by Steven Doyle
Has vodka finally jumped the shark? Maybe not if you are a fan of the Mardi Gras dessert, the King Cake. You remember the garishly bright cake with its neon striations and a tiny plastic baby tucked away for good measure. Now Pinnacle Vodka is offering a seasonal flavor, the King Cake Vodka.
The special sweet hooch is only available in three states, Louisiana, Texas and Missouri. The special holiday blend from Pinnacle has hints of cinnamon cake, creamy vanilla frosting, and sugar flavors. Sounds terrific, right?
If the saints get you motivated to march into your home bar to create a Fat Tuesday cocktail we have a few recipes below. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
Tis the season to open a restaurant in Trinity Groves. If you have not checked out the growing number of restaurants that have recently opened in Trinity Groves, you are missing out on a new treasure in Dallas. The most recent to join that list of openings is Amberjax. Located on the northside of the main building, Amberjax is both a seafood market and restaurant combined into one. Amberjax is owned and operated by Larry Williams and Karen Simmons-Williams. Larry was formerly running the kitchen at Rex’s Seafood Market, and jumped ship to open his own restaurant. Originally he planned to stake claim directly across the street from Rex’s, but that plan was scrubbed and he partnered with Phil Romano and Trinity Groves.
The restaurant opened this past Saturday to a large reception. The room is long and airy with a genteel southern feel. The interior is bright and inviting, and not overly pretentious much like Larry himself. Amberjax is no doubt occupies the largest space in Trinity Groves so far (sans 3015 the cheffy entertainment venue across the parking lot), and also has the largest and most interesting kitchen which is decked out with every appliance known to chefs. Continue reading
by Farah Fleurima
On a visit last month to New Orleans’ Root restaurant, I discovered a garden-fresh oasis of seasonal, chef-crafted fare in a sea of Cajun and Creole excess (not that we dislike those excesses). Executive chef Phillip L. Lopez’s creations fondly reminded me of the earthy uniqueness that comes out of Chef Matt McCallister’s kitchen at FT33: inspired, crafty, playful fare that uses the best of local purveyors and what’s in season … and is plated fancifully.
Inside the Warehouse District eatery, I was delighted by the open airiness and bright green touches in the décor – definitely reminded me of a garden! Continue reading
by Mossie Power
Southern Hospitality is renowned around the world and it was something that this Irish blow-in to Dallas experienced at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail. What was hoped was to educate, taste and taste some more spirits. What was found was that there is spirit alive and kicking with the Texas service family.
For this eager traveler this was both a mixture of work and fun with the now legendary William Grant and Sons party on Wednesday night, with a movie, theme taking up the only time spent behind the stick. Texas was again represented in force with Carly Boord showcasing a cell with all the colors of the rainbow with Reyka. JP De Lora looked even more dapper than his usual fun self with slicked back hair and moustache with Milagro. Continue reading
by Dorothy Hernandez photos by Fred Plunkett
Everything at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail, just like Texas, was bigger. Here’s a roundup of our week (what we can remember, anyway).
Tales founder Ann Tuennerman shared with us via email some of this year’s hottest trends, echoing The Standard Pour’s Brian McCullough, with whom we chatted on Wednesday.
There is a “renewed appreciation for tequila and mezcal and the craftsmen behind the product. We had a tasting event plus a few seminars in tequilas, mezcals and rare agave spirits,” she said, adding the gin and tonic is becoming more popular. Continue reading
by Dorothy Hernandez
Bonnie Wilson had a busy week in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail. The bartender from The Ranch at Las Colinas in Irving arrived last Monday, prepped for the Texas Tailgate on Tuesday, competed in the 21 Cocktail Salute on Thursday and served up drinks with a healthy twist (think spinach, beets, cucumber and booze) at the VeeV Fresh Market outside Hotel Monteleone in the hot sun on Saturday.
With such seminars as Agave Amigos at the festival this year, the three-time Tales veteran backed up the idea that agave is having its moment. As a spirit, it’s blown up in the past couple of years. Continue reading
by Dorothy Hernandez
Thursday morning, Bar Smyth’s Omar Yeefoon took the national title of Stoli’s Most Original Bartender, winning over the judges with creative cocktails such as a play on a Manhattan and a deconstructed Moscow Mule, which entailed lime, brown sugar, a shot of vodka and candied sugar on a plate. He competed against four other bartenders from New York, Miami, LA, Dallas and Chicago. Yeefoon took Dallas last month at Candleroom where he went head to head with Cedar Social’s Trina Nishimura and the Dram’s Jason Birt. Continue reading