Category Archives: Grapevine

Perry’s Steakhouse Opens in Grapevine, Texas

Written by: Carolina Merino

Carnivores, rejoice! The Dallas-Fort Worth area will now boast a brand new Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille. Perry’s third DFW outpost, a stunning 10,000 square foot restaurant in Grapevine that will accommodate 400 guests, opened on February 5.

Upon entering the restaurant you will immediately recognize Perry’s signature restaurant style, but will also be treated to a vibrant new color palette, lighting, textures, sweeping sight-lines in the dining room, and dazzling use of glass throughout. Thanks to the lovely layout and always stellar service that one is to expect from Perry’s, the venue is the perfect location for a romantic dinner, business dinner, or simply a happy hour to decompress.

I was the lucky one who attended their “sneak peek” media dinner last week where we were treated to a bevy of Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille favorites.

Pork chop bites: Small skewered, bite-sized morsels of their famous pork chop.
Paired with the Straight Paloma

Chateaubriand (Beef Tenderloin): Carved tableside and served with truffle merlot demi-glace, Bernaise, and Peppercorn reduction sauces
Paired with 2015 Perry’s Reserve Cabernet

Perry’s Signature fried asparagus: Asparagus topped with jumbo lump crabmeat

Chocolate Crunch: Crunchy milk chocolate covered with a dark chocolate ganache served with homemade whipped cream, toffee, and peanut brittle.
Paired with Jameson Mocha Old Fashioned

The standouts were the pork chop bites, the chateaubriand, and the fried asparagus topped with jumbo lump crabmeat. The bites have a savory-sweet caramelization on all sides and are served with a house made applesauce. (Susie’s note: get a little applesauce in every bite. It’s the perfect pairing!) The chateaubriand comes with a choice of sauces—the truffle merlot demi-glace, bursting with rich umami flavor, was my personal favorite.


Grabbing a seat at the bar for Perry’s popular Social Hour (their happy hour, available in the bar only) is always a fantastic idea. There, you can revel in the view of Bar 79’s towering wine wall which includes hundreds of wines, including Perry’s private label reserve Chardonnay and Cabernet, that perfectly complement the menu. During Perry’s Social Hour, you can wind down from a day of work and enjoy an array of bar bites, as well as wine, craft beer, and cocktail specials.

While tackling the famous 7-finger pork chop seems like a worthy culinary feat, knowing I can walk into the bar at anytime and order the bite-size version feels like an indulgence all its own. Make sure and order the “Strait Paloma” to enjoy alongside it. It’s an exceptional cocktail that pairs with the bites beautifully. You can also taste-test the martini menu with their “Pick Three” martini flight which is always fun. Social Hour is held Monday-Friday from 4-7 p.m. and Sunday 4-9 p.m.

And every Friday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Grapevine (and all Perry’s Steakhouse locations) will offer their Perry’s Signature Famous $14.95 Pork Chop lunch special which includes whipped potatoes and applesauce. This is truly a deal. (Susie’s note: This is a full lunch for me, and at least an additional meal. There has never been a better quesadilla made than one with leftovers from Pork Chop Fridays!)


Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille – Grapevine
PerrysSteakhouse.com
682.477.2261

Monday through Thursday: 4-10 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday: 4-10 p.m.
Sunday: 4-9 p.m.

Bar 79: open until 11 p.m. every Friday and Saturday.

 

Carolina was invited to a preview of the new location to enjoy a meal free of charge. Header picture courtesy of Perry’s Steakhouse.

 

Taverna Rossa Offers Pizza and Pasta with Personality

On the edge of a beautifully manicured pond, tucked away in a pristine strip mall in the Northwest corner of Plano, hides a hip rustic Italian gem. Taverna Rossa is a craft stone-fired pizza and beer joint that has tasty twists on classic Italian favorites. The ambiance is electric powered with beats by Bonobo and Phantogram with décor that’s Mediterranean meets modern industrial. The combination of sound and aesthetics (plus the bar on the lake towards the back patio) sets the perfect stage for an engaging experience.

According to Susie, you can pair just about anything with a cocktail … and TR’s drink list doesn’t disappoint! So, no matter what the meal, they have a boozy option to make it even better. TR offers some standards like their Rossarita (tequila infusion, orange juice, and lemon with a sangria float) and TR’s Award Winning Bloody Mary (Pop’s secret pepper-infused vodka, classic tomato mix, seasoning, and pickled veggies) that are always on the menu. They also bring out seasonal cocktails to keep things fresh.

If you’re not into cocktails, that’s just fine because they offer a well curated beer list and a great whiskey collection. Look for local beers along with crafts from all over. As for their whiskeys, you can find some incredibly unique options. Like, actually unique. Like their Maker’s Mark Private Select, which is a bottle from a barrel of Maker’s Mark that they created themselves.

The Orzo Caprese is the perfect way to start a meal here. Fresh mozzarella, chilled orzo basil, and baby heirloom tomatoes coated in cashew pesto, all drizzled with aged balsamic and finished with a pinch of sea salt. Another starter dish I enjoyed was the Nutty Grape, a mixed greens salad with sliced red grapes, prosciutto, and  goat cheese finished with a white pistachio balsamic dressing. It’s a surprisingly solid salad that pairs perfectly with the colorful collection of cocktails available at the tavern.

After exploring the lighter side of the menu and wetting the old whistle, it’s probably best to get some carbohydrates in your life. The pasta selection here is somewhat limited, but what’s available is delightfully satisfying. The Pesto Greek seems simple at first bite, but comes on strong once the pesto sauce mixes with the cheese, tomatoes, and olives. It’s delicious and balanced, and you can add a protein of your choice to beef up the dish. (Pun so definitely intended.) The Chicken Parm En Fuego is a fiery pasta slant on chicken parmesan—breaded chicken breasts under molten blankets of provolone cheese on bucatini shells in a house-made ghost pepper marinara sauce. This dish is hot, classic, and satisfying.

Obviously, you can’t visit a craft pizzeria without having some pizza! And my recommendation is to go out on a limb and try something adventurous…

The El Pastor is a stone-fired pizza with a roasted tomatillo habanero sauce sprinkled with braised pork, chorizo, onion, tequila-caramelized pineapple, and cilantro completely baked into a bed of house-blended mozzarella cheese, and served with a splash of lime crema. Some say that fruit on pizza is sacrilege (I am part of that many), however, I really enjoyed this pie! It’s an indulgence that can only be matched by a guilty pleasure like watching terrible reality television on a rainy winter day. The El Pastor is dynamic and luscious (the lime crema is a little rich, so if that’s not really your speed I would suggest requesting it on the side), and easily worth a trip to the tavern on its own.

 

All in all, Taverna Rossa pulls off a splendid hat trick. It’s a place you can go for drinks after work, on a date, to a hangover brunch, or a family night out. You’ll have a wonderful time, enjoy familiar food with M. Night Shyamalan-level surprises, and be surrounded sublime sounds all right in the backyard of suburbia. And make sure to check out their lunch special where you can get a salad and pizza for $10.95!

TAVERNA ROSSA
tavernarossa.com
Plano: 4005 Preston Road, Suite 512
Southlake: 1151 E. Southlake Boulevard, #300

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Palio’s Grapevine

I love visiting Grapevine … it’s perfectly quaint with a little something for everyone.  I began the night by dropping by Messina Hof to refill my growler with some cabernet sauvignon before heading down the road to Palio’s for dinner. (Palio’s is an order at the counter or take out restaurant. If my visit was the norm, it seems they do a large amount of their business in take out orders.)

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Palio’s is a chain that can be found all around DFW, but each restaurant is independently owned. They make their dough from scratch daily and use all natural ingredients. They offer authentic Italian pastas, salads, calzones and side dishes.

To keep things fresh, each month they do a few specials like Wives Appreciation Night, National Dog Day, and National cheese Pizza Day–each special offers some sort of free pizza. Luckily, I made it there on National Cheese Pizza Day, which included a free cheese pizza if you spent a certain amount of money! (And the only thing better than pizza is free pizza. 🍕)

I went for the pizza of the month, which was a meat and cheese stromboli and it was served with a side of marinara and a garlic butter sauce. I would highly recommend the garlic butter because … duh, butter makes everything better.

The dessert display looked reeeeeeally good, but I was stuffed and just couldn’t. (Could I?) Palio’s graciously gave me a cannoli to take home, which was AMAZING.

In the summer, Palio’s has a great patio that is a perfect place to watch the fireworks over Lake Grapevine. Sounds like the perfect night to me. I mean … pizza, wine, fireworks … yeah.

PALIO’S GRAPEVINE
1000 Texan Trail, Suite 100, Grapevine, Texas
817-328-0777
www.paliosgrapevine.com

Hours – Mon-Sun: 11am-10pm

*I was treated to dinner compliments of Palio’s Grapevine.

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

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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.

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

MESSINA HOF WINERY
201 South Main Street, Grapevine, Texas
(817)442-VINE
www.messinahof.com
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Moviehouse & Eatery DFW Grand Opening

 Moviehouse & Eatery has just launched their first DFW location in Keller (with another one set to open in Flower Mound Spring 2015 and Craig Ranch (date TBD)) , and this lucky gal got to attend their grand opening celebration. This Austin based dine-in theater concept is begging to be moved to the top of your date night list. For a fun twist on your conventional “dinner and a movie”, Moviehouse & Eatery features eight dine-in theaters, complete with suhhhhweet, comfy reclining seating and a dedicated waitstaff. Oh, and a full-service bar.

Moviehouse Taps

You will definitely want to arrive plenty early to your movie in order to fully utilize Moviehouse & Eatery’s impressive full-service bar in the lobby. The bar menu features a respectable wine list, an interesting beer selection with a focus on local craft brew offerings, and a creative cocktail menu.  I had the opportunity to sample two tasty libations at the opening; first, the Blueberry Ginger Sangria ($7.50). The sangria was bursting with berry flavor, and was dangerously easy drinking. Secondly, I sampled the light and refreshing Cucumber Strawberry Mojito ($8.50), which was chock full of lovely, fresh strawberries with just the right hint of mint. Don’t worry, friends; the drinks do not stop flowing when the movie starts; the entire bar menu is available during your show. Whew!

Cucumber Strawberry Mojito
Cucumber Strawberry Mojito

I also had an opportunity to sample some of the menu items Moviehouse & Eatery has to offer, and believe me when I tell you that we are not talking about the neon-yellow, cheese covered, circular nacho chips of your childhood. Moviehouse & Eatery’s menu features a wide variety of creative dining options, ranging from shareable appetizers and pizzas, to salads, sandwiches, and burgers. Take a peek at the menu here to learn more about their tantalizing offerings.

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If, by chance, you’re a little less hungry (or a little more focused on liquid calories), Moviehouse & Eatery has plenty of snacking options at the M&E Treats Candy Bar in the lobby.

photo 2In addition to traditional offerings like popcorn and classic candy, M&E Treats offers a variety of gourmet sweets for your face stuffing pleasure. Case in point: I don’t think you’ll be munching on chocolate covered Oreos at your neighborhood dollar theater any time soon.

I had the opportunity to enjoy a movie at the grand opening event (“Big Hero 6”- it was really cute- I am 30- I don’t have kids- don’t judge me), and I can totally vouch for the ridiculously comfy reclining chair situation they’ve got going on in their theaters. Holy moly, this was an amazing way to watch a movie, and every other theater I’ve ever been to is  doing it all wrong and I didn’t even know it ’til now. So basically, you’re kicked back in a big, plush chair with your feet up, sipping on a beverage of your choice, and chowing down on some seriously tasty vittles.

Moviehouse Seating

I will leave you with this final warning: watching a movie whilst seated upright, drinking an $11 Dr. Pepper, and munching on a Totino’s Party Pizza  is going to be a *little* disappointing the first time you do it after your get spoiled by Moviehouse & Eatery. Trust me.

Moviehouse & Eatery DFW
250 Rufe Snow Dr., Keller, TX 76248
(817) 518-9091

Ticket reservations available online at themoviehouse.com/keller

For specials and upcoming events, visit Moviehouse & Eatery on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MoviehouseDFW

 

Grapevine Urban Wine Trails

With the growing number of restaurants, brewing beer scene, countless prix-fixe meals, and weekly festivals, I find myself stuck in the Dallas bubble. Once the weekend hits, I stick to the familiar streets I know and the comfort of my bed. But once I discovered the land of Grapevine and its vast wine trails, my weekend routine might be left for afternoons of adventure and discovery.

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Grapevine offers a “trail” (as some of us would call a “crawl”) of wineries and one vineyard (Delaney) that allow for daily tastings and special events throughout the year. An array of strong and bold reds to crisp and clean whites, you can sip on local grapes over a plate of charcuterie and learn the history of the city. (And did you know that Texas is actually the fifth-largest wine-producing state in the U.S. with Grapevine serving as a leader in the Texas wine industry for more than 25 years?) At the end of summer season, thousands flock to the streets of Grapevine in celebration of music, tapas, family-friendly activities, and, most of all, grape crushing at the annual GrapeFest in September.

Last month, the city added Sloan & Williams Winery to its lengthy list of wine makers. Owners, Alan Kunst and Ralph Mattison, are both military veterans that found they could put their “Code of Conduct” to the test when it came to the wine industry. One bottle to note at this stop is the 2013 Serenity white wine (65% Chenin Blanc, 14% Gewürztraminer, 11% French Colombard, 5% Roussanne, and 5% Viognier) is  crisp, fruity, medium-dry blend that isn’t too dry or bitter. On another note, the 2012 Serendipity red blend (30% Carignan, 30% Cinsault, 20% Tempranillo, 15% Mourvedre, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) gives a rich spice of red fruit aromas that balance well with the boldness of the Carignan.

In addition to their wine menu, the winery offers an array of tapas from dips to breads. My one rule: You must have a flight of wine ice cream before you go. My favorite is the merlot.

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However, the best way to discover the city is with a full glass and designated driver to steer you in the right direction. Grapevine Wine Tours shuttle guests from one tasting room to the next, while guides enlighten guzzlers on the history of wine-making through the North Texas region. Lunch and dinner tours are offered on most days, but itineraries rotate daily. More about Grapevine Wine Tours.

In Grapevine news: by the end of 2014, two more wineries are set to open.

Taking the holidays to the next level, the Christmas Wine Trains run each year from December 1 to 18 at 7 pm. Each guest receives a complimentary beverage in a special Christmas wine glass. Envision live holiday music, a festive train ride, wine, hors d’oeuvres, and even a special appearance by Saint Nick. Then come spring, enjoy the marriage of cool jazz and smooth wine aboard the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. March 21 and 22 ride along the Jazz Wine Trains in 1920s classic railroad cars. The trip includes a box dinner and wines from Grapevine’s wineries and tasting rooms. Tickets are $55 per person.

Besides the wine (said no one ever), Grapevine boasts more than 80 locally owned shops, boutiques, and art galleries with 200+ restaurants to choose from. Word on the street is that an Uber from Dallas to the downtown square runs for about $30. Split that between your group of friends and you’ll rejoice in one hell of a deal. I suggest making a day of it and getting to know the faces of some local artisans such as Dr. Sue’s Chocolates and Tolbert’s Restaurant, along your journey through the grapes of Grapevine.

GRAPEVINE WINE TRAILS
www.grapevinewinerytrail.com
Instagram: @VisitGrapevine
Twitter: @VisitGrapevine