Chef Newton’s popup dinner was a delicious preview of what’s to come. And that ahi tuna tower…


The first course was an ahi tuna tower that included fresh ahi, sushi rice, mango salsa, avocado and caviar.

By SARA VANDEN BERGE

Chef Mike Newton’s popup dinner Wednesday at The Cellar in Stephenville gave locals a delicious taste of what’s to come when his restaurant opens in November.

Cooking for a sellout crowd, the chef offered up a dizzying display of dishes that included his distinct flair for Texas cuisine.

I enjoyed this dinner with some really great friends including Tracie Thurman (center) and LeAnn Durfey (right).

The ambience at The Cellar, which will soon become Newton’s Cellar Private Reserve, provided just the right intimacy for the evening; low lighting, candles and the chatter of friends and neighbors clinking glasses and sharing bottles of wine.

There was even a loud pop of champagne being uncorked.

The evening’s main course featured beef tenderloin served with tequila bearnaise.

But it was the food that took center stage; An ahi tuna tower, crawfish bisque, lobster salad and beef tenderloin followed by a decadent chocolate mousse.

The chef took time away from the kitchen to explain each dish to his guests and pose for a few photos.

NEWTON’S CELLAR PRIVATE RESERVE

If you missed Wednesday’s dinner, you will soon get another chance to dine with Chef Newton.

His restaurant is set to open on Sunday, Nov. 1, with another popup dinner with seating for 50. Reservations will be required.

The restaurant will then be open for dinner Thursday through Saturday with two seatings per night.


“This will be an adult environment,” Newton told Beneath the Surface News. “We are here for the food. It’s going to be dark inside and we want to have good conversation. The service is going to be prompt, but it will not be rushed.”

Tables will be lined with linen and candles and customers will be invited to bring their own wine.

(There will even be wine lockers for those who want to keep their favorite bottles stored at the restaurant.)

The menu will change weekly and feature a few staples like pan-seared tenderloin, barbecue salmon and green chili mac and cheese.

Chef Mike Newton came out of the kitchen while each course was served to greet guests and talk about the dish.

Chef Newton became famous after appearing on the eighth season of MasterChef and more recently starred in an episode of Supermarket Stakeout.

Newton is a native Texan who now lives on a ranch in Lipan.

But his dive into Stephenville is set to change the landscape of the city’s food scene and raise the bar for local diners hungry for an upscale experience.

Stay tuned.

Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Beneath the Surface News. sara@beneaththesurfacenews.com