Friday 29 May 2015

Mahler 3 at the Meyerson Dallas and 3 new restaurants in Dallas and Houston

Mahler 3rd Symphony at the Meyerson Symphony Center Dallas:

Mahler is a composer I have only recently come to like, most probably because I hadn't listened properly before, and like all composers, even the most difficult (which Mahler certainly isn't) it all becomes much easier when you listen a few times.  Having said that, many of Mahler's works - and particularly the symphonies - are long, and being one who is incapable of listening at the same time as writing I had made no attempt to listen to Maher 3, all one hour and 40 minutes of it, before I went last week to hear Jaap van Zweden conduct the DSO at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas last week.

So many say that they don't like Mahler and I have to say that it's probably because they haven't given it time or a chance, as much of it is seriously beautiful.  Not exactly easy listening, but if you're a lover of classical music and you've heard your favourite Mozart or Beethoven over and over again you should give this a chance.  This recording of Mahler's 3rd Symphony is with Claudio Abbado at the Lucerne Festival in 2007.

The performance at the Meyerson was wonderful.  The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is fortunate to have Jaap van Zweden, the performance was world class.  The Symphony Center's acoustics are superb.

I've written previously about the Meyerson Symphony Center in:
10 things to discover in the real Dallas - and
The Faure Requiem and Elgar Cello Concerto in I.M.Pei's Masterpiece Meyerson Symphony Center Dallas

Restaurant Reviews
Bilboquet Restaurant Dallas:  

I have to confess that normally I avoid French restaurants in Texas as there is so much other wonderful food there.  However, I may just be changing my mind, as Bilboquet is a great place to eat. It's become quite the place to go in Dallas and is usually heaving with quite noisy groups (it's quieter at lunchtime).  Everything is beautifully prepared and presented and the service is excellent.  If you happen to be paying a visit to Dallas try and book a table.  It's not one of the normal restaurants you will be recommended and a well kept Dallas secret.

Tel: 469-730-2937.  4514 Travis Street #124 Dallas, Texas 75205

Bilboquet offers private dining and also a Brunch Club - they have a brunch on a Saturday once each month.  These blueberry pancakes are on their brunch menu.  Tempted anyone?

Cafe RDG and Bar Annie Houston:

One of my sons is now living and working in Houston so Houston being but a stone's throw (well three and a half driving hours) from Dallas I decided to take him out to lunch RDG Bar Annie, the flagship of famous Texan chef Robert del Grande.

This restaurant is well worth a visit, for lunch, drinks or dinner.  You'll find ladies who lunch, business lunchers and casual visitors all together and at dinner guests both smart and casual.  The food is a true American/Mexican mix-up as well with everything from nachos to burgers, tacos, tostadas, salads, grilled fish and chicken fried beef fillet on the menu.  And everything is extremely good.  This is a major point of call for Houston visitors and definitely worth the trip.

Tel 713-840-1111.  1800 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056

Da Marco Italian Restaurant Houston


This is another Houston secret, although you'll find it near the top in most of the foodie guides (as you will Cafe RDG).  Da Marco is small, always packed and difficult to get into.  Call them directly if you want a table, don't rely on Open Table.

This is Italian food at it's best, comparable to anywhere.  Take a look at the menu which gives a fine example of the serious Italian cuisine, but what sets this restaurant apart is the blackboard of this week's specials, highlighting the fresh produce available at that specific season.  Dress is smart, or very smart casual and unusually for most Texan restaurants they have a dress code.  Try turning up in flip flops and/or shorts and you may get turned away.

Visit Da Marco for a special or business meal.  Expect to come away extremely well fed and quite a bit poorer, as you'll want to try so many things from the prosciutto and pasta with truffles right on to the sour cream chocolate torte with dark chocolate gelato.

Tel: 713 807 8857.  1520 Westheimer Road, Houston, Tx, 77006