Samplings in Frisco, avant-garde cooking
FRISCO – Giuseppe Tentori describes his philosophy on cooking as “very simple and straightforward.” “You don’t need to make it so complicated,” the Italy native said. “Then you lose the original flavor of the dish or vegetable. If you cook with a lot of passion and love, they can taste it in the food.”He visits Samplings in Frisco today to prepare a Celebrity Chef Dinner along with Tyler Gray and Samplings executive chef Michael Weist.Tentori was the chef de cuisine at the famous Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant in Chicago for the last year and a half, and worked in the kitchen there for a total of nine years. Chef Trotter, described by Weist as one of the father’s of contemporary cuisine, is known for using French techniques to bring together flavors from different parts of the world. It’s also known as a four-star experience.”His restaurant is one of the top in the world, consistently year in and year out,” Weist said. “Nothing that he does is second rate.”Today’s menu at Samplings was created by Tentori, but also includes some of Samplings’ most ordered dishes. Weist has worked with Tentori in the past and the two collaborated to make a special evening of exotic (to Summit County) fine dining. Truffles are seasonal in February, and Tentori is serving Perigord Black Truffles along with the cheese course. He will also be serving something that is rarely seen on any menu: veal tongue. And seasonal cone vegetables, originally from France, will also be used in the menu.
“I try and keep it interesting with different products,” Tentori said. “That’s what dining at the level of Charlie Trotter’s is about,” said Weist.Tentori recently gave his notice at Charlie Trotters, and will begin at a new Chicago Restaurant in a few weeks. Although he couldn’t disclose the name of his new kitchen, he said it will be more accessible to diners as a two- to three-star restaurant instead of four. The Valentine’s Day event continues at Samplings on Feb. 13 and 14. Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, features a five-course menu featuring sparklers and new world reds along with a menu that includes caviar and foie gras. The special menu on Feb. 13 is a choice between a three- and five-course menu paired with wines. Both nights conclude with a special Valentine’s dessert and roses for the ladies.The opening evening on Sunday with Tentori also includes a wine collectors silent auction to raise funds for a digital mammography system at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in Frisco. The dinner is Amuse Plus Five Courses paired with fine wines from around the world, and is priced at $159 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call 970-668-8466 for reservations. Samplings’ special Sunday menu, happening today
Giuseppe Tentori, former Chef de Cuisine at Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant in Chicago, will be the guest chef for the evening, which begins with champagne and canapés at 6 before dinner at 7 p.m.• CanapésCoriander Seared Big Eye Tuna with Osetra Caviar and Crispy GyozaGrilled Baby Bok Choy with Pecorino ReNero and Cherry Wood Aged Balsamic Vinegar* NV Taittinger Brut “La Française,” Reims, France
• Amuse Bouche An edible gift from the chef meant to welcome guests and stimulate the appetite • First Course Poached Sea Trout with Crosnes and Nori Dust* 2005 Domaine Ehrhart Riesling “Schlosberg,” Alsace, France
• Second Course Venison Carpaccio with Baby Arugula and Heirloom Tomato Salad, Parmesan Tuile and Truffle Red Wine Mustard* 2004 Joan D’Anguera “Finca L’Argatà,” Montsant, Spain• Main Course Braised Kobe Short Rib with White Runner Beans, Molé and Red Wine Braise Salsify* 2003 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California Or
Diver Sea Scallop with Roasted Turnip, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Semolina Gnocchi and Sweetbreads* 2003 Four Graces Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon • CheeseBrilliant Savarin with Perigord Black Truffles, Mache and Crispy Pancetta• Dessert Course Chefs Dessert for the Table * 2005 Torbreck “The Bothie,” Barossa Valley, South Australia