Category Archives: Restaurants

Pie Day with Fireside Pies

Every pizza lovers’ favorite holiday—March 14 (3.14), aka PIE DAY—is coming up!

Fireside Pies is having an awesome special on March 14 you can buy one pizza pie and get your second for only $3.14*! Now the real question is, are you going to share your second pizza with someone, or keep it all to yourself?

While you mull over that question, here are some ideas of what to order … The Bruschetta with goat cheese, diced tomatoes, cremini mushrooms on a toasted crostini is a refreshing appetizer to start your meal off right! The Texas Bibb salad is a great side dish to compliment any pizza with the freshness of avocado, hearts of palm, and some zest from the red wine vinaigrette.

Up next: Triple ‘Roni pizza with pepperoni, mozzarella, and a hint of truffle oil that absolutely takes this pizza to the next level. It’s even delicious the next day … where my cold pizza lovers at?!

The Neapolitan with mozzarella, diced tomatoes, and basil is a great Vegetarian option. We had this one made gluten-free for my mother’s sensitive stomach; the GF crust is more of a thin crust, but is still delicious with all the great toppings they pile on top. As a slightly gluten-intolerant person myself, I know more than most that it’s tough to find a good GF crust.

 

There are libations a’plenty here. They have a great wine and beer selection along with some fresh cocktails. I really enjoyed the Peroni Spritz (Aperol, grapefruit, lemon, Peroni). It made me feel like I was sitting at a cafe in Italy watching the old nonnas chatting with each other.

Stop in on 3/14 for this amazing BOGO deal!!!


 

FIRESIDE PIES
FiresidePies.com
Locations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Grapevine, and Plano

*dine-in only

Edith’s French Bistro at CityLine

I stopped into Edith’s French Bistro in Richardson’s CityLine, and will say … it was parfait. With it’s third location in DFW, this restaurant has a lot going for it! With an approachable menu with a French flair, it has options for anytime of day. I wish I could have ordered one of everything and eaten my way through their entire menu … so it looks like I’ll be coming back to do just that. I’ll also be looking for a chance to enjoy their high tea service, and will be keeping an eye on their unique special events!

Of course, you’re here to hear about the booze. So, here we go …
The Death Proof was clean, crisp, refreshing and a definite sipper since it has TWO kinds of liquor in it. (But still lovely to drink for the less hearty drinkers out there.) The honey-ginger syrup is refreshing with just the right amount of kick.
The Rhubarb Gin Sling  was the perfect brunch drink … and perfectly Instagrammable thanks to the flower garnish. Perfect for sweet and non-sweet drinkers.

The Brie & Fig Tartine was an perfectly balanced dish that I’ll be craving all week. The toasted bread makes this dish perfectly crunchy … and it’s sweet thanks to the roasted fig jam, sour and salty from the pickled rhubarb, and creamy from the melted brie. There were so many textures and flavors to love on this dish.
My husband indulged in the Flounder Pappardelle—the pasta was perfectly cooked with the blackened seasoning from the fish, and there was a fresh acidifying from the tomatoes and arugula.
I had the Chicken Paillard, and the breading on the chicken is the most flavorful I’ve ever had. With the finishing pan sear it’s texture was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The accompanying salad with arugula, tomato, fennel, orange, and avocado added a bright, fresh touch.

For dessert we shared the Pineapple Lemon Meyer Tart. It was a dream! The texture was perfectly pillowy and both flavors were balanced and bright … just exquisite, and the soft yet crisp cookie on both sides has just the right touch of sweetness. We also made sure to grab a croissant, which they make from scratch daily! Our was red for Valentine’s Day … and I’ll be sure to grab a few more to start off this Friday in the right spirit. It was everything a croissant should be: light, flakey, chewy, crisp, not overly buttery, and made with care. (And if you have ever made a croissant yourself, you know that it’s not something that you’ll ever do again.) The perfect end to a meal if you’re not a fan of sweets, or the perfect take away to reminisce over the next morning.

Put this place on your must-eat list ASAP. Be it Valentine’s Day, a date night, or a working lunch! We will for sure be back for brunch very soon since dinner was this good!


EDITHS FRENCH BISTRO
edithscafe.com
3551 Wilshire Way, Suite 100 (CityLine in Richardson)
469-697-6105

Happy Hour: Monday – Sunday, 3-6pm
Reverse Happy Hour: Fridays & Saturdays, 9pm-close

Event Recap: Sangria & Paella Making Class at Bulla

I was invited to join a paella and sangria class up the road at Bulla Gastrobar in Legacy West. Needless to say, I have a new appreciation for the giant skillet of seafood and rice … and for this amazing restaurant.

Starting off the night, we enjoyed a few passed appetizers and cava  while we learned about the head chef, the background of the restaurant, and how to make paella and three different types of sangria.

I’ve always been a little intimidated to make paella, but … fun fact, this dish gets its name from the pan used to make it. Anyone else intrigued by that? I’ll say this … it’s a good thing I didn’t try making this on my own. The ingredients are simple, but the process needs a little finesse. The dish is created with love, and from start to finish it takes about 30ish minutes … and that’s great because the smells were almost as intoxicating as the sangria and none of us could wait to eat.

Whether you are a microwave master or home chef, this class was perfect for all levels. Coming around a table, sharing, and conversing with fellow classmates made the evening an enjoyable and  relaxing experience that I highly recommend attending … and make sure you’re hungry!

Bulla is hosting this exact class, “Lovers & Friends, Sangria and Paella Making Class” on February 13th at 7PM. If you don’t have plans yet and are still on the hunt for a fun night, grab tickets on their website for $200 for two people!


BULLA GASTROBAR
bullagastrobar.com
6007 Legacy Drive (Plano)
972-805-4590
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Ocean Prime Rings in 10 Years with 10-$10 Menu Items

Dallas’s Ocean Prime just hit its 10th Anniversary in the heart of Uptown, and to show their gratitude to all of the thirsty (and hungry) Dallasites that have showed them the love the last 10 years, they offered a 10 Years, 10 Items, $10 special menu during the month of January in the OP Lounge and on the newly renovated terrace.

The Ocean Prime favorites that graced the menu were their best-sellers, and for a good reason. The OP experts I’m sure could rattle them off … but for those that are less familiar with their steak- and seafood-heavy menu, we’ll list them so you can seem like you know JUST what you’re doing next time you visit.
> Cocktails: Berries & Bubbles, Black Orchid, Cucumber Gimlet, Pine Fin Martini
> Food: calamari, goat cheese ravioli, sushi, ahi tuna tartar, 10 layer carrot cake, peanut butter torte

Although everything on the 10 Years, 10 Items was delightful, The Berries and Bubbles cocktail shines as the MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE in the lineup. The secret ingredient is dry ice that creates a bubbly, misty and energetic drink that not only tastes delicious, but will have everyone in the bar asking what it is so they can get one, too. (Susie’s note: Make before you set the trend to let all the dry ice smoke off or be VERY CAREFUL sipping it … because that s**t’s dangerous if ingested.)

> BLACK ORCHID (14): Three Olives Berry, St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur, lemon, white cranberry juice
> BERRIES & BUBBLES ($14): Belvedere Citrus Vodka, marinated berries, house made sour, Domaine Chandon Brut, dry ice

Ocean Prime recently unveiled a new spin on their calamari appetizer. The calamari is still marinated in buttermilk for 24 hours before crisping up in the fryer, but now they’re using a special blend of chili, hoisin and light soy sauces to add extra, deep flavor to the seafoodie favorite. The addition of julienne carrots, scallions, red bell peppers, Mung bean sprouts and candied cashews on top is unlike any calamari we have tried. THIS IS A MUST ORDER!

If you have room (I mean … you kind of have to save room), then you can’t pass on the 10 Layer Carrot Cake. This is another OP fan favorite. With just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth, this cake will guarantee you go home with a smile on your face.

Ocean Prime is a PRIME spot for happy hour or even just a quick glass of red to wash down their ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY DELICIOUS TRUFFLE POPCORN. No need for reservations, just pop in during happy hour after work to eat, drink and enjoy the mild Dallas winter on the newly renovated enclosed terrace oasis! (Susie’s note: Make sure you say hi to the Marcos at the bar … both will show you some really incredible hospitality.)

Bon Appetit!


OCEAN PRIME
2101 Cedar Springs Rd. #150 (Uptown/Harwood)
ocean-prime.com

RESTAURANT REVIEW: MI DIA

With three DFW locations, Mí Día scratch kitchen has something very unique to offer … it doesn’t just focus on the traditional.

The menu is well designed and carefully crafted with a fresh mentality. I dined in and enjoyed a few items off their catering menu (which are also on their regular menu), and was surprised by the excellent quality that usually isn’t found in cooking intended for large production and was pleased by the bold flavors I enjoyed. Their largest catering order was for 4,000 people, so should you be on the market for a catering option, I think your needs will be met with weddings, birthdays, holiday gatherings and more!


I normally go with my gut (pun intended) on food choice, but I stepped outside my comfort zone and let my waitress dictate my experience! She recommended the Fig and Berry and Cloud 9. The first is their current signature drink with blackberries, figs, house-made cinnamon agave, THREE liquors, and a cinnamon sugar rim. It may be a new favorite. The second was a LTO cocktail that gained enough fans that it made its way on to their cocktail menu. It’s made with 1530 Blanco Rosa, Cointreau Noir, lemon, lime, vanilla agave, and hibiscus air (ummmm basically the adult cotton candy). I’m not sure if calories are involved with air, but I’m here for it either way.

Now, on to the food! Tamales are one of my favorite traditional items—kinda like when I go to an Italian joint and judge them on their chicken parmesan. Theirs definitely passed the “Taylor test” … the masa tastes crazy fresh, the ratio of masa to protein was spot on, and both proteins (pork and chicken stuffed with New Mexico red and green Chile sauces) have a spicy, but not overwhelming kick to them. Who doesn’t love a good taco, right? Especially when you get to build it yourself! The Cochinita Pibil were pork tacos served with picked onions that offer a bright acidity that really livens up the dish. The meat was moist, well seasoned, and comes tied up in a banana leaf! You can’t go wrong here!

On to dessert … holy churros, (Chalupa) Batman! If you like chocolate, cajeta (Mexican carmel), and fried dough, YOU MUST try this. Y’all know I have 28 sweet teeth and this did not disappoint. The crunchy outside with a creamy cajeta inside, lightly drizzled with chocolate and side of cappuccino ice cream was the best way to end this dinner.

Every dish that passed our table made us want to extend the meal—the presentation was nicely crafted and polished. Believe it or not, you eat with your eyes first, folks … and I was pigging out.

If you’re dining in, their happy hour is Monday thru Friday, 3-6PM; $2 off multiple menu items and $5 house margaritas. Seeing as we are coming up on patio season here in Texas, theirs has oscillating fans and is fenced-in by wire trellis covered with greenery. It has a relaxing, laid back vibe … just what we all need to unwind from the day.

I can’t wait to come back and try more of their food and drink offerings … though I’m not sure I’ll be able to be enticed to try something other than what I’ve already had since everything was perfect.  I guess I’ll just have to go for lunch, enjoy a couple HH drinks, and stay for dinner!


MÍ DÍA FROM SCRATCH
Grapevine: 1295 S Main Street | 817.421.4747
Plano: 3310 Dallas Parkway, Ste 105 | 972.403.7474
Flower Mound: 2601 West Windsor | 972-874-4747

midiafromscratch.com
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Mi Cocina HP Village Is Back

Mi Cocina in Highland Park Village is back and officially open after a quick beauty refresh that will have you ooh-ing and ahh-ing in between sips of your Mambo Taxi.

While well loved in the Park Cities, Mi Cocina in Highland Park Village was once a dark, outdated dining room, but after 8 weeks of intense renovation, it’s now a clean and crisp vision reminiscent of a Mexican villa. The walls are now a bright white and the ceiling a dark wood. The seating has been reupholstered, and the balcony is now curved.

 

But the main update has been to the upstairs bar, known to locals as Monkey Bar due to the large painting of monkeys that used to adorn the walls. Previously only known by hyper locals, they’re making the once small space filled to capacity almost nightly a more welcoming space with additional seating. The bar now has an outdoor patio with umbrellas for shade and misters to keep cool even on the hottest of Dallas days. Monkey Bar is accessible from both Mi Cocina’s interior through a back staircase and the stairs across from Bistro 31. (Just keep climbing.)

 

The inside of the bar was also given a face-lift with new upholstery and brass accents. The Monkey portraits may be gone, but the theme is not lost: we’re still excited to monkey around up there. While sitting out on the patio you may even hear some jungle sounds over the speakers to set the beach-in-Mexico mood. We’re not mad about it.

 

Monkey Bar offers a great selection of appetizers from $8-$16, like Nachos Al Carbon and Quesadilla Morita con Huevo. Margaritas range from $12-$16 … but really we’re all there for that Mambo Taxi.

Stop in to see our favorite MiCo face lift. The food remains the same, but now the dining room’s a whole lot better to look at.

 


MI COCINA
micocina.com
Newly renovated location: 77 Highland Park Village (Highland Park)

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214.521.6426

EL RINCON: The Gem on the Corner

This joint is a gem!

What makes it different than any other Tex Mex spot in Texas? The uniqueness comes from the owners, Rick and Susan. They’ve added touches here and there to give the space a modern yet comfortable feel.

The bar is absolutely gorgeous with eye-catching tiling and a large selection of alcohol displayed beautifully on open shelves. The best of the bottles, though, is theirs. The owners went to Mexico and bought a barrel and had their own tequila produced. (Because that’s a normal thing to do right?) A single barrel which only produces around  240 bottles to use, so, pro tip: get there ASAP to try theirs before it’s gone! Their goal was to have vanilla and citrus notes come through their tequila, and upon first sip of their blend, those notes rang true.

To start our meal … as with any Tex Mex joint worth its (tequila and) salt, their chips and salsa hit the table right when you sit down. They’re made fresh daily and the salsa has a bright charred flavor. Not to start off too strong, but my husband claims this is his favorite salsa … looks like we will be going back soon … ya know … for quality control purposes!

For an appetizer we indulged in the Brisket Empanadas that were filled with juicy meat and had a soft yet crunchy flaky crust. For the entrees we had Brisket Tacos and Seafood Ancho Relleno. Both dishes were stuffed with a generous portion of protein and really hit the spot. You can taste the freshness of the ingredients in the crunch of the vegetables.

To top off the meal we had the sopapillas. Did anyone else grow up “rais[ing] the flag”? No? Just me? Ok, well this dessert was the stuff dreams are made of. Show me a pastry covered in sugary goodness and you have my full attention (after I eat it  … because I’m not focusing on anything but that until it’s gone.) The whipped cream it came with had a subtle kick of heat, which was a delightful surprise.

The environment was light and airy. The bar filled up before the restaurant, obvi, and it had an energetic feel without being too loud to enjoy your dining companions. If you hit this place up, I recommend that you head to happy hour first and let the night go from there!

Just a couple of last tips:
– It gets busy right around 6pm, so get there early to get a good seat and start sipping a delicious marg.
– Their Carrollton location is super convenient but if this isn’t close enough to Highway 75 for you, they will be building a location in Frisco very soon!
– If you sit in the bar, be sure to chat with Danny! He’s pretty awesome!


EL RINCON
elrincontx.com
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1114 S Elm St #100 (Carrollton, Texas)
469-892-6429

Header and queso pictures courtesy of El Rincon, all others taken by Taylor Sutton.

Deep Ellum Welcomes a Boozy Oyster Bar

There’s a new bar in town, it’s right at the edge of Deep Ellum where Elm meets Malcom X Blvd. Formerly Idle Rye, it’s now called Bitter End.

I experienced all of this for myself when I went to Bitter End for the first time last month. The first thing I noticed was that there is a solid patio which is where they hosted Puppies on the Patio every Sunday in April where they welcome your four-legged companion and kept free pupsicles in stock. But don’t worry … the patio is always pup-friendly and there’s a chance they will bring back Pups on the Patio for an encore. (Crossing my fingers!)

Inside, you can find vibrant art of famous rock legends along the wall which ties into the cleverly named cocktails—Walk the Line, The Madonna, and The Selena, to name a few.  You’ll also find a raw bar full of oysters on ice from all over. Bitter End will always carry Gulf and Blue Point Oysters, but there are other types on rotation like Sweet Jesus oysters. (Seriously.)

If raw oysters aren’t your thing, I recommend the charbroiled oysters or clams. They are wood-grilled with garlic herb butter and Parmesan and served with a toasted baguette that is excellent dipped in the leftover herb butter! The menu isn’t all oysters—they also have burgers, Nashville hot chicken sliders, salads, lobster rolls (on pretzel buns!), and other delicious pub food.

As far as cocktails go, you’re going to want to try them all! I am somewhat obsessed with the Ziggy Stardust (rum, maraschino liqueur, grapefruit and lime). They use a mini clothespin to fasten the garnish to the glass and it’s adorable (and very insta-worthy).  If you want something a little less sweet, I would suggest you Walk the Line (bourbon, spiced pear, lemon and egg white). It sounds like a weird combo, but go with it! I also discovered my new go-to coffee cocktail—I still love you, Twilight Lounge—called the Madonna (frozen coffee liqueur, espresso vodka topped with whipped cream). It’s going to be perfect for Dallas’s hot weather and late night patio season.

Now let’s talk about their events…
Mondays and Tuesdays, ALL DAY: $5 champagne and $1.50 oysters
Every day, 5-7pm: $5 wells, wine and beer
7 days a week, 10pm-2am: reverse oyster happy hour with $1.50 oysters

There are more than 20 TVs, so it’s also a perfect spot to watch your favorite sports team and there will be various specials for select games. Now would be a great time to check out Bitter End while cheering on your favorite Dallas team …


BITTER END DALLAS
bitterenddallas.com
2826 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75226
(214) 792-9888