Tag Archives: ADDISON

Astoria Caffe & Wine Bar

Truth be told, I find wine to be a bit intimidating. I can’t do what sommeliers do. I’m a beer guy. I have no idea how to really even “taste” wine as a professional would, seeking out hints of boysenberry (what does boysenberry even taste like???) or a lingering aftertaste of leather or graphite (whaaa?). I couldn’t tell you if a wine should be older or drunk the same year it’s made, and I have no idea of the “terroirs” associated with different wines. (Wait … since when are dog breeds involved in wine-making???) Nevertheless, the staff at Astoria Caffe & Wine Bar in Addison Circle makes me feel like a pro and helps me get to just the right glass (or three) of vino.

Wine and CheeseI recently had the chance to visit this corner bar with the wife for a light dinner of wine and cheese (which is totally acceptable). This wine bar is family-owned, completely unpretentious, and boasts a diverse selection of wines and a small, well thought-out menu. It’s the kind of place where you can see yourself being a regular. For those who aren’t big wine drinkers, don’t fret, Astoria stocks a selection of domestic and imported beers, too.

For the casual wine drinker who doesn’t want to an entire bottle (or the indecisive), there are plenty of choices available by the glass. I thought that the prices for both glasses and bottles of wine were quite reasonable. If you’re looking for something in particular or just need help with a recommendation, the staff is eager to help and knowledgeable about the bar’s offerings.

Astoria is intimate and cozy, allowing one to quickly feel right at home. The interior has a dozen or so small tables as well as a dog-friendly front patio surrounded by lush trees. This wine bar attracts an eclectic mix of patrons that range from the mature wine snob to young couples to hipsters. Those looking for a great first date spot in Addison or those simply looking to unwind with a glass of good wine in a relaxed atmosphere can look no further.

Whether you’re an experienced wine buff or an amateur like me, there’s a lot to appreciate at Astoria Caffe!

ASTORIA CAFFE & WINE BAR
astoriacaffe.com | (972) 239-5853
15701 Quorum Drive, Addison, Texas 75001
Facebook | Instagram: @Astoriacaffe_Winebar | Twitter: @Astoriacafewine

Happy Hour: Daily from 3pm to 7pm

  • Monthly bottle specials
  • Live-music on select nights

 

THE SOCIAL HOUSE’S SUMMER SIPS & BITES

Summer is upon us, and we all know what that means, Dallas … patio season is now in full swing! With that said, The Social House recently had us come in to try out some fresh bites and Summer cocktails on the patio of their Addison location.

Everything we tried at the tasting was great. It may just be that I love mangos, but my favorite beverage was the Frozen Mango Margarita. The thickness of the fruit itself makes this frozen margarita taste more like a smoothie. It’s pretty awesome. If it’s food you’re after, check out the Irish Pork Nachos. They’re made with house-cut chips, topped with Ancho pulled pork, avocado mousse and pickled jalapeños …yes, it was as good as it sounds.

Whether you are looking for a great patio to lounge on a beautiful day, a tasty beverage after a long day or some delicious food for a grumbling stomach, The Social House is your one-stop shop!

PROTIP: Check out their amazing happy hour specials! For example, the cocktails shown above (or below) are all served at half-price during happy hour… Talk about the happiest of hours!

Social House Addison
5100 Belt Line Rd. #410
Addison, TX 75254
TEL: (972) 392-4300
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday from 4PM till 7PM

Kaboom Town 2014: Where To Watch Fireworks in Addison

written by Ben Shae

No holiday is more American than the 4th of July, and nothing says summer like fireworks.  Seriously – fireworks, friends & family, grilled food and cold beers? What’s not to love!?! It should come as no surprise that Addison’s Kaboom Town (on July 3 this year) is near the top of my favorite Addison events of the entire year.

Deciding where to go requires a bit of thought and planning (ahem: parking), especially now that you need tickets to watch the show from Addison Circle Park (which were free to reserve but are no longer unavailable).

Fear not! I can recommend a few places to enjoy Kaboom Town 2014 and induce the summer nostalgia:

BEST VIEW: Addison Point – This 20+ year old bar has what many consider to be the best view of the air and firework show. Not to mention they have 35 beers on draft (most of them are crafts under $5), their famous hamburgers, live band and complimentary valet.

BEST PARTY SPOTS:
McFadden’s –  The celebration at this lively bar starts outdoors at 2pm with food, music and more.  Reserve a wristband online to receive $3 Miller Light, Coors Light, PBR drafts and $5 calls all night.  Other drinks specials include Samuel Adams Tap TakeOver $10 beer flights and $6 pints and packaged tables and drink specials.

Whole Foods – Looking for a family-friendly place to go?  The Red, White, and Brew party will be going strong on the patio from 5pm – 10pm with kegs, grilled burgers and a DJ.

BJ’s Brewhouse – Nothing says summer like ice cold beers, and they’ll have $4 craft beers and $5 mojitos from 3pm to 7pm.

Chuy’s Addison – Chuy’s large patio is ideal for kicking back, enjoying a margarita and watching some fireworks.  The popular Mexican food restaurant will be serving up $3.95 margaritas, $7.95 house Texas martinis and $2.75 domestic beers from 4pm to 7pm.

The Hub – Hair of the dog? The Hub will have drinks specials all day including $2.50 shots (Tuaca, Jäger, Fireball, Goldschlager, & Rumple Minze), $3 wells, $ 3 domestics and $4 mixed drinks.  Parking lot party kicks off at 5pm with BBQ and DJ.

Lion & The Crown – Take a break from the 2014 World Cup and enjoy $1.50 off all Texas beers and Tito’s Vodka at this English-style pub in the heart of Addison Circle.

Social House Addison – Interested more in atmosphere and people than being able to see the  the fireworks? Check out some of Social House’s specials with $3 select house specials, $3 wells, $3 Tito’s and $3 domestics from 4pm to 7pm.

TGI Fridays Addison – Pre-game it at TGI Fridays with $3 mojitos, long islands and margaritas before heading down the street to see the show.  Friday’s will also have a live band out on their patio.

The Addison Airport Air show starts at 7:15pm with the firework display starting at 9:30pm.

For information on road closures, parking information and more, visit the Kaboom Town website.

 

 

Table 13

IMG_1669_Fotor_CollageI’m a huge Frank Sinatra fan.  Like … huge.  While it’s just a coincidence that his drink of choice (three fingers of Jack Daniels, 4 ice cubes, and a splash of water) is one of my favorites, I prefer some of the other classic cocktails that Frank and the rest of the Rat Pack enjoyed … which is exactly what Table 13 in Addison offers.

My girl Oh Hey Dallas was invited out to Table 13 to try out some of their food offerings, and she was nice enough to let me tag along.  I am so glad that I was able to do so, because I’ve found a new date spot.

Table 13 is named after the number of members of the Rat Pack* (including the ladies), and offers some of the trappings of the time, from a crooner at the piano to throwback desserts to some of the best service I’ve experienced in a while.  We started our evening with a cocktail (obviously) and it was a struggle to choose which as they had so many that appealed to me.  I let our waiter choose my first drink (as I enjoy seeing what they decide to serve) and he chose very well.  The Ryes Up was a nice take on an Old Fashioned without being too traditional. I’ll be ordering this baby again.

We dined (but didn’t wine) on some of the most gorgeous deviled eggs I’ve laid eyes on, escargot (yes … snails) with fluffy pastry nestled on top like a little hat, and a buffalo mozzarella and tomato salad that knocked my sandals off. (Fried capers are a revelation.)  These delicious appetizers were accompanied by Bartender Dave’s award-winning Manhattan.  Dave’s Manhattan was anything but the classic recipe and had the perfect touch of cherry flavor (Woodford Reserve, sweet & dry vermouths, Pechauds, Laphroig, cherry juice, and Frangelico).  Don’t try to make this yourself … just visit Dave.

Dinner for me was a 6oz Filet au poivre and a custom drink made by Dave and sides of mushroom bucatini and onion rings.  While many may not have the same appreciation as he and I do for huckleberry, the drink he whipped up can be enjoyed by all.  Not too sweet and pretty damn potent, the huckleberry vodka used is the only think like it in Dallas (that I’ve found at least).

Some highlights:

  • The perfect ambiance for a date night — make sure you dress appropriately and are prepared for it to be a bit loud
  • Potent and flavorful drinks, just like the Rat Pack would have liked
  • Incredibly nightly entertainment that isn’t too loud or disruptive (some nights they bring in acts like Hunter Sullivan, Ricki Derek, and Goga)
  • One of the owners, Mike McRae, is a restaurant pro and a flat out friendly guy that will charm your socks off
  • Impeccable and friendly service from a staff who knows exactly what they’re doing
  • Art of naked ladies allllll around the restaurant
  • A bathroom that smells better than any bathroom I’ve ever smelled (seriously … buy one of the candles they sell at the hostess stand)
  • Martinis are $3 during lunch (11am-4pm weekdays)
  • Plastic drink ornaments that have a great story behind them (Mike told us that he remembers visiting his uncle and they’d go to the country club where he would order drinks that had monkeys on them)
  • A vast and well thought-out wine selection (bottles $30-375, selections from California, Texas, and beyond)
  • Dave behind the bar is not only a sommelier, but also a cicerone


TABLE 13
www.table13addison.com | Table13Addison
4812 Belt Line Rd, Addison
(972) 789-9558

HAPPY HOUR ~ 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
LIQUID LUNCH ~ $3 Martinis 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays

***This delicious meal was on the house.***

Plucker’s: Addison

After much anticipation, we arrived at the Addison Pluckers “soft opening” to see a line that must have been a couple hundred customers eager for some wings and beer.  There is plenty of parking available around the restaurant in the Village on the Green Shopping Center sparing people from playing parking lot Hunger Games.  All the tables are good size and able to accommodate groups (i.e. plenty of room for multiple plates, Motherpluckers, baskets, AND drinks without feeling like you’re flying coach and have to keep your arms tucked to avoid getting knocked around).  The restaurant is loaded with large flat screens on nearly every wall, facing every direction, making it impossible not to get a good view of the game.  (Sorry, non-sport enthusiasts … yes, we’re listening to you even if we’re not looking at you.)

Being Pluckers virgins, we relied  on our waiters (one trainer & one learning the ropes) for recommendations.  They done good.  (Note, Pluckers doesn’t use table runners or bussers, instead these type of tasks are a basic expectation for all staff which translated into prompt and attentive service throughout your visit.)

We started off with a baskets of Magic Mushrooms, complete with their famous Dirty Bird sauce, and washed them down a signature Pluckers Lemonade for myself (a vodka Lemonade cocktail perfect for a sunny spring day) and a Psychedelic Frog (a 4 liquor, 3 mixer neon green drink) for Katie*.  Both drinks were served in mason jars, which is just cool.  Pluckers’s cocktail menu offers diners better-than-typical drinks you wouldn’t expect to find at a wing-bar, like Toxic Tea (a sweet tea, lemonade, vodka drink), the Batman (made with Austin’s own Tito’s Vodka), Effen Good Bloody Mary, and more.  The drinks were decently strong, and incredibly dangerous.  (Wait, there was a bunch of liquor in that? Someone call Uber.)

 

For the main event, we ordered a basket of boneless wings with spicy mandarin sauce and the buffalo chicken sandwich.  Among the plethora of places serving wings these days — most of which all I have frequented many times over — the wings really differentiate Pluckers from the others.  The wings themselves were hefty, providing considerably more meat than I was use to getting, and they are perfect glazed in the requested sauce and not drenched or dry fried batter nuggets commonly met with disappoint by wing lovers everywhere.  The wings and sandwich were enjoyed with our second round of drinks, the Batman and the Effen Good Bloody Mary (which seriously lived up to its name).

Bottom line:  This place has good food, GREAT wings, and some unique food options (like the fried Twinkie!) along with decent prices and attentive service.  Drink-wise, they have a variety of “specialty” drink options and plenty of beers on-tap (because: sports + beer = good).  Pluckers is making a (bigger) name for themselves in DFW with more locations opening left and right, and rightfully so! Needless to say, I know where I’m watching the NBA playoffs!


Pluckers Wing Bar – Addison
www.pluckers.com | @pluckers
5100 Belt Line Road, Suite 520 | Addison TX
(972)490-WING

Daily Specials (full list of this location specials here)
Monday – drink specials/All You Can Eat Wings (every other week)
Tuesday – Texas Tuesdays (drink specials on TX beers and liquors)
Wednesday – Pluckers Club Special (coming soon)
Thursday – Tijuana Thursdays(drink specials on Mexican beers and liquors)
Friday – Teacher Freebie Friday

*Note from Susie: Katie is his beautiful, new bride (of one month).  Send them your congratulations!!

Picture of Motherplucker borrowed from Pluckers!

Addison’s Fork & Cork Festival to debut in May

 

Move over, Taste of Addison, and make way for the Fork & Cork Festival to debut this May. Not only will this event be more intimate and support local organization Café Momentum, but it’s more centered on wine and other boozy items. (Now that’s my kind of shindig!)

This past week, I had the opportunity to preview the all-new culinary event, and it well exceeded my expectations. Stepping through the archways of foodie heaven, guests were greeted with a Ginger Basil Gimlet, music by local artist Kelsey Lewis, scents of food to come, and a picturesque dining scene. The gimlet had me hooked right away with its strong notes of ginger and artistic blend of gin. Those that aren’t very fond of ginger may have struggled with the drink, but it was right up my alley. I couldn’t imagine things getting much better, but then there was the open wine bar, signature Old Fashioned cocktails, and mixology lessons from Eddie “Lucky” Campbell. So yeah, it got better.

At dinnertime, the party settled down at a long, rustic farm table, which bolstered a communal, chatty atmosphere. Guests can look forward to this same ambience at the upcoming festival. It was a great feeling to have Addison Mayor, Todd Meier, thank us for our attendance when really it is all my pleasure. (I did have a date with Netflix that night, but if the city of Addison needs me to stuff my face with risotto balls, wood roasted mussels, grilled Texas Kobe skirt steak, sweet potato grits, wood fired pizza, and countless other delights, then I will gladly reschedule to lend a hand.)

Like I mentioned before, Fork & Cork is designed more to feature craft breweries, wineries, and spirit makers, so let’s get to the dranks. The highlight of the night was by far the presentation of a perfect Old Fashion by “Lucky,” who helped curate the drink menu at the new Vagabond restaurant on Greenville. Between his fiery personality and natural ease with the crowd, I felt like I was kickin’ it with one of the bros. His tips to a well-balanced drink make even someone like me feel like I could whip up a fine dining cocktail. (I am a connoisseur of cocktails and liquor, but ask me to make a drink and you may lose all faith in me.) Apparently, dilution can make the biggest difference in the flavor and strength of a cocktail. Don’t skimp on the ice or stirring because you are only selling your drink short. Another lesson is to use the freshest ingredients because it’s hard to go wrong when you have fresh flavors to work with.

Fork & Cork will take Addison back to its culinary roots May 16 and 17 with interactive cooking classes, bites from some of the best restaurants in the DFW area, cocktail tastings, wine and craft beer seminars, a cooking demo by Marcus Samuelsson (James Beard Award winning chef and current judge on ABC’s The Taste), and music from Texas legend Pat Green.

A portion of the proceeds from Friday night will benefit Café Momentum, a non-profit organization that teaches critical skills that allow youth to apply what they have been taught in re-release programs in a safe, real-world environment of nurturing accountability. Or, in Chad Houser’s own words, “Café Momentum helps teach kids to play with knives and fire…and the town of Addison approves.”

Buy your Fork & Cork Festival tickets here.

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Below you can find “Lucky’s” Old Fashioned recipe:

2 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon

1 Sugar Cube

3 Dashes Angostura Bitters

1 Orange Peel (Squeezed)

Vanilla Mist

In a mixing glass:

Add sugar cube, Angostura, squeezed orange peel, and water. Smash ingredients with a muddle to break sugar cube. Add Buffalo Trace Bourbon and ice. Stir 56 times (or until sugar is dissolved). Strain over large ice cube in an Old Fashioned glass. Squeeze a new orange peel over the surface, wipe around rim of glass, and place in cocktail. Spray vanilla mist over the surface of the Old Fashioned.

In English, “Mi Piaci” is literally translated to, “it pleases me”.  I think that’s a very fitting name for this restaurant, as everything about my evening there was pleasing, from the cocktails to the food to the service.  I first ate at Mi Piaci for my high school graduation celebration dinner with my family… and I remember loving it.  It looks like, while the decor has changed a little over the years, the rest of the experience is still top-notch.

We were seated at a table right by the window on my most recent trip, and that’s something you should always request when visiting.  Mi Piaci is situated on a small pond, complete with a lit water feature; needless to say, it’s a pretty great place to watch a fiery Dallas sunset.

Our meal started with a greeting from both of our servers, and the offering of two of my favorite things … alcohol and bread.  I started with a drink recommended by our server, an Italian Sparkling Pear (Grey Goose Poire, prosecco, St. Germaine, and lime juice), which was so deliciously refreshing that I had to make sure to pace myself and not down the whole thing in one gulp (pictured below).  My hot date and I agreed that the drinks were pretty damn strong.  You’ll want to be prepared to call a cab if you plan to stay for multiple drinks here!

MP’s wine list is extensive enough to offer a pairing for each dish, and definitely offers wines from all across Italy.  If you need any direction on which wine to order with you meal, the wait staff is knowledgeable and can help you do so.

Our meal consisted of a few rounds of fantastic food, starting out with their to-die-for olive bread and longer-than-my-arm breadsticks.  We perused the menu and tried with great consternation to make a decision on our entrees and agreed on the Arancini Aurora (breaded risotto croquettes with Italian sausage) as an appetizer (pictured bottom, left).  The balls of heaven were a great way to start the meal and really packed a lot of flavor in such a small package.  Get these.

Dinner for me was Fonduta di Tortelloni con Granchino (fontina cheese-filled tortellini with crab, vegetables, and truffle butter) and it broke my heart that I couldn’t make room to finish the dish (pictured left, 2nd from bottom).  The tortellini was plump and the crab was rich.  Our waiter made sure to give me tips on how to prepare the leftovers … what a mench.  My date ordered the Pollo Alla Marsala (roasted chicken with sweet pepper risotto in marsala wine sauce) and told me, “I liked it … and it was a good portion.”  He’s quite eloquent, no?

We didn’t have room for dessert (DAMN!), so I opted for another drink.  I left my drink decisions in the waiter’s hands once again, and he made another great choice by bringing me an off-the-menu orange martini that tasted like gourmet Sunkist spiked with prosecco.  My inner 12-year-old was delighted. (pictured right)

Stop into Mi Piaci for lunch or dinner in the dining room or a few drinks in the Luna Lounge, which serves Italian-inspired tapas and appetizers (along with their dangerous drinks, of course).  The Luna Lounge offers sumptuous velvet couches and inviting leather chairs under chandeliers, and what Texas lounge would be complete without a cowhide rug?

Mi Piaci
www.mipiaci-dallas.com | @mipiaci_dallas
14854 Montfort Drive (Addison)
972-934-8424

***Please note: this meal was on the house.***

Do Muck About

As I’ve mentioned in past reviews, I don’t like to travel outside of my bubble (that bubble usually encompasses the 3 miles around my current home). I was summoned to Addison to try out The Mucky Duck, an uber-local pub in Addison Circle … and I’ll be back. I’d say the best way to describe TMD is that it’s Cheers without the fat postman and with an Indian statue at the door.

This pub not only offers incredible daily specials, but hosts trivia on Wednesday nights with a stand-up comedian that looks like Jamie Kennedy as the trivia master. He doesn’t just ask straight-forward trivia questions, but he throws in some multiple choices, current events, and even “name that tune” questions. That night at TMD, I not only learned that sheep excrement is sometimes made into paper, but I also learned that french fries (and theirs are amazing) are, as odd as it sounds, delicious covered in gumbo.

Speaking of their food, on Wednesdays fish and chips are half off and not only would I get the dish again, but I’d pay full price. Another Wednesday treat we enjoyed was the Three Olives vodka that was a mere $3 after 8 p.m. Our table partook in shots of the root beer vodka (get the one without the whipped cream mixed in) and mixed drinks to go along with our fish and chips. I was hoping to order a snakebite but was the DD so had to limit myself to a couple drinks over the three-hour visit.

The wait staff at TMD was very nice and welcoming; one waiter recognized that we’d never been in and checked on us a few times throughout the evening. While a little slow, I’d say the service was pretty good.

Extras: free WiFi, lots of TVs, enclosed patio, darts, large craft beer selection

Drink strength: 4
Overall: 4.7

The Mucky Duck
www.themuckyduckaddison.com | @themuckyduckbar
5064 Addison Circle, Addison, TX | (972) 233-9362

Specials:
Monday | $3 Drafts 8 p.m. – close
Tuesday | “Loyalty Card Night” Exclusive food and drink specials for loyalty card holders 8 p.m. – close
Wednesday | 1/2 off Fish & Chips (All Day), Pub Trivia at 8 p.m. (get there by 7:30) and $3 Three Olives vodka 8 p.m. – close
Thursday | Free Taco Bar 6-8 p.m., Live Music 8-11 p.m., and $3 Crown & Down 8 p.m. – close
Saturday | Live Music 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Sunday | $3 Crown and Down (All Day)

Daily Happy Hour:
Monday-Thursday | 3-8 p.m.
Friday | 3 p.m. – close
Monday-Friday | 1/2 price appetizers until 8 p.m.