Category Archives: Upcoming Events

2018 Dallas Chocolate Festival

“Chocolate Wasted” is an understatement. Prepare to get chocolate obliterated.

If you love chocolate, you are gonna love this. Dallas is lucky enough to have an annual chocolate festival. A yearly celebration of all things cocoa.

This year’s Dallas Chocolate Festival celebrates the “Future of Chocolate”, an exploration into where the chocolate industry is headed. A $35 ticket* gets you access to the main hub of the festival when all the demos and samples take place! 70+ exhibitors will be on show during the festival, which runs September 7th-9th at the Fashion Industry Gallery downtown.
Tickets to the main event on Saturday, September 8th can be purchased here.

The first night of the festival features a VIP Party with chocolate cocktails, treats, goody bags, and more. Most of the vendors will be at the VIP party so you can sample and purchase once you’re a little tipsy on the chocolate cocktails. (Make sure to Uber home!) Tickets to the Friday night VIP Party are $75, but you could buy a two-day pass that’s good for Friday and Saturday for $100.
You can purchase VIP Party tickets here.

The final day of the festival is when all the workshops take place. Here you can learn how to make chocolate from bean-to-bar and everything in between for just $100 per person, or you can take part in a very extensive tasting experience for $60 per person. If your tastebuds are still kicking, you could even do both for $150 for the all day pass. The workshops will all take place at the Preston & Forest Whole Foods.
Tickets to the workshops can be purchased here.

No matter what day you choose to go to the Dallas Chocolate Festival, you’re bound to taste some delicious chocolate made by local chocolatiers … and you may just learn something about the chocolate industry.

I was lucky enough to attend a preview for the Dallas Chocolate Festival, and there’s a lot to look forward to. Make sure to get your tickets online and plan to ramp up your sugar intake in the week before so your sugar rush isn’t a handicap at the festival. Because there’s a lot of chocolate to be had.

 


THE DALLAS CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL
The Dallas Chocolate Festival
September 7-9, 2018

Event being held at The Fashion Industry Gallery (FIG)
Fashion Industry Gallery
1807 Ross Avenue (Downtown Dallas)

*$5 for kids under 10)

Jackson Family Wines + Harwood District Wine Dinner

The Harwood District has given Dallas some of (my) favorite new restaurants and spaces in the last few years—Mercat Bistro, Marie Gabrielle, Magnolias: Sous Le Pont, etc.—so it was surprise to me when I realized I hadn’t yet visited Dolce Riviera when I was invited to a wine pairing dinner there. I couldn’t say no. If it was anything compared to the other restaurants in the district, I was in for a treat. Bottom line: the food, the wine, and the “show” were all incredible.

The wine dinner featured Jackson Family Wines and was led by none other than Julia Jackson herself, daughter of the famed winemaker, Jess Jackson who began the brand in 1974. Each course got an introduction from someone from the restaurant, an overview of the paired wine and a colorful anecdote from Julia, and a step-by-step demonstration by Executive Chef Michele Scarpa.

Jackson Family Wines is a family-owned and operated wine company that owns vineyards, wineries, and brands throughout the world with brands spanning price ranges and various winemaking techniques. They continue to product incredibly wines and push teh envelope when it comes to innovation—both in winemaking and in eco-friendly practices. Well-known US brands include Freemark Abbey,  Kendall-Jackson, and La Crema.

The.meal.was.amazing. Each course was beautifully prepared and the paired Jackson Family Wines were exquisite and paired flawlessly. The risotto and Valodorna Supertuscan pairing was, by far, my absolute favorite. I’ve never been much of a risotto fan, but Chef Scarpa’s was life changing. Not kidding. The Supertuscan pairing was perfect as its bold notes of black cherry and spices cut the creaminess and richness of the risotto.

The food at Dolce Riviera is inspired by Chef Scarpa’s roots in southern Italy and dishes are authentic, but with a slight French slant. Everything is made with fresh ingredients from scratch to finish and is beautifully and intricately crafted to not only taste authentic, but to be presented beautifully as well. Dolce Riviera aims for simple, yet elegant.

ANTIPASTO: Half Crispy Quail over Green Asparagus with Quail Eggs and Sauce Mornaise
Paired with Cambria Clone 4 Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley, USA)

CRUDO: Venison Carpaccio with Wild Herbs, Late Radicchio Salad with Dried Apricot and Fresh Red Currant in White Balsamic Dressing
Paired with Yangarra Grenache (McLaren Vale, Australia)

PRIMO: Risotto Carnaroli with Pomegranate
Paired with Valodorna Supertuscan (Tuscany, Italy)

SECONDO: Veal Tenderloin Rollatino with Truffle Heart, Mix Wild Mushroom Sauce
Paired with Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, USA)

Harwood District gives diners incredible opportunities to dine delightfully with various events like these wine dinners, DJ Brunches, and more. Make sure to watch the Harwood District events page and their social channels to be up on all of the offerings coming from the district.


JACKSON FAMILY WINES
jacksonfamilywines.com

DOLCE RIVIERA
dolceriviera.com

HARWOOD DISTRICT
harwooddistrict.com

Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival 2018

For Fort Worth foodies, the most wonderful time of year is quickly approaching. The Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival celebrates food and drink from Fort Worth and beyond, as well as benefits the Festival’s Foundation.

April 5-8 will bring Fort Worth burgers, beer, cocktails, wine, and so much more! Expect well-executed events that give you the best Cowtown has to offer … just make sure you wear comfortable pants.

This year, FWFW weekend will kick off with Tacos and Tequila on Thursday, April 5. On Friday, The Main Event and my personal favorite, Deserts after Dark. Saturday begins with Rise and Dine and then on to Burgers, Brews, and Blues. Pitmasters Picnic will close out the weekend on Sunday.

Tickets are on sale now!

Here is a recap of last year’s events:

Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival
April 5-8, 2018

McKinney Oktoberfest

It’s September, which means it’s time for Oktoberfests across the world celebrating all-things German—most often seen: beer and brats. (Have you ever understood why they aren’t actually in October?)

Here in North Texas, We’re lucky enough to have two world-class festivals—in Addison and McKinney. McKinney’s FREE* Oktoberfest, which happens to be their 10th this year, will be held September 22-24, and this family-friendly three-day event will offer everything from strudel and steins to entertainment like live music, children’s events/activities, and more.

Did we mention beer? Because there will be plenty of it. “McKinney’s Oktoberfest features authentic German bier such as Hofbrau Original and McKinney’s own beers from Franconia and TUPPS breweries. Oktoberfest offers an excellent opportunity to try multiple German flavors and styles all at one event with a bier garden that covers 14 blocks.” If you want to learn more about German beer, they’re offering Meet the Brewmaster sessions (reserve a spot online).  They’ll also be tapping a rare 200-year old keg. 😳 Now, that’s not messing around with the devil’s brew.

However, if you DO want to mess around with beer instead of drink it (at least for a short time), you can enter the Hofbrau Stein Holding Competition. The winner will get a paid trip to compete in Vegas. No kidding. If you’d rather move with it, they’re also having stein holding and beer barrel races along with giant beer pong. (Times when a beer gut doesn’t come in handy.)

If holding a beer isn’t entertaining enough for you, they’ll also have live music on two stages, brat eating contests, weenie dog races, and children’s entertainment. (And you can’t forget the chicken dance.)


mckinneyoktoberfest.com
#McKinneyOktoberfest, #DowntownMcKinney
Facebook: /downtownmckinney
Instagram: @DowntownMcKinney
Twitter: @DtownMcKinney

Friday, Sept. 22, 4 to 11 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 24, noon to 5 p.m.

 

*Some activities and food/drink require a nominal fee.

Admission and parking is free. Access a map of the free parking lots. A designated zone for drop-offs and pick-ups is located on the west side of Mitchell Park on Benge Street, between West Louisiana and West Virginia streets. Complimentary shuttle service is offered Friday and Saturday of the event. Festival goers can park off-site at First McKinney Baptist Church, and enjoy round trip transportation. Shuttles depart every 15 minutes. 

 

The Ultimate Cocktail Experience Returns for a Bigger 2017

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … the only thing better than drinking is drinking for a good cause.

And that’s why I’ve enjoyed The Ultimate Cocktail Experience (the event formerly known as Trigger’s Toys). The event has, for five years already, brought the bar industry together for one spectacular event featuring pop-up bars, entertainment, and a hell of a lot of fun for a really incredible cause.

The general idea is that, one bar is great, but six make for a real party. So, each year, a theme is selected for the event, then captains conceptualize pop-up bars with their teams under the year’s theme. This year’s captains, cocktails, and bar themes are:
– Mexico City: Brad Hensarling & Megan McClinton, The Usual (Margarita)
– London: Omar Yeefoon, Shoals (Gin and Tonic)
– New Orleans: Keisha Cooper, Shoals (Sazerac)
– Hong Kong: Robbie Call, frmly of Filament (Rob Roy)
– Casablanca: Andrew Stofko, Hot Joy (Mule)
– Havana: Ravinder Singh, Rapscallion (Daiquiri)
(Each pop-up will also be accompanied by a food truck.)

In past years, the event has featured bar and hospitality talent from some of the best venues right here in Dallas. This year, the event has beaconed talent from across the country—and from as far off as Australia—to participate. Making the trip to support the cause will be Ash Hauserman of Blacktail in New York (Best New American Cocktail Bar*), Iain Griffiths from London’s Dandelyan (Best International Hotel Bar and Best Cocktail Bar in the World*), Ezra Star from award-winning Drink (Boston), and Mitch Bushell formerly of Melbourne’s internationally renowned Black Pearl.

Trigger’s Toys, the charity to benefit from the event, is a Dallas darling. “The organization is dedicated to reducing the financial and emotional stress placed on chronically ill children and their families by providing financial assistance and supplemental therapy to those in need.” Last year’s event raised more than $200,000, and their goal is to surpass that in 2017.

Bryan Townsend of The 86 Co., founder of the event

THE ULTIMATE COCKTAIL EXPERIENCE
ultimatecocktailexperience.com
Facebook | Instagram
September 30, 2017, 6:30pm
Klyde Warren Park (Dallas, Texas)
21+ only

PURCHASE TICKETS

General Admission – $65
Event entry (6:30pm)
Champagne upon entrance (while it lasts)
Passport to all (6) bar concepts with cocktails
One food truck item

VIP – $125 (Limited Quantity Available)
Early entrance (6:00pm)
Champange upon entrance
(3) Vegas Area Tokens – $60 value
Complimentary Valet Parking – $20 value
Passport to all (6) Bar Concepts with cocktails
One Food Truck Item

Trigger’s Toys | Ultimate Cocktail Experience 2016 from Beyond on Vimeo.

*Named at the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards

Asador Fall Dinner Preview

Each season, Asador, the restaurant in Dallas’s Renaissance Hotel serving farm-to-table food, presents a delicious dinner featuring fresh, flavorful seasonal selections.  The Fall Harvest Dinner tomorrow,  September 28, will be no exception thanks to Chef Brad Phillips’s creations.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of some of the items at this season’s three-course family-style dinner, and attendees are in for a treat.  With selections like the Local Kale Salad with pumpkin seeds and apple vinaigrette, Gulf Snapper Crudo, and Mesquite Grilled Texas Raised Beef, you can’t really go wrong.

The dinner will be $90 per person and includes beverage pairings, parking, tax, and tip.  Reserve one of the few seats left for Wednesday’s dinner by emailing reservations@asadordallas.com or calling 214-267-4815.  


ASADOR

asadorrestaurant.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
2222 N Stemmons Fwy (in the Renaissance Hotel), Dallas
(214)631-2222

Dîner En Blanc Dallas

For years I had to listen to my fancy friend in New York talk about his experiences at a too-French-to-be-true tradition, Dîner en Blanc.  As the story goes, everyone who is accepted to attend stands at the ready, traveling picnic in-hand, clad in white until the mystery location is revealed.  Then, everyone descends on the venue and a party breaks out.  I.was.jealous.  Why didn’t Dallas have their own annual trés chic picnic?  N’est pas juste.

The tradition began in France in 1988 when François Pasquier came back from a long trip and invited his friends to meet at a park and have a picnic.  He decided to have the event annually and invite people to bring friends.  It got so big that the cops began to shut them down before they began, so his solution was a last-minute venue revelation; the attendees would know each other thanks to their uniform–all white.  His family and friends expanded the event to other cities over the years, and now more than 10,000 people attend picnics throughout the world every year.

2015 was Dallas’s first Dîner en Blanc, and it was quite a party.  Everything is bigger in Texas, so the first year boasted almost 1,200 participants (a large inaugural dinner for a city), on the Ronald Kirk Bridge (formerly the Continental Avenue Bridge).  We ate, we drank, we danced, we drank more, and we watched fireworks.  Il était parfait.

Image by Rebecca Kirstin of Beckley & Co.
Image by Rebecca Kirstin of Beckley & Co.

Guests are required to wear all white and encouraged to get creative with their dress.  The post-Labor Day white clothing ban be damned!  Last year I donned a Marie Antoinette wig that landed me in the Huffington Post.  (My outfit from last year will be tough to top this year.  Pun completely intended.)  The white-washed palate makes the idea of red wine somewhat terrifying, though.

[KGVID]http://www.susiedrinksdallas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/IMG_1885.mov[/KGVID]
Video by Rico Deleon

This year, the date has been revealed (Friday, September 30) and the “interest list” has been opened.  Run, don’t walk, to vie for a spot.  This exclusive event will have only 2,200 spaces and they’re released in phases–they begin with friends of the hosts/hostesses, then friends of those friends, and then the public applications are reviewed.

PUT YOUR NAME ON THE INTEREST LIST FOR 2016

Tickets to attend are $37 and include transportation to and from the location and a designated space at the event.  Only members can attend, and membership is $8 per year and members are given the chance to attend consequential years.  You are expected to bring your table, chairs, table decor, food, and drink … and take it with you when you leave.  Tables and chairs can be rented on-site and food and drink can be pre-ordered and picked up at the start of the event.

Rendez-vous au dîner!

——-

Dîner en Blanc – Dallas
Friday, September 30, 2016 – 6:30pm
Location TBA
dallas.dinerenblanc.info

***Header image courtesy of Dîner en Blanc Dallas.

Blaze Pizza Grand Opening Event

Let’s get serious for a hot minute … Is there anything better in life than indulging in a piping hot, cheesy, made-to-order pizza? Well, maybe one thing: if that pizza happens to be FREE. Listen up, folks. You’re going to want to hear this.

Blaze Pizza, Frisco’s latest purveyor of pies, will host their grand opening celebration on Friday, May 22, from 10:30 AM-11 PM. Simply follow Blaze Pizza on InstagramTwitter, or  Facebook, and receive a FREE custom-built, artisanal pizza (one per guest) any time that day. It’s that simple!

And let me tell you, this pizza … it’s good. I had the opportunity to sneak a peek (and a bite) this evening, and I promise you, you won’t want to miss this.

A little 411 on Blaze Pizza: they make their own dough (from scratch) and offer 30+ fresh, artisanal ingredients to choose from on their signature pizza assembly line. As you mosey on down the line, your dedicated “pizzasmith” will customize your pie. You can choose from 8 compelling Blaze signature pizzas or opt to craft your own masterpiece. With unlimited toppings at your disposal, the build your own option (which is a generously proportioned 6-slice pie) is a steal at $7.95. Your selection is then fast-fired in a blazing hot oven for 180 seconds, resulting in a perfectly crisp crust with just the right fold-ability factor (yeah, that’s a word).

Also available are a variety of beautiful salads (the Tomato, Basil, and Ovalini is not to be missed and is just $3.95). I’m told the S’more Pie is a must, so save room for dessert. Blaze will offer beer and wine, featuring Community and 512 for your sipping pleasure.

Blaze Pizza
blazepizza.comFacebook | Twitter | Instagram
3311 Preston Rd., Frisco, TX 75034
(972) 468-9700

Open Daily:
Sunday: 11am – 9pm
Monday – Thursday: 10:30am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 10:30am – 11pm