Dallas #BoozeNews: January 26, 2015


Chef John Tesar (of Dallas restaurants Knife and Spoon) will join forces with Richard and Tiffanee Ellman in the kitchen at Oak as a Chef Partner.

Beloved Uptown foodie (and drinkie) spot, Barter, closed last week while I was at the San Antonio Cocktail Conference … this is what happens when I go out of town. :(

Kin Kin Urban Thai will expand to North Texas with three locations.  James Beard-recognized chef Eddy Thretipthuangsin (of Fort Worth’s Bite City Grill) will open Kin Kin Urban Thai in Fort Worth’s 7th District in February, followed by an Oak Lawn location in April and Preston/Forest this summer.

Get the beach, seafood, and beer experience … ya know … that whole Corona commercial shit awesomeness at the soon to open fresh casual concept, C’Viche.  Starting February 10, enjoy fresh seafood from chef and owner Randall Warder.  The part I’m most excited about?  The “creative tequila , artisan rum, pisco and cachaca cocktails using all fresh ingredients. Sangria, Texas craft beers and Mexican and South American draft beer round out the beverage mix.”  Bring it.


Ranch Hand Dan
Ranch Hand Dan

The Ranch Hand Dan is an all-natural chicken patty, bacon, Swiss cheese, field mushrooms, caramelized onions, tomato, red leaf lettuce, buttermilk ranch on an egg bun that you can get for a cool $9.00.  It’ll be available through Sunday, February 8.  Get your (ranch) hands on it now.

We like a good sausage, but we love a good beer.  Double down with Saint Arnold Brewing Co.‘s Amber Ale Bratwurst and Santo Bratwurst, the results of a partnership with Farmland Foods.  Get it at HEB and Central Market stores throughout Texas.

SNUFFER’S BOTMBacon Lovers & VIP Table Tent 4 x 6_25
I’m glad to hear that a restaurant finally made a BOTM just for me.  2/2-2/28, Snuffer’s will offer a Bacon Lover’s Burger (100% fresh ground chuck, bacon crumbles, two strips of Applewood smoked bacon, American cheese, grilled onions, tomatoes, pickles, and mayo) for $9.49 … and you can get in line behind me.




Pie Five will crown a President of Pizza next month … seriously.  Check out the Facebook promotion for details and find out how you could win all of this awesomeness: “free pizza for a year, put your picture and presidential bio on our website, setup photo bomb opportunities at grand openings if you show up, and get this…you’ll get to pay off 25 of your top campaign supporters with Cabinet appointments that entitle them to FREE Pie Five for a year, too!”



Saved by the Bell

unnamed-14Class is in session, people.  Public School 214 will open its doors in the new section of West Village on January 29 as the first Texas location from the Los Angeles restaurant.  The open format, 5,000 sq. ft., 200 seat restaurant features a full bar with a dining room opposite.  The music and simplicity of the decor (industrial lighting, globes and other elementary reminiscent ephemera) keep the vibe modern and a bit hipster — this isn’t so much the place you’d go for a quiet meal, but for some good people watching with a good drink and a meal no the side, this’ll be the place.

While the vibe is decidedly Uptown, the food is anything but ordinary.  I’m talkin’ Chorizo Mac & Cheese, Fig & Prosciutto Pizza, Lamb Bolognese, and Nutella Cookie Sandwich out of the ordinary.  More on the food later … because cocktails.

The talked about the PS214 bar program with Colin Kerr, director of operations.  He is so passionate about what he does, and the cocktails on the menu are evidence of that.  He made each cocktail so unexpectedly detailed … even the Gin & Tonic is decidedly unique thanks to their housemade tonic.

  • The Crushed Velvet is their take on a Moscow Mule, featuring blackberry and blueberry reduction, lavender, Karlsson’s Gold vodka, and the obligatory ginger beer.  It’s just sweet enough to offset the bite of the ginger beer, making it a dangerous option.
  • The Yellow Smoke was my favorite of the night, with fresh pineapple juice, serrano agave, and xicaru mezcal.  The smokiness of the mezcal gives this somewhat simple drink a bit of exciting complexity.  I think Dallas is still timid when it comes to mezcal, and here’s hoping that this helps Dallas gain some progress in regard to this unique spirit.
  • The  (watermelon, St. Germaine, Aylesbury Duck vodka, salt & pepper) was delightfully sweet and refreshing, but could be improved.  Try this with tequila or gin instead of vodka to up the ante.
  • The Lavender Vanilla was a different take on an old fashioned with housemade vanilla bitters, lavender simple syrup, and Four Roses small batch whiskey.  I’d drink this all day every day …
  • The last cocktail that we tried was the Player’s Cut, a spirit forward cocktail that is their version of a negroni, with campari, Carpano Antica, and locally-made Brazos Texas-Style gin.  I enjoy a bitter drink, but they definitely slow me down.  I would order this again to go with my lamb bolognese!
Duck Thunder
Duck Thunder
Yellow Smoke
Yellow Smoke

The beer list exclusively offers craft beers and less nationals than usual — think Community Beer Co., Saint Arnold, Revolver, Real Ale, Peticolas, and many more.  They will offer 24 craft beers with the promise of rotators and seasonal options.  Check out their selection of drafts, bottles, cans, and event large format bottles for the table.  One of the random cans I’m stoked about is the Coconut Porter from the Maui Brewing Company!

Photo courtesy of Public School
Photo courtesy of Public School

I did note that their wine selection is incredibly limited with just one option of select varietals.  (Though they seem to have made good choices for the options they offer.)  Also note that some of these wines will be on tap.

The food, as I mentioned, embodies their mission to impart “an education in the art of food and beer”.  Some of the items are progressive while others are just f**king delicious.  In terms of appetizers, you pretty much can’t miss the Chorizo Mac & Cheese (hello, it is topped with sea salt and vinegar chips and has chunks of chorizo instead of the traditional ground chorizo) or the Bacon Cheddar Tots (with shredded potato instead of chopped).  To warm up, the Roasted Beet Salad is a ridiculously delicious mix of fresh and tender roasted purple and yellow beets, arugula, ricotta salata, pomegranate molasses, and marcona almonds.

Roasted Beet Salad
Roasted Beet Salad
Chorizo Mac & Cheese
Chorizo Mac & Cheese
Crispy Ahi Tuna Tacos
Crispy Ahi Tuna Tacos
Shrimp & White Cheddar Grits
Shrimp & White Cheddar Grits

The Wild Mushroom & Taleggio Pizza was delightful and ridiculously fragrant (and a great midnight snack) and the Fig & Prosciutto Pizza is a perfect balance of sweet and savory thanks to the fig glaze.  If you’re a fan of pasta, the Lamb Bolognese features whole wheat linguine and very mild ground lamb.

Wild Mushroom & Taleggio Pizza
Wild Mushroom & Taleggio Pizza
Lamb Bolognese
Lamb Bolognese

Now, dessert … DO NOT MISS THE NUTELLA COOKIE SANDWICH!  This is some seriously intense dessert with Nutella (duh), bacon brittle (uhhhh), cookies, and vanilla bean ice cream.  Don’t share this with more than one other person.

PS214 dessert
Pumpkin Coffee Cheesecake & Nutella Cookie Sandwich

Fun offerings to look forward to from PS214:

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3700 McKinney Ave (in the new West Village area east of McKinney)

Messina Hof Grapevine

I recently checked out a new tasting room in historic downtown Grapevine, Messina Hof. They opened their new digs in early December, coining themselves an “urban winery.”  Even though Messina Hof is new to Grapevine, they are the most awarded winery in Texas thanks to their two locations in Bryan and Fredericksburg. (The company owns more than 900 acres across Texas!)

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 2.22.04 PMMessina Hof picked a perfect location – the reconstructed 1891 Wallis Hotel. One of the best features of this building is the grand staircase that is right in front of you as you walk through the front door. The first floor is complete with a wine bar, tasting room, and a winery store complete with items such as cheese boards, glassware, wine tools (openers, cork stoppers, etc.), and of course bottles of wine. Up the grand staircase there is a second wine for peak times or for group tastings. Additionally, the second floor has rooms that can be rented out for private functions. There’s also a great patio overlooking downtown Main Street — we can’t wait to come back to see it during the holidays … Grapevine is, after all, the Christmas Capital of Texas!

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 2.22.01 PMWant a taste? Simply walk in during open business hours and one of the knowledgeable staff members will assist you with a tasting. $10 gets you 5 wooden nickels, most wines cost you 1 nickel, a few cost you 2, so for $10 you are getting 3-5 wines to taste. Or, if you just want to walk in and enjoy a glass, they have a few seats that allow your group to sit and enjoy a glass or bottle of wine.

They’ll debut a light food menu soon (think cheese and wine) that will pair well with all their wines.

Want something to go with your wine? Every Wednesday evening from 5 to 8pm, Messina Hof offers a tasting that is paired with a local food items.  Call to reserve your spot because they like to have no more than twenty people to keep it small and intimate.

First: chocolate pairing
Second: cheese pairing
Third: pastry pairing
Fourth: wine 101 class


Messina Hof offers wine on tap, which is not only environmentally friendly, but it also ensures that the first glass of wine is as fresh as the last glass. Another awesome part about their wines on tap? They can sell growlers of wine! Walk in, enjoy a tasting, and buy a growler of one of the wines on tap. Each growler holds approximately 25% more than a bottle, and growlers can be brought back to purchase a refill. Unfortunately, the taps rotate as kegs run out, so you might have to try a new style when you go back to purchase a refill. I purchased a growler and can’t wait to go back and get it refilled.

Sunday-Thursday: 11am- 9pm
Friday-Saturday: 10am- 10pm

201 South Main Street, Grapevine, Texas

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 2.21.54 PM

Dallas #BoozeNews: January 19, 2015

The Dallas Grilled Cheese Company opened Monday in the Bishop Arts District.  They’re dedicated to bringing Dallasites comfort food in a relaxed atmosphere.
Hell to the yes.

Popular local pizza company, Campisi’s, opened its 10th location in the SMU Hughes-Trigg Student Center January 16.  Students now have yet another easy way to knock out that freshman 15.

West Village’s newest tenant will be Public School 214, set to open January 29 at 11am. The 200-seat gastropub promises “An Education in the Art of Food and Beer” and will offer items like Bacon Cheddar Tots (uhh yum) and Temptress Stout Short Ribs.  Offerings will include brunch, an outdoor patio, 24 craft beers with the promise of rotators and seasonals, and happy hour, which they’re dubbing “Recess” ($4, $5, $6 & $7 items).  The coolest promise? They’ll hold cocktail and beer classes every 2 months!
In other news … Public School 972 will open this fall in Addison.

Preston Hollow’s Modmarket will open February 4! Join them for a VIP happy hour to check out their goods on February 9 — RSVP required.


Houston brewery and oldest brewing company in Texas, St. Arnold Brewing Company, had a great year … so great that they’re extending their offerings to cans!

Hopdoddy beer braises Beeler’s Brats and set them atop their fresh ground beef patty. Sandwiched between the two meats are in-house Roasted Red Peppers and Caramelized Onions and melty provolone cheese holds it all together. To (literally) top it off, Hopdoddy has a special Poppy Seed Bun made just for this feature is smothered with Sweet Grain Mustard.
AVAILABLE: through Sunday, January 25
COST: $10


Dallas #BoozeNews: January 12

YOLK will officially open its doors on Tuesday, January 20 at 6am for full breakfast service and will serve lunch until 3pm. To preview their vast menu visit www.eatyolk.com

Rodeo Goat Ice House
is now open in the Design District!  The Fort Worth transplant was named Best Burger by the Fort Worth Star Telegram and boasts fresh ground beef and some serious booze options.  I’m looking forward to their 23 beers on tap and the Fainting Goat (Revolver Blood & Honey, vodka and orange juice).

Matt McCallister from FT33 will open a more casual option, Filament, in Deep Ellum! More from the eatsblog!


Nightwatch-ShadowNICE GLOBES CANS
All hail the can!  Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch Oatmeal Stout will be available in cans starting January 26!  Check out local stores for the chocolaty brew!

$100K, BAE
Here’s your chance to win $100,000 from Raising Cane’s!  Seriously. They claim that 1 in 3 entries wins something … so there’s that.  (Oh … and delicious chicken.

Plucker’s wants you to watch the Super Bowl with them with their Liquid Tailgate Bloody Mary in-hand (a traditional bloody mary topped with a chicken wing, bacon, and a fried pickle). Pluckers will also give away a $1,000 gift card or 1,000 wings for correctly predicting the score of the game and posting it on their Facebook page.

Rahr & Sons and Lakewood Brewing Company Collaboration

Local breweries, Lakewood and Rahr, recently joined forces to create an annual collaboration beer. This inaugural beer is a Belgian Dubbel (6.4%). This beer was brewed with German malt from Rahr and Belgian yeast and candi-sugar from Lakewood. Every year the style and flavor will change as well as which brewery is in charge of production. This year, Rahr was in charge, so next year it will be Lakewood’s turn.

It is available on tap at a few bars around D/FW as well as Spec’s for a limited time. I would highly recommend stopping by Spec’s and picking up a few liters for your fridge … I personally have gone back for seconds (and thirds). It is a very “drinkable” beer, and not too heavy.

Recently, I was graciously invited to a Rahr and Lakewood collaborative dinner where they proudly introduced this new beer. It was an entertaining night of dining with Fritz Rahr and Wim Bens at the amazing Bird Cafe. My next few posts will be highlighting each of the 7 beers I was able to taste during this dinner.


2014 DFW Collaboration Beer:
Spec’s Price: $12.62 (per 22 oz. bottle)/ $139.69 (case of 12 bottles)

Rahr & Sons Brewery
701 Galveston Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76104
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Lakewood Brewery
2302 Executive Drive, Garland, TX 75041
lakewoodbrewing.com | facebookTwitter Instagram

Bird Cafe
155 E 4th Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102

Monday-Thursday | 11am-midnight
Friday-Saturday |11am-2am
Sunday |10am-10pm

#DallasBoozeNews: January 6, 2015

Don’t miss the limited offering from Rabbit Hole Brewing Company, Hole Lang Syne!  It’s available at some local bars on draft.  (Check out the list of where to get Hole Lang Syne here or attend this event at Alamo Drafthouse on 1/15!)

Origin Kitchen + Bar, just released new happy hour specials. Select happy hour drinks and dishes will be discounted from 5-7pm, Tuesday through Friday.  Look for half price starters, cocktails and draft beers along with $2 bottled beers.
(Specials include Dutch Mussels, Texas Akaushi Tare Tare, Seared Duck Breast Salad, Warm Shaved Brussels Salad and select cocktails.)

Malai Kitchen is now brewing its own beer!  Its newest offering, the Thai 1 On, is a VietCoffee Stout and is incredibly rich and smooth … even though it is 11% ABV.  Stop in to try it for $6/pint or $20/growler through the end of the month.

Picture borrowed from Remedy Dallas’ Facebook page

Remedy Dallas on Lower Greenville is NOW OPEN!  Elias Pope (the man behind HG Sply Co) has teamed up with Máté Hartai (of ice company Cold Standard) as beverage director.  All I know is that I’m stoked to try this place and can’t wait to see what Mate dreamed up in terms of ice.  I mean, seriously.

Brick House Tavern
will be offering $6 drinks during the NFL Playoffs.

· North Star Lemonade – A Texas tribute that ropes a refreshing blend of Tito’s vodka, Blue Curacao and lemonade, topped with ginger beer.
· Iron Curtain – Named for Pittsburgh’s finest, this solid cocktail blends Jim Beam bourbon, Monin White Peach and Coke, with a lemon peel garnish.
· Sun State Margarita – This refreshing desert oasis is made with Jose Cuervo Gold tequila, Triple Sec, fresh jalapeño, strawberry and sweet and sour mix.
· Lucky Blue Mojito – Raise a toast to Luck with this unique blend of rum, Blue Curacao and piña colada mix galloping with fresh lime juice, mint leaves and club soda.

Marc Ramirez of The Dallas Morning News rounded up his 15 favorite craft cocktails in Dallas of 2014!

Chef Nilton “Junior” Borges | Image by Erica Wilkins
Chef Nilton “Junior” Borges | Image by Erica Wilkins

Uchi Dallas (which will open in Winter 2015) has named Chef Nilton “Junior” Borges as Chef de Cuisine as their Chef de Cuisine for their newest restaurant. After years in New York City kitchens, Borges bring a unique perspective to Uchi Dallas,

Hiro Sake

I will be the first to admit … I don’t have a long-standing relationship with sake. While I am well-acquainted with the sake bomb, something tells me most establishments aren’t in the habit of preparing that deceitful duo with hand-crafted, premium sake. (Just a hunch … reinforced by my regular Thursday morning hangovers after Wednesday night sushi night.) This is why I was super excited to have the opportunity to expand my boozy horizons when I found out I would be receiving two bottles of Hiro Sake in the mail.

First, a little background on sake in general, in the event that you’re a total noob, like me: Sake is a Japanese rice wine, representing an integral part of Japanese culture for more than 2,000 years. The fermentation process is not unlike the brewing process for beer; if you are interested in learning more about what that process is like, go here.  Sake is a versatile spirit; it can be served chilled or warmed, and can be enjoyed straight up or in any number of cocktails. It pairs well will Japanese food (DUH), but also cheese, chocolate, and a wide assortment of other foods.

photo 3Now, let’s talk Hiro Sake. Hiro Sake is brewed in the Niigata prefecture, which is apparently the premier sake producing region in Japan. Hiro Sake is a great option for anyone seeking a “lighter, cleaner” cocktail option; Hiro Sake contains only 39 calories per ounce, is gluten free, and contains no preservatives, additives, sulfites, or histamines. Hiro Sake has 1/3 the acidity of wine, making it easier to drink (read: no headache, no heartburn).

Hiro Sake generously sent me two bottles to sample, and the first one I was tried was Hiro Junmai Sake, otherwise known as Hiro Red (which I find slightly easier to remember, but maybe that’s just me). The Hiro Junami (not Jumanji) is brewed using the traditional method, and can be served chilled or warmed. I decided it would only be fair to try it both ways.

First, I opted to try Hiro Junmai warmed. While instructions can be found online for warming sake in the microwave (*wink*), this is apparently not the preferred method for preparing warm sake. Here is what you are SUPPOSED to do:

Place the opened bottle in a pot with water that has almost gotten to boiling point and removed from the stove. Leave the bottle for a couple of minutes until the desired temperature is reached. Serve.

The ideal temperature for hot Japanese Sake depends on everybodys taste, running from 85ºF to 130ºF. Japanese Sake should not be heated above 140ºF or boiled.

So, how was it? Smooth, clean, and light- as promised- with an appealing, mildly bitter edge. Surprisingly easy to drink. This was a great accompaniment for the giant pile of sushi I ordered in honor of my sake tasting party*.

Next, I sampled the Hiro Junmai in a cocktail (again … it’s only fair to do so):

Hiro Sunrise

3 oz orange juice
0.5 oz ounce grenadine cubed ice

Fill a glass with ice. Add HIRO JUNMAI Sake and fill with orange juice; stir. Slowly pour in grenadine and let it settle before serving.

The verdict: this cocktail was delicious (and pretty!), but I have to say that I felt as though the OJ overpowered the delicate flavor of the sake. If you want to experience the sake, experience the sake! I would actually recommend drinking it warmed with no mixer.

photo 2


The next sake I sampled was Hiro Junmai Ginjo (aka Hiro Blue). Hiro Junmai Ginjo purports to “bridge the heritage of the past with the way we drink today”. Produced with rice that is polished or milled to remove at least 45% of its original weight, Hiro Junmai Ginjo has added character and body that enables it to be served chilled, on the rocks, or in a cocktail.

After the OJ experience, I decided I really wanted to try the Hiro Junmai Ginjo chilled with no mixers, so I could really experience the flavors of the sake. (Side note: while I was doing my homework online, I read that higher quality sakes are best enjoyed chilled, and lower quality sakes should be reserved for warming. The Junmai Ginjo definitely fits the premium bill.)

I found the Hiro Junmai Ginjo to be exceptionally crisp and light. I was surprised at how delicate the flavors were; just the slightest hint of sweetness with a clean finish. The Junmai Ginjo is delightfully easy to sip. This was my favorite of the two.

If you still insist on enjoying your sake in a cocktail, here are two additional recipes to try (though I strongly encourage you to try it straight up first!):

Super Hiro

1 oz vodka
1 Japanese cucumber cut into rounds for garnish

Pour HIRO JUNMAI GINJO sake and vodka in a cocktail shaker over cubed ice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of Japanese cucumber.

Hiro Spritzo
1 oz HIRO JUNMAI  Sake
1 oz prosecco
1 oz Aperol or Campari
1 1/2 oz. soda water

Combine all ingredients. Pour over ice, and serve in a Collins glass or large wine glass.

720 ml and 330 ml bottles
          Hiro Red – $29.99/$15.99 (SRP)
          Hiro Blue – $39.99/$19.99 (SRP)
To find out where you can purchase Hiro Sake, or to purchase online, go here.
*Said party may have consisted of my fiancee and I on the couch in our pajamas, eating take out, trying to catch up on “Game of Thrones” on our HBO Go. But I assure you, it was festive. 

susie knows all things boozy in dallas …