Peyton is a home grown southern girl with a West Coast heart and an East Coast vocabulary. When she’s not at work or graduate school, you can find her on a patio indulging in (read: stuffing her face with) bloody Mary’s and breakfast tacos.
JARDESCA is a new aperitif out of Sonoma, CA offering a blend of three sweet and dry white wines, which is then fortified with a double distilled grape brandy and ten different botanicals. I know that sounds like a lot in one product, but it all comes together to create a beautifully refreshing libation.
It’s different than your normal fruity, white wine because it is meant as an opening drink before you have your main drink with lunch or dinner. So now it’s totally appropriate to drink before you drink – especially considering it’s lower calorie! They suggest you serve it over ice as it has a light flavor profile–hints of pink peppercorn, bay leaf, and grapefruit. However, you can enhance it with your own favorite herb or fruit garnish, or follow one of their suggested recipes (see below).
JARDESCA Garden Spritz 3 ounces of JARDESCA in a stemless wine glass
Splash of prosecco or sprarkling water Slice of blood orange Sprig of fresh rosemary
Pour JARDESCA over ice, then stir once. Top with a splash of soda water or sparkling wine and garnish with blood orange and rosemary sprig.
JARDESCA has recently been accepted to all the Whole Foods Stores in Texas and will be available beginning in March – just in time for those spring get-togethers!
In anticipation of the upcoming Breck Trek nights in Dallas this week, I stepped in to the actual Breckenridge Brewery for a pint and a tour. The state of the art brewery recently moved to a brand new facility in the Littleton neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. The beautiful mix of industrial metal and rustic wood creates the perfect atmosphere for beer connoisseurs and curious minds alike to enjoy an afternoon learning about the beer making process. I may not know much about beer, but the smell of the brewery alone was enough to make me want to start home brewing.
I started the tour with a nice glass of the Bumps N’ Jumps Session IPA, which is an exclusive and limited collaboration between Breckenridge and Vail (two awesome CO ski resorts). It accompanied the tour beautifully with light bitterness and full hop flavor. We then learned about the German-engineered tanks that are used in the facility the process and some of the things that make Breckenridge Brewery unique. My favorite tidbit was the fact that all of the spent grain (grain that the brewery no longer needs, which has been separated from the sugary liquid that will eventually be turned into beer) goes directly to a local farmer to feed his cattle. Efficiency, people.
The best stop on the tour was the barrel room, where all of the barrel-aged beer is stored for a period of time to absorb the taste and smells of the barrels themselves (much like aging a spirit). This room smelled like HEAVEN. The aromas of wood and rum and vanilla all played so well together that I refused to leave. They have several beers on rotation through the barrel room, but one beer that they always have available is their Whiskey Barrel Aged 471 Double IPA with Citra hops, which gives off aromas of tropical fruits and citrus flavors.
You may think that a brewery tour is all there is to do at the Breckenridge Brewery … EHHH! After the tour, I got to indulge myself in lunch at the Farm House, their on-site restaurant. Rustic rocking chairs, plush and comfy seating, and a stone fireplace provide for a mountain-esque ambiance. We started our meal with—what else—a flight of beer. Up for review was the Nitro Orange Chocolate Stout, the Break IPA, the Ophelia Hoppy Wheat, and the Whiskey Barrel Aged 471 Dry Hopped with Citra IPA. All were delicious and has citrus-y flavors, but my favorite was the Ophelia for its lightness and Mosaic hops.
Up to the challenge of satisfying my hunger were several plates, which we shared as to try the most items. We chose the chicken pot pie, the venison chili mac and cheese, and the salmon with risottoand asparagus. I don’t know which I enjoyed more because I didn’t stop to breathe between bites … everything was that good. As for desert, and my stomach said “no” but my eyes and my head said “OH YEAH, BABY. You have months before bathing suit season.” Guess which won? We indulged anyway and ordered the Apple Galette, a warm apple pie/strudel served in a cast iron skillet and topped with house-made vanilla porter ice cream.
This experience was the perfect lead in to the Breck Trek tour, which will be traveling across the US to give the other states a taste of the Colorado lifestyle. Live music, beer education, and of course Breckenridge Brewery beer sampling will occur at every stop on the tour. The Breck Trek will hit Dallas the week of January 16th, check out times and locations here.
Need New Years Eve plans but don’t have a clue about what to do? Look no further as the Harwood District is taking care of it for you with set menus and live entertainment at Saint Ann, Mercat Bistro, and Dolce Riviera!
Reservations at Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar (with a special NYE three course menu and live entertainment) start at 5pm and the band goes on at 9:30pm. When 2017 finally arrives, balloons will drop both inside and out on the heated patio and champagne glasses will be raised to the “new year, new you”. (Cue the cliché kisses and toasts.)
The special menu features twice baked black truffle fingerling potatoes with crème fraîche and caviar for the table along with four appetizer choices–including the positively naughty bacon-wrapped sizzlers (chicken-stuffed jalapeños, wrapped in bacon, and served with ranch dressing).
You’ll have some trouble deciding between the five entrees, but you can’t go wrong with the grilled black angus tenderloin and lobster, served with asparagus and hen-of-the-wood mushrooms. Dessert will be as sweet as the date you bring: either a salted pots de crème with bourbon whipped cream and almond biscotti or a chocolate lava cake with port-soaked cherries and vanilla ice cream.
Their regular cocktail and drink menu will also be available during the special evening. To make your reservations for New Years Eve at Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar, click here.
Before the craziness of Thanksgiving, I had the interesting opportunity to witness Christie Brinkley arrive at the Southlake Tom Thumb on horseback. This momentous (yet bizarre) occasion was to present her new line of organic prosecco. You heard that right … you can now feel good–and dare I say, healthy–about your drinking habits. And if you’re anything like me, sparkling wine is a daily indulgence, so the fact that there’s now an organic line is HUGE. Her line actually includes three different wines: a zero sugar sparkling white wine, a sparkling rosé wine, and a Prosecco DOC brut.
After Christie’s grand entrance, we were escorted inside the store where there was a massive line waiting for the chance to have a bottle signed by and a picture taken with the supermodel. There were stations set up at various points where people could taste the new line and decide which bottle to purchase (but let’s be honest, I bought all of them). Available for purchase were three different organic wines:
Zero Sugar Sparkling White Wine: Made with 100% Glera organic grapes and produced with natural selected yeasts and has no residual sugar. It is an enthralling wine, that exhales a fine scent of delicious yeasts, white flowers, and grapefruit. It is fresh, velvety, creamy, and dry but it is perfectly balanced and has a pleasant acidity.
Sparkling Rosé Wine: Made with 100% Pinot Grigio organic grapes and is produced using the “Charmat Method”, which is the natural re-fermentation in autoclave. This rosé is elegant with hints of strawberry and grapefruit, which provide a fresh and fruity flavor.
Prosecco Doc BRUT: Made with 100% Glera organic grapes, which were called Prosecco grames until 2009. The BRUT is the driest version of Prosecco, but to balance it out are delicate scents of green apple and freshly baked bread.
As an avid Prosecco indulger, I was a little apprehensive about an organic line, not wanting to risk flavor for a healthier element. But these wines taste just as good as anything I would be drinking normally, which means their organic properties are just an added benefit. Another bonus: the bottles are adorned with artwork from Christie herself, which was inspired by Botticelli’s “Venus”.
You can find her entire line at Tom Thumb stores, don’t forget your Tom Thumb card for a member’s discount!
With the changing of seasons comes the changing of the guard … err … shakes at Dallas’s newest burger chain. Shake Shack has a new holiday menu that would turn even the Grinch into a cheerful SOB. You can get three new shakes and a hot chocolate treat to keep your spirits bright from the inside out.
Pumpkin Pie Shake: vanilla frozen custard blended with Four & Twenty Blackbirds pumpkin pie and topped with whipped cream and spiced pie crumbles ($5.79)
Christmas Cookie Shake: sugar cookie frozen custard topped with whipped cream and red and green sprinkles ($5.79)
Chocolate Peppermint Shake: chocolate frozen custard blended with peppermint and topped with whipped cream and chocolate peppermint candy crumbles ($5.79)
Brownie Batter Hot Chocolate: a blend of bittersweet dark chocolates and rich fudge sauce, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles ($3.89)
Don’t forget to check out the Custard Calendar to find out what custard is being featured daily at Shake Shack!
Grayson Social, one of the latest restaurants to appear in Dallas, is Darlene Marcello and Daniel Tarasevich’s brainchild with a southern accept. Located in the old LTV Towers on Elm Street, the social club offers comfort food in setting equally as comforting, all while maintaining a sense of sophistication.
The sumptuous downstairs area has ample dining space as well as an outdoor patio just beyond the impressive bar. Up the lavishly carpeted stairs flanking the hostess stand is a “members only” area, which provides slouch friendly couches and chairs along with a sense of exclusivity. Throughout the restaurant, marble tables are adorned with elegant, old volumes bookmarked by roses and adding to the atmosphere are wall mounted antlers and framed drawings of flowers.
The private upstairs area is for members and high spenders only. (Non-members must spend a minimum of $1,000 to feel like they’re a part of the secret club … womp womp.) Currently, the only way to become a member is by knowing someone who is already a member. It’s literally a “who you know” situation. Some of the benefits include: – 15% discount on full-priced menu items – Free WiFi (hello, business lunch) – Exclusive invitations to special events – A complimentary bottle of champagne and birthday cake for members’ birthdays – Monthly previews of food and drink before they’re released to the downstairs peasants (don’t worry, we’re down there, too)
Each membership is valid for one year and will be automatically renewed as long as restaurant privileges are used throughout the year. It seems as if the hardest part about being a member is simply becoming one – after that it’s all bourbon and biscuits.
I stopped by Grayson Social for their Bourbon & Biscuits event last night, which was a formal presentation of the restaurant and its offerings. A seemingly millennial crowd filled the posh space, (all of whom seemed like they just came from the office) and mingled with featured bourbon cocktails in-hand. As the event name suggests, bourbon cocktails and their “killer” biscuits were free flowing all evening long.
The bourbon drink menu consisted of several creative concoctions such as the Bacon Bourbon Manhattan, the Vanilla Old Fashioned, and the Campfire Cocktail. The bourbon of the evening was Yellow Rose Distilled Outlaw Bourbon Whiskey, which is hand made from 100% corn and pot distilled right here in Texas. Many of the drinks included unique ingredients or elements such as house-cured beef jerky, rose essential oils, bacon-infused bourbon, and house made marshmallow syrup. (Can you say “yum”?)
The Campfire Cocktail was a mix of bourbon, whiskey, house made marshmallow syrup, and topped with a toasted marshmallow (my inner child jumped for joy). I fully expected this cocktail to be overbearingly sweet but was pleasantly surprised. The Beef & Bourbon (bourbon (duh), maple syrup, myrrh, cypress, honey, and a side of house-cured beef jerky) was also delicious. I may or may not have chosen these drinks because they came with an edible component … sometimes you need a little bite.
The appropriately named Killer Biscuits were unreal with flavors ranging from Margherita and pecan bacon to pimento cheese and pineapple coconut. Fear not, they also serve a classic buttermilk biscuit for all those set in their traditional ways that are served with house made jams like raspberry ancho chile, blueberry ginger, and strawberry lime. Also available for our noshing pleasure was a buffet line of fried chicken, a salami and prosciutto bar, and several ice creams.
Getting to Grayson Social is pretty straightforward. Valet is available if you enter on the Pacific Side, and there is a public parking garage right next door. From what I tasted at this short event, I would highly recommend visiting Grayson Social for brunch, lunch, or dinner so long as you try the biscuits, the fried chicken, and the bourbon.