Ever since I attended the MMD Tour 2015 in the Trinity Groves area of Dallas I have been dying to go back and eat at one of the many restaurants there. My daughter arrived home on the Tuesday before Mother’s Day after very successfully completing her freshman year of college at The Ohio State University. My desire to eat in Trinity Groves, her coming home and it being Mother’s Day weekend all led to a wonderful dinner. Trinity Groves is one of the many eclectic urban developments popping up all over Dallas. I am not one to be political and I do not live in the City of Dallas proper but as a suburbian who travels into Dallas very frequently I am thrilled to see the urban renewal and development that has taken place under the leadership of Dallas’ current mayor.
Trinity Groves is so unique I am not sure how to describe it and do it justice. There are a multitude of independently owned and operated restaurants consisting of a variety of cuisines all lined up in a shopping center type environment but they are all connected as if one giant building with exterior entry into each restaurant and covered walkways and outdoor dining. It is festive and lively and quite cool. You have to cross the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge to get from downtown Dallas to Trinity Groves and once you do you have entered a hip world of food, drinks, music and shopping. There is even a restaurant in Trinity Groves that changes its chef and menu every quarter for a continually fresh experience!
I had already done some online research of the restaurants at Trinity Groves to narrow down where I felt like dining that night. There are so many good choices it was hard to choose. We decided upon Resto Gastro Bistro; we made a great choice! Resto offered a warm and elegant feel, a unique and creative menu and a wine list that was fitting for the menu. Our server, Alyssa, was informative and helpful with menu descriptions and recommendations as well as friendly and the right amount of attentive. As we dined Linda, one of the owners, came and spoke to us. She shared how she and her husband DJ opened the restaurant, spoke of some of the menu inspirations and invited us back for their fantastic Sunday Brunch.
As with all restaurants I tend to take a brief scan of the menu items to get a feel for what style of entrees are offered then I soak in the wine list to decide what looks good to pair with my potential meal. The week of our dinner was the week I was invited to attend the Paso Robles Cab Collective Cabs of Distinction festival. Though I was unable to attend the event (hope to attend next year) as soon as I saw a Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon on the menu I knew we had to select that wine.
Halter Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Paso Robles Estate Bottled: This wine was crafted of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot. It poured a light violet into the glass and opened with aromas of red and black fruit, spice, licorice, herbs and earthiness. On the palate this pleasing wine delivered fresh flavors of plums, blackberries and currant with elegant spice, dried herbs, and soft notes of tobacco, coffee and licorice. It offered juicy concentrated fruit that was vibrant and lively with well-balanced earthiness in a round acidity with well integrated tannins and a juicy, lingering finish. Paso Robles Cabs have come a long way and this Halter Ranch is an excellent example of the high quality wines being produced on the Central Coast. This wine was aged for 18 months in French oak, 40% new; 14.5% alcohol. SRP $35 direct from Halter Ranch; $29.99 Total Wine. This wine drank very well; I can only image how beautifully it will develop with proper cellaring.
The appetizers sounded incredible (especially the lobster corn dog) but we decided to skip the apps and started with salad. I had the Pear and Cheese Salad, consisting of Frissee, Arugula, roasted Bosc pears, crispy panko crusted blue cheese, candied pecans and roasted pear vinaigrette. It was delicious. I love the combination of pears and blue cheese and it paired surprising well with the juicy Cab. My husband and kids split the Chinese Hack Salad, consisting of soy seared chicken and Asian slaw, sweet chili, wontons and sesame vinaigrette. It was a huge entrée size salad and the three of them ate every bite.
Our entrées, as you can see where incredible. My husband and I (as well as my daughter) decided to select beef to pair with the wine. I ate the Veal Cheeks, slow braised for hours then served with chives pommes puree, roasted white asparagus, topped with royal trumpet mushrooms. Of course the veal was so tender and juicy it melted in my mouth and it was a delicious pairing with the delicate nature of the Halter Ranch Cab. My husband and daughter chose the Red Chili Honey Cured Filet with sour cream potato croquettes and roasted garlic Bordelaise. I tasted the filet, it was exquisite and a great pairing with the wine as well. My son chose the Korean BBQ Chicken and he loved (and ate) every bite. Linda told us one of their Korean workers inspired the dish that began as a special but was so popular they had to add it to the menu. I barely saw it because my son ate it so fast.
After dinner I wanted to try another Trinity Groves restaurant called Cake Bar; however, my kids begged us to take them into the Bishop Arts District to Emporium Pies. After waiting 40 minutes at 9pm on a Saturday night (yes, it’s that popular!) we all selected our slices of pie. Clockwise from the top: Lord of the Pies (apple) a la mode, Blue Steel (blueberry) a la mode, Cloud Nine (caramel butterscotch custard with brown sugar meringue) and Dr Love (red velvet chess pie) a la mode. Oh boy were those pies good! Run, don’t walk to Emporium Pies!
Halter Ranch’s estate vineyard is located on the far western side of Paso Robles with the vines located on the steepest south-facing part of the property. This area enjoys a cooler climate due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and its cool breezes; ensuring their “grapes ripen slowly and evenly, developing ripe, concentrated fruit flavors while retaining healthy levels of acidity.” Environmental consciousness is important to Halter Ranch. They utilize sustainable practices; which means “relying whenever possible on organic methods of fertilization, weed removal, pest control and mildew protection. In 2008 Halter Ranch achieved the SIP Certification (Sustainability in Practice), a rigorous, third party review which certifies our commitment to sustainable practices.” Halter Ranch’s emphasis on quality begins with the way they grow their 19 grape varieties and extends to each bottle in their wine portfolio. I encourage you to visit the Halter Ranch web site to learn more about the winery, view their entire portfolio of wine and order the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon.
My Song Selection: As you can see this was a wonderful night in Big D with my family. Great atmosphere, great food, great wine and the best company! Behind our table were four portraits of famous musicians: Willie Nelson, Mic Jaggar, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison. When my teens asked me who the fourth man was I knew I had failed as a mother. Therefore, I have chosen to pair our fun family night with one of my favorite songs by the Doors: “People Are Strange.” The hauntingly relaxed melody coupled with the velvet smooth sounds of Morrison’s voice and delivery are are the perfect pairing for a relaxed and easy evening of high quality food and wine.
Have your own fun night in Trinity Groves and/or get your own bottle of Halter Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon paired with great food and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!