These are the 11 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

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These are the 11 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

A Dallas restaurant has racked up a prestigious award, the only restaurant in Texas to do so:
Carte Blanche, the acclaimed fine-dining tasting restaurant on Greenville Avenue from husband-and-wife Casey and Amy LaRue, has earned the coveted AAA Five Diamond designation, ranking them among a select group of restaurants offering leading-edge cuisine, ingredients, and preparation, as well as service and atmosphere considered to be extraordinary.

The Five Diamond ranking puts Carte Blanche in the same field as nationally renowned restaurants such as Le Bernardin, Jean-Georges Restaurant, Per Se, The French Laundry, Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas, and Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace.

Only 50 restaurants in the U.S. currently have Five Diamond rankings.

By comparison, the next ranking down is Four Diamonds, which only three Dallas restaurants, also acclaimed, have achieved: Fearing’s, Hotel St. Germain, and Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. Dallas also has 24 Three Diamonds including Al Biernat’s, Boulevardier, José, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Nobu, and Tei An.

Evaluations are conducted anonymously by AAA inspectors, who review more than 32,000 restaurants every year. Casey LaRue says they received no warning and had no idea when the inspectors paid a visit.

Carte Blanche scored an impressive total of 50.3 points out of a potential 59, earning praise for its cleanliness, “fresh and inviting” ambience, “expert wine service” and “cuisine [that] “showed skill and creativity.”

The restaurant was lauded for its “exclusively fresh, local/regional/artisanal items” such as boar, Texas elk, and wild mushrooms; as well as its “expert techniques,” “imaginative, creative menus,” creative presentations, and “perfectly sized portions.”

Service was deemed cordial, knowledgeable, efficient, and non-obtrusive, with a sommelier who was engaging and attentive, with very good wine knowledge by all staff.

AAA established its Diamond program to help highlight the best in hotels and dining. To make the list, establishments must meet certain standards, cleanliness, comfort, and hospitality.

Previously, AAA announced a new list every spring, in time for summer travel. But they skipped a year during the pandemic and a spokesperson says they’re reconfiguring their approach.

“Typically, it has been once per year but we are in the process of revamping that and rolling out a new strategy for 2023,” the spokesperson says. “It will likely be more frequently – perhaps monthly.”

opening in 2020, Carte Blanche has earned an unprecedented round of awards including scoring 5 stars in the prestigious 2022 Star Awards from Forbes Travel Guide, one of only three properties in Texas and the only restaurant to do so. The restaurant was a finalist for CultureMap’s Best New Restaurant in 2022, and madeTexas Monthly‘s annual best list for 2022.

Casey LaRue was a
finalist for Best Chef of the Year in CultureMap’s 2022 annual Tastemaker Awards. Amy LaRue was nominated for Best Pastry Chef in 2021 and won Pastry Chef of the Year at the Tastemaker Awards in 2022.

Just a little bit of fig on a pretty white plate.Carte Blanche

While we’re here, a new menu
Ever ambitious, the couple recently initiated a restructuring of the menu at Carte Blanche.

“We are always changing individual dishes constantly but this is the biggest single change since opening,” Casey says. “It’s hard to make drastic changes — there’s a flow to the day and everything goes smoothly, which has made me hesitant to mess with it. But we wanted to try a new approach.”

They’re now offering a full 15-course tasting menu they’ve broken down into themes such as The Garden, Ocean, Texas Game, and Dessert.

Current dishes include

  • Smoked Boar Empanada with coal-roasted sweet potatoes, Persimmon, Sugar Rush Pepper Puree, and Collards
  • Burrata with Smoked Vegetables and Shaved Squash
  • Venison Tartare with caviar, creme fraiche, and smoked coffee oil

They also offer smaller 4- and 6-course menus which can be modified according to guests’ wishes, including a vegetarian option with dishes such as Smoked Beets with grapefruit and puffed barley.

“The 15 courses do not include the amuse or mignardises, which adds another 10 or so ‘bites’,” he says. “It’s carefully thought out, I really watch how much carbs and fat are spread throughout the meal so guests can finish the experience.”

#Dallas #weekend

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