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!
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.)
Sometimes you get to the end of the night and you can’t choose between a nightcap and dessert. Our friends at Arctic Buzz have you taken care of with their boozy ice cream!
With ABVs (alcohol by volume) from 6.6% to 8.9%, their flavors are stout enough to taste the booze, but flavorful and well balanced. From traditional flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and cookies and cream to a little more exciting options like key lime pie and birthday cake, there’s a flavor for every ice cream lover.
I’ve tried quite a few alcoholic ice cream options and they are often not well balanced and often too strong. All of the flavors I’ve tried are delicious and surprisingly creamy, but I absolutely loved the birthday cake and am WILD about the chocolate.
While ice cream is delicious on its own, I thought that coming up with a way to get it into cocktails would be right on-brand for SusieDrinks.
RASPBERRY CREME 2 scoops Arctic Buzz Raspberry ice cream 2oz milk (try to use at least 2% or it will be too thin) 1oz Chambord 1/4 cup of frozen raspberries Whipped cream and crushed vanilla wafer crumbs
In a blender, combine all ingredients except whipped cream and cookie crumbs. Blend until smooth. (Add additional milk if needed.) Top with whipped cream and cookie crumbs.
MARGARITA MILKSHAKE 2 scoops Arctic Buzz Key Lime or Coconut ice cream 1.5oz tequila 1oz orange liqueur 2oz cup milk (try to use at least 2% or it will be too thin) Whipped cream Lime zest (grated)
In a blender, combine all ingredients except whipped cream and lime zest. Blend until smooth. Top with whipped cream and grate lime zest over the top. Add lime wedge if desired.
Available in the DFW area at: – Spec’s Dallas – 9500 N Central Expy (North Dallas) – Mr. Sugar Rush – 1408 N Riverfront Boulevard (Design District) – Chocolate Lounge – 4222 W Camp Wisdom Road (North Dallas) – Old Hag’s Pizza Pasta – 1315 W Davis Street (Bishop Arts District) – Urban Donut – 2805 Allen Street (Uptown)
Do you ever wish you had the perfect cocktail to match your mood? Do you sometimes feel classy but sometimes feel trashy? Are you in search of some fancy AF cocktails? … well buckle up, because Ariana Madix and Time Sandoval have a treat for you.
The “Vanderpump Rules” stars and couple have been creating cocktails for years at reality TV hit places such as SUR, TomTom, Villa Blanca, and PUMP, and they’ve finally collected their favorite ones to include in their new recipe book: Fancy AF Cocktails. The 80+ cocktails in the book run the gamut from “classy” to “trashy” and feature ingredients like caramel liqueur and wasabi-infused white rum on the class end, and BBQ sauce packets and Taco Bell FIRE sauce on the trashy end.
I took the liberty of selecting two that would be the absolute hit of any holiday party: the Naughty Holiday and the Nice Holiday. (I’ll leave it up to you to decide which category you fall under.) These cocktails are competing cocktails that Ariana and Tom made to help people enjoy the holidays whether throwing an extravagant Christmas party or just “boozing solo”.
NAUGHTY HOLIDAY 1.5oz chocolate liqueur 1.5oz Chili Chocolate Kahlúa 1.5oz vanilla vodka Chili powder Garnished with mini candy cane
NICE HOLIDAY 2oz white chocolate liqueur .5oz crème de menthe 1oz vanilla vodka Garnished with peppermint chocolate
Whether you’re feeling naughty or nice is really no concern of mine … I’m just here to make sure you get the drinks you need to survive this holiday season. Luckily, Ariana and Tom were kind enough to include some “Recovery Drinks” in their book to help keep you ready for the next night out.
… I would suggest trying the Leggo My Ego.
FANCY AF COCKTAILS: Drink Recipes from a Couple of Professional Drinkers Written by Ariana Madix & Tom Sandoval with Danny Pellegrino NOW ON SALE: FancyAFCocktails.com | Amazon.com #fancyafcocktails
So this new monstrosity of a bar opened in Deep Ellum this summer. We were skeptical. But then we went …
Punch Bowl Social is a Denver-based “eatertainment” chain known for amazing food and drink paired with plenty of options to help you muddle through a first date. There are currently 18 PBSs open throughout the country with eight on the way. We saw one open this summer in Fort Worth … and we also saw it close pretty quickly. (They are looking for new locations to open in Fort Worth.)
The new spot at Commerce and Good Latimer called Punch Bowl Social is nearly 24,000 feet. It spans the.whole.block. And there are multiple floors. Needless to say, there’s plenty of space to hide if that first date isn’t going well. If you enter on Commerce, you’ll be greeted by a 360º bar. And we love a good 360º bar! The light fixtures in each space are custom, and the wallpaper pays homage to Deep Ellum!
Look for bowling lanes, darts, video games, pinball, foosball, three patios, tons of lounges, a couple of karaoke rooms, and much more to entertain. There are tons of arcade games, giant jenga/dice/Scrabble and even card games you can borrow. I was super impressed by all the detail they put into the place.
If you fancy a glass of wine, you may be out of luck. They serve all their wine in cans (but I mean.. I’m sure they’d give you a glass if you’re just that fancy) … but I personally liked a can! You know you’ll never get served skunked wine … plus canned wine is just really having a moment and I amhere for it.
I tried some of their cocktails and my favorite had to be the It’s Always in the Banana Stand made with mezcal, agave nectar and other delicious things. They also had a house-made grapefruit soda that I’m pretty sure would be the PERFECT base for a fizzy Paloma. And true to their name, they offer cocktails by the bowl!
PBS, as with any bar in Deep Ellum, WILL BE BUSY ON A WEEKEND. Aim for happy hour or week days if you don’t love a crowd. With the days getting shorter and the air getting chilly, Punch Bowl Social has a little something for everyone, so you only have to go outside once!
CraftWay Kitchen is unique in many ways, but most due to the fact that the chef highlights the food by letting it speak for itself. I feel like we now often find long flavor profiles that are well-developed and unique, but sometimes simplicity is just as important, which is the case here.
We tried the crab stuffed mushrooms, flash fried asparagus, candied bacon, French onion soup, filet, ahi tuna, and grilled Verlasso salmon. Delightfully, it was all delicious.
I’m always impressed when a restaurant’s vegetables get the same attention as entrees. The crab stuffed mushrooms had the perfect amount of filling and umami and the asparagus was crisp and fresh even after its visit to the flash frier. Meat is difficult, yes, but when you can make a veggie sing, I’m here for it.
Unsurprisingly, the candied bacon was delicious—gooey, crunchy and packed a little bit of heat. The onion soup was classically prepared, and should be on your list if you want something comforting.
As for the proteins, the chef once again displayed his perfect preparation with exactly the right balance of salt, fat, acid and heat that was given to let the food speak for itself without having to add sauces and such. The filet, again, cooked perfectly, was accompanied by whipped garlic mashed potatoes. The ahituna was beautifully simple—and when you get an ingredient like, that you have to focus on quality and thoughtful preparation, which the chef executed amazingly. The grilled Verlasso salmon was my favorite thanks to its decadent flakiness, and the the sauce and broccolini it was served with were perfect compliments.
Their cocktail list was very inspired and creative. If more than one thing catches your eye (which it will), get your waiter’s opinion because they have something for everyone and the staff is very knowledgable. I heard great things about the Spring Gimlet and Cucumber Fizz, but I went with the Bonfire. It left me wanting a little more smoke and a little more sweetness as it has the potential to be fantastic.
One really unique feature of Craftway is that they offer Michael David’s Freakshow Cabernet and Chardonnay on tap! Yup, you heard right. I am a big wine (and environment) lover, so this hits both marks for my hippie wino self.
The atmosphere is a fun, date night feel, but you could also visit and enjoy a casual dinner. The bar area is quaint with a electric energy … of course, depending on the game that’s happening or what young professional company may be hosting a happy hour. I’d recommend going for happy hour, dinner, and maybe even brunch.
While we enjoyed sampling their dinner menu, I bet you their brunch is just as good! And again, a great location for the north Dallas crowd. If you’re in the neighborhood I would definitely give it a try!
What do you get when you combine an expert restaurateur and a sought after music director? An absolutely adorable, bad-ass restaurant that I can’t wait to visit again. Ebb & Flow is a new restaurant in Deep Ellum founded by two experienced restaurant and nightlife veteran who just happen to be brothers, Dallas Hale and Eric Bradford.
When I went to go check it out, I hadn’t done much research (bad, I know) and just walking up to the restaurant I was immediately impressed with how cute and impressive it was. I did know that their design director described it as “your tattooed girlfriend going home to meet your parents” in a press release … and that’s pretty accurate.
The patio is adorable and the inside is even more-so. It’s a somewhat small space, but they’ve really made it work. The attention to detail is ON-POINT. There’s trendy tile work, chandeliers above the bar and the outside patio is covered with gorgeous ivy and flowers. (Bonus: the patio will be heated for winter.)
We started out the evening tentatively with their Garden Margarita because I don’t do well with spice … and it was garnished with a jalapeño slice. But I was delighted to find that it was incredible. It was light, refreshing and flavorful without the strong flavor of jalapeño and it was cooled down by the cucumber. The second cocktail was super cool. The Velvet Butterfly features butterfly pea flower that makes the drink its beautiful shade of purple.
Honestly, everything on the cocktail menu was super unique and meticulously crafted. If you’re a big fan of Palomas, you must try the Cocoloma made with coconut tequila, cream of coconut, sparkling grapefruit and garnished with tajín. I kid you not; it tastes like the beach but without the sugary syrup.
Now, the grub! As far as starters go, they had stuffed jalapeños that stole my heart. (Yes, this is coming from a spice-hater.) Stuffed with brisket and pimento cheese and wrapped in bacon … you really can’t go wrong with that. The other two apps we tried were the toasted ravioli and Cubano egg rolls. Yet another show stopper? The tater kegs!! While they aren’t the most photogenic item you’d order, just imagine a twice baked potato, deep fried and made bite-size.
My favorite entree was the stuffed chicken breast but the salmon piccata was a close second, largely because of the light lemon vinaigrette that the pasta was tossed in. To round out your meal, be sure to close it out with their good ol’ fashioned homemade carrot cake, and pair it with the seasonal old fashioned. You won’t regret it!
Ebb & Flow is now serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch!
Fireside Pies is a Dallas native pizza joint with five locations in DFW … and it’s growing. (The newest location is opening very soon in Lake Highlands!) Their food is made fresh in-house daily with high quality ingredients to make some really fantastic pies that pizza fanatics crave.
As it should, my meal here started with a stiff, well-balanced cocktail. My go-to cocktail at Fireside Pies is their traditional old fashioned. They make it with Old Forrester Signature Bourbon, Maraska Maraschino Cherry Liqueur, and bitters.
After our cocktail arrived, we began to peruse the menu. We had a large meal coming, but we were advised that the perfect starter to prepare for the main event (aka … the pies) was the Caesar salad and their mouthwatering burrata mozzarella crostini. The crostini is a new must-have for me at Fireside Pies. Bread and cheese—name a better combo. Tomato, EVVO, balsamic drizzle and you have yourself a wonderful beginning to an Italian food adventure. This Caesar is next level! And the addition of chicken on the salad is optional but highly recommend as it was seasoned and cooked to perfection.
And then … it was time to enjoy what Fireside Pies does best … the pizza pies. We tried three pizzas—all different and de.lic.ious. When you have a vegetarian at the table, you kind of have to be a nice person and accommodate them. The Garlic and Sage White Pie was hands-down the winner for best pie of the night … and it won the title without a hint of meat! The flavors were deep and complex, the dough was light and crispy, and the toppings were nothing short of perfect. You can taste the pride that Fireside Pies takes in making its authentic food with each and every bite.
Find the Fireside Pies location closest to you to enjoy some of the best pizza in DFW made with the freshest ingredients. Make sure and check out their website for the latest news on the newest location opening very soon in Lake Highlands!
FIRESIDE PIES firesidepies.com Locations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Plano, and Lake Highlands (coming soon)