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Gourmet Chocolates for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and local chocolatiers are getting into the spirit of the holiday with themed, handcrafted treats. Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate is offering two pound golden skulls — fabricated for Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips by Joshua King — made from 72% South American dark chocolate. She’s also crafted two pound “bloody hearts” (that are anatomically correct), tiny brains, and miniature skulls filled with dulce de leche and sea salt. The chocolatiers at CocoAndre have put together a selection of themed goodies. There’s colorful hand-painted skulls, chocolate coffins, jack-o-lanterns, owls, witches and more. Kate Weiser is offering beautiful, hand-painted skulls and pumpkins. And Chocolate Secrets has a range of treats from hand-made candy corns and chocolate pops to painted truffles. The sweets are a perfect option for those folks who want to go above and beyond Hershey’s bars and M&M’s this year.

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Chef Sharon Hage Serves Songbird Supper at Trinity River Audubon Center

Last night, 210 people were seated at a long community table that serpentined through the grassland outside of the Trinity River Audubon Center. The occasion was the Songbird Supper fundraiser for the TRAC. They use the proceeds from the event to fund their extensive educational programs that introduce more than 20,000 students a year to the wonders of nature.

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Former Dallas Chefs Gather for a Reunion at Reunion

Last Monday, close to 20 chefs who at one point in their career starred in a high-profile kitchen in Dallas, gathered for a reunion. The event, organized by J.B. Blocker, was held at the The Dallas Downtown Hyatt where executive chef Hermann Hiemeyer and his culinary staff treated the guests to some spectacular food. Most of the chefs not only worked in Dallas, they cooked in fine hotels, resorts, and restaurants all over the planet. It was amazing to see the number of esteemed chefs who still call Dallas home.

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Scenes from the Chefs for Farmers Oyster Bash

Chefs for Farmers held their first annual Oyster Bash at the Dallas Farmers Market on Sunday. Guests and chefs sucked down oysters and libations from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. Chefs participating in the event included Jon Alexis (TJ’s Seafood Market), Matt McCallister (FT33), Kyle McClelland (Proof + Pantry), Jack Perkins (The Slow Bone), Stephen Rogers (Gemma), Jon Stevens (Stock and Barrel), John Tesar (Knife) and Randy Rucker (Briar and Bramble, Houston). You can view photos from the event below.

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Flashback Friday: The Last Real Bars

This May 1986 feature story examines all of the “true” Dallas neighborhood bars at the time. The piece kicks off with an ode to the late Lakewood Yacht Club (which shuttered in 1983), profiles five different bartenders, mentions some of the best bar food at the time and then finishes with a list of ten genuine neighborhood bars, which “are as scarce as blizzards in Dallas,” according to the writer. Some of the watering holes mentioned include Lakewood Landing, Sons of Hermann Hall and recently-closed, Club Schmitz.

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Bits & Bites: Things to Eat in Dallas this Weekend

October can be busy as you scramble to get your costume together and throw up your Halloween decorations, hit up some of the new seasonal menus around town and continue to eat everything pumpkin that you can get your hands on. We know you’re busy, but we still put together this list of weekend foodie events, just in case you’re looking for something extra to throw into your schedule.

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Chef John Tesar Talks Oysters and Chefs for Farmers

The Dallas organization Chefs for Famers thrives off its deep roots within sustainability and eco-consciousness. This collaboration of chefs, farmers, and local artisans looks to showcase the talents of the city, while celebrating the region’s most dedicated farmers, and educating the community on the importance of connection between our stomachs and the faces behind the food we consume.

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What To Drink Now: Top 5 Reasons to Visit Napa Valley

Though harvest wrapped slightly earlier than normal this year, it is still the ideal time to visit one of the best wine regions in the world. I had a chance to visit earlier this month, enjoying several must do experiences as a guest of the wineries I visited.

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Taste Test Thursday: Restaurant Chips and Salsa

It seems everybody has an opinion when it comes to chips and salsa in Dallas, and more often than not, the opinion is a strong one. It’s one of those heated issues that can be uncomfortable to bring up in a room full of people — like religious views, or whether or not David Lynch is a sellout for endorsing a line of women’s athletic wear (I recently had a friend storm out of a cocktail party in a huff over that particular topic). People hold their favorite chips and salsa combos near and dear to their hearts. And truthfully, the quality (or lack thereof) is enough to lead someone to a specific restaurant, or steer them away. Ideally, we would have tasted all of the chips and salsas in town for this week’s blind taste test, but there was simply not enough counter space, or room in our bellies. So I narrowed down the selection to seven. Here’s what happened.

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Chef Andrew Bell Resigns from Bolsa, Heads to Bistro 31

Chef Andrew Bell has had a varied career in the restaurant business. In 1999 he was a sushi chef at Citizen and the Mercury. He moved to Austin and worked as a sous chef at Uchi. Avner Samuel lured Bell to be his chef de cuisine at Aurora, a job he held for two years. (I still miss that place.) In 2008, Bell opened his own barbecue joint in downtown Dallas called Dr. Bell’s. In 2010, he reconnected with Samuel, this time in the kitchen of Nosh Euro Bistro. In 2012, he joined the team at Bolsa. Today he announced he is leaving Bolsa to head up the kitchen at Bistro 31.

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FT33 Launches a Barrel-Aged Cocktail Program

I’m sitting at the bar at FT33 with two wine glasses in front of me. In one there’s a familiar, grassy-colored splash of green Chartreuse, in the other a foreign yellow spirit. While technically also green Chartreuse, this liquor is the color of honey and smells sweet, like vanilla. Bartenders Tristan Price and Scott Augat watch in anticipation as I put the glass to my lips. The flavor is as sweet as the aroma, the sharp bitterness of the herbs are dulled by the oak barrel it was aged in. “This is delicious!” I blurt out while secretly wishing it was later in the day so I could order a proper, full-sized cocktail.

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The Localist: Lakewood Brewing Company’s Bokkenrijders Altbier

It’s really fun to live in a city that feels familiar yet continually changes all the time. I’m discovering great restaurants, bars, and products all the time, while trying to keep up with all of the new ones that appear to pop up overnight. The one industry that seems to be changing faster than I can fathom is Texas craft beer. Every time I visit a local bar or supermarket, there are beers on the shelves from local and regional breweries that I don’t recognize, and most of them are made in my backyard.

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Fiesta de la Vida at Stampede 66

Stampede 66 and Lakewood Brewing Company are celebrating Halloween, and the launch of North Texas Beer Week, with a beer-infused costume party. Guests will munch on (and sip) five beer and food pairings and at midnight there will be a cask tapping of Lakewood’s special edition, Temptress Mole. Costumes are highly encouraged, and there are prizes for “best costume,” “most seductive” and “least effort.”

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Pour Judgment: Midnight Rambler in the Basement of the Joule Hotel

Midnight Rambler opened in the basement of the Joule Hotel at the beginning of the month, and has been shaking up craft cocktails every night since. The cocktail den was designed by the team behind trendy boutique — also located in the Joule Hotel — TenOverSix. The aesthetics are as curated as the drinks. The vibe is ’60s chic and the space is filled with brass bar stools, plush leather couches, vintage-looking (and actual vintage) tables, books, records, art and plants.

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Truffles and Bubbles at the Mansion on Turtle Creek

The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek is throwing one over-the-top party. Five nationally-recognized chefs are gathering at the Mansion Restaurant on November 1, for a multi-course dinner benefiting the James Beard Foundation. Chefs participating in the event include:

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