The Granada Theater recently held its third installment of Beats and Eats, a series that delivers a four-course meal and cocktails joined with a musical act to compliment the tone of cuisine. Head chef of the Sundown at the Granada Jason West oversaw the night’s fare, a lighter take on classic Cajun food paired with the big band stylings of Texas sextet Roxy Roca.
“It creates a really cool vibe,” West said. “It’s not like going to a fine dining restaurant where it’s quiet. We have communal seating and you may be sitting next to somebody you don’t know. And you’re not forced to listen, but it creates a different experience rather than listening to music from a PA system.”
West, a Louisiana native, likens his cooking approach to music. “Say you have a steak,” West said. “Pretty good by itself, it’s like a drum. Nice, but when you pair it with a sauce or a vegetable, it makes a complete dish. It's the same way a guitar, bass and drums make a complete band.”
Last Thursday night kicked off around 8 p.m. with an amuse bouche (a pre-appetizer appetizer) of dirty rice arancini with smoked whole grain mustard aioli coupled with a “cucumber tini” under red velvety lighting. Roxy Roca walked onstage around 9 p.m. with a brief introduction from Granada vice president of business development Keith Thornburg, sliding into a lightly messy blend of New Orleans jazz and foot shuffling.
Trombonist P. Michael Hayes won over audiences — listening while gorging on pork and beans with char siu sauce — with his jabbing horn breaks and devoted air humps. Well-to-do folk not sweating $85 per ticket rose from their seats to dance by the stage. “For the price, we got a great dinner, great drinks, wonderful music all combined in a non-pretentious atmosphere,” said customer Joseph Maul.
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The Granada Theater has yet to announce an official date for Beats and Eats’ next installment, although Deborah Nicholas, who won tickets for her and a friend from a social media competition, is eager to attend another.
“Everything Dallas has been missing,” Nicholas said. “Food and entertainment together. There’s very few venues like that.”