by Steven Doyle
Now in its eighth year, Bombay Sapphire and GQ Magazine’s “Most Imaginative Bartender” program traveled to over 40 US cities and welcomed more than 3,500 participating bartenders in 2014. With the aim of advancing best-practice bartending, cultivating mixologists’ skills and encouraging their creativity, the “Most Inspired Bartender” program has played a pivotal role in recognizing up-and-coming cocktail cities, as well as strong holds such as New York and Portland.
The local contest which sends the winner on to compete nationally was held this week in Dallas, and the winner of the competition was Bonnie Wilson, the beverage program manager for Frontburner’s Fork It Over Restaurants (The Ranch at Las Colinas, Mexican Sugar, Whiskey Cake, Velvet Taco). As good fortune would have it, we spoke to Ms. Wilson recently and had a spirited conversation in this Q&A. Continue reading
by Andrew Chalk
LYFE (Love Your Food Everyday) is a concept in a growing segment: healthy, tasty food with a conscious nod towards localism, environmentalism and some notion of social responsibility. After establishing 10 locations in California, Nevada, Colorado and Illinois they have finally arrived in Texas, and are hitting the Dallas area first. There will initially be locations in Plano (at Preston and Park), Preston Center and Uptown (West Village). Last night they held the grand opening of the Uptown location to a packed crowd of foodies, friends, family, media and local dignitaries. Poor Mi Cocina next door looked rather lonely by comparison.
Although we sampled only a small subset of the menu, the boisterous event gave me an idea of what makes LYFE tick. Think of True Food Kitchen and Seasons 52 as similar in concept and also in menu construction. LYFE is more casual and at a lower price point than Seasons and stresses that it is open breakfast (unlike the others), lunch and dinner. In Uptown’s densely populated area the breakfast option is likely to prove popular. Continue reading
This weekend, cancel all your plans. Better yet, make plans to spend your weekend at the Truck Yard. Because all the cool kids will be drinking cocktails from coconuts, and you clearly don’t want to miss out on that. It’s all going down on Friday, August 1 and Saturday, August 2 from 5 p.m. until the coconuts run out, where mixologist extraordinaire Jason Kosmas created a trio of special cocktails served inside actual coconuts. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
A recent visit to Strokers on Harry Hines netted us a really good char-grilled burger, a pretty tasty Cuban sandwich (aptly named the Mark Cuban), and a tour through the nearly 2-acre facility. It was a searing hot Sunday afternoon when we met with Strokers owner Rick Fairless who guided us across the biker’s dream campus, taking us into the secret labyrinth’s where he has a crew at various stages of customizing insanely cool motorcycles. It was there he shared his plan to take over the Big State Drug, removing the apothecary portion of the historic 1948 building, and building around the 50’s era soda fountain. Continue reading
by Andrew Chalk
A big drawback of winemaking is that it is totally in the hands of nature. A great advantage of winemaking is that it is totally in the hands of nature. It depends what nature does that leads you to the first conclusion or the second. In the case of consulting winemaker Bob Pepi, it is the foundation for a lifestyle that sees him commuting quarterly to the southern hemisphere from his California base to make wine at Bodegas Valentin Bianchi in Mendoza, Argentina’s largest wine region. When home he consults with numerous domestic clients in California and Colorado (even in Texas at one point in the past). Plus he has founded his own label, Eponymous. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
The latest restaurant to open with quick public approval is Scotch and Sausage. With a name like that you best have plenty of both, and they do. Look for 20 hand crafted sausages and over 100 choices for scotch. Add a few extras such as their insanely good triple cooked fries and scotch eggs, and you have a recipe for delicious.
The menu offers over 20 varieties of local and house-made sausage sandwiches (including several vegan, pork free and gluten free options) featuring beef, chicken, venison, quail, antelope and more, and all sausages are priced $8 and below. They are all-natural, small batch production with no by products. The sausages not made in house are produced locally at Kuby’s using the Scotch and Sausage recipes. Continue reading