurant life spans are sort of like "dog years". It's such a tough business that being open five years is like 35 in any other "normal" business. Owner Hector Garcia would like for you to come celebrate with him by offering some free goodies if you stop by this week to wish them a “Happy Anniversary”. You will receive for free one of the items they have had all five years: The Shrimp and Grits appetizer, the Fried Chicken Livers appetizer, or the Candied Apple Crème Brûlée dessert. (Must purchase an entrée. One per person.) Says Hector, “It’s terrific to cross this milestone in Dallas dining. I have a great, committed staff, and wonderful clients, who propel me daily towards our mission in delivering Fun Fine Food.” For reservations, call or email (214-821-0432 or or just drop in. Hector's is located at 2929 Henderson Avenue, just East of Central Expressway. Visit their website for more details

Remember to join us Thursday night in the Dallas Design District for the fall fun at the "Slocum Street Style" event benefiting DIFFA. It's a free event beginning at 6 p.m. on Slocum Street near High Line. In addition to seeing the great design studios and antique stores, you can get a "preview" of Savor Dallas restaurants. Enjoy taste treats from Fedora Restaurant and Lounge, Jorge's, Paciugo Gelato, The Grill on the Alley, Go Fish Ocean Club, Lavendou Bistro Provençal, The Kitchen Table at Sheraton Dallas Hotel, and Hibashi Teppan Grill and Sushi Bar. Wash it down with tasty cold water from San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna (Savor Dallas' official waters), and enjoy some delicious adult libations. We'll see you there. BTW, get the full-tilt boogie---over 60 great chefs and more than 400 premium wines, spirits and imported beers at the Savor Dallas International Grand Tasting on Saturday March 6, at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. Go to for the full schedule and to buy tickets. Special advance purchase prices on tickets now through the end of the year. International Grand Tasting tickets only $100 with this special "early bird" pricing (regularly $125). Get specials on all tickets to the Dallas wine and food event extravaganza. It's the biggest, and best, selection of star chefs and premium adult beverages in Texas.

Get a preview of the beautiful AT&T Performing Arts Center (part of the Savor Dallas "Arts District Wine Stroll" on March 5th), on Sunday October 18th. You have a chance to tour the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theatre and enjoy ongoing spotlight performances of jazz and modern dance, ballet, hip-hop, folklorico, ballroom, children's chorus, flamenco, African drum and dance, gospel choirs, chorale, family entertainment and more throughout the day. It's all FREE and open to the public. Part of the grand opening ceremonies by the Performing Arts Center.
Featured performances by flutist Nestor Torres, Ellis Hall and Eden Espinosa. Outdoor performance art by Mass Ensemble and Anti-Gravity and a fireworks finale. Hunter Sullivan and his 14 piece band perform in One Arts Plaza, across from the AT&T PAC from 6 until 10 p.m. It's a beautiful setting in which to take in the Dallas skyline, the Arts District, and enjoy some great food and wine, from Dali, Fedora, Jorge's, Screen Door and Tei-An. Party on! And, congratulations to all the folks at the AT&T Performing Arts Center for all their hard work. Yes, this used to be called the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts. Same great location, just a new naming rights sponsor: AT&T.

Here's a handy primer on Meritage wines. Just in case you wondered, it's pronounced like heritage, and not "mera-tahhg".

Meritage wines are provocative red or white wines crafted solely from specific "noble" Bordeaux grape varieties and are considered to be the very best wines of the vintage.

Meritage, pronounced like heritage, first appeared in the late 1980s after a group of American vintners joined forces to create a name for New World wines blended in the tradition of Bordeaux. The word was selected from more than 6,000 entries in an international contest. Meritage combines "merit," reflecting the quality of the grapes, with "heritage," which recognizes the centuries-old tradition of blending, long considered to be the highest form of the winemaker's art.

Meritage wines are growing in popularity and are currently the second fastest growing wine category in the industry. They are highly regarded for their aging potential, yet are completely approachable in their youth.

Many Meritage wines have proprietary names in addition to, or rather than, Meritage. In order to obtain a license and use the term Meritage on a label, a wine must meet certain criteria.

Red Meritage wines historically have been among the world's most highly rated wines. They are prized for their smooth, silky texture and complex, robust structure. While they age beautifully - often for decades - most are also very drinkable in their younger years.

A Red Meritage is a blend of two or more of the red "noble" Bordeaux varieties - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot and the rarer St. Macaire, Gros Verdot and Carmenère. If the blend includes any other grape variety, it is, by definition, not a Meritage. Also, to qualify as a Meritage, no single grape variety can make up more than 90% of the blend.

White Meritage wines, while rare, are some of the most elegant and exquisite white wines crafted. The perfect accompaniment to seafood and poultry, White Meritage is a very food-friendly wine, but also is superb just on its own. Unlike many white wines, White Meritage is perfect for cellaring - growing more complex with age.

To qualify as a White Meritage, a wine must be a blend of at least two of three specific white "noble" varieties - Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon or Muscadelle du Bordelais. No single variety can make up more than 90% of the blend. The wine does not qualify as a Meritage if the blend includes any other grape variety.

Quote of the week from our good friends at Snooty Foodie:

SideDish/Snooty Foodie

"Our good buddy, Elvis groupie, and the fastest wine taster in Dallas metro, Shawn Horne, has left as GM of Wolfgang Puck’s big gyrating ball in the sky Five-Sixty effective last week. We won’t say it was a matter of too many cooks in the kitchen or that wolves in sheep’s clothing were always lurking…but… Mr. Horne ain’t scared of heights either so you do the math. Unlike the real Elvis, Shawn hasn't crashed and burned (or overdosed). He's heading over to run the new restaurant Dish in the Illumina building on Cedar Springs and Douglas. Rumor has it Chef Doug Brown is also involved in the project and they are targeting a November 1 start date (which probably means February in restaurant speak). From the info we've seen, Dish appears to dance on the fringe of fine dining American - sorta like a chef driven Houston's."

Eat to live. Be well. Jim

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