Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Haute Cuisine--or Living High on the Hog

Yesterday it was French, today it was upscale nouvelle Mexican (how's that for mixing countries and languages?). Melinda and I had lunch at Lanny's Alta Cocina, a small but very sophisticated restaurant. The chef, Lanny Lancarte, is a member of the family that runs Fort Worth's Joe T. Garcia's Tex-Mex restaurant, so he grew up around food. But he knew he wanted to do something different, went away to the Culinary Institute of America and interned in restaurants owned by Rick Bayless. He came back to Fort Worth to create his own kind of food in his own kitchen. A typical dish: Atlantic char with Jalopeno Buerre Blanc with Spinach Tortilla (read more about him and his restaurant in Great Texas Chefs--sorry a little self-serving plug).
Melinda had a chili rubbed chicken breast salad with manchego, red grapes, sugared pecans, and a balsamic vinaigrette--a large plate but she devoured every bite. Any time I see carpaccio on the menu, I go for it, so I had a tapa--carpaccio with a horseradish/caper dressing and a good balsamic vinaigrette salad. Melinda shared her manchego and I tasted a sugared pecan. While waiting for our lunch, we dipped a light flat onion roll into olive oil with capers. So good. Plus we had a great visit.
Dinner tonight was much more prosaic--leftover stew--but  it was good. I spent the evening doing last-minute party things, cutting up veggies, making pigs in a blanket for children, etc. Now I'm back watching Guy Fiery again--he eats some incredible things, huge piled-high sandwiches, deep fried this and that, hot peppers, stuff I wouldn't touch and yet it all intrigues me. Reminds me of the time I told our local down-and-dirty food critic I wanted his job, and he said, "You don't want my waistline."

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