OK, this may be a month or so away, but as you’ll see, it’s worth planning ahead for and making advanced arrangements. A while back, we alerted you to an event where fine chefs prepared inventive takes on cafeteria food, and here we have an0ther seemingly casual affair where some of the areas finest chefs let their hair down for a bit (but not without a hair net, of course!)

Chef’s Picnic at the Lake in Dallas on June 26th from 12pm – 3pm is going to be quite the celebration, indeed. There are other notable causes that tie-in to this event, above and beyond the food, of course. Two Dallas-area institutions are celebrating 100 year Anniversary: White Rock Lake and The Dallas Chapter of the Red Cross.

Check out the Press release for the full information:

Featuring a picnic lunch prepared by Dallas’ top chefs, served from the original Bath House concession stand, along with beer, wine and refreshments from Ben E. Keith, music, and exhibition of old-school photographs and memorabilia from White Rock Lake and the American Red Cross – Dallas Area Chapter and more, Chefs’ Picnic at the Lake will transport guests to a time when White Rock Lake was the staple of summertime in Dallas. 

Deep Eddy Sweet Tea vodka will be serving up signature cocktails including the Minty Deep Daily, The Skinny Dip and The Deep Eddy Splash.

Leading a team of DFW’s finest Chefs, The Grape’s Brian C. Luscher along with Janice Provost, Parigi; Marc Cassel, Peavy Road (coming soon); Graham Dodds, Bolsa; Jeff Harris, RedFork; Nathan Tate and Randall Copeland, Restaurant Ava; Diane and Justin Fourton, Pecan Lodge; and Hollie Dorethy, Personal Chef, prepare an extraordinary seated picnic luncheon with their unique spin on the traditional al fresco-fare.

Proceeds from Chefs’ Picnic at the Lakebenefit the American Red Cross – Dallas Area Chapter and the Comerica White Rock Lake Centennial Celebration which will help fund ten capital projects to include enhancing hike and bike trails, improving parking lots, renovating White Rock Dog Park, restoring the park forests and more.

Sponsors to date include Comerica White Rock Lake Centennial Celebration, Ben E. Keith, The Grape, Highland Park Cafeteria and the American Red Cross – Dallas Chapter.

Tickets are $55 per person in advance and include complimentary valet parking at The Bath House Cultural Center, located at 521 East Lawther Drive in Dallas.  For more information and to purchase tickets go to www.highlandparkcafeteria.com or call 214-632-0784.

Chefs’ Picnic at the Lake is held in conjunction with The Beach Party of the Century hosted by For the Love of the Lake with support from White Rock Lake Foundation and the Friends of the Bath House.  For a full list of events June 25-26 and to purchase tickets go to www.whiterocklake.org or call 214-660-1100.

I pretty much look forward to every meal. Whatever it is, from cereal to the fanciest of swank dinners, I’m game for food in any form. But it was with special anticipation that I looked forward to finally dining at Park, the new hipster restaurant on Henderson with the much-ballyhooed chef Marc Cassel in the kitchen. My plans to eat there had fallen through on numerous occasions, but an out-of-town visitor provided me an excuse to make another go of it. The wait for a Thursday night was 30 to 40 minutes, first available, and we gamely put our names on the list and found a perch at the bar.

parkFirst let me say that the scene at Park is pure spectacle. There was a lot of fashion risk-taking, both men and women alike, and a lot of skin. At 32, I think I actually could have been the oldest person there. The cocktails were fantastic, with fresh muddled fruit and generous pours, and rang in at just $8 a pop. After waiting close to 45 minutes, we were seated indoors, away from the bar and patio action. We decided immediately to split an app, a main and a dessert, starting off with the grilled spring harvest onions and romesco sauce. It sounded like a tasty and unique start to the meal, but, though the sauce paired nicely with the onions, it was really sloppy to eat and kind of bland.

We solicited entrée advice from our waitress, asking which of the pizzas would be light enough to follow up with dessert. She recommended the veggie, natch, and we took her up on it. Sadly, there was nothing light about it. The bounty of vegetables on top was suffocated by cheese and had been cooked with so much oil that it was hard to eat (and unappetizing to imagine the slick of oil on my plate inside my stomach). We left half of it and skipped dessert. I felt like I had ingested a fat bomb. While we waited for our check, a group of servers gathered at the table next to us and began some exercise with the silverware. The chatter and clatter made me feel every one of my 32 years.

I still want to go back to Park for dessert and for more drinks. And, despite this first visit, my hopes are still high. Ish.

1921 Henderson Ave.
Dallas, Texas, 75206