A quick trip to the Metroplex recently yielded two outstanding food experiences. Indowntown Fort Worth, friends joined me for lunch at chef Grady Spears' dynamic Reata restaurant. The bold, hearty flavors and ranchhand-size servings of cream of jalapeño soup, chicken-fried steak & cracked pepper gravy, and Shiner Bock-battered onion rings with serrano ketchup were very impressive, but the service was embarrassingly bad. After much stretching and napping, we soldiered on to Dallas, where chef/restaurateur/ cookbook author/TV personality Stephan Pyles and partner Mark Cox were celebrating the fifth anniversary of Star Canyon restaurant with a spiffy Western casual charity soiree. Dallasites two-stepped to the Western swing of Cow Jazz and sampled yellow tomato gazpacho with shrimp and red caviar, tiny pulled pork gorditas, and pork tenderloin with tamarind sauce, washing it all down with frosty glasses of Luckenbach lemonade and dry martinis. Chef Pyles found time to confide that he is indeed negotiating the lease on an Austin property and looks forward to doing business in this market.
The proud father caressing a precious new baby on those South Austin Hospital billboards is none other than chef Brad Yerkes with his adorable daughter, Marley. Yerkes and chef Harvey Harris are spending lots of time in the kitchen these days, developing menu items for Siena, the Italian trattoria that Harris and Stan Adams will open at the corner of RR2222 and Hwy 360 by the end of the year.
Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter
If you want to submit a recipe, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org