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Dallas mixologist Jason Kosmas appeared on D: The Broadcast. I post this because he shows you how to make a drink that is perfect for this weekend. I’ve put the recipe below. Continue reading "D: The Broadcast: Jason Kosmas Shakes Up a Watermelon Cobbler"
The Standard Pour co-founder and barman Brian McCullough was on D: The Broadcast’s mixology segment last Friday. He demonstrates The Standard Pour, a house specialty made with rye, Benedictine, and sweet vermouth. Stop by The Standard Pour and mention D: The Broadcast. You’ll get a deal. Wednesday is Ladies Night and I think I heard the word FREE more than once.
Last night I fell in love with HumBotanical, a sexy 70 proof herbaceous liqueur made with organic rum, fair trade hibiscus, organic ginger, green cardamom and kaffir lime. The drink was featured as the Seasonal Smash at FT33. If it isn’t on the ever-changing cocktail list when you go, ask them to make you one. It’s a gorgeous concoction of Ketel One Oranje, Hum, muddled cranberry, lemon, and habanero simple syrup, apricot, and fresh thyme poured over clear cubed ice (my favorite!). The drink is made with organic rum and is pungent with pepper, fragrant with lime, and finishes with a slightly sweet and spicy kick of cardamom. One of my very experienced dining partners said she’s never seen it for sale in Dallas and wondered how FT33 managed to smuggle the booze in from it’s epicenter in Chicago. However, one quick visit to Hum’s website informed me the spirit is alive and well at Pogo’s. BTW, the bar at FT33 opens at 4:30PM. See ya later.
Uppity Date: Jasper Russo of Sigel’s says: “Hum Botanical was introduced to the Dallas retail market by Sigel’s in April.It has been stocked in at least 4 of our stores continually since that time ($44.99): Greenville Ave, Fitzhugh, Addison, The Quadrangle. We are also the class B wholesaler responsible for supplying FT33.
If Jason Kosmas, Dallas bartender extraordinaire, wins this weekend’s Cointreau Ambassador of Libations contest in New York, he’ll be on a flight to France in May 2013 where he will serve cocktails at Cannes 2013.
Kosmas already passed Phase II of the competition back in late September, when D Magazine hosted a competition for seven mixologists at the NYLO Hotel South Side. Emily Perkins (The Porch), Omar Yeefoon (The Cedars Social), Jason Kosmas (Village Marquee Grill), Abraham Bedell (Oak), Trevor Landry (Dish), Brian McCullogh (The Standard Pour), and LeAnn Berry (Komali) were all mixing, pouring and shaking to become the Dallas regional winner. Unfortunately for six of them, Kosmas had the winning recipe for a drink he calls the “Syko-treau.” (Recipe is listed down below.)
Just off the phone with Nick Badovinus who tells me he is unlocking the doors in about an hour and a half for a private showing of his newest creation, Tried and True. “It’s a cool little bar with a heavy American spirit menu,” Badovinus says. Huh? I’ll translate.
Bourbon and whiskey are the stars at the bar. No fancy craft cocktails; not a mixologist on site. “It’s a heavy American whiskey focus and I’m doing lots of charcuterie with aged hams imported from Meacham Country (Sturgis, KY) and Benton’s Smoky Mountain (Tennessee),” Badovinus says. “Call it an all-American ham program.”
The bar will offer four beers: Peticolas, Deep Ellum, Lakewood Brewing Co., and Boulevard are on the opening rotation.
The menu will feature burgers, sandwiches, bar steaks, a taco program, and little apps such as brisket nachos and fried zucchini. In a few weeks he’ll add a red-eye menu which will basically be breakfast for dinner served until closing. The dude in the kitchen is Johnny “Lady Killer’ Miller who has been with Badovinus for a few years and was instrumental in getting the Neighborhood Services open at Preston Royal.
The interior is “dark and lived in” like a juke joint with a pool table. Two café racer motorcycles hang on the walls. “They are an addiction I have to shake,” Badovinus says. “I’ve got my sons first two years of college on the walls here.”
Doors open officially at 6PM tomorrow (Friday, September 14). Located in the space formerly known as Neighborhood Services Tavern. 2405 Henderson Ave. 214-827-2405.4 Comments »
Today we learned Ghostbar, once the highest grossing club in Dallas, is closing. According to one employee, most of the club’s workers found out they were jobless by reading about it on blogs. Ouch, that’s cold.
Our first concern was for Wade Randolph Hampton, the dude behind the vibe at Ghostbar. “What will happen to Wade,” cried one co-worker. “Oh, my gosh. I wish Wish FM were here so I could cuddle with him,” swooned another. If you don’t know Wade/Wish, you can read this interview.
Well, don’t worry about Wish. According to a lengthy press release I received, his has been granted. Listen up.
Hampton’s fans will still be able to catch his local shows every Friday at the intensely authentic yet still hushed discotheque (and 50’s dancehall of the same name) – It’ll Do – where he has partnered with heralded impresario Brooke Humphries. His bombastic Friday hoedown, called The ISH, will feature the absolute cutting-edge in bass music and indie-electro with a bevy of globally recognized artists, including members of the unstoppable Pretty Lights camp and Dallas dubstep prodigy, Spenca.
He’s also joining up with M3 Films execs and producers Michael Cain and Melina McKinnon. They are currently producing multiple projects including the STARCK PROJECT. Jump for the notes and quotes. Continue reading "Ghostbar Has Vanished? Where is Wade Randolph Hampton?"2 Comments »
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 »
I was talking with a friend of mine who recently spent an evening sampling cocktails at The Chesterfield. She was in a group of four gals and they decided to try one too many. Knowing her, it was more like four too many, but here is her dilemma.
“I don’t know if it is a factor of age [she’s 55!] or the fact that I ingested rum, vodka, gin, bourbon combined with various liqueurs, bitters, flowers, juices, and twists, but I couldn’t get out of bed the next day. I swear all totaled I had maybe 3 drinks. The mixologist deal is out of my league I guess. Do you pick one and stay with it or switch. Am I just too old for this trend?
I say pick one and stick with it and stick to one. But this subject brings up the obvious, time-wasting question: What alcohol combination resulted in the worst hangover of your life? Mine? Tequila Sunrise: the movie and the drink. Twenty years later I still shudder at the sound.
Loren Means files the following report on 1888, a dirty martini mix made in Dallas.
As a long-time lover of dirty martinis, Dallasite Kenneth Hamburger II found too many of them were unpredictable. While some hit the mark, others tasted more like ocean water. Sometimes they would vary drastically in the same evening even though they were ordered from and mixed by the same bartender. After Hamburger was laid off by Lamborghini in 2008, he decided to come up with a cure for the inconsistent dirty martini. His inspiration? Hah, it sounds so easy. Now.6 Comments »
We sent intern Karley Osborn out to brave a bartending championship in Grapevine on a Sunday night. What a trooper.
Two nights ago, while the rest of you were crying in your living rooms over Meryl Streep’s Oscar speech, I was cheering alongside the corporate world of TGI Friday’s as flair bartenders from nine of the chain’s international restaurants competed to become the “Greatest Bartender in the World.” Er, more specifically, the greatest TGI Friday’s bartender in the world.
The Gaylord’s Glass Cactus was decked out for the event’s 21st year like any 21-year-old’s birthday party venue should be with inflatable noise clappers, flashing strobe lights, and party anthems that sounded out of place until the drinks started flowing. Fans, friends, and family of the nine competitors helped themselves to fancified bar fixings like portabella sliders and fried jalapeno peppers as the competition introductions began around 7:00 p.m.
Jump for some Enrique Iglesias action.
Continue reading "TGI Friday’s World Bartender Championship Feat. Enrique Iglesias"
I dropped in to get a quick look at Hid In 2612, Michael Martensen’s newest pop-up bar in Deep Ellum. It’s gorgeous and fun and full of groovy people. The space is divided into four or five differently decorated spaces and some of Dallas’ finest bartenders are taking shifts at the bar. Food is available from Cane Rosso next door. I didn’t have time for a drink but I plan to get back before their last night which is Saturday Friday, February 10. They open at 8PM.
Go. Drink. Report.
The Concept: Sundown at Granada is the Granada Theater‘s neighboring restaurant and bar with a long list of draft beers and hand-crafted cocktails. Although I’m sure you can grab a bite pre-show, I would be filled with panic watching a line get longer next door while shoveling down the last forkfulls of food and chugging the rest of a beer. This is a perfect spot, however, to discuss your favorite act post-performance and perhaps mingle with band members, who are sure to wander over for a bite.
Who’s There: Thirty-somethings interested in enjoying some quality time together. (Rather than 20-somethings hollering over their third round of Jager bombs.)6 Comments »
How long before Oak Cliff secedes from Dallas county to form their own little republic? Think how cool that would be for the business folk: the restaurateurs and funky food shops could make their own rules, they could charge a toll to enter and exit, and fine customers not wearing flannel.
Obviously either Tim Byres, Christopher Jeffers, or Chris Zielke (or all three!) would rule the roost. Today the triumvirate announced two more projects. The owners of Smoke and Bar Belmont took over the 3-acre plot of land that used to be Jack’s Backyard. (Fort Worth Avenue and Pittman St.) First up: Chicken Scratch, a family-friendly restaurant serving—wait for it—“cast-iron fried and wood-fired rotisserie chicken with wholesome handmade sides.” It’s “slow fast food.” (Wouldn’t it be fast slow food? I’ll leave that one for someone else like Jack Perkins.)
Next door to The Scratching Chicken, I mean Chicken Scratch, will be The Foundry. Sounds serious, right? Nope. The Foundry will be a bar offering simple drinks. (Drama! Do I sense a struggle between mixolgists v bartenders?) The drinks with be simple and strong. (I could say something about my ex-husband here but I’ll let it pass.) There will be beer—lots of drafts and bottles and microbrews plus “usual suspects.” Affordable! Live music! And, if they can swing it: the property will be able to “host food and merchandise trucks, drive-in movies, and other community themed events.”
The Foundry is scheduled in early January 2012 and Chicken Scratch “soon after.” (I still think they should have named it Petticoat Junction. Wouldn’t you eat chicken at the Shady Rest? Such a duh.)
Trending: “Scratch” in a restaurant name, fried chicken, and regular bartenders without pork pie hands and mutton chops.” Somebody get me a Realtor.
The Concept: Another place for bartenders to have love affairs with their carefully crafted cocktails. Classics inspire the menu. (A gimlet, the Aviation, and a “Beautiful Cigar Girl” grace the drink lineup.)
Who’s There: What appeared to be young business professionals (early 30s) packed the place to let loose on the bar’s second night of business (last Thursday). It was a relief to rub elbows with the grownup versions of the typical McKinney Avenue weekend crowd. Surprisingly, even though the mixologist’s concoctions were the obvious choice when ordering, we saw the usual suspects lined the bar. (Red wine, vodka soda, etc.) But once one person ordered something fancy, it spurred his neighbors to make more inspired selections.
When You Enter, Make a Beeline For: The big table by the door, if you’re bringing a crowd, or a seat at the bar. When specialty cocktails are the name of the game, always buddy up with a bartender. The space is small (like, Nonna small) so be prepared to stand.
The Chesterfield, the tony new bar backed by Ed Bailey and manned by Ed “Lucky ” Campbell, opened somewhat softly on Friday night. It is in the old Doc Bell’s BBQ place on Main Street in downtown Dallas. Sumptuous old couches have been moved in and the well-stocked bar ready to “celebrate the golden age of cocktails” runs down one exposed brick wall of the oblong space. It’s urban sophistication in the glass and in the space.
Jump for my favorite thing. Continue reading "Sneak Peek: The Chesterfield Opens Ever So Softly on Main Street in Dallas"8 Comments »
Ed Bailey can’t do anything simple. The restaurateur once owned 64 McDonalds. He spent bazillions of dollars on several locations decorating the interiors with Ralph Lauren wall fabrics, gold-framed oil paintings, and Austrian crystal chandeliers. Today, he operates multiple locations of Bailey’s Prime Plus Steakhouses and Patrizio’s. And he’s backing local barman Eddie “Lucky” Campbell in The Chesterfield at 1404 Main St. in downtown Dallas.
You know, Chesterfield. Like the cigarettes. The cigabutts that make you look cool like Don Draper. Bailey and Campbell are going way retro with The Chesterfield. It’s “modeled after the barrooms of the early 1900’s considered the Golden Age of Cocktails.”
There is nothing subtle about The Chesterfield. Catch this: “Guests will order cocktails from an 11 chapter menu, modeled after the first American cocktail manuals, arranged by style of drink – sours, fizzes, smashes, juleps, etc. Mixed into these chapters, guests can also expect cocktails smoked-to-order, in addition to modern chapters with seasonal and house specialties called classics re-crafted. The Chesterfield’s bar will be one of the most technically engineered in Dallas. Each bar station will have a freezer, refrigerated drawer, access to illuminated ice blocks, bottled house-made mixers, and a chilled produce bar top display. They will also feature one of the most extensive ice programs in the south, including ice chipped from blocks, cubed, flaked, made from molds and flavored.”
I can dig the ice deal. I’m very picky about my ice. So look for the aptly named Lucky and his ice chipper soon. Oh, and small plates by Executive Chef Michael Ehlert imported from DBGB Kitchen & Bar in New York. And yes, this location was once to be the collaborative effort of Lucky and local mixologist Michael (Cedars Social) Martensen. But it looks like Martensen was kicked to the curb. That’s just my take. Nobody’s talking.10 Comments »
The highly motivate mixologist team of Michael Martensen and Ed “Lucky” Campbell are spearheading Bar 828, a guerrilla bar that will open at 828 Davis this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (6PM) and continue on the same days for the next three weeks. The final evening will be October 29. Yes, these guys are busy putting together their new bar, High and Rye, in downtown Dallas but they just can’t seem to stop themselves from doing more projects. “Yeah, that’s just kinda how we work,” Martensen said via phone from the patio at Manny’s in Uptown where he is watching the Rangers game. “We can’t believe nobody has ever done this. We are going to be the first guerrilla bar.”
Bartenders from all over Dallas will participate on a rotating basis. There will also be beer, wine, food trucks, and live music coordinated by JT Donaldson. A Portion of the proceeds will go to the Promise House who has been helping teens in North Texas since 1984. So head out to The OC, home of the secret-keeping restaurateurs, and catch Brian (Sfuzzi, Standard Pour ) McCullough on Thursday.
Jump for other bartenders who’ve already signed up for the party.29 Comments »
So, I’m avoiding real work and searching for the scoop on Sissy’s Fried Chicken on Henderson. We all know the general rules of posting CO permits: The name on the permit in the former Hector on Henderson spot could be the real name of a home cooking or “place holder” for a gay bar. We won’t know until somebody either calls me back or I get lucky on the internet. Owners change names all the time after they’ve applied for a permit.
Anywhoo, I’m digging away and get off task. Oh, look! I find a permit pulled for a restaurant at 624 642 W. Davis. I’m not telling you the name of the LLC because Teresa Gubbins will be all over it like hot on fried bubblegum. I contacted several HIGH PROFILE restaurant people in The OC for info. Oh yes, they all know who and what it is, but none of them are talking. Okay, guys. I’ll remember that the next time you send me a press release about your new bartender or your fall brunch menu. Hah! Two can play this game. Grrr.17 Comments »