Blue crab and truffle deviled eggs.
Crispy shrimp corn dogs.
Maytag blue cheese potato chips.
These are just a few of the things you can find on Chef Kent Rathbun’s new menu at Lovers Seafood and Market. I recently had the chance to sample a little bit of everything from this new menu and hear all about their new weekly specials … and you’re gonna want to go check it out.
The tasting started off on a boozy note with the unveiling of their signature cocktails. The tasting lineup featured their Marfa Mary and Gypsy Wife along with a classic, the Corpse Reviver. Each of them were light enough to start the meal nicely without blowing out your palate. (They were also delightful to enjoy on their cute patio!) My personal favorite was the Gypsy Wife (Ketel One, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, grapefruit, basil and lime). This should be no surprise since I’m very into grapefruit-based cocktails lately.
These delicious cocktails are half priced during their happy hour which you can check out Monday through Saturday from 3-6pm. The happy hour also features half priced oysters … such a steal! It’s also very important to note that on Wednesdays they have half priced martinis all night long.
On the new menu, you’ll notice that they have added more grill-oriented items like the RoadhouseCheeseburger and tender kale salad. This is part of their strategy to re-brand as more than just a seafood spot. (Rumor has it that they will soon change their name to “Lovers Seafood + Grill”.) I love that there were multiple healthy options on the menu like the charbroiled burger bowl that was served over quinoa and sweet potato pieces.
The tasting wrapped up with a sampling of the desserts … and ohhhemmmmgeeeee. They have a key lime pie to die for. The graham cracker crust and raspberry coulis were so good that I would come back just to have dessert.(I seriously considered licking my plate clean. Calories be damned.) Don’t skip dessert when you go!
The first time I visited Hudson House, I decided it’d be my new Friday afternoon martini spot the weeks I don’t go in for the pork chop special at Perry’s Steakhouse. This seafood spot in the Park Cities is a gem. While life usually gets in the way (of both), I have found another brilliant time to visit Hudson House … brunch.
The menu is American with an East Coast flair, and the spot itself is adorably Nantucket—expect plenty of heavy wood and tile with brass accents in this open restaurant with plenty of natural light. The staff is friendly and very happy to help your table decide on a spread. We gave the delightful bartender on the day how many dishes we’d like and what sort of items we enjoy and he sent out what he recommended. And I’ll tell you, that’s the way to do it.
Their cocktail options are on point. Mimosas and bellinis for $5, cocktails for $8-11, and their pièce de résistance, THE Royal Bloody—their original bloody with bleu cheese olives, a huge shrimp, and an oyster. (It’s a little steep for a brunch cocktail, but it’s a real photo opp. If I had it to do over again, though, I’d opt for the $20 bottle of prosecco. What a damn good deal, right?! I went for a bloody mary followed by a gibson … because vodka is breakfast liquor and they make a mean martini.
Per the food, you’ll find the usual trappings of a brunch menu—toasts, egg dishes, and some sweet options. And, really, everything is quite visually appealing. (You’ll want to ‘gram most of what hits the table.) Their toasts—avocado, country ham, and salmon—are delicious and the bread is perfectly crispy. If you’re into a benedict situation, ops for one of their three options—one being lobster, and damn, was it good. The eggs were prepared perfectly and the lobster was tender.
If you’re looking for something on the healthier side, they offer oatmeal and granola bowls along with a Power Breakfast (poached eggs, sliced avocado, maple bacon, and berries). We skipped those options and went for oysters instead. They do oysters well here. All East Coast options, and all listed on a board with descriptions. My favorite part of the presentation was that they actually mark which are which with colored picks and a color-coded menu. I hate it when I order a couple different kinds and have to guess which is the super salty one my neighbor prefers.
Stop in for a visit and you can enjoy an entire day in walking distance. Grab brunch at Hudson House, catch a movie at Inwood Theater, maybe a foot massage … sounds like a brilliant day to me.
The beginning of fall marks the start of many exciting events–the long-awaited return of college football (and tailgating) season, the State Fair, baseball playoffs–and for the German beer fan in all of us, we have Oktoberfest. While I wasn’t lucky enough to make it to the original celebration in Munich, I was able to pop over to Gordon Biersch for their house brewed beers.
Despite a vaguely German-sounding name, Gordon Biersch has a modern and diverse gastropub-inspired menu that spans from flatbreads and fresh fish to revamped pub standards. Their brewing philosophy is based off of the Reinheitsgebot (a purity law that was created in Germany all the way back in 1516). Gordon Biersch’s beers are brewed according to these ancient rules-using only malted barley, hops, yeast and water.
A fan of darker beers, I decided on the Schwarzbier, a brown ale with a smooth, rich caramel flavor. My wife had the Hefeweizen which is a traditional style of unfiltered, wheat beer. The hints of fruit and spice make it a great beer to sip with or without food. The crew was nice enough to bring over samples of their other three beers: Marzen, Czech Pilsner and Golden Export. The Golden was an easy drinking beer with crisp, subtle hops while the Marzen had a sweet, malty taste.
What’s really nice is that the menu gives suggested food pairings to make the most of your experience. The Ahi Tuna Wonton Nachos are fresh tuna tossed in a savory teriyaki and topped a mountain of crunchy wonton chips. Add grilled pineapple, pickled ginger, green onions, a sprinkling of sesame seeds and drizzled with a cucumber wasabi sauce and Sriracha cream. And the Blue Crab Spinach Artichoke Dip is served bubbling hot with grilled crostini and herb flatbread. Rich and decadent, it may require putting in some extra cardio time, but it was a great pair to our beers.
The Woodford Reserve Bourbon Salmon is served with quinoa and kale salad and asparagus–it’s one of a number of a “lighter” dishes available that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for calories. We couldn’t skip dessert, so we shared a warm apple crostata with ice cream.
While the real Oktoberfest is over, but Gordon Biersch is keeping the spirit alive with well-crafted beers and food offerings. Consider swinging by for happy hour (Monday-Sunday 3-7pm & 9-11pm or all day Wednesday) for $4-21 ounce GB beers.
I’m going to get right to it: Pakpao is Thai me up, tie me down delicious. Now with three locations strong, Pakpao led by Chef Jet Tila serves up authentic Thai food with fresh ingredients in a really beautiful way. (Like … actually nice to look at, but also beautifully done.) Their food is amazing, but their brunch offerings are a truly unique take on Dallas’s favorite meal. Think Coconut Pancakes and lemongrass and kaffir lime sausage hash.
The drinks offered at brunch are as unique as it gets for brunch. You aren’t going to find bottomless mimosas or bloody mary bars here, but you will find refreshing options like their Thai Lemongrass bloody mary (my personal favorite in Dallas), their Lychee Bellini, and Chula-Rita. The best part? These delightful libations start at just $3.
While the brunch was a revelation, most of the food that they make it. (I mean … I’m not sure why I was so surprised by all of the amazing brunch options with their track record … whatever.) The less brunch-y items we tried were the Hoi Obh (steamed P.E.I. mussels with the most amazing lemongrass and Thai basil broth) and the Pork Congee. The congee was, as best as I can describe it, a comforting porridge-like soup with ground pork and ginger. I may or may not have insisted on taking home the little bit that was left just so I could taste it again. Whatever.
The decor is simple and seemingly authentic down to the ingredients stacked thoughtfully on shelves below the open kitchen window. Located directly beside its sister restaurant, Oak, it’s easy to miss since it’s not visible from the street.
Stop in to one of the three locations for a brunch you won’t soon forget … just make sure to invite me for some coconut pancakes.
We all know how much Dallasites love drinking their booze on patios on a beautiful day, and 2016 is shaping up to be a good year for dining and drinking al fresco. (Hold the rain and hail, please.) And wouldn’t you know it … there’s a new spot for just that; Matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit opened up its first Texas location in Preston Hollow, just in time for all of us to eat, drink, and get a nice base tan, all at the same time on its roomy outdoor seating area.
When I arrived, I had my eyes on the prize–the cocktails (obviously). I ordered the Southern Charmer (bourbon, peach nectar, and black pepper-ginger syrup), which is shaken and poured over ice then garnished with a lemon slice. (And so continues my lemon obsession. 🍋) From what I could tell (and taste), there are also a few dashes of Angostura bitters on top, but it’s not listed on the menu. Try it out and let me know if I’m off the mark. Ahhh … it was the perfect patio cocktail–refreshing, boozy, with the sweetness of the peach nectar balanced out by the bite of the pepper and ginger. I could/did drink many of these bad boys–charming or not.
NOTE FROM SUSIE: Make sure to peruse their entire cocktail menu along with their wine list. Matchbox has private label wine that isn’t half bad! Their Jalapeño Cucumber Margarita packs a bit of spice to keep things interesting and their Patio Pounder Lemonade made with house infused watermelon vodka is everything summer is made of.
Of course, if I’m going to commit to drinking all of Matchbox’s cocktails, I needed some food to do so. (It’s a marathon, not a sprint, guys; remember that.) Fortunately for me, there was no shortage of delicious appetizers from which to choose. Given my penchant for a well-stocked charcuterie board, that’s where I daintily voraciously started my culinary adventure.
Heaping mounds of prosciutto, wedges of creamy brie, quince cubes, overflowing plates of gherkin pickles, grain mustard, and briny olives … oh my. The portions were more than satisfying, and it’s not typical to find the sweet quince offering on the boards I’ve seen in Dallas thus far, so that was a tasty addition to the usual charcuterie spread. I overdid it on the prosciutto and cheese (as one does), so the rest of the appetizers are nibbled, but nonetheless thoroughly enjoyed.
The spread consisted of standard (albeit, high-quality and well-executed) crowd-pleasers. The Mini Meatballs are a combination of angus beef, veal, and pork, and were wonderfully tender and are served in pepperoni sauce and topped with pecorino romano cheese. I (somehow) managed to keep my intake of these to just two. (I should get a ribbon for that.)
If you look REALLY closely, you’ll see 3.6.9 Mini Burgers peeking out from a mountain of crispy fried onions. The trick is to extract a mini burger from the plate, grab a small mound of crispy onions, add it to the burger, and have at it. Let me just say, these are definitely mini burgers and not sliders. The buns aren’t made of sweet rolls; they’re toasted brioche, and the patties are substantial and individually cooked to a perfect medium.
As soon as they brought out the Spicy Tuna Tartare Tacos, I knew these were a best-seller. Their fresh, cool tuna’s delicate texture juxtaposed with the crispiness of the fried wonton taco shell … it’s a classic for a reason. And don’t skimp on the Sriracha mayo.
And who doesn’t like a good chicken strip? These bad boys, dubbed Ted’s Tenders, were huge! Did I eat one all by myself? Yes! (Shut up. I have NO regrets.) It was the way I like my chicken strips: not overly breaded and still juicy and flavorful on the inside. I don’t know who Ted is … but I like him.
My overall take away from my Matchbox experience? It’s a fun spot with a cool vibe, and the food and drinks aim to please both the masses and those of us (ahem) with a bit more of a refined palate. If I worked nearby, that’s where you’d find me after 4PM most weekdays. I wouldn’t be alone; Matchbox is already hoppin’ with the business happy hour crowd. The patio was teeming with business people in suits, all eating, drinking, and being merry when I arrived, and they were still going strong when I left. Cheers to them! They know how to marathon it, too. Matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit matchboxrestaurants.com Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
7859 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 140
Dallas, TX 75230
Breadwinners recently debuted its new cocktail menu … and let me tell you, they’re worth trying. From the skinny to spicy to sweet, they have something for everyone.
They are featuring what they’ve dubbed “Hangover Elixers”, their traditional mimosa, Bloody Diablo, Tito’s Texas Sunrise, and the peach bellini. Of the drinks at the event, I have to say that BW’s Bloody Mary was one of my favorites. It had just the right spice-factor and, of course, was adorned with bacon — which, let’s face it, makes everything better.
They included some new signature drinks in their new menu including an unexpected herby drink, the Basil Berry Cooler with vodka, fresh basil, and blackberries. It was one of my favorites from the evening and it’s a definite recommendation. Other new signature cocktails include:
Orange Julius: Pinnacles whipped cream vodka, orange juice
Superfruit: Absolut Citron, berries
I really enjoyed the Frozen Cherry Limeade; it wasn’t too sweet and definitely had a nice amount of vodka for a frozen drink. Remember: drink slowly and press your tongue to the roof of your mouth to avoid brain freeze.
The crowning glory of the new cocktail menu is their skinny options of which all of the cocktails are 125 calories or less. SAWEEEET. Breadwinners is now offering skinny versions of the cosmo, margarita, and lemon drop.
Overall, their new options are tasty and pack enough of a punch to merit the $8-10 price tag. The new drinks are available at all three locations and some will be available at sister bar, Quarter Bar.
Each time I try a new place, I walk in with a flurry of excitement and my taste buds standing at attention. My expectations are usually a little high, but with DISH they were matched.
On my first visit here, I was with a group of nine taking advantage of the Yelp! Eats deal ($25 for three courses à la KERA Restaurant Week – and yes, this was quite a while ago) and DISH was our restaurant of choice. Dinner was at 6 p.m., Wicked was at 8 p.m. … and that apparently wasn’t a great plan. After reminding our waitress multiple times and urging her to quicken her step, we still missed the first scene. Despite the somewhat slow service, our waitress was very nice and suggested some great cocktails and food choices.
We all agreed on some flatbread for the table and that was the best choice we made all night! The mushroom flatbread was to-die AND was half off – it doesn’t get better than that. As for the salads, they are fresh and nicely presented but watch out for the juicy tomatoes … they may squirt and ruin your neighbor’s new, white shirt (sorry, Brando!). The food menu has a wide range of options from pasta to short ribs that fall apart and will haunt your dreams they are so good. It is their take on comfort food.
As for drinks, they have very inventive drinks that they have dubbed “culinary inspired drinks”. If you’re looking for a sweet drink, try the Prairie Pomegranate Mojito, the Kiss & Tell, or the Strawberry Basil Margarita. For more masculine options, go for a Manhattan becase the whole bar menu is skewed sweet.
The restaurant itself is very edgy. The decore is quite innovative and, be prepared, the bathrooms are coed. Most everyone there is interested in men anyway, so it doesn’t get awkward. The wait staff is, on the whole, incredibly hospitable. On my second visit, which was for a friend’s birthday, they brought a round of champagne for the table and a complimentary dessert. Not too shabby.
Extra tip: Parking is really difficult around the restaurant so definitely have a couple bucks so you can valet.
Go in with deep pockets and an appetite, you’ll need both. Save room for dessert.
In a day and age when it’s hard to find an authentic sports bar, the Time Out Tavern (affectionately known as the TOT) holds true to the name and delivers a respite from the hustle and bustle of Dallas life. From the walls plastered with old sports headlines from newspapers and sports memorabilia to the pool, shuffleboard, and video games, the TOT really gives men’s men a place to get away and relax like they did back in the day … but women are welcome, too – but only if they know which teams are in the Final Four!
Here is what they have to say about their establishment: “…the bar with a heart. Since 1988, the TimeOut has provided the ideal social venue for armchair quarterbacks, political hacks and feminist rabble-rousers… we also happen to be a great place to come as you are, hang out and enjoy. Your secret is safe with us… just get over here & have some fun….please, don’t screw the place up.”
The drinks are pretty strong but you need to articulate when you’re speaking to the bartender; we ordered 4 drinks and of those, 3 weren’t correct. We couldn’t get mad, though … he was dressed like a referee and we were afraid we’d get a yellow card. They also are good for a quick quip.
After 5, the businessmen trickle in and begin bickering about their (least) favorite sports teams and players. Though it gets a little rowdy, they keep to themselves and won’t bother your game of CLASSIC Big Buck Hunter.
Just don’t call the place … they’re entirely too busy to talk to you.