Dallas Love List is less than a year old, so I'm experiencing several long-running food and drink events for the very first time. This was my first year attending CultureMap's Tastemaker Awards - held on April 20th at sixty five hundred - and it did not disappoint.
My favorite restaurants were all lined up side by side, serving their most iconic, flavorful and eye catching (I'm looking at you Bolsa, shown above) dishes. You could feel the excitement in the room, because the majority of restaurants serving food were also nominated for various awards like restaurant of the year, chef of the year, bar of the year, wine program of the year, best fried chicken (a personal favorite category) and best new restaurant.
You know that expression, "A man's man"? Well, this was a foodie's food event. The majority of attendees were in the industry and had a deep love of all things edible. I fell deeply in love with this event the second I saw the long lost Zoli's at a booth right near the front! Be still my heart.
Before we get into this year's winners, let's talk a little about the food that was served by each restaurant.
Streets Fine Chicken
Sriracha spiked deviled eggs with shaved jalapeño.
Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern
House-made garlic crostini, Chef Lee's made meatball, marinara, stracciatella, fresh grated parmesan and basil.
Berkshire pork jowl with granny smith apple butter, cabbages, granola and Mulcay's edible flowers.
Dry-aged beef tartare with potato chips and lobster pepper aioli.
Madai, green tomato, strawberry boshi and buckwheat
Nick and Sams
California roll topped with warm kung pao lobster
Cinnamon bread pudding
Haute Sweets Patisserie
Shrimp and grits with Cajun cream sauce
And of course there were cocktails, lots of cocktails! Woodford Reserve, a main event sponsor, was the featured ingredient in the cocktails that were whipped up by some of the best bartenders in the metroplex.
Cottonsmith spinned their famous cotton candy from the cutest little cart you ever did see!
I about died when I saw these candy olives at the Sugarfina booth. I am a dirty gin martini addict, so I need to order these to have on hand when friends come over!
Trust me when I say there was something for everyone at this event...
You could even get your nails done - foodie inspired - by
This event was just so much fun, I already can't wait until next year. As far as Dallas food and drink goes, this one ranks with the best of the best. Certainly one of the best Thursday evenings I've had in quite some time!
Plus, a big congratulations to all of the big winners on the evening!
Check out CultureMap's full rundown of the night's victors.