At first blush, Grapevine welcomes yet another venue focused on wine, with the opening of Great Scott on July 6. But, this is no ordinary menu, and this wine list has been crafted by owner Matthew Scott, a twenty-five year industry veteran, who is nationally renowned for his wine knowledge.
Scott managed Abacus beginning in 1999. He cultivated the successful wine and beverage program there and then became the Corporate Director of Operations for Abacus and Jasper’s Restaurant Group. Matthew was responsible for Abacus being recognized for “Best New Wine List” by Food & Wine Magazine.
Matthew and his wife and co-owner, Danielle Scott, scanned the food and beverage scene in Grapevine and surrounding Colleyville and Southlake to see what was missing from the mix − old-world charcuterie came to mind. After all, there is a timeless affinity between charcuterie (classically cured meats) and wine. In fact, Great Scott calls itself a “Meatery” with cured meats actually serving as the backbone of their menu.
I know of many local chefs who take the time to cure one or two varieties in-house these days (most typically bacon or sausages) which can then be parlayed into other dishes on their menu. But, this is the first local restaurant to use in-house cured meats as the spring-board for the rest of the menu, which has a definite European accent.
The Scott’s tapped two chefs who are very adept at this classical cuisine to run their kitchen, Chef Norman Grimm and Sous Chef Tom Yuengling. Grimm graduated from the New England Culinary Institute, in Montpelier, Vermont, in preparation for his 27 year career. He even spent a year in the south of France at a one star Michelin restaurant, “le Muscadins” and has been perfecting his take on French and American cuisine ever since.
Chef Grimm has worked in some of the nation’s best kitchens including: Aujourd’Hui, Rubicon, Jardiniere, the dining room at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco, Redd, Tra Vigne, and York Street in Dallas. His most recent credits include two Trinity Grove hot-spots. Grimm was executive chef of Souk and Baboush in Trinity Groves following opening Kitchen LTO, the first permanent pop up kitchen in Trinity Groves.
“When we first met with Chef Grimm, we were struck by the bold tattoo on his forearm of a pig, a knife, and open flame and a ham-bone. We knew right then and there that he was our guy. And, the rest of the staff we have assembled shares the same vision as well,” said Danielle Scott.
Likewise, Yuengling has notable credits. After studying at the Western Culinary Institute, Tom Yuengling worked under Michael Chiarello at Tra Vigne and also spent time with pastry chef Stephen Durfee at French Laundry. Yuengling was named the lead pastry chef at Bouchon at the young age of 19. He attended pastry schools in both France and Switzerland. He served as the Pastry Chef de Partie at Gm Zum Adler in Switzerland under Michelin star Chef Markus Gass. Yuengling most recently worked with Chef John Tesar at Spoon and with Chef Stevens at Stock & Barrel.
The former Carrabba’s Italian Grill has been redesigned with a Prohibition Era theme in mind, repurposing as much of the rich golden oak as possible. The signage has a Great Gatsby feel, and heavy, seeded glass and steel pendant lighting, as well as wine barrels, lend to the desired Art Deco and Prohibition era theme. You will hear only Big Band or jazz music, and the bar area plays black-and-white films.
In-house charcuterie is a labor intensive art form that requires patience and exacting measurements to achieve. “A former walk-in freezer has been converted into our drying room, where the moisture content, pH balance and weight of the meats are measured daily. Curing meats is a highly scientific process, and everyone is excited to take this kind of care in what we are creating,” Danielle said.
“Some of our meats won’t be cured for over a year and half, so in the meantime we are outsourcing some of those long-curing products. We are a whole animal butchery at Great Scott, and are smoking our own hams, salami’s and sausages,” she said. The only meats currently not butchered on-site are the steaks and venison.
Expect a unique menu with the likes of an extravagant Foie Gras Trio featuring a terrine topped with apple gelèe, a torchòn and huckleberry and a mousse with toasted brioche, or Duck Confit with persimmon, pears, panchetta and ver jus.
Great Scott has a Chef’s Table which seats eight, as well as a private dining room for 22, when not booked for private meetings or meals it will serve as a European style communal dining experience. The front lawn has been repurposed into a chef’s garden, growing tomatoes, cabbages, peppers and watermelon. The chefs can also glean from many elevated herb gardens around the perimeter.
Great Scott opens at 1701 Cross Roads Drive in Grapevine on Wednesday July 6.