Making Dallas Even Better
This week’s podcast is the first ever en plein air episode of BraBurner. There is compost. There are fresh figs. There is a dwarf heritage chicken named Minnie Pearl. There is a goat revolt that I may or may not have caused. Holland discloses a heretofore secret allergy to cloven-hooved beasts.
We wanted to talk about North Texas Giving Day, which is coming up on Thursday. So we figured it was a great excuse to head down to Bonton Farms in South Dallas on a gorgeous sunny day to hang out with its founder, Daron Babcock, along with Trisha Cunningham, the new CEO of the North Texas Food Bank.
As I’m sure you are aware, NTGD is the day when you can donate money to your favorite local charity and, through the Communities Foundation of Texas, that charity becomes eligible for bonus money and matching funds. (Full disclosure: Tim Rogers’ wife, and my tennis team co-captain, is part of the PR effort for this event.) Last year, Dallas set another national record, with $37 million donated in 18 hours to more than 2,500 nonprofits.
Bonton Farms and the North Texas Food Bank are just two of the possible charities you can give to. Listen to the podcast via the streaming player after the jump or use your favorite podcatcher. Learn about the fresh food revolution Babcock is leading in South Dallas with the help of some former criminals and Cunningham’s plans to tackle hunger in North Texas one can of low-sodium green beans at a time. For this one, I don’t have any show notes, but I do have one piece of wisdom shared by Danny, one of Bonton Farms’ super helpful employees, on our way out. After giving each of us a perfectly ripe fig to eat (Holland’s first), he advised us that next time Aunt Flo comes to town, boil up some fig leaves and drink the tea. Your cramps will be gone.Full Story
Texas Monthly just released its list of the 50 best barbecue joints in the state. The top 10 are ranked, with the other 40 merely listed by city, even though each place gets a numerical score on a 5-point scale. It’s confusing. Maybe in print it makes more sense. Anyway, Cattleack Barbeque, Lockhart Smokehouse, and Pecan Lodge are the three Dallas places on the list. Cattleack comes in at No. 3 overall and scores 4.75. Pecan gets 4.25. Lockhart gets 4. Is it time to fight?Full Story
Years ago, my wife and I were in Paris on Valentine’s Day. I assumed that the City of Love would have nothing but disdain for the Hallmark-invented holiday, but I was wrong and every place was full. My only hope was that we had a head start because we were hungry and ready to dine at 6 p.m. like the uncouth Americans we are.
We came across a lovely restaurant with a Valentine’s Day menu posted on a chalkboard out front and asked the maître d’ if he had a table for two. He skeptically looked us up and down.
“Can you eat in two hours?” he asked. I stared at him blankly. “Can you finish eating in two hours?” he repeated impatiently.
I nodded. I was confident that we could eat pretty much anything in fifteen minutes.
Still suspicious, he seated us at a table by the window and the feast commenced. Course after course arrived until we couldn’t manage another rabbit rillette or butter-drenched snail.
Then came a trio of pots de creme. Then a plate of mini macarons and chocolates. Then a tray of house-made marshmallows. As we waddled out the door at 7:59, the maître d’ gave us a reluctant nod of approval.
That’s what my dinner at Flora Street Café last night was like, without the time constraint. We had a reservation at 6:30 to celebrate a friend’s promotion, and my wife and I arrived an hour early to start drinking. We were seated immediately and leisurely enjoyed our overly sweet but satisfyingly strong cocktails while watching the staff prep for the dinner service in the open kitchen.
When our friends arrived, we worked through the wine menu with our effortlessly adept waitress. I told her we needed something sparkly and dry. She brought us a bottle of Paul Clouet Grand Cru. To start, we ordered the lobster tamale pie, Nantucket scallops with coconut, and wagyu beef tartare. She surprised us with the kona kampachi. We ordered the lamb, rib-eye, and venison to share. She advised us that the venison was actually antelope (even better) and recommended the corvina as a fourth dish. She suggested a red that worked with the fish and rib-eye for our dining companions and didn’t even flinch as I chose to stick with the bubbly as I devoured my perfectly cooked lamb, only pretending to share. Not ready to let the evening end, we ordered the tres leches cake and she surprised us with the addition of a fleur de sel chocolate mousse accompanied with a “congratulations” note in chocolate.
Then came a plate of mini meringue-topped cookies, cassis gelee, and tiny frangipane triangles.
Then came a wooden cigar box of Katherine Clapner’s peanut butter and jelly, spicy mole, and foie gras-filled chocolates.
Then came tiny gift bags of candied pecans.
Five hours after we arrived, having stayed through two full seatings with no complaints, our waitress hugged us on our way out the door.
Viva la lobster tamale pie.Full Story
This is how my brain works. I saw Alex Macon’s post today about the Neil deGrasse Tyson event at the Winspear on Valentine’s Day. I thought, I love Neil deGrasse Tyson. I haven’t planned anything for Valentine’s Day. How much are tickets? Tickets are sold out. Why did Alex post an event that’s sold out? What am I going to do for Valentine’s Day now? Melissa likes to go to Norma’s for their Valentine’s Day dinner, which is a three-course fried extravaganza of awesomeness topped off by red velvet cake. Those fried mushrooms are the best. I wonder if they’re doing it again this year. They must be doing it again this year. But I better double check the website. They are doing it again this year. But what’s this? A Tailgate Touchdown box for six for the Super Bowl? With your choice of brisket sliders, chicken tenders, mac and cheese, and … a pie?!? How have I not heard of this? What’s the difference between chocolate peanut butter and Reese’s pie? They both sound basically like a Buckeye, which is what Zeke would order. I wonder who I can invite over for the Super Bowl. My friends probably already have plans. I don’t even know who’s playing in the Super Bowl, except not Zeke. I wonder how much food it actually is. “For six.” Melissa and I will dominate that box. I don’t need friends.Full Story
Maybe you were worried that there would never be another episode of upstart podcast BraBurner. Fear not: the second installment has hit the virtual airwaves.
This time around, Kathy, Holland, Nancy, and Catherine, met up at Ships Lounge, the beloved Lowest Greenville bar that reopened with a new look (and liquor available for the first time) last month. Their guests were actor Baron Vaughn and restaurateur Jack Perkins (Maple and Motor, The Slow Bone).
Before you hear what they had to say, a few notes:
1. Baron Vaughn appears in the Netflix series Grace and Frankie.
2. Vaughn is also a stand-up comedian.
5. Tom Servo was a puppet of a robot with a head that looked like the top of a bubble-gum machine on Mystery Science Theater 3000, which began as a local Minneapolis TV show before running on Comedy Central and later the Sci-Fi Channel in the 1990s.
7. The lyrics of the “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” were written during the Civil War and first appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in February 1862. The version below includes updates to Julia Ward Howe’s original text:
1. Mine eyes have seen the glory
of the coming of the Lord;
he is trampling out the vintage
where the grapes of wrath are stored;
he hath loosed the fateful lightning
of his terrible swift sword;
his truth is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
2. I have seen him in the watchfires
of a hundred circling camps,
they have builded him an altar
in the evening dews and damps;
I can read his righteous sentence
by the dim and flaring lamps;
his day is marching on.
3. He has sounded forth the trumpet
that shall never call retreat;
he is sifting out the hearts of men
before his judgment seat;
O be swift, my soul, to answer him;
be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
4. In the beauty of the lilies
Christ was born across the sea,
with a glory in his bosom
that transfigures you and me;
as he died to make men holy,
let us die to make men free,
while God is marching on.
5. He is coming like the glory
of the morning on the wave,
he is wisdom to the mighty,
he is honor to the brave;
so the world shall be his footstool,
and the soul of wrong his slave.
Our God is marching on.
8. Newsies was a 1992 movie musical.
9. The cover of the September 2016 issue of D Magazine:
10. In a brisket, “the flat” is the bigger, leaner bottom section.
12. The cover of the Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass album Whipped Cream & Other Delights:
13. The cover of the August 2000 issue of D Magazine:
Now, give the show a listen, whether via the player below, through iTunes, or Stitcher, or your favored podcatcher.
I know it was 90-degrees what feels like five minutes ago, and it most likely will be again. But all of last week the sky dropped rain in fits and spurts, and I dreamed of soup. Here, then, are a few ideas to keep in your pocket for days when the weather turns grey and drizzly and the sky is a ponderous question. All of them are lovely and humble.
When what you want is not a cocoon, but something to awaken you with color and texture, head to La’ Me in the Lake Highlands strip-mall stretch that holds Hong Kong Market and Bistro B. Many are here for pho or for bahn xeo, crispy crepes served with a flurry of herbs. But you’re here for Mi Quang, the iconic soup from central Vietnam that’s unmistakable with its bright-yellow, turmeric-tinted rice noodles. It’s a more unusual find, distinctive even within the repertoire of Vietnamese soups that includes the classic pho. Its pork broth is wonderfully flavorful. The bowl also holds a tangle of shredded lettuce, bean sprouts, toasted peanuts, fried shallots, pork slices, shrimp, a halved hard-cooked egg, sprigs of mint and basil. Alongside are lime wedges, chiles should you need more heat, and a puffy, black-sesame-studded rice cracker that adds crunch. With its brilliant colors and play of textures, it’s simple (it’s a common breakfast dish), but multi-faceted and marvelous.
The soba curry at Tei-An is not the usual Japanese curry, often a sticky brown, homogeneous goo, a sort of workaday spice mud to ladle over rice. Tei An’s version is still homogeneous and it is still brown, with bits of onion and a few slivers of scallion, but it has the subtle marks of Tei An’s refinement—in the way the soba noodles (Sakurai’s specialty, and one of the things that gives this curry a twist) slip and glide through the curry that is, itself, a little more svelte, more beguiling in its spices—the flavors earthy and comforting, but still animate. A big bowl sends up wafts of spice. Sakurai works a little magic with this ultimate Japanese comfort food.
The garlic soup at Si Tapas, a Castilian specialty, is rather nice on a rainy day. A humble peasant dish, it falls squarely into the realm of brothy staples, like a Spanish version of French onion soup. It’s part of the lexicon of Spanish “caldos,” many based around simple greens and garbanzo beans, maybe with a touch of paprika. Sopa de ajo may be one of the humblest. I love its broth, limpid and redolent with garlic. Bits of serrano ham add smokiness, bread cubes bulk. The yolk of an egg, broken into the broth, contributes a little body and richness, while the white forms clouds, as in egg-drop soup. I like its simplicity, the dish fully tied to its origins of frugality. Eat this and imagine Castilian shepherds keeping warm.
In a tiny shop tucked in a corner of the shopping center that houses H-Mart, Charm Juk’s owner serves variations on the homely Korean rice porridge that’s sort of like a ricey cream of wheat, thick and ivory-colored and comforting. You can find it laced with chicken and ginseng or with abalone (a classic). You’ll recognize the variation that’s solid orange from pumpkin. Carefully prepared banchan—dishes of marinated mushrooms and kimchi—are lovely savory additions that deliver little umami touches to what is really a big bowl of porridgey comfort that soothes the soul.Full Story
Summertime is here, which means plenty of travel in and out of Dallas with friends and family, evening barbecues, and afternoon pool parties. These wines are perfect for every sun-filled occasion. (A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.)
Excitement around quality Texas wines produced throughout the state continues to grow, and rightfully so as there are some stellar wines available, made right here at home, now. Pedernales Cellars Viognier, from fruit grown in Texas High Plains and South Plains, is filled with fresh mango, soft herbs, apricot, and peach flavors with a round and inviting palate that is perfect paired with creamy cheese or fresh shellfish. $17 at Pogo’s.
Sister winery to Pedernales, owned and operated by the Kuhlken-Osterberg family, is Armadillo’s Leap, a fun, relatively new wine brand that is not to meant to take itself too seriously, producing very approachable, everyday style wines. Bonus, it also gives back with $1 of each case sold going to their designated charity, which this year is Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center , a 75-acre preserve located in Southwest Travis County, with a mission is “to inspire people to develop a lifelong practice of enjoying and protecting nature.” Their Armadillo’s Leap Wine Wednesday White is a blend of three varieties you don’t usually see together, Muscat, Viognier and Pinot Grigio for a very fruity, juicy wine great for pairing with spicy Thai or Mexican food. Their wines are available via their Texas tasting room, located just outside Fredricksburg. Tastings are $10 for 6 wines, wine range in price about $15-$20 a bottle.
Another somewhat unusual blend is from the Adeliada District of Paso Robles, quite near the coast, from a winery bearing the same name. Adeliada Anna’s White blends Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Picpoul Blanc and Roussanne together for a floral, stone fruit and citrus filled wine layered with honeysuckle, granny smith apple, tropical pineapple and guava notes. A beautiful, ripe fruit filled wine that is ideal on its own or with grilled lobster or spicy Thai style crab salad with chilies. $35, via their website.
Grenache Blanc and Clairette come together in a honey, golden apple and white flower filled Rhone Valley wine that is soft, inviting and well-rounded. Ferraton Pere & Fils Cotes-du-Rhone Samorens Blanc, from the northern part of the region, ensuring cool temperatures and the blustery Mistral winds keep acidity high, create an approachable wine that clearly has a sense of place, and great taste. $14, available at La Cave Warehouse.
The varieties in Franciscan Equilibrium White Wine blend are perhaps not uncommon, but usually you don’t find Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Muscat together. However, in this Napa Valley white wine they meld easily for a wine filled with soft herbs, lemongrass, ripe apple, melon and flowers. A special wine that is meant to be fun, unique and easy. $23, available via their website.
Not far from the Rhone, the Languedoc region in Southern France, Gerard Bertrand Picpoul de Pinet is a rather full-bodied white wine with layers of citrus, briny saltiness and minerality from the close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, soft herbs, apple and pear. $14, available at Goody-Goody.
Pinot Grigio is often slightly juicier and riper than some Pinot Gris, as the climate of Italy is often warmer than that of the traditional Pinot Gris growing regions, like Alsace and Germany. However, the Tommasi family elevates their Tommasi Le Rosse Pinot Grigio, displaying an earthy, grassy and very fragrant wine from their estate vineyard in Valpolicella. Lively and balanced, with just the right amount of fruit, available for $14 at Spec’s.
Along same juicy, fruity style, La Crema Pinot Gris from fruit grown in Monterey County is filled with ripe honeydew melon, fresh apple, lemon and orange blossom flavors with great acidity and brightness thanks to the cool Pacific coastal breezes keeping fruit fresh. $20, available at Total Wine.
Slightly more rustic and earthy, yet still filled with ripe fruit, FEL Pinot Gris, from Anderson Valley, melds wet stone and herbal notes with green apple, lemon and grapefruit notes for a balanced, clean and elegant white wine. $25, available via their website.
From Tuscany, Italy, Aia Vecchia Vermentino melds ripe golden grapefruit and lemon-lime flavors with grassy, herbal notes, making this a distinct, and delicious Old World style white wine filled with earthy character and great acidity. $12, available at Jimmy’s.
When we think of wines from Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo we usually think red, however this beautiful Italian region can also produce elegant, refined and delicious whites from Trebbiano fruit. Mascaiarelli Tenute Agricole was established in 1978, with the first wines produced by Gianni Masciarelli in 1981 in the village of San Martino, known for their nutrient poor, mineral intense soils at various elevations. This backdrop is ideal for growing premium quality Trebbiano. Their Masciarelli Marina Cvetic Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Riserva, named for his wife, is one of the portfolio’s premium wines, filled with crushed stone and mineral note, white flowers, honey and peach. Fresh and inviting, perfect for summer or anytime. $45, available here.
Dry Riesling is the darling of the wine world right now, especially among Sommeliers who can appreciate the approachable style and pairing ability of these flavorful, mineral intense and aromatic wines that often taste exactly like the soils they are grown in. Germany, in particular, shines in producing variety.
Through Wines of Germany, and a new wine importer/distributor here in Dallas, Traubenhaus owned by Texans Justin and his wife Jessica Bryan and Germany-based Paul Steinbach, I have tried several recently. If you are unsure about Riesling, as the labels can often be confusing, but know you would like the dry style of the wine, just looks for “troken” on the lable as that means “dry” in German. Weingut Matthias Müller is in Spay in the Mittelrhein Region of Germany. The Müller family has been farming and making wine for over 300 years, with Riesling the staple variety of their vineyards. Their new release 2014 Matthias Müller Bopparder Hamm Feuerlay -S- Riesling Trocken is filled with white flowers, wet stone and intense minerality on the nose with fresh stone fruit on the palate from a classified vineyard tract with the VDP’s highest classification, “grand.” $35, with the new release becoming available on their website now.
From the Mosel region with roots dating back to the 1156, and the current estate boasting vines over 100 years old, SA Prüm Luminence Dry Riesling is very fresh and vibrant, with racy tropical fruit, citrus and classic Riesling flavors. A perfect food wine for the summer to pair with anything from summer salads to creamy cheese. $24, available at wine.com.
I love a clean, crisp and grassy Sauvignon Blanc on a 100 degree day, especially one made well like Merryvale Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Herbal, lemon-lime and melon notes fill the palate with the right balance of acid and fruit, and a refreshing, juicy finish. $28, via their website.
From Carneros, Cuvaison Solitaire Sauvignon Blanc from one block in their sustainably farmed vineyard is filled with white flower notes of orange blossom, day lily and honeysuckle with juicy grapefruit, grassy gooseberry and melon notes. Vibrant and inviting, $24 available via their webstie.
From Steve MacRostie, and his incredible winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen, MacRostie Dutton Ranch Chardonnay showcases the elegance and refinement of Russian River Valley fruit. Aromatic, complex and filled with juicy kiwi, tropical mango and apple. Very small production, about 400 cases, available for $46 via their website.
Spain isn’t the region I would think of for Chardonnay, however thanks to the skilled touch of winemaker Manuel Louzada and the quality of the vineyards, Arinzano has proven the ability to create elegant, elevated wines. Arínzano is one of the few estates in all of Spain to be recognized with Pago status, a member of the Grandes Pago de Espana, an esteemed wine-growing association that promotes the culture of estate-grown wines from exceptional estates, becoming the first Pago in the North of Spain. Their Arinzano Hacienda de Arinzano White is 100% Chardonnay from sustainably grown heritage vineyards that date back to the the 11th Century. With 1 year in new and partially new French oak barrels the textured and creamy wine is filled with honey, almond and citrus, with stone fruit and cream on the finish. $20, via wine.com.
Very floral and tropical, small production Edna Valley Fleur de Edna celebrates the delicate notes of Wente clone Chardonnay from cool climate vineyards of California’s Central Coast near the Pacific in San Luis Obispo. Steely minerality, honeysuckle and lemon leaves fill the glass of this winery favorite. Available via their website for $27.
Making wine since 1990 from some of the most prized vineyards in and around Sonoma, Sonoma-Loeb specializes in Burgundian style wine, with California character. Their Sonoma-Loeb Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay is very well rounded and ripe, with complexity and richness, while maintaining bright acidity. Tropical papaya, lychee and tangerine flavors fill the palate of the wine, finishing with spice, cream and toasted hazelnut. A Chardonnay that can pair with meaty dishes like a hearty pork belly or even a spice rubbed steak. $27 via their website; Pogo’s carries a few of their other Chardonnay selections locally.
If a chilled glass of bubbly is your ideal on a hot summer day, a fruity Prosecco may be the perfect option for you. One consistent crowd pleaser is La Marca Prosecco, tasty on its own, add a few fresh summer berries or peach slices, but also the ideal base for your favorite brunch favorite like a Belini or Mimosa. And, available in both a traditional 750ml bottle size ($17), or individual 187ml ($6) for personalized sipping. Both widely available throughout Dallas.
Earthy and mineral intense, tasting like the soil the vines were grown in, Monte Carbonare Suavia Soave Classico DOC 100% Garganega is crisp, vibrant and clean with mouthwatering stone fruit and citrus notes, soft herbs, crushed stone and raw almonds. A perfect patio wine all summer long. Available here for $25.
It might seem tricky for a steakhouse to stand out in a beef mecca such as Texas, but carnivorous connoisseurs know how to track down the best with just one magic word: “Bob’s.” Founded in 1993 on Dallas’ Lemmon Avenue, Bob’s Steak and Chop House has since grown into a national destination for diners seeking […]Full Story
I have my list of places that are not Italian—where the specialties are not the lovingly made tortellini and spaghettini and cavatappi, the gnudi and farfalle and bucatini—but where the chef turns out excellent handmade pastas all the same, and where, if there’s a pasta dish is on the menu, I’ll be eyeing it; chances are, it’s going to be good.Full Story
Last week I was iridescent. I could have been passionate or relentless or scrumptious. I could have been wild or awake, but I was iridescent. Not for the usual reasons—walking through rainbows or rolling in unicorn powder before work—but because I’d ordered, from the list of juices and other elixirs at I Am the Juice Place downtown, the smoothie with dragon fruit and strawberries.Full Story
In the July issue of D Magazine, our dining critic, Eve Hill-Agnus, wrote about “The Mad Scientist of Sour Beer,” a fellow named Barrett Tillman who followed his muse into an unusual form of brewing that purposefully uses bacteria in its process. Tillman stopped by the Old Monk on Thursday afternoon to chat with Tim and Zac about how he got into the business — and maybe offer samples of his wares.
A few notes before you listen:Full Story
Did you know that Fletcher’s offers a vegetarian-friendly corn dog at the State Fair of Texas? We did, because even if you prefer not to indulge in a Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger beneath Big Tex’s watchful eye, you deserve to eat something while you wait in line for something else.
But it’s not just faux hot dogs that will be keeping you afloat. There are a number of solid sounding options for any vegans and vegetarians planning to visit Fair Park from September 29 to October 22. Here, we’ve compiled a list of them. Veg on.
Find it at Lone Star Roadhouse in the Centennial Building.
Find it at It’s All Greek to Me (of course) at the Tower Building.
Spinach Dip Bites
Find them at Belgian Waffles on Grand Avenue (right outside the Centennial Building).
Veggie Corny Dog
It’s at Fletchers. You’ll know where to find it.
We know it sounds boring, but they add a splash of lime juice and Cajun pepper, so this ain’t your momma’s or Zoe’s Kitchen’s fruit cup! Find it at Fruteria at the Tower Building.
Mango on a Stick
We’re sorry we mocked you in the subhead of this story, mango on a stick. You’re actually quite lovely, and can also be found at Fruteria.
Hummus or Roasted Nuts
Hit up BW’s Famous Fried Ribs at the Tower Building for these delicacies.
Skillet Vegetarian Burrito
Non-meat eaters get to enjoy Tex Mex too at Texas Skillet at the Midway.
Sweet Potato Fries
Find them at the oddly punctuated Jack’s Frys Too! at Cotton Bowl Plaza.
Doc’s Street Grill at Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard has these, along with vegetarian-approved fruit cups and smoothies.
Ask for it sans butter at Darn Good Corn at the Midway and Coliseum Drive.Full Story
I confess: I am not a fan of Game of Thrones or football. I am more of an Ozark and basketball kind of girl. I mean I get it, the whole bloody Roman Colloseum, helmets and body armor and charging armies kind of thing, with half-naked, long-haired ladies cheering from the sidelines. But I prefer a sport or a television series with less pomp and more intrigue, with baggy shorts and headbands, and funeral home money laundering schemes.
Yet I find myself surrounded by football lovers, including my Texas-born best friend and my wife, who only watched college football until we moved to Dallas 13 years ago. Coming from a state (Ohio) where no one claimed the Bengals or the Browns as their own, that was instead united by the scarlet and gray, it took her about three days to adopt the Cowboys as her forever team.
So what’s a lone football hater to do? Cook.
Chili is an obvious choice. Not to brag, but I’ve often made my award-winning recipe. And after Zeke joined the team, I started making Cincinnati chili and Buckeyes in tribute. But Zeke needs to get his act together, and I needed a new menu worthy of what may just be a Super Bowl season. So I picked the brains of Nancy Nichols, Eve Hill-Agnus, and Catherine Downes, and they in turn bugged the city’s top chefs, and we put together a menu in our August issue that is simple enough to make ahead if you actually want to watch the game or slow-cooking enough that you can hide out in the kitchen with your Kindle and Jason Bateman for a couple of hours if you, like me, prefer.
As an added bonus, there’s this: a few random recipes from the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and Tony Dorsett that I found in the 1980 HER Realtors cookbook. From Ohio. Because the Cowboys truly are America’s Team.
Texas Ale Project was founded in 2014 (which we wrote about here) on a strip of road outside of Downtown Dallas. And, to be honest, it’s a very big road (N. Riverfront Blvd.), which may be why this is a very big brewery—plenty of outdoor space for drinking, talking, and talking more after drinking. It’s beautiful. You should go there.
The first beer they launched on Dallas was the Fire Ant Funeral, a traditional amber ale that is sensationally drinkable. Each beer thereafter was just as delicious, and, for this edition, we are diving into two beers with brewer Derrick Rima. He’s a veteran with endless warmth and joviality. He has a daughter, a wife, loves beer, and he is a fine gentleman that we are all lucky to have in our city. We are also lucky to have the brewery’s TAP Fest, which you can attend on April 29.
The Brewer: Derrick Rima with Texas Ale Project
The Beer: The Caucasian, a White Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 9 percent
“It’s my favorite beer that we’re doing right now, just because it’s so unique. It’s gold in color, maybe a little darker than a pilsner, but it has much more alcohol. We just sent off the barrel aged stuff and it has 11 percent. It’s a really dry finish and it’s really easy to drink. It has $1,200 worth of Madagascar vanilla beans in it and 45 gallons of cold brew coffee from Full City Rooster. It was really cool working with Michael at Full City. He let us come over do some of the roasting with him.
We were working on the ratios and we wanted to enhance the coffee a little more this year, so we were able to bring some of the unfinished beer over and test the ratio to get it just right. It was a great experience connecting with another person who’s a maker. That was a real treat. We’ve now got six Knob Creek barrels filled with The Caucasian, and we’re going to be releasing that here on April 29th at our TAP Fest.”
The Beer: Good to Go, a pale ale
ABV: 5.2 percent
“We wanted to do a beer that helps veteran entrepreneurs, and Brent (Thompson, one of the owners) was kind of the lead on this. He wanted to do a charity beer and since we’re both veterans, it seemed like the right thing to do. HCC is a program for veteran entrepreneurs. It’s an incubator program, and it stands for Honor, Courage, Commitment. They have entrepreneurial classes up at SMU and they help put veterans through the course there. They also have offices and work stations at HCC where people can build business proposals and work toward opening their own businesses. We will do a different charity each year and Good To Go will be brewed seasonally to serve that purpose through Texas Ale Project. The name itself came from a common saying that pulled all veterans together regardless of the branch of military. It’s just something you’d hear in whatever one you were a part of, so it seemed to fit.”
Well, if that doesn’t make you thirsty and a little emotional, then I just don’t know how to get through to you. Texas Ale Project, as noted above, will be hosting TAP Fest to celebrate 2 years of brewing. There will be live music, food, and rare tappings. Tickets are still available, so get moving. That’s all for now.Full Story
Everyone’s talking about the restaurant bubble in Dallas right now. First, it was some chick named Nancy Nichols calling Dallas restaurants “boring.” Then, Beth Rankin moved to town and started worrying about us. And just the other day, Leslie Brenner had to chime in.
Well, I’m here to comfort you. I’m telling you right now: Everything’s gonna be just fine. All these sky-is-falling Chicken Littles are freaking out over nothing. This town has a boatload of awesome chefs, and a bigger boatload of opportunities for anyone who wants them.
I mean, have you seen Plano lately? It’s getting super farm-to-turnt up there. Tim Byres is bringing the kickass smoke, Omar Flores is bringing the delicious farting pants, and now it’s time for Plano to make room for a third up-and-coming chef: Isaac Rousso, recent winner of the coveted Most Creative award at the State Fair of Texas Big Tex Choice Awards for his Cookie Fries, who is opening his first of many State Fair Treats restaurants in the Walmart on Coit Rd. in Plano.
That’s right. Walmart. Because if there was one thing the people of Walmart were missing, it was on-a-stick food they could gum while they take a lazy stroll-browse down the inflatable seasonal yard art aisle.
Rousso’s retro-themed dining experience will feature a 45-item menu celebrating the treats families enjoy every year when they make an annual pilgrimage to the fair. Plus corny dog wall art. Just give the man a million dollars and the title of Top Chef right now.
A press release from Rousso’s team states that State Fair Treats restaurants will have a retro-themed dining experience that will feature “a 45-item menu celebrating the treats families enjoy every year when they make an annual pilgrimage to the fair.” Plus corny dog wall art. Stephan Pyles has been itching for those Michelin stars, but I’m not sure how you beat all fried errythang. Maybe next year, Pyles.
If you’re unfamiliar with Rousso, get familiar. Because he’s about to explode. Forget molecular gastronomy. Throw your sous vide machine at the highway. Fair food is the next Everything. Rousso has been a finalist in the Big Tex Choice Awards for years, with previous wins for his Smoky Bacon Margarita, Deep Fried Cuban Roll, and the Fried Pop Tart. I’m not sure how he hasn’t received a James Beard nomination up to this point, but there’s no way they’ll be able to ignore him now.
“Walmart was looking for a creative new food concept to energize high profile locations,” explains Rousso. “During the State Fair of Texas, we have the opportunity to serve more than 2 million people during the fair’s 24-day run. At our first Walmart location alone, we’ll have the chance to see 1.5-2 million people per year.” That means (at a minimum) there will be 2 million more fried things going into bodies per year. Feel good about it, Dallas. Restaurant bubble shmestaurant bubble. Isaac Rousso is just getting warmed up.
The soft opening of the State Fair Treats location is scheduled for September 20th in Plano at the Walmart on 425 Coit Rd. If you’re not there, you’re not anywhere. Rousso has multiple DFW locations scheduled to open in Walmart during the coming year, with plans to open locations nationwide. Ready yourselves.Full Story
Labor Day weekend has traditionally been the end of summertime fun, but it doesn’t have to be. A tasty cocktail at 5 p.m. is always on the menu in Dallas, anytime of year. Here are a few fun, refreshing and always delicious options to enjoy today, tomorrow, and always. (A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.)
Is there anything better than a simple martini with an olive, stuffed with blue cheese if you prefer? Often, when creating cocktails with fruit juice bases I am not too particular about the kind of vodka, as long as it is a quality product. But, for a cocktail where the spirit truly shines, like in a simple vodka & soda, gin & tonic, sipping tequila, the quality of the spirit is the only thing that really matters. With a clean and simple martini Grey Goose must be the go to, and the premium spirit has created a great gift package to make creating your favorite martini that much easier, available now through the holiday season. Grey Goose Holiday Limited-Edition Gift Pack. The limited-edition gift pack includes the signature Grey Goose bottle 70 CL, two bespoke stirrers, and two olive picks. Available on ReserveBar.com for $30.
Grey Goose Bespoke Martini
5 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
2 oz Grey Goose Vodka
1 dash orange bitters
Preparation: Add ingredients to an ice filled shaker and shake until very cold. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an olive.
We do love our tequila here in Texas, and this is one area you always want to have a product produced with great quality (because there is nothing worse than bad tequila, except maybe bad scotch.) Luckily, Tequila Herradura never disappoints, whether you are enjoying their floral, fresh and clean Herradura Silver, earthy Herradura Reposado, or even their toasted toffee, caramel and orange filled Herradura Seleccion Suprema Extra Anejo aged for 49 months, making it the ideal sipping tequila.
Their cocktail friendly Herradura Silver is aged 45 days in American oak barrels before bottling, the perfect amount to add a hint of spice to the floral, herbal notes of the spirit. Since 1870 Casa Herradura has been hand harvesting and estate bottling their 100% blue agave tequila from mature plants grown on their Jalisco, Mexico estate. The result, the ideal base for your favorite margarita.
2 parts Tequila Herradura Silver
1 part fresh lime juice
½ part agave nectar or to your taste
1 part Pomegranate Juice
Preparation: Combine ingredients in an ice filled shaker and shake until very cold. Strain over fresh shaved ice. Garnish with a lime, and if you like, a fresh mint leaf or two.
The use of fresh herbs and fruit in seasonal cocktails adds depth and layers of flavor to any drink. For a twist on a mint julep add freshly muddled peaches, or refine your Bourbon with floral notes of St. Germain elderflower liqueur with freshly muddles blueberries.
2 parts Maker’s 46 Bourbon
1 part St-Germain Liqueur
10 fresh blueberries
5 fresh mint leaves (optional)
Preparation: Muddle the St.-Germain and blueberries, and if adding mint, together in a glass. Add ice and the Maker’s 46™ Bourbon. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with fresh berries.
The perfect summer into autumn cocktail incorporates barrel aged rum from with fruit filled, fresh apple liqueur from Germany, Berentzen Apple Liqueur made with sun-ripened apples. If you are more a fan of spiced rum, swap the aged rum for a stellar cocktail with Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, perfect for your adventures to the harvest pumpkin patch or on Halloween night.
1.5 oz Golden Aged Rum like Brugal Anejo
1 oz Berentzen Apple Liqueur
.5 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Aromatic Bitters
Preparation: Combine ingredients and shake heartily with ice, then strain over crushed ice.
In honor of how well our American athletes did this year in the Summer Olympics, a cocktail to toast their triumphs and success.
Knob Creek American Champion Old Fashioned
Crafted By Celebrity Chef Michael Symon
1 ½ Parts Knob Creek Rye Whiskey
½ Part Lemon Juice
¼ Part Green Chartreuse
6-8 Mint Leaves
Preparation: Combine all ingredients (except ginger beer) in a bar tin with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled Collins glass, top off with ginger beer and garnish with a single mint leaf.
I love the flavor of Deep Eddy Vodka Real Lemon and Real Grapefruit. Instead of being cloyingly sweet the refreshing vodkas taste like the fruit they are meant to, making them the perfect base for something as simple as a vodka soda, or an infusion with fresh mint, berries or fruit.
Blackberry Basil Smash
2 ounces Deep Eddy Real Lemon Vodka
5 fresh basil leaves
½ ounce simple syrup (optional)
Preparation: Add berries and basil to a shaker and muddle, then add ice, vodka and syrup (if you are using, I think the flavor of the vodka stands on its own and doesn’t need the additional sugar, but mix to your taste.) Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Top with soda.
With the end to summer I often think ripe tropical fruits, like mango, pineapple and guava, may go away as well. Luckily, we can always enjoy a bit of the tropics with Plantation Pineapple Stiggins Fancy Rum infused with Victoria Pineapple, both the rinds and fruit, creating a balanced, fruit filled and delicious rum. Inspired by the favorite drink of Reverend Stiggins, a character in Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers, the rum was named”Best New Product” at the 2016 Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans earlier this summer.
Created by Michael Goldman, Maison Ferrand
2 oz. Plantation Pineapple Rum Stiggins’ Fancy
1 oz. Fresh lime juice .5 oz. Ginger Peppercorn Syrup*
1 tsp Maraschino Liqueur
Preparation: Swizzle all ingredients with crushed ice. Top with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprig, Angostura Bitters and Peychaud Bitters.
*Ginger Peppercorn Syrup
2 cups Pure Cane Sugar
1 cup Water
1/4 cup Fresh Ginger
1 teaspoon Salt
Preparation: Simmer all ingredients for 10-20 minutes. Strain and cool.
Another fruit infused cocktail, that adds the fun of bubbles to the party melds fresh melon, I used cantaloupe but honeydew or watermelon would also be delicious, SKYY Infusions Vanilla Vodka and Prosecco, I used La Marca as the fruity palate is great for mixing with cocktails. The result, the perfect poolside summer cocktail that can be enjoyed for Sunday brunches well into the fall.
1 part SKYY Infussions Vanilla Vodka
1/2 part Midori
1/8 cantaloupe melon, rind and seeds removed, chopped
1/3 cup ice
Top with La Marca Prosecco
Preparation: Add ice, melon, vodka and Midori to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a coup glass. Top with Prosecco.
Mescal lovers know that the spirit is the ideal base for any cocktail, adding just a hint of smoke to floral and fresh aromas and flavors, and this one couldn’t be easier.
2 parts Montelobos Mezcal
1 part Fresh Lime Juice
½ part Simple syrup
Preparation: Combine ingredients over ice and shake well. Serve over fresh ice in a rocks glass with a salt & black pepper rim and orange slice.
This beautiful, temperamental variety produces some of the most beloved wines in the world. If you are a Pinot Noir lover, then you likely have your favorites. I certainly do. But, I continue to be surprised by the quality of wines from various regions and specific vineyards within them. Here are a few stellar Pinot Noir wines to enjoy this summer. (A few selections were sent for editorial consideration, and the tasting with Patz & Hall was gratis.)
Pinot Noir is the ideal base for a bubbly, with the new zero dosage, traditional method sparkler from Gruet in New Mexico proving that even in nontraditional places great wine can be made. Specializing in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the sparkling wine house has been able to grow stellar fruit for their sparkling wines in the normally quite hot state thanks to the high elevations of their vineyards, and the strong shift in temperatures from hot days to very cool nights. Their new line of sparklers, Sauvage, was created to showcase a bone dry style, highlighting the freshness and acidity of the fruit, along with great texture and length thanks to 2 years of aging on the lees (yeasts.) Gruet Sauvage Rose is 100% Pinot Noir filled with juicy strawberry, raspberry and orange blossom. Lively, fresh and inviting, $20, available via the winery.
Gloria Ferrer has also established themselves as one of the leading sparkling winemakers in California, showcasing classic varieties planted in cool, Carneros soils. Their 2007 late disgorged Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvee Brut is only 67% Pinot Noir, with the remaining blend Chardonnay, but the wine is filled with classic flavors of Champagne, rounded out by the 7 years of sur-lie aging before disgorgement, creating a textured, creamy wine with black cherry, red apple, brioche and Asian spice notes. $26, available at Goody-Goody stores. Their Gloria Ferrer Brut Rose of 90% Pinot Noir/10% Chardonnay from sustainably grown fruit in their estate vineyards. Fresh, vibrant and juicy with red berry, cherry and red grapefruit notes. $50, via their website.
I recently had a chance to taste with Patz & Hall Winery Winemaker and Co-founder James Hall, just hours before announcing very big news that the winery was acquired by Ste. Michelle Wines Estates, proving just how far this special winery has come in 30 years as they were often just steps away from bankruptcy in the early years.
Started by Donald Patz, Heather Patz, Anne Moses and James Hall in 1988, after Donald Patz & James Hall had worked together at Flora Springs in Napa. With similar winemaking philosophies, mutual love of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and a desire to highlight special, single vineyards drove them to start their Sonoma winery working with some of the finest growers in Northern California, and then taking their highly regarded wine out to the people. Donald Patz, as Founder and National Sales Manager, has spent the last almost 30 years showcasing the quality, consistency and approachability of their premium and simply delicious wines.
The entire team has spent the last 30 years fostering relationships with their vineyard owners, working closely with growers like Larry Hyde of Hyde Vineyards in Carneros, producing concentrated, elegant and finessed Hyde Vineyard Pinot Noir ($70) from the Hyde-Calera clone from vineyard blocks farmed specifically for Patz & Hall. Their Burnside Vineyard Pinot Noir ($75) is in Sonoma County near Petaluma Gap, known for growing stellar Pinot thanks to the cooling temperatures and constant breezes off the coast. Owned by the Martinelli family, with grape growing California roots dating back to 1887, the wine is layered with dried and stewed berry notes, dark chocolate and toffee. Also dating back to the 1800’s, Chenoweth Ranch was a former family apple orchard in Russian River that in 2000 was planted to Pinot Noir by Charlie Chenoweth, son of now owner, Bud Chenoweth. From a warmer part of the Russian River Valley, their Chenoweth Ranch Pinot Noir ($60) fruit gets very ripe, filling the wine with juicy red berry, cherry and cola notes layered with a touch of earthy woody herb notes. A side note, I spoke with a few friends from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and my understanding is the plan now is to keep the winery team in place, similar to the approach they have taken with other winery acquisitions they have made, like Spring Valley Vineyards in Walla Walla. Patz & Hall wines are carried locally by Sigel’s or are available via their website.
Russian River Valley truly is one of the most ideal place to grow both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In addition to the stellar vineyards Patz & Hall works with, wineries like Rochioli, Gary Farrell, Vision Cellars and MacRostie produce some of my favorite Pinot Noir wines from the region. MacRostie Russian River Pinot Noir showcases juicy ripe fruit, soft herbal notes and a touch of creamy mocha on the finish. $42, available via their website.
For the past 30 years J Vineyards has crafted not only stellar sparklers in Sonoma County, but also lovely still wines from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit grown within the region. Their J Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir is filled with ripe red cherry, red berry and spice with a touch of spice and herbaceaous notes on the finish. $35, available at Total Wine & More stores.
Wind Racer Pinot Noir, from the Spire Collection a part of Jackson Family Wines with co-proprietors Barbara Banke and Peggy Furth focuses on each’s favorite maritime appellations Anderson Valley and Russian River Valley. Their Wind Racer Russian River Pinot Noir is a bolder expression than some I have tried from the region. Layers of black fruit, chocolate, black licorice and spice fill the palate of this textured, concentrated wine. $50, available via their website.
August Sebastiani started his Gehricke Winery out of a love of the Sonoma region he grew up in, the undiscovered roads that led to old vineyards he played in as a child. Small production, special wines that tell the story of the land. His Gehricke Russian River Pinot Noir is filled with red fruit notes, pomegranate, rhubarb and strawberry with freshness, elegance and balance. $45, available via wine.com or their website.
Seeing the potential in an undeveloped region can be rather daunting, but for David Adelsheim it was his main driver. In 1971 David & Ginny Adelsheim purchased 19 acres of land, filled with wild flowers, in what is now known as the Chehalem Mountain AVA. Over the last 40+ years Adelsheim, along with Winemaker David Paige, who joined in 2001 after the two quickly learned they shared a mutual belief that restrained winemaking methods create much more interesting, complex wines, and Vineyard Manager, Chad Vargas, who joined in 2006, has become one of the most respected and honored winemakers in Willamette Valley, putting not only the winery, but also the Chehalem Mountain AVA on the respected wine region map. David Adelsheim can be thanked quite literally for this, as he led the efforts beginning in 2003 to establish the Chehalem Mountains as an AVA within Willamette, which became official in 2006.
Today the winery manages 183 acres of LIVE Certified Sustainable vineyards in the AVA, and they have just introduced a new wine to celebrate this, as well as all of their achievements within Willamette Valley. Their brand new wine, Adelsheim Breaking Ground Chehalem Mountain Pinot Noir, from dry farmed vineyards planted in volcanic basalt, marine sedimentary & windblown loess soils, is earthy and bold, highlighting the concentration of fruit grown in the area. Blackberries, wild raspberry, black licorice, toasted spice and wild flower fill the wine, that is subtle, smooth and simply delicious, exactly what I would anticipate from all Adelsheim wines. $45, the new wine is just not becoming available in Dallas so keep an eye out, it is available via their website now.
For anyone who doesn’t believe New World Pinot Noir can age well, I say grab a few bottles of gorgeous EIEIO Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley open one now, open one in 5 years and then another in 10 (making sure you care for it well, i.e. don’t “age” it on top of your refrigerator, find a nice dark, cool spot in your home or cellar.) I recently tried a 2004 EIEIO Meredith Mitchell Vineyard Pinot Noir from Winemaker & Owner, Jay McDonald from fruit grown just outside of McMinnville. Now managed by another favorite, Winderlea, but planted over 25 years ago by owners Susan Meredith and her husband Frank Mitchell. Known for producing very textured, concentrated and well structured wines, now at 12 years after the harvest of this vintage the wine was simply sublime, filled with dried black fruit, truffle and woody herbal notes. There are several older vintage offerings on Jay’s website, along with a handful of special library wines available, inquire with him directly.
The Dundee Hills, with their volcanic, red, iron rich Jory soils is the ideal place for Pinot Noir. Farming sustainably, allowing the true flavors of the soils to come through, Stoller Family Vineyard, with the delicate touch of Winemaker Melissa Burr, crafts exceptional, elegant layered wines with character from their estate vineyards. Stoller Estate Reserve Pinot Noir is filled with wild rose, lilac and herb aromas leading into raspberry, wild strawberry and herbal flavors with a touch of sweet spice on the finish. $45, via their website. Their Stoller Estate Pinot Noir is available at Total Wine & More for $25.
Also from the Dundee Hills, Knudsen was established in 1971, one of the oldest in Willamette producing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (with the blend of all three going into their stellar sparkling wine.) Their Knudsen Vineyards Pinot Noir is crafted from 4 blocks of vines ranging in age from 12-22 years old, creating a concentrated, fresh and inviting wine with ripe berry, earthy minerality and spice notes. $55, available via their website.
Undeveloped areas could be the motto for Anderson Valley in far Northern California as much of the rural region is uncultivated. However, for winemaker Michael Fay with Goldeneye this is why he loves not only Pinot Noir wine, but the ability to make it, because Pinot Noir is truly a variety that fully expresses the terroir it is grown in. Goldeneye Gowan Creek Pinot Noir is the most consistent from the area, outside of their Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($55), that is a mix of fruit from their 4 estate vineyards in the area. Gowan Creek Pinot Noir ($82,) though, is known for the ripeness and juiciness of the wine produced from the vineyard. Blackberry, black plum, ripe cherry with lilac and lavendar notes melding with the fruit, available at Total Wine & More stores. Conversely, their Goldeneye The Narrows Vineyard Pinot Noir is from one of the coolest parts of the region, so fruit often has difficulty getting fully ripe, and when it does the yields are very low. But also very concentrated, making the wine very rustic, intense and earthy, and completely individual. $82, via their website.
FEL Anderson Valley Pinot Noir melds ripe red fruit, rose and lilac and spice notes together for a harmonious, textured wine that is perfect now, especially paired with mushroom risotto to enhance a touch of truffle and earthiness in the wine, but will also age well for the next 5 – 10 years. $40, available at wine.com.
Twomey Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, from their sustainably farmed Monument Tree estate vineyard, is filled with similar ripe fruit notes to the Goldeneye Gowan Creek, however there is an additional layer of toasted spice, chocolate and dried flower notes. Lush, lingering and savory with just a touch of earthiness expected from this part of Mendocino County. $45, via their website.
The California Coastal regions from Santa Barbara to Sonoma are ideal for growing great Pinot Noir. From Santa Maria and the Santa Rita Hills to Santa Lucia Highlands, Pinot can thrive thanks to cool coastal breezes from the Pacific, fog filled mornings and nights and varying elevations and evening temperature drops to keep acidity high, even during hot summers when days are very hot, but nights are cool. Presqu’ile Winery recently began releasing a special Pinot Noir from Steiner Creek Vineyard in San Luis Obispo County. The close proximity to the Ocean, along with sand and cobble stone filled soils create a mineral, earth and ripe fruit filled with with a slight saltiness mingling with floral and spice notes. $48, via their website.
Albatros Ridge grows their aromatic Pinot Noir for their Albatros Ridge Estate Reserve Pinot Noir from vineyards sitting at 1250 feet above sea level in Carmel Valley, Monterey County. From select barrels, each chosen based on their superior quality in a blind tasting, the small production wine balanced acidity and freshness with ripe red fruit and subtle earthiness. $55, via their website.
Easily one of the finest examples of stellar cool climate, Central Coast Pinot Noir comes from Sea Smoke. Beloved by many, their wines are consistently elegant, refined and precise, with texture and definite character. Sea Smoke “Ten” Pinot Noir is crafted from the 10 different French clones of the variety the winery grows in their estate vineyard. Powerful and bold, the ripe black fruit filled wine is extremely expressive with a good mix of tannins and acidity, meaning this is a wine that will age beautifully. $82, available via allocation via their website.
Pali Wines has made a point of celebrating great regions, and delivering delicious, varietally correct wines that are also at great prices, with their regional Pinot Noir wines usually priced between $20-$30, incredible for the quality each and every bottle delivers. Their Pali Summit Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills is filled with juicy blackberry, black cherry, Asian spice and toasted toffee. $29, available at Whole Foods stores, Spec’s or via their website.
From Santa Rita Hills, Three Sticks Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir benefits from the cool, coastal influence in both the soils and the climate, as cooling fog settles into the vineyard each morning, swept away in the afternoon by cool Pacific breezes. The result, bright, fresh wine with wild flower and lavender, red berry and cherry. $60, via their website.
A new wine for the Moet-Hennessey portfolio is designed to showcase the cool climate and refined nature of Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Smoke Tree Wines has just released their first vintages of both varieties, 2014, and both seem to have benefited from the great growing season California experienced in 2014. Their Pinot Noir is a blend for fruit from 40 different blocks in areas like the Petaluma Gap, Carneros and Russian River blended to allow the best of the fruit to shine through. $22, via wine.com.Full Story
Cattleack Barbeque (their spelling, not mine) re-opened today after closing for a couple of weeks to expand and remodel.Full Story
Because it’s fun to see what other people are eating.Full Story
Beloved Dallas dive Ships closed last year after more than 60 years of business. We all shed a tear for the bar, said our goodbyes, and moved on. That was until a curious post sprung up from the shuttered dive’s Facebook page on June 30. “Believe in second chances,” was typed next to a photo of Ship’s front door. Obviously this caused plenty of speculation.Full Story
Want to enjoy the best that Dallas restaurants have to offer without ever leaving your home? Our new recurring feature, Dish Pirate, will help you bring the city’s robust dining scene to your kitchen.Full Story
It’s hard to believe that today is July 1. Where did the first half of the year go? I’m working on a story about barbecue so my days have been filled with plates of brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and so many side dishes I had to take pictures to remember them. There’s a lot of […]Full Story
Investigation of DA’s Office Under Craig Watkins Broadens. The bribery case in which Anthony “Tony” Robinson, a former chief investigator in the Dallas County district attorney’s office, pled guilty to taking money in exchange for getting a failure-to-register-as-a-sex-offender case dismissed has already cast doubts on the actions of a former first assistant DA (and current candidate for DA himself) Heath Harris, who signed off on the dismissal. Now it appears this case may just be the start of a broader investigation of the DA’s office when Watkins was in charge. Two former U.S. attorneys told the Morning News that the actions of Robinson and Harris violated “decades of protocol dictating how cases are thrown out.”
Eatzi’s Employee Sues Phil Romano. Ichel Cook, an assistant manager at Eatzi’s, says that the restaurateur (owner of Eatzis’ and founder of the Macaroni Grill and Fuddruckers chains) inappropriately grabbed her buttocks during a company meeting in April. She filed a police report and is asking for at least $1 million in her lawsuit.
Former Cowboys Player Convicted of Sex Assault. C.J. Spillman, a former special teams player for Dallas, faces between two and 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced this morning for the 2014 crime.
Grandmother Arrested For Leaving 2-Year-Old in Hot Car. Maritza Charles told police she forgot the girl was in there when she went shopping last week. When she realized what she’d done, she rushed back to the vehicle and found the girl unresponsive.
Grand Prairie Man Wins Lottery. Lance Larkin had the winning numbers in the June 18 lotto drawing. The ticket he bought at a Kroger in Arlington won him $9.8 million after he opted for the lump-sum cash option.Full Story