Today marks one of the best reasons to celebrate – World Chardonnay Day….an entire day devoted to the luscious Burgundian grape that has transformed the way people drink wine throughout the world, as Chardonnay is the most popular white in the US and one of the most planted throughout the globe. Over 800 different types of California Chardonnay alone is available to the wine loving consumer. Though many vintners grow the gorgeous grape, as its popularity often leads to profit, not every winemaker knows how to finesse the variety (or not) to have it reach taste perfection. Here are a some that do. A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.
There are few things as great as a good glass of Chablis. Steely, stone and mineral filled with hints of wild flowers, citrus and stone fruit. Domaine Gerard Tremblay adds layers of quince and lemon to this flavor profile with balance, acidity and a bone dry profile. I love this style, though it is not the typical Chardonnay, especially one from California, but that is what makes Burgundian Chardonnay so special as you can really taste the terroir in many French selections.
Another great Chablis comes from Joseph Drouhin with the Vaudon Chablis. A balanced, fresh and intriguing wine filled with green herbs, mineral notes and citrus leading to juicy apple and pear with a touch of salinity. Domaine Drouhin, in Willamette Valley, OR, created their Arthur Chardonnay to mimic the great whites of Burgundy, mainly those from Chablis and Meursault., filled with layers of mineral, white flowers and fresh lemon.4 Comments »
People ask me what Nancy looks like all the time. Usually I make sh*t up and hem and haw my way past that question until we start talking about the weather. Well, the truth is Nancy has pink skin, hooves for hands, and big cartoonish eyes. She’s got a tail that wags when she’s happy and a snout that can sniff out truffles three feet underground. If you put an apron on her, she looks exactly like a Piggly Wiggly.
So my favorite part of this video isn’t even the part where Nancy talks about her 100 Best New Restaurants list and threatens Lisa Pineiro’s life after she asks for Nancy to divulge a secret or two. Watch Lisa’s face at 3:23. It. Cracks. Me. Up.
If you look really, really closely (or maybe you can’t see it with all the editing they did), you’ll see Nancy wearing pigtails. And her last words on local television? “Eat it, Tim!”
Join us at our 100 Best Restaurants party tonight at 3015 Trinity Groves. We’re revealing which restaurants are on the list tonight. Nancy will be there wearing her piggy suit again. You’ll be in for a shock, I promise.
2 Comments »
I like having an entire weekend to celebrate with Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo back to back..having them on the same day last year just about did me in, so this Saturday/Sunday combo allows for a little spacing out of your tequila and whiskey cocktails. If you need a little inspiration consider one of these for toasting this weekend. A few spirit samples and recipes were sent for editorial consideration.
Blood Orange Margarita
1½ parts Tequila Avión
¾ part Cointreau
1 part Blood Orange Juice
½ part Fresh Sour Mix
Directions: In a cocktail shaker add all ingredients with ice. Shake and strain; best served over fresh ice and garnish with an orange twist. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Derby Day/Cinco de Mayo – Get Ready For A Fun Weekend!"
I was on with the ladies of D: The Broadcast yesterday talking Green Wines….there are so many it was hard to get all the details out on air and really talk about all the great wines that are being made in a very green way these days. It is still a relatively new idea in the whole world of wine to focus on being Green, but we’ll also find many Old World wineries that have been farming their vines for generations organically. Though the process is better for Mother Earth and for you, the real reason a lot wineries have turned to a Green way of making wine is because producing a clean wine means you’ll produce a very vineyard driven wine, the key idea many winemakers gravitate toward these days. For us, it means delicious juice! A few selections were sent for editorial consideration, most selections can be found around town at our various wine stores like Goody-Goody or Spec’s, or directly through their websites.
2010 Clif Family Climber Bordeaux Blend – $28, Based in Napa from the family that brought us the Clif Bar. The winery was certified organic in 2009 and are currently moving towards being sustainable with processes in place like reducing carbon footprint by creating a green shipping program, they have a CSA (community supported agriculture) for their Napa neighbors, and steps in place that help both the wildlife and water preservation around their vineyards. This wine is a limited release blend of predominantly Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon from 5 vineyards including their prestigious Howell Mountain Cab vineyard. The juice sees18 months in oak creating a wine very old world inspired wine with ripe red cherry, plum tart and licorice notes, great for pairing with grilled beef and Colorado lamb. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Earth Day Wines"1 Comment »
In addition to all the wonderful things spring brings, it also brings the start of baseball season…joyous for this Ranger fan, with opening day at The Ballpark happening in just hours, along with the end of college basketball for the year. If you can’t make it out to opening day, or had your basketball bracket blow up and need a distraction from the games this weekend, consider mixing up one of these tasty cocktails.
The Ballpark Diamond
1 1/2 parts Maker’s Mark
Cold Ginger Beer
Directions: In tall glass, add cubed ice, mix 1 1/2 parts of Maker’s Mark and fill to top with Ginger Beer.
The Red Thread
1 1/4 parts Maker’s Mark
Splash Cranberry Juice
Directions: Fill rocks glass with cubed ice, add Maker’s Mark, soda water and a splash of cranberry juice and garnish with a lime wedge. Continue reading "DIFF, The Rangers and The Final Four Give Us Reasons To Toast this Weekend"
Sunday night the biggest names and brightest Hollywood stars gather to celebrate Oscar and the 85th annual Academy Awards. Oscar night is a big night in our house, as movies are one of the most loved and time honored past times in America. Though there are already some upsets this year, especially in the Best Director category, the evening will no doubt be one to celebrate….if for nothing else the honoring of James Bond. If you are looking for a few tasty libations to help this along, either by toasting the winners or crying with the losers, here are a few nicely themed suggestions. A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.
3 parts Hendrick’s Gin
1 part Stoli Gold
1 part Lillet Blanc
Directions: Shake it very well until it is ice cold and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a thin slice of lemon peel. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Cocktails to Make Oscar Smile"
I have never understood the popularity of chicken wings. The majority of the ones I have tried are just masses of fried dough swimming in a hot or sweet sauce. Sometimes there is even a wad of what looks like chicken meat on the inside.
This Sunday, Super Bowl watchers will consume 1.25 BILLION chicken wings. PETA reports 600 million chickens are killed just to satiate football fans for one day. I’m not a card-carrying PETA member, but of all of the animals we consume, chickens get the shaft. And it makes me crazy when people refuse to eat red meat because they consider the action unethical, but have no problem eating chicken. Especially when you can do a little research and make better choices of the meats you do choose to consume. However, there is nothing good about chicken wings.2 Comments »
As another season of football draws to a close, yet again without the Cowboy’s in the prime spot. This Super Bowl Sunday celebrate the tradition of the day along with the teams with a frosty beverages and tasty snacks that will make any party a hit. Need a little inspiration? Shake up one of these cocktails this weekend, it will make watching the game much more fun.
Harbaugh Bloody Sunday
4 ounces Jalapeño-Infused Camarena Silver Tequila*
3 ounces Fresh-Squeezed Blood Orange Juice
1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
2 ounces Orange Liqueur
Directions: In a cocktail shaker, combine jalapeño-infused Camarena Silver Tequila, blood orange juice, lime juice and Cointreau. Fill with ice, shake and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a blood orange peel.
*Jalapeño-Infused Camarena Silver Tequila – Slice up a fresh jalapeño pepper and allow it to steep in 1 cup of Camarena Silver Tequila for 2 hours. Remove the slices by pouring the mixture through a mess strainer. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Super Bowl Super Cocktails"
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"
Just after midnight this morning through the French villages and into the countryside the new release of Beaujolais Nouveau made its way from the the southern part of Burgundy in to Paris to celebrate, raising a glass to the honored annual tradition happening the third Thursday of November each year, when winemakers of Beaujolais race their youthful, juicy Gamay variety wine into the city of light and love, celebrating the first wine of the recent harvest and the fruit of the year.
Perhaps the best known Beaujolais Nouveau comes from Georges Duboeuf, celebrating 30 years of making the fruit forward, approachable and incredibly food friendly wine this year. Each year they succeed in highlighting the fun aspect of this youthful wine with continually changing whimsical bottling reflecting the current vintage, while maintaining the very affordable price tag, about $10 a bottle. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Beaujolais Nouveau"2 Comments »
Happy Tempranillo Day! Yep, today we celebrate the 4th most largely planted grape in the world. Most people know Tempranillo as the youthful, jammy and often overly extracted red from the Rioja region of Spain, but Tempranillo goes far beyond the Rioja borders, creating dense, earthy and intense reds from the Ribera Del Duero region, to the refined, powerful, often tannic reds of Toro, to the covering the vast vineyards of La Mancha, to traveling outside of Spain into Portugal, Turkey, South and North America and Australia. It can be tricky to identify the Tempranillo variety just by looking at a bottle though, as each region, and often each village within that region, in Spain has adapted their own style of Tempranillo, and call it by different names, like Cencibel in La Mancha, Tinta de Toro in Toro, Tinta del País in Ribera del Duero and Tinto Fino in other areas.
No matter what you call it, it is a variety that will produce world class, highly acclaimed wines with character, personality, a true sense of place and when stored properly, will age beautifully. Here are a few great Tempranillo wines to consider that are high quality and an incredible value. A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.
On Monday James Tidwell, MS, CWE, of The Four Seasons Resort at Las Colinas and Melissa Monosoff, MS, of Pioneer Wines joined the Drink Ribera campaign, leading a seminar on the wines of Ribera del Duero, discussing the region, the wines and the nuances of the area, especially meaningful as the duo had recently returned from a trip to the region. Discussing the topography and the climate of the region really drove home how and why the wines of this region are so special, as very hot days yield to very cool nights, allowing big, intensely fruit filled, sun ripened wines to be matched with high, yet balanced acidity that keeps the wine vibrant and though high in tannin, are approachable young and will just get better with age. A few selections from the region we tried throughout the day stood out, including a favorite from Monosoff, an intensely earthy and robust yet beautifully balanced Vinedos Y Bodega Aster S.L Crianza 2006. Filled with mushroom, leather and tobacco were mixed with ripe black cherry and blackberry. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Tempranillo"
Where would we be without Christopher Columbus, so in honor of him and his day, here are some suggestions fitting to toast the adventurous Italian who, thanks to the Spanish monarchy, was finally able in 1492 to sail the wide ocean blue.
Several suggestions were sent for editorial consideration.
In honor of Columbus, Drink Italian wine -
The easy to drink Tuscan Rosato from Santa Christina will help anyone feel Italian. Made from a blend of 60% Sangiovese, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, creating a wine with ripe strawberry, raspberry and cranberry with an approachable style that can be enjoyed with anything from light salads to pasta with a light tomato sauce. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Columbus Day"
2012 marks the 40th anniversary for one of Dallas’ best and consistently voted “most romantic” neighborhood bistros, The Grape. Throughout the past 40 years and through an ownership change, this little gem has stayed true to their opening idea of being a restaurant that celebrates classic bistro style cuisine with impeccable quality, while staying affordable, most recently coming from Chef/Owner Brian C. Luscher and his talented Sommelier/GM wife, Courtney Luscher.
I am a fan and visit The Grape often, as it is in my neighborhood and I am always guaranteed a fantastic meal and a great bottle of wine, usually involving their mushroom soup, a staple item that has been on the menu since the beginning, a gorgeous cheese and house-made charcuterie board, and whatever nightly special Chef Brian, or his talented sous-chef and Bravo Top Chef Season 10 star, Danyele McPherson, create in their Greenville Ave. kitchen. Here is what we had to say about The Grape in our October 1974 restaurant listings.
1 Comment »
The Grape. A unique and always crowded restaurant boasting 25 varieties of cheese and a menu of light entrees that changes daily. The tournedos bearnaise are a favorite. For a touch of pure excellence, try any of the homemade soups (fresh mushroom is the specialty). During busy hours, which is most of the time, service can be painfully slow. Unusual wine list. No mixed drinks. (2808 Greenville Ave./ 823-0133/ Lunch: Mon.-Fri. 11:30-2:30, Dinner: Tues.-Sun. 6-10:30, open later on Fri. & Sat. for wine and cheese only/ No reservations/ No credit cards/ $$)
Yep, it is another day not have to have an excuse to hit happy hour in honor of a spirit, today is National Rum Day. Just like National Tequila Day or National Pina Colada Day, the celebration of an international spirit is all you need to enjoy your favorite libation with some interesting recipes to make the day complete.
In honor of National Rum Day here are a few ideas to create with the ever popular sugar cane based spirit that will transport you to the islands instantly.
Mount Gay Rum introduced a new limited edition bottle earlier this summer, just in time for Rum Day. The collectible Nautical G Limited Edition Mount Gay Rum commemorates and celebrates the sailing tradition and influence within the brand.
Nautical Golden Coco
2 oz Mount Gay Rum Eclipse Nautical “G” Limited Edition
4 oz coconut water
1/2 oz fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice
Directions – Pour Mount Gay Rum over ice in a tumbler glass. Top with coconut water and pink grapefruit juice to taste. Stir and serve. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Rum Day"
She’s lean and mean and fights against the machine. She digs hot, cheesy (not salty) soup during the dogs days of summer. She barks:
14 Comments »
My husband was transferred to Dallas and we have just moved here. He is originally from France and we love the simple food of France. Our favorite restaurant in LA is Comme Ca. Is there anything like Comme Ca in Dallas. We are particularly fond of their onion soup covered with melted Gruyère.
We called it here: Hot dogs are the new hamburger. It’s raining wieners all over Dallas. Phil Romano and Zaccanelli Food Group are readying to roll out Hofmann hot dogs. Today we learn Chef Brian Luscher of The Grape is throwing his dogs in the fight. On August 11, “Da Lusch” will debut Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots at White Rock Lake Market. What are Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots? They are house-made, all-natural, Post-Oak-wood smoked, South-of-Chicago- inspired sausages which will be served with pickles, sport peppers, mustards and other condiments made from scratch resting on fresh-baked buns from Garland-based bakery, La Francaise. Whew!
Will they be available at Eatzi’s? Probably not. For now, you can find them at White Rock Lake Market which operates the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at The Green Spot Market and Fuels. Need another Facebook “like”? BTW, all of you Chicago skeptics, and you know who you are, Da Lush is from hog-butcher-to-the-world town. And use guys, brush up on yah 588-2300, and git intada market beesfour yah beeyatch.5 Comments »
If there has ever been a silly reason to drink, celebrating National Tequila Day may be it. To toast the day dedicated to the Blue Weber Agave spirit I reached out to a few of our favorite local mixologists to see what their favorite tequila based libation was. Here are a few of their suggestions, along with a mix of additional ideas, if you are in the tequila mood tonight.
From Jason Kosmas, of the newly launched 86 Company, a line of spirits which are all 86 proof and one of the finest mixologists not only in Dallas, but the country, gave me his recipe for a Yellow Jacket. Unfortunately only the vodka and rum have launched from 86 Company, so he suggests Siembra Azul tequila. Wait a few months and you can make this signature cocktail with his 86 Co. tequila.
The Yellow Jacket
2 ounces Siembra Azul Tequila
1 ounce St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
3/4 ounce Yellow Chartreuse
Dash Regan’s Orange Bitters
Directions – Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice and stir (not shake.) The cocktail will create a velvety texture as the ingredients come together. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Kosmas also gave me a go to margarita recipe and the story behind it. His Trial Margarita was created when he was talking with the owner of Marquee before he went to work with them. They asked him to create a cocktail, and without really knowing the bar or any ingredients available he went to work and within minutes he had created what may be called his seal-the-deal cocktail, as he was shortly hired thereafter. This one remains on the menu year round at Village Marquee – Texas Grill & Bar using whatever fruit is in season and available.3 Comments »
Kobayashi, excuse me, Kobi (小林尊), is the “Japanese eating sensation” who has claimed “dozens of competitive eating titles, including downing a world record 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes in July 2011.” That is not a typo. SIXTY NINE. (He also inhaled 337 chicken wings in 37 minutes.)
This morning Hofmann Sausage Company of Syracuse and the Zaccanelli Food Group of Dallas signed Kobi (please don’t confuse him with this loser) “as a business partner and brand ambassador.” Kobi joins, wait for it, the “Dream Team of Hofmann ownership which includes Roger Staubach, Frank Zaccanelli, Phil Romano, and Jim Boeheim and drives the creation of a new business division designed to expand the U.S. and international reach of Hofmann Hot Dogs.”
In other words, Hofmann Hot Dogs, the oldest hot dog company in America, are now posed to become the new hamburger. If Dallas restaurateur Phil Romano has his way, every child in America will eat 2,000 pounds of Hofmann hot dogs a year. Romano plans to roll out hundreds (thousands?) of Hofmann hot dog restaurants across the country. First one is set to open in Trinity Groves.
If you don’t believe me, you can just jump.
If you don’t want to jump, you can watch Kobayashi eat…6 Comments »
At this very moment, I am shooting the breezes with Nick Badovinus. He is on my speaker phone. He is laughing so hard and spouting Nick-isms so fast I can’t take them all down.
It all started when I noticed a Bud Kennedy tweet: “@eatsbeat Dallas’ retro Off Site Kitchen burger grill opening 2nd loc[ation] at 2405 N Henderson, Dallas.” What “shocked” me is Bud is a real reporter. He’s been in the business for a long time. He doesn’t gossip at media dinners, he makes phone calls and asks questions. I spoke with Nick a couple of weeks ago about his “renno” at NHS Tavern and he had no idea what he was going to name it. He had a new sign and some groovy new décor items, but he had no name.
He still doesn’t have a name of the place that will reopen soon. But it is NOT going to be Off-Site Kitchen. Why? Because Off-Site Kitchen is basically a commissary with a food service element. Badovinus has all of his food orders sent to Off-Site Kitchen (hence, the name) and from there, they are portioned and distributed to his other restaurants. It’s a smart business move that pays for itself by serving bitchin’ sandwiches.
Here’s what Badovinus is saying between sobs of laughter and disbelief: “Where does this s*&t come from? I mean who are these people who know more than I do? It has never come out of my mouth that there is going to be another Off-Site Kitchen. Never. How does somebody write that? I mean, do people just make these things up? Tell me, please. How does this get started? I mean people are already bitching to me that Off-Site Kitchen is too small so I’m, what, gonna take a place that sells a $3.75 cheeseburger and stick it in a high-rent location with valet parking? ( a 30-second guffaw) I mean do people think I’m stupid. It makes no business sense. Off-Site Kitchen is not a brand, it’s a place. (Oh, I see a t-shirt in the works!) It’s a real commissary not named Commissary. I mean why can’t people just call and ask me? I’m sorry this just makes me so crazy. I don’t know how you do this s*&t for a living. You must be freakin’ exhausted.”14 Comments »
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this news: The new Taco Bueno in Allen doesn’t open until 9:30 tomorrow morning, but fans have already started camping out. And these fans plan to stay where they are overnight! The the first 30 people in line get a $100 gift card. If you’d like to join the party, the address for the Allen location is 1709 N. Greenville Avenue (just South of Stacy Road).