Archive for January, 2014

"Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would…"

Posted by    |    January 20th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

“Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.”

Dave Barry

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse is one of the staple…

Posted by    |    January 14th, 2014 at 1:00 am

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse is one of the staple steakhouses not just in the Dallas area, but in the country.  Its longstanding ranking among the best steakhouses made tonight’s visit to the flagship location pretty exciting for me.

The night of excess started with an Old Fashioned in true Susie fashion (Knob Creek Bourbon, muddled cherry, orange, sugar & bitters).  It was quite standard (as I’m super spoiled when it comes to OFs) and nothing too extraordinary, but you could actually taste the bourbon used and it wasn’t too diluted, which gave it a really delightful flavor.  (Because … ya know … I love bourbon.)  Luckily, the rest of the drinks were much more unique.  

If you’re in for just one drink, make it Del’s Manhattan (Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Dolin Rouge Sweet Vermouth, bitters, Luxardo cherry).  It’s as smooth as a baby’s rump and as strong as Arnold back in the day.  They actually have barrels of Maker’s Mark in the upstairs office that they use (no, I wasn’t allowed to visit them), and the Manhattan is make with Luxardo cherries (because are there any others?).

Next up was the Pomegranate Martini (360 Vodka, PAMA Pomegranate liquor, splash of cranberry), which was quite sweet and reminded me of a drink my favorite cocktail creator/roommate, Sam, would make me after a long day of classes (and before my night classes) back in the day.  PAMA gives any cocktail an incredibly rich flavor —- and it makes it healthy, right?

Last up was the Blackberry Ginger Cocktail (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, fresh blackberries, fresh lemon juice, mint, splash of ginger beer).  It sounds like a girly little drink, huh?  WRONG.  It’s a powerful and flavorful little libation with a perfect splash of ginger beer to give it a little tingle and bubble.

As for food, we started with crab cakes (holy awesome … no filler here!) and onion rings (double awesome … they’re as big as my hand), and then proceeded to entrees.  I couldn’t resist the “feature” of three 4oz steaks with different sauces on each (fois gras butter, port wine, and peppercorn … I think*).  The steaks were tender, juicy, and amazingly savory.  Dessert was pretty incredible (lemon cake and cheesecake).  Their cheesecake is whipped, not baked, which makes it so light that it’s completely irresistible.  Like seriously … I’m meant to be on a diet and I definitely partook in (and took home leftovers of) most of it.  The crust is made with pecans, so if you have a nut allergy, you’re shit outta luck.  (Whatever, dude, more for me.)

Last note: Don’t expect to park your own car here … go ahead and resign yourself to the fact that you’re going to valet.  Even on a Monday night there wasn’t a parking space to be found.  No cash to tip?  No worries … they’ll let you charge a card to get some cash at the bar!

Del Frisco’s has already released their Valentine’s Day menu and are accepting reservations, so (for the guys out there), get a move on and make your girl’s day by having a plan for the night.  (And don’t forget the flowers and lingerie.)

*I’m not a food blogger … I do drinks.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse
delfriscos.com | @del_friscos | Facebook.com/DelFrisco
5251 Spring Valley Road
(972) 490-9000

****I was invited to join Del Frisco’s for a meal this evening and my meal was on the house.****

CHINO CHINATOWN New Trinity Groves Spots a Perfect Reminder of…

Posted by    |    January 5th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

CHINO CHINATOWN

New Trinity Groves Spots a Perfect Reminder of Why Some Nights, You Just Have to Leave Suburbia

Written by Brian Bianco

When Susie first approached me with a sack full of cash and a bottle of whiskey asking me to write for her, her terms were clear–stay far north and leave Dallas to her. Luckily, her busy holiday schedule opened the door for me to not only venture into Dallas proper, but also check out Trinity Groves for the first time for a media preview dinner at Chino Chinatown. It not only gave me a chance to try some highly anticipated Latin-Asian fusion cuisine, but also sample a drink menu that look good on paper.

The hip-casual ambience is set by great tunes and decor that reflects the cuisine (e.g., rockabilly geisha art – so cool).  A friendly and knowledgeable bar staff is also a welcomed change … though “friendly” could mean they where on their best behavior for the press … who knows.

I’ll save you my detailed thoughts on the food since there is plenty of buzz already out there from our food counterparts, but I will say the edamame and shishito pepper dish and the chicken lollipops were both outstanding small plates to well enjoy with a few cocktails.

My biggest regret was not having a few friends with me (or my former college tolerance) to try everything on the drink menu, but I was able to sample a good amount.  CC’s bar program, like a growing number of others in Dallas, was designed by Jason Kosmos, and was reminiscent of nights spent with my lady friend at the no-longer-with-us Marquee Grill (may it rest in peace). 

Chino Chinatown’s introductory press release led with the Mezerac (rye, mescal, cola, cacao bitters) and Tijuana Sling (Remy Martin V, maraca, lime, seltzer), which were both good, but the 47 Ronin* delivered on the fusion promise to give me something the likes of which I hadn’t ever tasted and was, without question, the star of the show.  (The bartender who served it, Adrian Verdin, wanted to make clear is a tribute to the incredibly awesome samurai legend and not the recent Keanu Reeves motion picture. This is an important distinction, because the drink is awesome, and the movie … maybe not so much.)

The bevy of drinks I tried were the Beg, Steal or Borrow (bourbon-based), The Good, The Bad, The Weird (best described as a tequila drink for the non-tequila drinker, in the most positive possible way), Between the Sikhs (Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky), and the Snake Charmer (vodka and prickly pear that is easy to drink and available by the pitcher). 

In short, if you want a night of good food and a chance to explore some complex drink options, there aren’t many better destinations right now in Dallas.  (Just make sure you order the 47 Ronin and chicken lollipops.)

*A few disclaimers as I review their sake – I’ve never had Japanese whisky and my sake pallet is, uh, being seasoned. Verdin was very proud of the cocktail and was happy to walk me through it as I drank (which is only slightly embarrassing in retrospect, but felt right at the time). The drink is made from Yamakazi 12 Japanese whisky, goji berry groseille, yuzu, and sake, and is a nice mixture of tart and slightly sweet flavors before the whisky takes over and brings it home. If the night had been laid out differently, that would have been my choice drink for the night, and I would have had no regrets.

Drink Strength: 4
Overall: 4.6