Preston Hollow’s own Richard and Tiffanee Ellman — owners of Oak, Pakpao, and Belly and Trumpet — have received critical acclaim throughout the years for the three restaurants. Richard said traveling around the world with his wife was part of their inspiration.
Q: When did your love for food start?
A: I think that I have been fortunate enough to travel — both for work and pleasure — throughout my life, and travel, for me, has been synonymous with eating all different cuisines and styles of food and being exposed to great food all over the world. I think that was certainly part of it. My mom was a great cook, so I was fortunate to grow up in a house where I ate good food. I think I’ve grown up with an appreciation for great food my whole life.
Q: Is there a country or place you’ve visited where the food stood out?
A: I have traveled a lot in my life, and when I got married, my wife and I started traveling together. She also has a passion for food in the same way I do, and is, I think, someone who would consider herself to be somewhat particular about food and is always adventurous when it comes to trying new things and exploring new cuisines. So I think, together, when we decided to open Oak, it was really an effort to bring together some of our different thoughts and ideas that we had traveling together and that I had had throughout my life. Our two restaurants, Oak and Belly and Trumpet, are fairly global in their approach, and there are cuisines that are representative of different countries around the world. And, of course, Pakpao is Thai, and my wife is half-Thai, and I have spent a fair amount of time in Thailand, and I think we were also exposed to the different aspects of Thai cuisine when we traveled together — and not just Asian, but in Australia and New Zealand. We wanted to do a fresh approach to Thai cuisine, that we hadn’t really seen, in Pakpao.
The 21st annual Dallas Kosher Chili Cook-Off is coming up this Sunday. It will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tiferet Israel Congregation. There should be plenty of food, as last year’s edition drew a record 52 teams serving up more than 1,000 gallons of chili — some beef, some vegetarian, but all kosher, meaning it is prepared and supervised to follow orthodox Jewish law.
For the second year, the cook-off will coincide with a food drive benefiting the Jewish Family Service food pantry, an affiliate of the North Texas Food Bank. Tiferet Israel and its next-door neighbor, Royal Lane Baptist Church, are coordinating the food drive. Donations of non-perishable food or money will be accepted at both houses of worship before or on Sunday.
Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children older than 3. Proceeds will support the Veterans Recovery Center of the Dallas VA Medical Center; Dallas Fighting Maccabees, a Special Olympics team; and Bnai Zion, a supporter of humanitarian projects in Israel and the United States.
I learned this via a friend of the paper, who saw this image — of a note taped to the front door — on his Facebook newsfeed. I called the listed number for the Purple Cow, and it just rang. Also, the restaurant’s website is down as I type this.
I then called the property manager for Preston Royal Village as well as the shopping center’s marketing agency, but the people to whom I needed to speak weren’t available. So I called a couple of businesses on either side of the restaurant, and they confirmed the news of its demise.
Culture Map Dallas reported last November that the two other Purple Cow locations in Collin County had gone belly up.
The Mooyah burger joint on Northwest Highway will donate a portion of its proceeds on Thursday evening to the Interact Club at Hillcrest High School, so two of the club’s members can participate in a Rotary service trip to Nicaragua during spring break. The portion will be 15 to 25 percent, depending on how many people show up to down some burgers. This promotion applies to sales between 5 and 9 p.m.
While perusing the agenda for Thursday’s City Plan Commission meeting, I noticed that Preston Hollow resident Erin McKool plans to open a second Start restaurant on Lemmon Avenue, between Throckmorton and Knight streets. This was news to me, but a short web search showed me that Nancy Nichols was way ahead of me on SideDish.
McKool’s application for a specific-use permit is on the commission’s consent agenda, so she should have little trouble getting approval.
McKool opened the original Start on Upper Greenville Avenue in the summer of 2012.
I was at the courthouse this morning, ready to cover the scheduled hearing in the Snuffer’s vs. Snuffer lawsuit. But the clerks there told me the hearing had been called off by Judge Marty Lowy, after he’d conferred with lawyers for both sides.
On my way out of the building, I emailed the publicists for Snuffer’s founder Pat Snuffer and Snuffer’s owner Mike Karns. Each of them promised me a statement would be forthcoming. I’m still waiting on those statements, but while I’ve been patiently waiting, Robert Wilonsky has been scooping my complacent butt.
City Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates saved a choking man at the Mercury on Monday night. Someone, somewhere, is going to try to say that Roger Staubach should get all the credit for this. Well, he should get at least half the credit. Without him — and Jennifer’s mom, Marianne — the councilwoman wouldn’t have been there to perform CPR.
Pecan Lodge BBQ is legendary for its lines. That’s why the “Dinner and a Show” deal at W.T. White High School on Friday night is so noteworthy. For $15, plus a $1.74 processing fee, you get a Pecan Lodge plate and a ticket to see the school’s gender-bent version of The Odd Couple. If you just want to see the show, there will be a dinnerless version on Thursday.
There’s a new restaurant in town, and it’s looking for a team of people to make it run like clockwork. True Food Kitchen will open in The Plaza at Preston Center next month, but until then, they’re building a team of about 100 people.
Tomorrow and Wednesday, head to the Hilton Park Cities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Positions available are: host; server; back server; bartender; line cook; wok cook; prep cook; dishwasher; and pizza cook.
Looking to apply? Come prepared. Interviews will be held on the spot.
If you’re interest is in eating at the restaurant rather than working, circle your calendar for Nov. 19, because you won’t want to miss this. The menu includes everything from kale salads to panang curry, a tantalizing tea selection, deserts such as almond olive oil cake, and a creative cocktail menu. I can’t wait to try the “watermelon rose.”
If you’re the brunching type (like me), they’ve got that covered as well. From goji berry granola to quinoa Johnny cakes, you’re good to go. For younger patrons, there are alternatives on favorites such as “Turkey Sloppy Joe.”
So, like I said, mark your calendars, because I will be arm-wrestling you for a table.
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