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[Washington TX] Inn at Dos Brisas

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NJ chef entrepreneur and chef Craig Shelton has turned up in Texas, where he is running Las Brisas, a restaurant and hotel in Washington TX. From the NY Times:


Now the restaurant has added another distinction by hiring Craig Shelton, below, a chef who pioneered the farm-to-table approach on the East Coast at the Ryland Inn in Whitehouse, N.J. Since he took over the Dos Brisas kitchen in December, he has been combining classical French cooking with cutting-edge culinary techniques involving thermocirculators, liquid nitrogen and vacuum chambers.


The flavors of his dishes tend to be delicate, the ingredients gently handled so they retain their integrity. Highlights from a recent winter chef’s menu included Mediterranean rouget-barbet with orange, artichoke, black olive and roquette salad; tataki of wagyu beef with wakame, tempura of Japanese pumpkin and sprouted onion; and parsnip rice pudding with vanilla bean sorbet, crisp phyllo and vanilla liqueur reduction.


Meals include selections of seasonal fruits and vegetables picked from the inn’s adjacent 10-acre organic farm, which features a 7,000-square-foot high-tech greenhouse.


The restaurant’s over-draped décor recalls a suburban country club. But the chairs are comfortable enough to sit through the multicourse meals that are served with great attention and flourish by French and American servers, all of whom are trained sommeliers.


“This is a seed-to-plate operation,” said Mr. Shelton, who honed his skills at restaurants like Bouley in New York. He opened the Ryland Inn, where he earned a James Beard award, in 1991. A series of electrical and structural problems forced him to close the restaurant in 2007.


“Landing here is an incredible reversal of fortune,” he said. “This is a majestic platform where I can cook without constraints or pressure to turn tables and using the finest and freshest ingredients.”


The Inn at Dos Brisas, 10000 Champion Drive, Washington, Tex.; (979) 277-7750; dosbrisas.com. Five- and eight-course tasting menus are $105 to $135, with an additional $95 to $125 for wine pairings; à la carte is also available. (There is a mandatory 20 percent gratuity.) Reservations should be made well in advance.


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