We are having a wicked good time at our first official Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans! Between sips and seminars, we’re trying to take note of our likes and loves this week, in personalities, spirits and cocktails, and eats. Here’s some of our favorite experiences from our first day.
It was just announced today that a new restaurant that’s right up our pork-flavored alley is opening in historic downtown McKinney. Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen is opening next Wednesday, June 24, as the brainchild of chef Jon Thompson (Samar and Stampede 66) and restaurant vet Johnny Caros (most recently Jasper’s). Read on to find out what’ll be on the menu …
Today kicks off Negroni Week, a weeklong annual fete in which $1 of every Negroni drink (or edible — there’re quite a few out there!) sold at bars across the country is donated to that venue’s chosen charity. Not surprisingly, Dallas and Fort Worth are all in with this terrific happening that also celebrates the simple classic bev made of gin, Campari and vermouth.
Among the local watering holes toasting Negroni Week are Black Swan Saloon, Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House, The Standard Pour and Henry’s Majestic, to name a few. Over in Fort Worth, American Food and Beverage, Landmark and Thirteen Pies. Find all of the participating bars and restaurants here. And celebrate responsibly! Uber if you need to; get your first ride up to $20 free if you’re new to using the app-based car service by using code p9xq5.
Ed. Note: We have a terrific guest post brought to you by our beer blogger and nascent spirits/cocktail enthusiast friend Patrick St. Jean. As Jerry and I had to leave town for a spell, he and his wife went to Fair Park food and drink fest Iron Fork in our stead. Here’s Pat’s recap:
By Patrick St. Jean
My wife and I took DART down to Fair Park to check out the 2015 Iron Fork competition, try some food, and sample some drinks.
With our swag (tasting glass, etc.) collected, we started walking around the perimeter of the hall, checking out the various local restaurants and sampling their wares. My first stop was one of the many Alaskan Brewing booths for a Big Mountain IPA. From there we headed over to Rafain Brazilian Steakhouse’s booth to sample a skewered selection of their meats, with generous portions of chicken, beef and pork, all of which were delicious.
When I got the chance to partake of the much-lauded barbecue at McKinney’s Hutchins BBQ a few weeks ago, I cheered … despite the distance! Yes, it’s a trek, but, verily, I say — ’tis worth it, particularly the pork.
Here’s one for true pork aficionados: Learn how to perfectly butcher a pig at a special Savor Dallas event on Sunday! Fret not, it doesn’t end there. Read on!
Membership has its privileges, someone once said. And that is true of Goody Goody’s deep involvement in this year’s Savor Dallas, the refreshed annual food and wine extravaganza that kicks off tonight. Last year, the Dallas Morning News-owned event firm CrowdSource scooped up Savor Dallas from co-founders Jim White and Vicky Briley-White and have since unleashed a slew of cool changes to the four-day event!
In addition to a (sold-out) Community Brunch on Sunday whose proceeds benefit Cafe Momentum, a new series of informational foodie/drinkie events called the Toast of the Town Event Series will take place at some of the finest restos in town all throughout Savor Dallas.
But, hey — this is a beer and spirits blog. So what we’re most excited about is that the centerpiece Grand Tasting (the huge food and drink sampling extravaganza going down this year at Fair Park’s Centennial Hall) is debuting a spirits alley featuring among the best brands in the biz. (The Reserve Tasting just before the Grand Tasting is also featuring a mixology corner, but that event’s sold out!) PLUS, Savor Dallas has joined forces with the folks at Untapped (also run by CrowdSource) to present a craft beer corner at the Grand Tasting.
The mini-Untapped participants will include brews from Ballast Point, Boulevard, Brooklyn, Dogfish Head, Goose Island, Firestone Walker, Lakewood and Ommegang. Hanging out on the spirits alley will be nearly 40 labels, including Woodford Reserve, Tullamore D.E.W., Fernet, Herradura and Grey Goose. So slap on your Bytox patch before you navigate the offerings this Saturday, because there’ll be a ton to savor at Savor Dallas!
The 7 PM meal is a four-course dinner with the following entrees and pairings:
1st Course: Roasted Fennel-Sunchoke Soup, with Crispy Artichoke Chips with Orange Oil, with River Ale Golden Ale
2nd Course: Beet-Horseradish Cured Salmon Gravlax with Watercress Salad, Pickled Radishes and Coriander Vinaigrette, with Fresh Squeezed IPA
3rd Course: Espresso Crusted Lamb Loin, Braised Belgian Endive, English Peas, with Barley Risotto, with Obsidian Stout
Dessert: Almond Cake with Grilled Pineapple, Ginger Ice Cream and Pineapple Sorbet with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, with Zarabanda Farmhouse Saison
The $55 dinner is exclusive of tax and gratuity and includes free valet, though bring a few singles for a tip!
Hold on to your hats, foodies: The Dallas Observer’s Iron Chef — brought to you in conjunction with local chef Kent Rathbun — is back this April to fill up Fair Park’s Centennial Hall with edible and sippable goodness. The food and drink festival culminates in a head-to-head chef competition, but that’s not even what we’re most excited about … read on!