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Daniele Osteria January 25, 2007

Posted by jyu in Uncategorized.

As the kick of of the sharpening the saw tonight, our first assignment is to go to eat at this Italian restaurant “Daniele Osteria” and investigate the dining experience on every single aspect.  Everyone is assigned to a group with about 10 people.  We have about 15 groups.  Every group is visiting different restaurant.  Luckly, I got assigned with Mark and Wanda.  Gary and Steve from Empathica are also in the group.  I think we also have Brian and Don from OTB, Bobbie from Chili’s and Tom from Maggiano’s.  At least I know half of them already.  So it’s good that I am not eating with complete strangers.

Jason got assigned to a group that he doesn’t know much about.  I think he will be so bored there.  The restaurant he is visiting is called “The Grape.”  He said it’s like a romantic place.

The traffic is just horrible tonight.  The restaurant is located in downtown Oak Lawn area.  Normally it will take about 30 mins to get there from the office.  It took us like two hours to get there.  We even witnessed a horrible accident in front of us in the intersection just right before we arrived the restaurant.  It happened so fast that two cars crashed into each other in front of our eyes.  Both cars are badly smeshed and the smokes coming out.  I think one of the passenger in car is injured.  Ambulance and two fire trucks arrived.  Before we got out of there, the guy who was injured is still laying on the side of the road with the ambulance.  I have never seen anything like that before.  It’s so dramatic when you see it happen right in front of you.  My heart is still ponding like crazy when I got out of the accident scene.

We eventually get to the restaurant.   Everyone is drinking at the bar already.  We have Angela and Ken from “Future Brand” there hosting our dinner tonight.  I think they sell a lot of alcohol beverage to Brinker that they agree to sponsor the whole dinner tonight for our group.  They also have us trying so many different wines and drinks tonight.  I couldn’t even catch up with drinking the whole night.  I have at least 5-6 glasses of alcohol in front of me half done.  Gary was joking like “I guess this is how Joan’s working style.  Never finish the whole thing until the end.”  I was like “I guess you are right, Gary, this pretty much says it all.”  I started with cosmopolitan in the bar.  During the dinner, I’ve tried three different red wines, one white wine, and a expresso martini.  At the end of the night, Daniele even offered a bottle of Sicilian drink.  Man, that thing is such a killer.  Two sips, it’s burning down my throat right away.

Daniele Osteria is the chef of this restaurant, originally from Sicily, Italy.  So the food he served is more of Sicilian style.  He opened this restaurant two years ago in this very hidden location of Oak Lawn.  The main entrance is like in the parking lot.  You have to go through this dark walkway to get to it.  It’s not a very big restaurant.  Probably can accomodate about 30-50 customers only.  He never spent any money on advertising the restaurant.  His philosophy is that if the food is good enough.  People will come.  He is very passionate about serving good seafood.  He hand picks fresh fishes from the market every day.  He custom-made all his ingrediants by himself.  He smelled his fish before he cooks them to make sure it’s good enough to serve the customers.   If customers are asking for expensive wine, he will interview them before he sells the wine to make sure the customers will really enjoy the wine.  Otherwise, he will refuse to see it.

The food was really “AWESOME.”  I have tried his stuffed stripe sea bass.  Oh, mine, it’s so yammy.  It’s a taste that stays in your mouth even after you walked out of the restaurant.  No wonder it’s rated as the top 10 restaurant of 2005 by Dallas Morning News.  The food is a big “WOW.”  Especially, the “Gnocchi” is a super “WOW.” Daniele was introducing about the Sicilian cooking and you can totally feel his passion and love of cooking.  He is really a live example of serving good food.  It’s all about the food.  He doesn’t promote.   He builds the restaurant in such a hidden place that you won’t find it unless you look really hard.  The restaurant is not fancy.  Small, but warm atmosphere.  But he is all about serving good food.  The words get out.  Customers follow him and hunt him down.  He even has a list of clients that he calls everytime he imported fresh fishes from the other countries.  Daniele really rocks.

I am a seafood person.  I know how hard it is to find a good seafood place in Texas.  This place is probably the best I’ve tried so far in the city.  Of course, it’s still far away from the seafood from Taiwan.  We have the world class seafood in Taiwan.

Continued the sharpening, we will meet at Angelika Theater tomorrow at 7:45am… so early…



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