Editor Elaine Harris stops in to Knife in Dallas and speaks to award winning Chef John Tesar.
John Tesar’s Knife, is a must stop in Dallas where you either go big or go home. If everything is bigger and better in Texas, then Tesar has found the right spot to showcase his culinary chops. Being able to visit the restaurant where this notably colorful Chef uses his bravado and boldness to create some of the best steaks that we have ever tasted, was indeed an experience of culinary swagger.
Taking a sidebar from the Vegas dining scene to visit this homage to the capital of meat empires was a trip well worth taking.
Knife is Tesar’s new star that shines amongst the Lone Star steak houses and stands out among the myriads Dallas upscale dining choices. With a stellar cast in the Kitchen, and a superb front of the house staff, the stage is set for showcasing his state of the art dry-aging room. Looking upon the shelves of various cuts of beef, one marvels at the amount of marbled flesh that is waiting carnivore connoisseurs.
Having a room that places the right amount of humidity, temperature and time, allows the connective tissues of the meat to break down into mouth watering wonders on the plate and Tesar knows how to do it right. With just a salt rub, a little pepper, and some olive oil and and a very hot oven, the gently aged meat is now transformed into a fabulous flavored entre. The menu gives every carnivore reason to bring the bank roll. Along with “old school cuts” of filet mignon 40 oz. or the 45 day dry aged bone in Niman ranch sirloin 24oz., there are pricey offerings like Akaushi beef and a 240-day aged steak. Guests can also select the “new school cuts” of flat iron, trip tip, or a culotte among others.
The homemade sausages,including spicy blood and Santa Barbara uni, and the slow roasted bison rib eye 28 oz. for 2 , are as palate pleasing as the whole roast chicken with panzenalla salad , or the oxtail ravioli with parmesan monte and aged balsamic. Numerous visits to experience the generous and gallant menu offerings will be a weekend ritual for the visitor and local alike.
We were able to start our meal with a lovely yellowtail sashimi accented with Texas ruby grapefruit, avocado, murray salt, and a touch of srirachi with a drizzle of ligurian olive oil. The first bite from my guest was accompanied with exclamation, “If this is the beginning, we are in for an amazing dining experience,” and they were correct with that inspiration.
The wedge of iceberg was more like a head with a generous helping of creamy dressing that was enough for several diners. The bacon tasting of five different yet unique pieces, gave each guest a glimpse on how bacon should be prepared; a bit of crispy with the distinctive oily chewiness that mingles flavors of smoke and salt.
With our palates ready for the main event, we were ready to indulge, our choice, the 21 day dry age 44 Farms 180z sirloin au Poivre with frites. Every bite was a sumptuous succulent delicacy of meat magic. So good, you just can’t wait to tell your friends and neighbors to indulge with you. We also paired our dinner with a gorgeous Crianza that yielded its spicy elegance to the beauty of the meat.
The fini to a fabulous feast, a the dessert of cheesecake, a lovely graham cracker macaroon, cheesecake mousee, and ice cream to create perfect sweetness to a perfect meal.
After our meal we able to catch up with the man who created such a great venue that Texans and tourist can brag about to their friends and neighbors. Not a man to mince words we asked him a few questions to gain a few insights into this intense Chef. When asked what He wants someone walking into Knife for the first time to experience Tesar stated “I want people to have a wonderful dinner with a professional and friendly staff and know they made the right choice to dine with us”.
Our conversation continued as we I began to learn a little more about this interesting and talented celebrity chef.
EH : What would you order of your own menu?
JT : “Everything ! “
EH : What are some of most favorable memories as a chef?
JT: “Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll (laughing). Honestly, all the wonderful opportunities I’ve been afforded during my career. “
EH : If you could dine with anyone in history who would it be?
JT : “Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald during the 1920s Moveable Feast Era “
EH : If you could cook with anyone in history who would that be and what would you prepare?
JT : Eric Ripert and obviously some fish
EH : What advice would you give an aspiring chef or a culinary student?
JT : “ Put your head down and work. Forget about fame. Try to be an individual.”
Knife is a one of a kind steak house in a city famous for them. When in Dallas, stop in to Knife and enjoy some of the best steaks and service in your life.