“Marc Cassel is opening a seafood joint in my neighborhood? Oh, man, I looooved the Green Room. I’d do that Feed Me Wine Me, and the servers were all so knowledgeable without being pretentious, and there was that time Eric Clapton ate there, and Deep Ellum really was a special kind of place. Remember when Nirvana played Trees and that fight broke out? The mussels! With the Champagne and ginger broth? Marc Cassel is going to bring his Baby-Ruth’s-Mansion-Star-Canyon-Green-Room-Dragonfly funky ass to East Dallas? I bet he’s going to do narwhal foie gras nachos and sous vide pufferfish po boys. This changes everything!”
The preceding is only a slight exaggeration of the anticipation with which folks in my hood, me included, have been looking forward to Cassel’s 20 Feet. Really, it’s not fair to Cassel and his partner-wife, Suzan Fries. Nor is it fair to review a place on the night of a soft opening, which 20 Feet had last night. But I am not here to be fair. I am here to eat fish.
20 Feet is a tiny place. At full capacity, it’ll only accommodate maybe 40 people. Fifty if a couple of them sit in each other’s laps. There is work yet to be done (naturally). The lighting, in spots, is harsh. The bare, church-pew-like banquette along the back wall feels like it was built on a tight budget. The music needs a more attentive ear. Last night the soundtrack went: Simon & Garfunkel, The Pixies, Ziggy Stardust, REM, The Cars and — this was the killer — that “Oh, Yeah” song by Yello, the one from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Here’s the soft-opening menu, which was written on a blackboard and will surely grow and change as Cassel and Fries get their sea legs:
The super hipster coffee house trend is invading Dallas, and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon. Brooke Humphries, the same woman behind ACME F&B and Barcadia Bar, is the coffee brains behind Mudsmith, a new shop opening at 2114 Greenville Ave., across the road from the future Trader Joe’s. It’s fancy schmancy, just like all the other new coffee shops these days, and it will be serving Four Barrel coffee out of San Francisco.
The press release states:
Mudsmith baristas will be using Chemex and V-60 for slow pour over methods and two custom made Stradas by La Marzocco for specialty espresso drinks. French press will be the house coffee. All coffee drinks will be carefully made with the Four Barrel beans and specific technique. Eight craft beers and four wines on tap will rotate frequently. Fresh pastries baked in-house and a selection of sandwiches such as the jalapeno meatloaf with redneck cheddar and guava BBQ sauce and a ham and cheese with raisin chutney also made in-house with local and organic ingredients will be offered. Three Happy Cows yogurt, Roots Juices and several other local companies’ product will fill the shelves of the coolers.
Mudsmith opens January 28 at 7 a.m. It’ll be serving coffee seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Yesterday, Raya and I met with the ladies of Vim + Vigor, a new juice company based in Dallas. Owners Annie Portman and Liz Black told us they’ve been overwhelmed with orders ever since they launched last week. We taste-tested the juices that they brought us to try, and Raya has written the play-by-play on ShopTalk. (She has more details here, too.) If you’ve tried Vim + Vigor already, tell us what you think. We’re curious. Where’s your favorite juice place? Is it Le Jus? Roots? The Gem?1 Comment »
The story of Armadillo Ale Works begins with a happenstance meeting between Bobby Mullins, his ex-girlfriend’s dog, and an armadillo.
We’re sitting inside Deep Ellum Brewing Company in roundtable fashion, and a very reluctant Mullins is hesitant to answer my question, “Why Armadillo?” He’s trying to change the topic. For the past ten minutes, he and his partner, Yianni Arestis, have been telling me about their big dreams of opening the first craft brewery in Denton. It’s going to be called Armadillo Ale Works. In the last couple of years, Arestis and Mullins have been selling artisan sodas, and now they’re putting that on hold so they can focus all their efforts on beer.
Here’s where our beloved DEBC comes in. Enter John Reardon (owner) and Tait Lifto (brand and sales ninja) of Deep Ellum’s craft brewery. They’re two really cool, chill guys. One day, they’re hanging out at this event for brewers called Brews Cruise before the North Texas Beer Festival, and the next day, they’ve taken a liking to the Armadillo boys. “These guys are in it for the right reasons,” says Reardon. He can practically see their honest beer hearts poking through their shirts. The DEBC team decides to adopt the Armadillo men, and thus, a symbiotic friendlationship is born.
Happy National Pie Day! To celebrate this sweet occasion, without indulging in flaky pastry and too much whipped cream, consider shaking one of these pie inspired cocktails to toast a day all about dessert.
1-1/2 oz Van Gogh Açai-Blueberry Vodka
1/2 oz Triple Sec
3 oz Pomegranate-Blueberry juice
Splash club soda
Directions: Pour ingredients into shaker. Shake until chilled then pour into a martini
glass. Garnish with skewered blueberries. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: A Toast To National Pie Day"