We may not be in New Orleans, but that doesn’t mean we can’t party like we’re on Bourbon Street. Here’s a short list of places with Mardi Gras specials tomorrow.
Who: Aw Shucks & Big Shucks
When: Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Several locations
What: $5.99 crawfish (1 lb), Free Mardi beads, and 2.50 Abita’s Mardi Gras Brew. Aw Shucks Lewisville and Big Shucks Richardson/Dallas will have live Zydeco Music.
Who: Bone Daddy’s
When: Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Where: Multiple locations
What: ”Celebrate Fat Tuesday with the Daddy’s Girls, who will be wearing Mardi Gras costumes, and chow down on a Flying Pig sandwich, with Pulled pork, link sausage, maple glazed ham and smoky bacon on one bun, and wash it down with an ice-cold Hurricane for $14.99.”
Who: Razzoo’s Cajun Cafe
Where: Multiple locations
What: All-day-long specials – Boiled Crawfish $4.99/lb (subject to availability), Frozen Hurrycanes $3.50, Abita Draft Beers $3, Rat Toes (Shrimp & crab-stuffed jalapenos) $4.99, Fried, Pickle Puckers $3.99, Fried Green Beans $3.99. “LIVE MUSIC: We’ll also have a live band at the Razzoo’s in Lewisville on Fat Tuesday: party band Professor D will be on stage at 6:30pm.”
I’ve updated the list of restaurants hosting special Valentine’s Day menus. Check it out. I’d hurry and call, if I were you.
Our ShopTalk editor, Raya Ramsey, has plenty of cool suggestions for presents any girl would probably goggle at.
Do me a favor and swear off chocolate Hershey kisses this year. Buy some Bark Chocolate for your special someone. Matt Shelley loves it, and so did the entire D office.3 Comments »
Still looking for the perfect drink on Valentine’s? If you’re trying to create an air of romance, or just whip up something fun and creative on Valentine’s night, consider one of these tasty cocktails that will put you in the mood for love.
Wild Strawberry Seduction
2 oz. SKYY Infusions Wild Strawberry
1 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz. Apple Juice
½ oz. Honey Solution
2 Medium Basil Leaves
2 Medium Strawberries
Directions:Muddle basil, strawberries and lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients. Shake and double strain into coupe glass.
4 oz Sparkling Wine
1 oz Van Gogh Pomegranate Vodka
Directions: Pour chilled Van Gogh Pomegranate Vodka into a flute. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a strawberry.
1 ounce Shellback Spiced Rum
3/4 ounce Sloe Gin
1/2 ounce Falernum
2 ounces Brut Champagne
Lemon Twist Garnish
Directions: Combine liquids except champagne in cocktail shaker with ice. Stir or shake according to preference. Strain into chilled flute. Top with Brut Champagne. Garnish with lemon twist.
We haven’t done Friday Fun Fact time in a while, have we? Here’s a good one: Starting February 10, we’ll be heading into the Year of the Snake, according to the lunar calendar. For Chinese people, this is a very sad event. Nobody likes snakes. Dragons are powerful and revered, and people do their best to have weddings and babies during the Year of the Dragon. (I was born a snake, but that didn’t stop my relatives from giving me dragon necklaces and bracelets to remind me of my Zodiac failure.)
On the upside, I’m making dumplings and eating nian gao with my family on Saturday. Even though the new year starts on Sunday, it’s customary to have a big fishy family feast the night before. We eat, drink, and exchange red envelopes.
If you’re looking for ways to celebrate the Year of the Snake, here’s where you should head this weekend:4 Comments »
For those of you wishing to avoid the crowds of people rushing out for their prix fixe this Valentine’s Day, plan an intimate dinner at home. You can spend the money you save on a day-after couples’ massage.
Normally, I would give tons of advice about how to get the pasta from the kitchen to the table in less than a minute or how to time your courses, but I won’t. The whole point of eating in for Valentine’s Day is that you can eat at 5:30 or 10:30, or you could never get past the cocktails and leek and chard tarts. Chocolate ganache can be better for breakfast anyway.
Well, perhaps a few pieces of advice are in order. If you want to eat this savory tart (jump to see the photo) as badly as I do, you need to remember one crucial point: the puff pastry must be defrosted in the fridge the day before you bake the tart. You really don’t want to see how ugly a last-minute defrost of puff pastry can be in the microwave. And, really, I w0uld be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you that you really must have your butter and asparagus shavings ready the moment you pull your pasta from the boiling water. Fun can be structured. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
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Little brown bags (nostalgic images of childhood frivolity and happy lunchtime indulgence) arrived at the D offices yesterday from a charmingly peaceful young woman. Katy Priore runs Bark Chocolate, and her philosophy and method of cooking is as enchanting as the chocolate is delicious. “It’s made with love, and that’s the most important ingredient… the fundamental importance of cooking with intention.” She delighted a few of us with samples of seven different chocolate barks, each unique and definitive in its flavor profile. Her chocolate coupling calls to mind the ethereal pairing of Zeus and lightning, Elizabeth Taylor and diamonds, Ryan Gosling and eyesight. Let the listing begin.
This chic is twisted, flip city. That is why we love her. This Valentine’s Day Clapner, of Dude, Sweet Chocolate, is designing 300 limited-edition chocolate hearts. Real hearts. Life size. Solid dark chocolate filled with waffle cone, Cocoa Puffs, and her chocolate crack. They are $45. I’d say hurry.
Still looking for inspiration for tonight’s libations for your New Year’s Eve celebration? Here are a few innovative and delicious cocktails to the rescue – mix up a batch of any of these ahead of time so all you have to do is add ice while enjoying your party.
Bubbly is the norm on New Year’s Eve, but you can transform your inexpensive glass of Cava or Prosecco with the addition of an array of liqueurs. Add in floral St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, gingery Domaine de Canton Liqueur, fruity Chambord raspberry liqueur, spicy SNAP liqueur, or any array of other flavored liqueurs you may have in your liquor cabinet that will add an extra special touch to your favorite sparkler. Add a few pomegranate seeds or raspberries for an additional special touch.
Or take the Champagne cocktail up a notch with this from Cointreau.
Sugar and Spice
½ oz. Remy Martin VSOP
½ oz. Cointreau
1 sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Top with chilled Champagne
Build all ingredients in a chilled champagne flute. Garnish with a long lemon twist. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Last Minute New Years Cocktails"
As you bid farewell to 2012 and raise a glass to the excitement and unknown adventures sure to come in lucky 2013, do so with a tasty bubbly that will elevate your celebration on New Years or any day throughout the year. If you are still looking for the ideal bottle to celebrate with on Monday, consider one of these sparklers from around the world. Though not all are from Champagne, they are all made in the traditional method….a key component to look for in any bottle of bubbly. A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.
Domaine Chandon celebrates 40 years of making sparkling and still wine in Napa Valley in 2013. Help them celebrate their anniversary year with a bottle of their Reserve Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine. Made from predominantly Chardonnay grapes grown on their Mount Veeder estate, sometimes with a touch of Pinot Noir added, and aged at least 3 years on the lees (with the yeasts) giving the wine layers of rich, creamy flavors with texture and character. Toasted brioche and hazelnuts mingle with crisp golden apple, pear and a touch of honeysuckle for a luscious and lovely sparkler. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Bubbles for the New Year"
We’d sing the whole song for you, but I don’t think you’d want to hear us warble. Instead, we’ll just demand that you bring us some figgy pudding. Thanks in advance.
P.S. Posting will be slow on SideDish until January 2. Nancy and I are lollygagging elsewhere. But don’t worry, we won’t leave you entirely. We’ve got some fun posts scheduled.
Imagine you are the owner of a restaurant. Feel the hot sweats? Yeah, it’s a scary business. There are many pleasures such as pleasing customers with great food and service. But there are many potholes. Some of which you don’t see coming until you hit them head on. Utensils get swiped, servers get stiffed, and people complain. But lately I’ve heard a couple stories from restaurateurs that have actually stunned me. Some people have a lot of nerve. Here is one scenario.
A large table of office mates celebrating their annual holiday feast. Lots of food and drink flowing. Gal gets up to use the restroom. Wobbles on high heels towards the door. An employee happens to be in said restroom when Wobbly Gal slips. Said employee catches Wobbly Gal in mid fall. In the process, Wobbly Gal’s hand gets scratched. Wobbly Gal goes back to table. All is well.
Forty eight hours later, the Not-So-Wobbly Gal returns to the restaurant. She asks for the manager and demands $350 to pay for the jeans that were ruined when Wobbly Gal tried to get the blood out by using bleach. Oh, and she wants money for her shirt too. She has no receipts for anything. She looks like she could “throw a wobbly” at any moment.
You may think this answer is easy. Just say no. But restaurateurs are people pleasers and they don’t want to do anything to hurt the oh-so-important “word of mouth” publicity their business depends on. Many restaurants fork over the dough.
So how would you solve this problem?13 Comments »
Still need a place to dine on Christmas or New Year’s? Allow me to cheat the whole point of this post by telling you a little secret: Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas Day. If you don’t mind eating Chinese food on baby Jesus’ birthday (which I do every year), go for it. Skip the reservations. Skip the fancy food. Just show up and stab things with your chopsticks. That’s how we Asian folks do it.
For a list of all the places open and taking reservations, go here.
Don’t know what you’re making for Christmas Eve? Travis Awalt has recipe for cassoulet.
For a list of Christmas dinner recipes, take a look at Lesley’s pdf.
I’ve got a list of 60+ restaurants anticipating your phone call. Here it is.
We drink a lot of Chardonnay in my house. Like many wine drinkers that have helped make this the number one selling white in America, it is an easy go to for us on many nights, pairing well with our typical dinners of salad, fish, chicken or hot buttered popcorn at a movie (the ideal pairing,) and being a very vineyard friendly grape, can adapt nicely to many styles of wine making. My sweetie and I have different tastes in Chardonnay, he liking a more buttery, oak aged Chardonnay and me liking something steely and unoaked, allowing us to constantly seek wines that may please both our palates without too much oak or the wine being too mineral rich, or either of us making a happy compromise to enjoy the others favorite style. Here are a few we have found that will pair nicely with anything from roasted chicken, broiled fish or pork tenderloin this holiday, just in time to be served at your festive gatherings. Some selections were sent for editorial consideration.
If you are looking for a wine that defines the versatility and approachability of California Chardonnay open a bottle of Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay, filled with layers of fresh citrus, stone fruit and honeysuckle with just the right amount of sweet cream balanced with a touch of herbal, mineral notes to keep this wine rich and balanced without being overly complex.
Winderlea in Willamette Valley is best known for producing stellar Pinot, but they also successfully farm delicious Chardonnay on their Dundee Hills estate, as well as fruit from the Chehalem Mountains and McMinnville AVAs. Golden apple, citrus and herbal notes fill the wine that is aged for 10 months in both partially new French oak and stainless steel, with the goal to keep the wine fresh and satisfying, capturing the personality of the valley. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Christmas Chardonnay"1 Comment »
So last week, Lesley Mann Lynch wrote an amazing post about hosting a Christmas dinner, and it looked so good I’m just not even gonna go there. Instead, I’m tackling Christmas Eve dinner.
I like the idea of cassoulet for Christmas Eve for a couple of reasons. First, it has a French name, so even though it’s basically beans and meat, people will be like, “This sounds fancy, I should write this person into my will!” And second, you can feed a lot of people out of basically one large dish. People are impressed, well fed, and there’s not a ton to clean up. High-five handshakes all around.3 Comments »
Every year on SideDish, we like to devote our energy to supporting small local food businesses here in DFW. For twelve days, we’ve been highlighting jams, jellies, pies, classes, wines, coffees, teas, and basically any food product made locally on Dallas (or close to it) soil. Today is Juice Cleanse Day. For more gift ideas, take a look through our last eleven days at the bottom of this post.
Back in October, ShopTalk editor Raya Ramsey did a 5-day cleanse with Roots Juices, the company that packages fruits and vegetables into neat containers for a healthy, nutritious experience. Well, she loved it. Raya is currently sitting right next to me and and raving about the almond milk, which she says is creamy and nutty tasting.
Roots has several kinds of kits: the Detox & Cleanse (very popular), Hangover Recovery, Cocktail Mixers, and The 6 Pack. Any of these would be perfect for that health-conscious friend or relative who’s always wanted to do a juice cleanse, but never knew how to go about doing it. And since Brent Rodgers, the man behind Roots Juices, is feeling very generous this holiday season and knows exactly what you need, he’s offering a free Hangover Recovery kit to one very lucky SideDish reader. Here’s how to win: The third person to tweet out a link to this post (please include @DSideDish) will earn this $30-value prize. Got that? So easy, right? Look, here’s all the stuff you could win:3 Comments »
I know. I’m also hyperventilating, too. Pretty soon it’ll be Christmas, then New Year’s, then back to work on the second. Time is flying way too fast. This means you’ve got to start making your reservations pronto before you get put on a waiting list. Rub your hands and start calling. Here’s a list of places doing special New Year’s Eve and Day dinners. If you’re still behind on Christmas, you can check out the list of establishments open on December 24 and 25 right here.
Blue Mesa Grill
Cafe des Artistes
Canary by Gorji
Chamberlain’s Fish Market
Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House
Dallas Chop House
Dallas Fish Market
Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa
The Front Room: A Park Cities Diner
The Gin Mill
Holy Grail Pub
Hotel St. Germain
Whether you are shopping for your in-laws, your boss, your sweetie, or giving yourself a great holiday prize, these will pack an impressive punch and please any palate. Here are a few of my favorite wines ideal for pairing with everything from the holiday ham to crown roast to a gorgeous beef tenderloin. A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.
Raise a hat to winemakers who hail from our great state, though may not make their delicious juice with in Texas. Like Dallasites Craig and Ambassador Kathryn Hall of Hall Wines in Napa Valley. Year in and Year out their Cabernet Sauvignon consistently delivers great taste, style and elegance with just the right balance of fruit with leather and cedar notes. Another winery from Dallas residents Dr. Clay and Brenda Cockerell continues to grow their portfolio, creating interesting, balanced and beautiful wines from Calistoga, CA in their Coquerel Family Wines portfolio. They recently introduced a plum and spice filled Merlot and steely Chardonnay into the portfolio, already containing Bordeaux style Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sirah and Verdelho. Texas natives Adam and Dianna Lee, owners and winemakers for Siduri in Sonoma Valley continue to rake in the ratings as each bottle of their varietally correct Pinot Noir from fruit sourced throughout California and Oregon packs an incredible punch of fruit forward and balanced flavor. On a recent visit to Willamette Valley a visit to Alexana, the sister winery to Napa Valley’s Revana and owned by Houston based cardiologist Dr. Revana proved to be one of the high points of the trip, tasting earthy, layered and mineral rich Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Dundee Hills. I expected nothing less as Dr. Revana’s Napa Cabs are also some of the best around. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Wine That Is Guaranteed To Impress"1 Comment »