Dallas and Art – 1

I’m in Dallas, and it’s hot. One hundred degrees in the shade, which thankfully is manifold.

Dallas isn’t just the land of hats n’ kickers, lognhorns, spice and good ol’ boys. It is the land of art and fabulous architecture and very, very good food. Last night I went with friends to Stephen Pyles Restaurant on Ross Street. It was a delight to sit outside being ruffled by the slight breeze, sipping a French rosé (Domaine d’Hortus) while dipping naan into hummus, a multi-cultural mix in the land of the longhorn. This points out one of the glories of eating in the USA. There are no barriers, anything goes. Mr. Pyles has taken East Indian food and mixed it with that from the Middle East and the Magrhreb. Does anyone care where it came from, in favor of that it tastes so good? I doubt it – this master of foodcraft never ceases to delight his faithful followers – the place was overflowing. Stephen Pyles’ Restaurant 1807 Ross Avenue Dallas, TX 75201-8002 (214) 580-7000.

East Indian Chicken with Cashews at Stephen Pyles Restaurant

His restaurant is right near the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera house, awesomely glowing red in the night. Designed by Foster + Partners it is close to if not part of the Dallas Arts District where I.M. Pei has two signature creations, each seeming to be made of fabric. They fold into themselves as they spear the sky. Foster + Partners designed the Annette Strauss Artists’ Square, and the City Performance Hall, another architectural wonder, is thanks to Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. Speaking of lush and shade, there is also the Michel Desvigne Elaind D. And Charles A. Sammons Park. Why so much art – inside and out – in Dallas? It’s been a forty-plus year project, funded mostly by private donations from people who want urban beauty. It’s so far a huge success.

This early morning, granola is on the menu. If you like being awakened by crunch and a slight sweetness, try the granola recipe in Nuts in the Kitchen (page 4-5). It’s a blend of the sweet and savory, the crisp and the crunchy. Serve it with seasonal fruit which would be, right this very minute, a big mound of strawberries. Bon Appétit!

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