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Your Feast Portland Survival Guide — Seattle Magazine

Thursday Sept. 18: Widmer Brothers Brewing Sandwich Invitational

Buzz spreads quickly here, so it’s easy to zero-in on the booths with the best offerings – they’ll have long lines. They’ll also run out first, so grab a beer from the Widmer stand and take your place in the queue. The big names from out of town are usually the biggest draw. Seek out Chicago’s Paul Kahan, one of the country’s top chefs, and Matt McCallister of Dallas’ FT33, who is one of Food & Wine’s best new chefs this year. Of the locals, you can bet Rick Gencarelli of Lardo and Tommy Habetz of Bunk won’t disappoint. They’re Portland’s sandwich kings. Just beware the bread. It will fill you up before you’re even halfway through. Try removing the top piece and eating the sandwiches open-faced.

by DANIELLE CENTONI

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Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Eggplant? — Serious Eats

If you’ve ever opened a box of late-summer produce from your CSA and seen a dozen eggplants staring back at you, you may know what it feels like to have no clue about what to do with eggplant. With tough skins and an occasional astringent tinge to the seeds, eggplant’s not without its challenges, but its meaty-yet-silky flesh it stands up well to thin slicing, outdoor grilling, and and bold flavors.

What to do with eggplant besides parming it or blending it into baba ganoush? Six chefs from around the country sing their love song to the nightshade.

by JACQUELINE RAPOSO

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Destination Dallas — Wine & Spirits Magazine

FT33 boasts the most innovative food in Dallas and arguably the most exciting wine list in town. Chef-Owner Matt McCallister highlights wild and foraged vegetables in his dishes, turning seaweed into an oceanic salsa verde for swordfish and rapini, using maitakes to bridge skate and pork belly on the same plate and employing sorrel for its lemony flavor in a sponge cake. Wine director Jeffrey Gregory favors cool climate wines, plying a list deep in Loire bottles, grower Champagne and pinot noirs from the Anderson and Willamette valleys as well as Burgundy. It’s a wine geek’s paradise with Vernay Condrieu, Valdeorras, and Van Volxem Alte Reben Riesling among many others, not to mention the “secret wall of secret wines” in the far back of the dining room, featuring off-list, limited-time specials.

by DILEK CANER

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Matt McCallister Has Been Keeping a Secret — Dallas Morning News

One of the things I love about FT33 is that you can pretty much close your eyes, point to something on the menu and wind up being thrilled. Because of that, it’s not always easy to decide. Calling ahead for and requesting the chef’s $95-per-person 9-course tasting menu is an option, if your reservation is for a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. That can be a wildly delicious (albeit expensive) ride.

But when I stopped in for dinner last week, I learned that there’s another way to go: You can ask for a 5-course tasting menu for $70 per person. Don’t look for it on the menu or website — it’s not there. Unlike the 9-course tasting, you can ask for it once you’re seated in the dining room (the 9-course tasting must be ordered in advance). While the 9-course tasting involves more esoteric, largely vegetable-driven creations, the 5-course tasting is made up of dishes on that night’s a la carte menu, sized only slightly smaller (they seemed full-sized to me). The chef will choose for you, though if there are dishes you’d like to request, that’s generally accommodated.

by LESLIE BRENNER

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Favorite Dishes — Dallas Observer

Being able to offer obscure products is just one reason Matt McCallister has been practicing the art of cured meats at FT33, since way back in the days when he worked at Campo. He also likely does it because it’s fun and interesting, and the chef has yet to display a willingness to shy away from challenges. Right now McCallister is plating up a selection of his own fennel salumi, culatello, soppressata, beef bologna, cascina and lamb’s tongue pastrami.

by SCOTT REITZ

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Tasting Notes — Dallas Voice

Design District hot-spot FT33 is really bringing attention to Dallas’ food scene. Its chef, Matt McCallister, was recently on the cover of Food & Wine magazine as one of the top chefs in the country, and reservations fill up quickly. If you wanna check it out, though, you might want to try a one-night-only wine dinner on Aug. 4 celebrating the Australian black truffle season. (The Perigord-style underground mushrooms don’t just appeal to pigs, but to dogs, pictured above.) McCallister will prepare a special five-course menu of truff-ed out dishes like scallops with black truffle and chives, and local Waygu with black truffle and heirloom garlic. And how about foie gras and truffle eclair with white chocolate for dessert? Seating starts at 6 p.m. and the price is $115/person (add $55 for wine pairing). Call 214-741-2629 for reservations.

by ARNOLD WAYNE JONES

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These 18 Restaurants Have Lovely Custom Plates — Bon Appetit

At FT33, chef Matt McCallister is involved in every step of the creative process in his dishware collaboration with Sarah Petersen of Petersen Pottery in L.A. Before becoming a chef, McCallister went to the Metropolitan Arts Institute in Phoenix to sharpen his eye for design—a skill that helped him articulate the idea to Peterson for the dark ceramics that he now uses at the restaurant.

Where to Buy: McCallister and Petersen’s collaboration isn’t available for purchase, but you can find Peterson’s own work and other restaurant collaborations at petersenpotterycompany.com.

by DANIELLE WALSH

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