Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Doin' Dallas (well mostly Fort Worth)
I've just been to the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards District, full as the proverbial tick, and feeling the need to buy boots again...
I get that feeling every time I come to Texas...the "must buy boots" feeling...I have 2 pairs plus a pair of ropers and I don't exactly rope cows for a living, so why this feeling comes over me, I have no idea. Blame it on the myth and mystery that is Texas. I always waffle back and forth about them whenever I'm packing the rolling saddlebag for a trip to the Lone Star State. Part of me says I need to bring them for protective coloration, and the practical side says "won't you be at your most attractive while hopping around Security trying to pull the damn things off in a timely manner?" That's the voice that usually decides the fate of the boot packing. Plus, it's not like I wear my boots on a regular basis anyway--guess I just sleep better knowing I have the right accessories for an impromptu rodeo or cattle drive. (And, you know there is a fringed shirt hanging out in the back of one of my closets somewhere...that happened as a result of a little trip to Amarillo and a clearance sale. And, you can go ahead and admit that you are secretly jealous that I own a garment with fringe...a garment that I can wear in public if I want...)
Lonesome Dove Western Bistro...that part...the tasty part. (Be warned that the link to the website has music--the controls are on the bottom, close to the right side.)
I first saw Chef Tim Love on last season's Top Chef Masters, and every single thing that he prepared made me say "I'd eat that," out loud as I was watching, even when he was making food in a dorm room. He's also competed on Iron Chef and spanked Morimoto--only the 7th person to do so, so take that Bobby Flay! (Although, the secret ingredient on that episode was chile peppers, so that may have given the Cowboy Chef a small leg up on the competition...still, take that, Bobby Flay!)
Since I was about 35 miles away from Fort Worth, I headed to the Stockyards as soon as I finished my work day. Once I arrived in the historic district and parked, I realized that slingbacks are not the optimal walking shoe for cobblestone streets. I ducked into the first souvenir shop I saw, and I am now the proud owner of some bright red, white, and blue Texas flip flops, which will look great on the 4th of July. I stomped around in my purty flipper flops for awhile, drooling over boots and wondering about the appeal of chairs made from horns...one of which looked like it was created for Satan's Jungle Room. (It was in an art gallery, and I could not take a picture, darn it.) It was similar to this one, but more pointy...if that could be possible.
The food at the Lonesome Dove is seasonal, regional, and local...all with a definitive Western flair. He appeared on Iron Chef in a cowboy hat, and the appetizer chefs all wore them as well, in the restaurant. The main menu changes daily, and I just wish I had been able to try more of it while I was there. It's not an inexpensive restaurant...it's a per diem buster, but when you are in the vicinity, I think it well worth the dinero...although I haven't turned in my expense report yet!
The menu has 3 course--appetizer; soup/salad; entree--and I opted for 1 and 3, with the idea that I could slide dessert in if anything struck my fancy. I started with a St. Germain Screwdriver, with vodka, fresh orange juice, and a dash of St. Germain elderflower liqueur. It was the prettiest tasting screwdriver I've ever had, and I'm not talking about looks. It had a very delicate, summery quality about it, and I resolved to grab some St. G when I'm at a liquor store that sells it.
Enough blathering--on to the food! (You will be proud of me that I took pictures of my actual meal, until the battery died at the dessert course. And, I turned the flash off, so I wouldn't be so obvious, and the pics are not the best that I've ever taken.)
First Course: Elk Sausage sliders with seared foie gras and blueberry jam. These little burgers were amazing. So flavorful and juicy, with just a hint of sweetness from the jam and the Hawaiian-type sweet roll...they probably were King's Hawaiian's rolls, but they worked perfectly with this dish.
I apologize for the fuzziness of the picture; however, if you can see the cross bars of what appear to be French fries, that's the Fried Salsify.
For some reason, I thought salsify was a green leafy herby sort of thing, but it's really more like a parsnip. It's known as the "oyster plant," because its taste has been likened to that of an oyster. I'm not remembering a really pronounced "oystery" taste, but those were some darn good fries!
Dessert: There were 2 dessert offerings that caught my eye, and the Warm Ancho Chile Chocolate Cake with Salted Almond ice cream won the battle. I love, love, love me some spicy chocolateness, and while the cake had a really great deep dark chocolate flavor, it was not very spicy...not anything like the amazing spicy Chocolate Mole milkshake I had at Flip last year. (That would be "mole-lay" and not a milkshake made of garden-based rodents...can't figure out how to put in accent marks.) The Salted Almond Ice Cream really made this dish...it was the perfect blend of sweet, salt, cold, and nuttiness.
I was there with a co-worker, and she ordered the House Made Mexican Donuts (churros to you and me) with 3 dipping sauces. The presentation was very cool with this dessert--there was a little bucket with the churros and three little dipping sauce bowls. The sauces were chocolate, raspberry, and cajeta (caramel). I tried the caramel and raspberry, and let me go on the record right now and say that the caramel one was ranking right on up there in the "better than sex" category, vying for a place on the "better than sex with most people" podium in either the bronze or silver category. Conceivably, if I had a whole bucket of those churros and that caramel sauce for myownself, I would have cast my vote for gold. There's gold in them thar churros! (Wait...wrong state.)
And, now I'm going off to spread out my bedroll and contemplate the need for red cowboy (girl) boots...I think there's something sassy about red boots, and I'm feelin' sassy all of a sudden! (And, fringe! Lest we forget about the fringe! Would fringed boots be too much?)