Earlier this week, Jose Cuervo held a launch party for their Reserva de la Familia at Javier’s Cigar Room. The evening included neat pours of the delicious tequila, hand rolled cigars, tasty bites and bit of education about this incredibly unique tequila.
From the packing to the bottle to the tequila itself, Jose Cuervo’s Reserva de la Familia is truly a piece of art. Every bottle comes inside of a wooden box with artwork by Enrique Rosas, who was chosen by the Jose Cuervo family. The unique label on the bottle is accentuated with red wax deal with the Jose Cuervo family crest stamped into it. To top it off, the entire packaging is made by hand.
Being a seasoned whiskey drinker, I found very nice rich and mellow flavors of oak, nuts, vanilla and cinnamon which reminded me of a fine scotch or cognac. La Familia is aged three times longer than typical anejos, giving it a complex flavor. I would prefer enjoying it over rocks, but having neat gave us all the true flavors, aromas and visible colors.
I definitely suggest trying a bottle. Both tequila lovers and lovers of darker spirits will find attributes in Jose Cuervo’s Reserva de la Familia that you will fall in love with.
Jose Cuervo’s Reserva de la Familia is bottled at 40% ABV, and is available in the US at the suggested retail price of $125 for 750mL.
At the beginning of the month, WoodfordReserve Kentucky bourbon invited me to an exclusive, salon dinner to see firsthand what the brand is stirring up next. Master Distiller Chris Morris hosted the event. He led through a guided introduction and tasting of the brand’s latest addition, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey. With the help of Henry’s Majestic in the kitchen, the event was quite the success.
Look for Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey to release this March at your favorite spirits store. Even if you’re not a rye whiskey fan, Morris promises that this is one you won’t want to miss.
Try out one of my favorite cocktails from the evening, the Vieux Carre:
Last week, Bowl & Barrel, a boutique bowling alley and modern American tavern, invited me to an evening of new food and fun at The Shops at Park Lane. The pictures below showcase some of their new food items, tasty beverages and the lovely evening it turned into thanks to the B&B staff. From the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes to the Wagyu Steak & Blue Cheese Sandwich and everything in between, the handcrafted execution of everything that came our way left us all with a good impression.
Be sure to pop in the next time you’re in the mood for some great food to match up with good times!
Bowl & Barrel
Shops at Park Lane
8084 Park Lane Suite 145
Dallas, TX 75231
Hours of Operation
SU – TH » 11am to 12am
FR – SA » 11am to 2am
Chances are, you may already be familiar with NYLO Hotels’ Southside property; after all, the hotel is home to SODA Bar, NYLO’s trendy rooftop watering hole which boasts what is arguably one of the city’s best views of THE BEST SKYLINE IN THE WORLD (Nice try, Chicago. Better luck next time). Here is something you may not realize: The original NYLO hotel, which opened its doors in 2007, is located just up the road, in Plano. You may find yourself wondering: In the absence of the illustrious SODA Bar, what does Southside’s big bro to the north have to offer us suburbanites? Let me assure, the answer to this question is a resounding, “Plenty!”
I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to sample the new menu at NYLO’s restaurant and lounge, LOCL. Before I get into the highlights of the evening (food and booze, duh), I would be remiss in not mentioning how hip and unique this NYLO property truly is. Upon entering the lobby, I forgot that I was in Plano after about two seconds. The decor is modern minimalist, with dim lighting and geometric shapes and colors that give the lobby an art deco feel (hello, suspended egg chair). LOCL is NYLO’s indoor restaurant and lounge area, where the minimalist vibe continues, as evidenced by polished concrete floors and exposed ducting. Polished silver antlers adorn the chandeliers, giving you a subtle reminder that you are, in fact, still in Texas. The LOCL menu tasting event took place outside, on NYLO’s amazing terrace. I’m not really sure what NYLO could have done to make their courtyard (read: event space) any more awesome. The courtyard features a good-sized gazebo with a bar area, and beyond that lies a sleek lap pool, flanked with a giant, kick-ass fireplace. Just beyond the terrace, a large event tent beckons you to partake in a night of clumsy, drunken dancing at a wedding or office Christmas party.
Now, onto LOCL. I had the opportunity to sample four of LOCL’s fresh and inventive cocktails during this event:
First, my personal favorite, the “Grapefruitini” (Deep Eddy Ruby Red vodka, Cointreau, grapefruit juice, sugar rim, $12); The grapefruit juice in this tart and tangy cocktail made all the difference in the world; it tasted very fresh, and really made this drink pop. Riiiight up my alley. Yum.
The signature “NYLO Tini” (Tito’s vodka, pomegranate liquer, triple sec, pineapple juice, presecco, $12); Pomegranate lovers, this one is for you. The pom this drink brings to the table is not subtle!
The “Basil Lemondrop” (Tito’s Vodka, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice, fresh basil, sugar rim, $12); fresh and lovely, sweet with a hint of basil.
The “Southern Lady” (Tito’s, creme de cassis, triple sec, fresh lime juice, cranberry juice, pineapple, juice, prosecco, $12); Pineapple lovers, apply here. Aptly named, this drink was sweet and bubbly.
I did not fully appreciate when I arrived at this event how badly I would want to put on my stretchy pants by the end of the evening. I was fortunate enough to sample a LARGE selection of fun and creative dishes from LOCL’s newly revamped menu.
General Manager Joe Massar (a most gracious host, I might add) explained that Chef Anthony “Tony” Knight set forth to “step outside the box,” regarding the marriage of flavors and textures in his menu additions. An excellent example of this would be my favorite of the four appetizers we sampled, the “Green Apple Guac“. This was pretty much exactly what it sounds like: your traditional guacamole recipe, blended with small bits of crisp green apple. This at-first surprising flavor combination lent itself to a marriage of zesty and sweet; crunchy and creamy. In addition to the expected side of traditional corn tortilla chips, the guac was served with an assortment of fresh veggie slices, and yes, crisp green apple slices. This appetizer seemed to be a crowd favorite. Other tasty starters, or “Big Boards,” if you will, included “Shrimp Summer Rolls” with cashew cucumber sauce, the fresh and tasty “Ode to Acapulco Shrimp Cocktail” with zesty tomato and avocado, and “The Big Cheese,” a beautiful cheeseboard, featuring 5 farmstead cheeses, local honeycomb, dried fruit, and nutty bread (all “Big Boards” are $12 and feed 3-4 people).
We sampled three salads, including my personal preference, the gorgeous “Chop Chop,” which consisted of baby kale, mountains of crunchy vegetables, chopped egg, and a light, fresh vinegar based dressing. Fresh mint really popped in this salad. Also delicious were the “Toasted Haloumi Cheese” salad, featuring arugula, two kinds of tomatoes, generous chunks of cheese, and a hint of mint, and the “NYLO Caeser,“a deconstructed take on the traditional Caeser featuring parmesan cheese, anchovy filets, and DEEP FRIED ARTICHOKE HEARTS…yes, you read that right (All salads are $9; salads are large enough to share).
Following the appetizer and salad courses, I felt my food coma coming on…and that’s when the entrees made their appearance. The stars of the show were the “Peppered Flank Steak,” ($12) featuring tender strips of marinated beef seared to a lovely medium temperature accompanied by some delicious mushrooms that were definitely not of this earth, and the “Dragon’s Breath Burger,” ($9) featuring melty white cheddar, hot horseradish, house mustard, and chopped onion; juicy and tender, this burger definitely lived up to its name…and, the hand-cut French fries ($6) that accompanied it may have brought a little tear of joy to my eye. Also sampled were the “Wicked Garlic-ky Chicken,” ($12)
served with feta tzatziki and warm pita, “Crab Fried Rice,” ($12) featuring jasmine rice, gulf crab, and basil, and the “Market White Fish,” ($12) which on this particular evening consisted of a lovely curried mahi mahi creation served atop steamed banana leaves with assorted spring vegetables. Additionally, we were treated to delicious “Texas Beer Battered Zucchini Sticks,” ($6) served with a spicy romesco dip, and our “Something Green” ($6) for the evening, crisp, garlicky broccoli rabe, which was perfectly prepared.
Finally, dessert. I felt like a real American Hero at this point in the evening, sacrificing my personal comfort and future good health in the name of food and beverage blogging. The “Blueberry Crisp,” and the “Chocolate Mousse” (dessert prices and availability may vary) we sampled were a perfect, sweet ending to this immensely enjoyable event.
In conclusion, I’m sold; NYLO Plano is a great spot for locals and visitors alike to sit back and enjoy a tasty cocktail and a delicious meal. Do yourself a favor and check out their new menu, soon.
Here’s the scoop on NYLO’s happy hour: Drink specials and promotions rotate on a daily basis, and the schedule changes month to month. Friday evenings feature live musical entertainment. Be sure to check out their website for happy hour times/prices and entertainment schedule. Here is the scoop for October:
Earlier this month, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum threw fun bowling competition amongst some of your favorite bar staffs from around the DFW area called “Pins & Pin-Ups”. The evening at Bowloungein the Design District included free Sailor Jerry cocktails, an open taco bar, raffle prizes, pin-up models and, of course, bowling! It was a great event packed full of fun, tasty rum cocktails and good times by all in attendance. Thanks, Sailor Jerry!
Try out one of my favorite cocktails from the evening:
Jerry & Ginger
2 parts Sailor JerryGinger beer
2/3 lime wedgesGlass: highball / beer glass
Build in glass over cubed ice & garnish with squeezed lime wedges.
This place is gonna rock. I can’t wait another week for it to open!
Scotch & Sausage will open Thursday, July 24th at 2808 Oak Lawn Ave in Dallas
Chef: Trevor Ball
Owners: Dylan Elchami and Rami Rassas
Modern sausage grill & beer garden
All sausage sandwiches priced $8 and below
100+ varieties of whiskey & scotch
Heavy focus on Belgian and German beer
Open 7 days/week with late-night offerings Thursday-Saturday
Scotch & Sausage – A Sausage Grill & Modern Beer Garden Opens Thursday, July 24th
DALLAS, TEXAS (July 17, 2014)…..Scotch & Sausage – a sausage grill and modern style beer garden will open Thursday, July 24th on Oak Lawn Avenue in Dallas.
The menu offers over 20 varieties of local and house-made sausage sandwiches (including several vegan, pork free and gluten free options), triple cooked belgian fries with house-made dipping sauces and two varieties of scotch eggs (vegetarian and classic). Featuring beef, chicken, venison, quail, antelope and more, all sausages are priced $8 and below. They are all-natural, small batch production with no by products.
At the bar, there is a heavy focus of Belgian and German beer on draft with local beers on rotation as well. A further extensive selection of bottled beer will also be available. Over 100 varieties of whiskey and scotch are available, all offered one of five ways: neat, on the rocks, old-fashioned, sour or Manhattan. Furthermore, a unique program called ‘The People’s Poison’ will offer a selection of $5 whiskeys.
Creator Dylan Elchami, whose family has been in the construction business for decades, oversaw design and construction himself and brought to life his vision for an edgy take on the traditional German beer garden, where guests could experience high quality sausage variations and a unique beer and liquor program in an approachable and inviting atmosphere. He sees the concept, which is open seven days a week from lunch to late-night, as attractive to all age demographics – young, old, businessmen and otherwise.
Elchami’s partner, Rami Rassas, comes from a long line of restaurant operators and has been an active Dallasite for over ten years. He was the Head Chef for his family’s neighborhood Italian restaurant, Leonardos’s (Frisco) and that same passion for cooking, led to him being a successful competitor on the FOX Network’s MasterChef. Rassas also famously customized the championship belts for the Dallas Mavericks and today he now operates one of the most successful car dealerships in the country. He is extremely excited by the prospect of being a part of another hospitality business.
Other partners include Cogent Creative, who will also operate the restaurant and Alexander Marko.
Chef Trevor Ball is heading the kitchen at Scotch & Sausage. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Ball began his food career as a young boy working behind the deli counter at his grandfather’s European market/restaurant and Dallas institution – Kuby’s Sausage House. He quickly followed in his family’s footsteps by becoming the 19th generation of chefs and sausage makers in his family. From Colorado to California and back to Texas, Ball became engrossed in the practice of working directly with farmers and local purveyors. He explains, “ I surrounded myself by chefs and farmers who guided me to create a deeper relationship with the earth and kitchen, pushing boundaries and stretching my creativity by utilizing and playing with seasonal ingredients. My perspective on food was forever changed.” Ball continues, “ I am beyond excited to be a part of the Scotch & Sausage team. A modern style beer garden serving local and house made sausages. A cool social atmosphere that’s open ‘till the wee hours of the night; how could I resist? I feel fortunate to be a part of the Dallas food scene once more.”
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!