Ever since mixologist Jason Kosmas hit town in 2010, he’s been a busy guy. In less than two years he’s shaken and stirred at Neighborhood Services Tavern, Bolsa, and Marquee Grill. Today he told me he is starting The 86 Company, which introduce new brands of spirits. “I have been working on this for years but it is finally coming to fruition,” Kosmas said. “My partners, who are rooted in the craft cocktail movement, and I will collaborate with some of the best distillers in the world to make liquids and brands that are geared towards mixing in cocktails.”
So far, they have created four brands: Aylesbury Duck Vodka, Cana Brava Rum, Fords Gin, and Tequila Cabeza. “The products are all made to be tools for the bartender,” said Kosmas. “The informative and whimsical labels speak to that.”
Kosmas will remain in Dallas. “In fact, we are doing our initial launch in Dallas before New York City or California,” he said. He is still working at Marquee Grill but he is no longer a day-to-day manager on the floor. The 86 Company will make it’s debut at Craft Cocktail Texas which takes place June 14-17.
Kosmas elaborates below: Continue reading "Distilling Spirits: Veteran Bartender Jason Kosmas Launches The 86 Company"12 Comments »
Last year at this time there were two food trucks in Dallas and a smattering of trucks and trailers in Ft. Worth. Green House was operating in University Park and City Street Grille was permitted in Dallas. Fort Worth had a more thriving community: TacoHeads had been up and running since May 2010. May 2011 was a turning point in Dallas: Nammi, Gandolfo’s, and Jack’s Chowhound started serving.
My latest DFW food trucks count follows: 63 active food trucks/trailers, 10 announced and rolling soon, 13 have opened and closed, and another 6 that are MIA (they announced their business only to disappear.) Many of the food truck operators are innovative, great cooks but they lack the experience of running the entire operation themselves.
Operating a food truck is tougher than it sounds. Not only does one have to serve good food, operators must manage schedules, fix engines and transmissions, fill propane tanks, and deal with the weather conditions that range from rain to high temperatures. One operator became so overwhelmed on a hot day he had to lie down and on the floor of his truck and cry it out. He quit the business.
Recently had five food trucks in DFW are off the roads and re-evaluating their business plans, including two of the top food trucks in the DFW Metroplex. Jump to see who have put their food trucks in (P). Continue reading "Hard Truck Story: Five DFW Food Trucks Are Down and Out"10 Comments »
Alberto Lombardi’s Bistro 31 is expanding upwards with its newest European-style terrace bar, 31, opening today. Now you can finish off a meal of steak tartare and steamed pei mussels in the bistro down below, then move your way upstairs to the bar overlooking Highland Park Village where you’ll sip on mimosas and make small talk with clients. It all sounds elegant and fine for Monday through Saturday, but then comes Sunday, June 17, when brunch service starts up in 31. A bar that serves brunch? Sounds too good to be true…
Blue Mesa’s 5th annual Corn & Peach Festival is two-months long (running from June 1 to the end of July), and it’s featuring a special menu with dishes prepared from locally grown corn and peaches. The bi-color corn comes from David Jones Farm in Hondo and Jack Produce in Pearsall, while the peaches are plucked right from the property of Lightsey Farm in Mexia and Cooper Farms in Fairfield, Texas. In addition to the special menu, Blue Mesa is also hosting a Corn & Peach Festival Buffet Tequila Party on June 20 from 5 to 9 p.m. For $14.95 per person, you can get pulled chicken and smoked corn enchiladas, BBQ pork and sweet corn chile rellenos, crab and fire roasted corn cakes, and peach pandowdy with cinnamon ice cream. Reservations are highly recommended.
This is a long time coming, but hark back to the evening in which I gathered my friend Michael, who really likes beer in an intelligent sort of way and knows a lot about it, and two other friendly persons with distinguished palates, PCP’s Bradford Pearson and his fiancée Kelleen. Our mission was to drink beer and talk about it like humans with a limited budget for booze-buying. This is the second installment.
What we did: If you remember from Part I, we drank and joked our way through a selection of Bolsa Mercado’s stock. But Michael also brought three bonus bottles from his beer cellar, AKA his closet, which is what we’ll talk about here. Some were seasonal brews he bought here in Dallas a couple months ago, others were smuggled back from faraway lands like St. Louis (and have unfortunately never been available here in Dallas.) We tried to use correct glassware for beer type when possible. Mostly it wasn’t possible. To provide us with sustenance, I picked up a selection of cheeses, my favorite gluten-free crackers, water crackers, Gypsy salami, two Cane Rosso pizzas, and a pound of Haribo gummy bears, which ended up being my best/worst decision of the night. After snacking, we got down to business.
Jolly Pumpkin Luciérnaga (From Ann Arbor, Michigan; Purchased in St. Louis; $15)
Initial thoughts: Label says it’s an artisan pale ale, brewed in the grand cru tradition. Michael’s looking forward to this one, and tells us that this is another one of those breweries where “you can pick their beers out blindfolded. They all have a very consistent…something. Nice small tight prickly carbonation. They’re all a little funky. You’ll taste it.” It smells like green apple, pours honey-colored and beautifully in a tulip. By the time we popped this guy open, we’d had hard cider and a witbier. Brad’s had a few nips of bourbon.
About the brew:
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Michael: This…it’s a little sour.
Kelleen and Liz: UH OH.
Michael: It’s not very sour. It’s a lot of green apple-y, from what I remember.
Kelleen: It smells very fruity.
Brad: It’s interesting. The head on all of these is more consistent…still not the same, but more consistent…Oh, yeah. That’s got a very specific taste.
Michael: Again, still really floral, a lot of green apple, that really tight, prickly carbonation.
Brad: It doesn’t expand at all.
Michael: And all their [Jolly Pumpkin] beers are very refreshing, even the darker ones. All a little funky.
Brad: I kinda like the funkiness.
Michael: I get granny smith apple over everything, which is funny because they don’t even mention that.
Brad: There is still a lot of coriander.
Michael: It’s that same flora, lemony or citrusy…I love how carbonated their shit is.
Brad: It is very refreshing because of the carbonation.
Liz: Well. This is delicious.