A Rockin Birthday Celebration

Dallas is a city with outstanding restaurants. One of the joys of my blog is sharing with you the great dining experiences I enjoy in my city. The latest in Dallas dining excellence is VH Casual Dining and Bar Oak Cliff. VH was recommended to me in January by my friend Shawn Burgert, A Wandering Wino. I shared the recommendation VH Oak Cliffwith my husband so as my birthday approached he surprised me by taking me to dinner at VH but the surprises did not end there. Turned out Victor Hugo opened his restaurant about 4 months ago; however, Victor had been in the restaurant industry for almost 20 years. Victor managed Al Biernet’s, a high quality, well respected steak restaurant for a few years before moving to Bistro 31 as manager. Finally, Victor was able to fulfil his dream of owning his own restaurant and VH Oak Cliff was born. You will recall from my article, “Bordeaux: A Date Night Remedy,” that we dined at Bistro 31 last summer and had a wonderful dinner. Well it turns out that was during the time of Victor’s management; furthermore, because Victor was so beloved by his co-workers when he left to open VH Oak Cliff many of the servers, as well as Executive Chef Eric Brandt, joined him.

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As we arrived the restaurant had great energy. It was elegantly casual with a well-balanced menu; wine, beer and cocktail all thoughtfully selected for an enjoyable dining experience. We were early for our reservation so we took the opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine at the bar and chat with Victor a bit about his career in the restaurant industry and family, Victor has three daughters all under the age of 10! I enjoyed a lovely Domain Pichot Vouvray; floral notes, citrus, tropical fruit, round acidity with a lingering dryness on the palate. My husband enjoyed a glass of Nicholas Potel Pinot Noir; cherry cola, mushrooms, strawberries, round acidity, medium body with a clean finish. Both wines were a nice start to our evening.

Langmeil Three Gardens 2011 SMG

We were seated at an intimate table with comfortable chairs by Victor himself. The wine list at VH Oak Cliff is not only diverse but Victor chose to provide high quality selections all priced at $50 or less per bottle. He mentioned to us he had some off menu wines as well and of course I wanted to know about those. We decided on an off menu wine that Victor recommended and I was thrilled when I saw the bottle.

IMG_6274Langmeil Barossa 2011 Three Gardens: This sexy wine was crafted of 52% Shiraz, 31% Mataro (aka Mouvedre) and 17% Grenache. This wine opened with a brooding funk on the nose, black fruit, tobacco, spice and herbal notes. On the palate this deep violet wine offered smooth flavors of black raspberries, cherries and plums, along with wet underbrush, toasted cedar, smoke, Asian spices, leather and barnyard. It was a beautiful brooding wine that offered round acidy, integrated tannins, a rich full mouth feel and a lingering finish that begged for another sip. We were both thrilled with this wine and particularly loved the funk/barnyard essence it so beautifully wrapped around the fruit. YUM! SRP $17-20; click here to find this wine.

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You will recall from my article, “Hanging with Friends and Snakes,” that this was the second wine I have enjoyed from Langmeil. I was thrilled to see the label suspecting the wine to be delicious; it did not disappoint. Please visit my former article to learn more about Langmeil as well as the Barossa Valley; a truly outstanding viticulture region! One of the aspects of Langmeil I truly appreciate is though their wines are Big; they are very well structured, balanced with fruit, earthiness, acidity and tannins. Langmeil produces very nice wines.

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After we enjoyed our first sip of wine our waiter came to our table and in a night of surprises it was Jose Luis, one of the outstanding waiters from Bistro 31. We were thrilled to see him at VH! He was friendly, knowledgeable, attentive but not over-bearing; Jose Luis was everything you want in a waiter. Because the wine was bold and rich we knew we needed to pair it with the appropriate food or it would over power the dish. We began our meal with Ahi Tuna deconstructed nachos: Ahi Tuna, jalapeños, hearts of palm, pinenuts and sesames finely chopped and surrounded by crisp tortilla chips. They were outstanding and paired very well with the wine. For our entrees I chose Red Wine Wagyu “Pot Roast,” slow cooked beef that was full of flavor and so tender it was falling apart, served on top of cheddar grits with kale and red wine onions. WOW! It was like eating a meal prepared by an Italian grandmother. Outstanding and a truly beautiful pairing with the wine! My husband chose the Grilled Filet Mignon with Yukon mashed potatoes, broccolini and Texas bourbon peppercorn sauce. Another perfectly prepared dish that was perfect with the wine. We concluded our meal with flourless chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream. It was decadently delicious and I was in foodie heaven! After our dinner Executive Chef Eric Brandt came to our table to introduce himself and make sure our meals were to our liking. He was so kind and friendly and it was a pleasure to be able to express our pleasure and gratitude to him. We will definitely go back to VH Oak Cliff and I cannot wait to bring some friends!

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Another added bonus to this evening was my friend Anatoli of Talk-A-Vino tweeted me on Friday to inform me #ShirazWeek was about to start and wanted to know what Shiraz I would drink to participate. I honestly had this in mind when the Langmeil GSM was offered to us and I am so glad we drank it. Shiraz week runs Saturday, February 21 through Sunday, March 1. What Shiraz will you drink to celebrate? Follow along with #ShirazWeek and #AussieWine2015 all week on Twitter and Social Media to see what others are drinking and to share your own Shiraz pleasures. To learn more visit Aussie Wine 2015.

Shiraz Week

My Song Selection: I paired Jack White’s Lazaretto with Langmeil’s Hanging Snakes and the Langmeil Hanging Gardens requires an equally awesome, funky song; therefore, the song I have chosen to pair with the SMG is Lies by the Black Keys. This awesome song is perfect for this wine, deep, brooding, smooth and mysterious that slowly reveals itself; just like the Langmeil 2011 Hanging Gardens SMG.

I encourage you to dine at VH Casual Dining Bar and Grill Oak Cliff; you will love it; and tell Victor Rockin Red sent ya!

Have your own awesome dining experience at VH Oak Cliff and let me know what song you would pair with it! Cheers!

17 comments

  1. This sounds like my type of restaurant – especially with the reasonably priced wines. Food sounds delicious – I hadn’t been to Dallas in a while, sounds like it is time to fix it 🙂
    And of course, thank you for the mention, appreciate it!

  2. I visited Langmeil a few years ago and couldn’t agree more about the quality of their wine. Used to drink them a fair bit but I guess you move on. Sounds like a great restaurant – next time I’m in Dallas, it’s one of Qantas’s main US hubs, (I’m in oz) I’ll be sure to go there after such great review. Nick.

    • Thanks Nick! I have never been to Australia (certainly on my bucket list) but when I make it there I will definitely visit wineries in the Barossa Valley. I love the wines produced there! I do hope you will be able to dine at VH Oak Cliff next time you are in Dallas for either lunch or dinner. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Cheers!

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