Sixty Vines Uptown welcomes new Chef de Cuisine

Via @emerazphotography on Facebook

Award-winning wine concept Sixty Vines has recently named Ty Thaxton as their new Chef de Cuisine. Thaxton, who previously worked at The Keeper, came on board as Sixty Vines’s new Executive Chef late last month, following the departure of Stan Rodrigues. According to Thaxton, taking over the Sixty Vines team was a smooth process.

“It’s refreshing to be in such a well-oiled machine, and just run it a little bit tighter as well,” Thaxton says.

Thaxton’s restaurant industry resume boasts incredible feats, including experience as the Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Georgetown, Washington D.C. He hopes to use the knowledge he’s acquired in his almost two decades in the industry and apply that to cultivating success in Dallas’s growing food district.

“I hope to bring even more creativity and innovation,” Thaxton says. “Something that can keep Sixty Vines fresh and relevant in the area, but also, fall in line with our brand.”

Thaxton has traveled to various parts of the world, studying the cultures and crafts of various populations. He came to Dallas due to his and his wife’s desire to be closer to family. Upon moving to Dallas, he was hired in Plano at The Keeper, where he worked for almost a year until coming on board with Sixty Vines. As Thaxton has been part of Frontburner since he moved to Dallas, he was familiar with most of the Sixty Vines team before taking on his new role.

“I was actually involved in some of the hirings for this locationearly on, so it’s not like I’m starting from scratch with a bunch of strangers,” Thaxton says. “It’s very important to have that cohesiveness right off the bat, that way, we can just hit the ground running.”

As Sixty Vines’s new Chef de Cuisine, Thaxton hopes to continue to help Dallas’s restaurant scene grow and diversify.

“I like that Dallas is just now starting to dip its toes into food diversity,” Thaxton says. “You’ve always had these little ethnic pockets around town, but the selection is a lot more diverse now than it was 10 or 15 years ago. People are starting to open up their horizons more. For the longest time, our only options were Tex-Mex and steakhouses.”

As for the future of Sixty Vines, Thaxton is preparing his team for greatness as Frontburner expands its empire.

“We are planning on opening properties in other cities next year,” Thaxton says. “We want to make sure we have our techniques and processes down to a T here before we move forward.”

Sixty Vines is currently open in Plano and Uptown Dallas, with its next location slated for Houston in early 2019.

Sixty Vines, 500 Crescent Ct #160, Dallas, TX

 

 

Tight Quarters is Now Open in Legacy Hall

From the man behind Dallas barbeque staple Smoke comes a brand new Asian-inspired concept. Having become a household name in the realm of meats, Chef Tim Byres makes a 180 degree turn with new, nutritious and filling options. At Tight Quarters, Legacy Hall’s newest food booth, guests can choose from a variety of Asian Inspired power bowls, filled with flavorful meats, fresh veggies, and an abundance of spices.

The Steak Pad Thai noodle bowl is one of the many great bowls available for purchase at Tight Quarters. The noodles-to-fillings ratio is just right, and the customer certainly gets their money’s worth on meat and fresh vegetables.

Apart from bowls, Tight Quarters will soon be offering homemade kombucha and Mother of Vinegar Shrub Drinks.

Tight Quarters is now open in Legacy Hall in Plano. For more information on hours and menu options, visit eattq.com

Weekend Happenings: 4/20 – 4/22

Unlawful Assembly Brewery Tour

Tired of the same boring brewery tours? Then make your way over to Legacy Hall! Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co. offers tour every Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The tour is led by the hilarious David Jessup and Phil Parsons. For $15.00, each participant receives a souvenir pint glass, two beers, and the brewery tour of a lifetime.  If you enjoy raunchy humor, good beer and obtaining educational information, then UABC is the place for you.

A selection of beers available at Unlawful Assembly Brewing Company (photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

EarthX

Dallas’s annual Earth Day festival will be taking place starting today and ending this Sunday. The three-day long free event will feature interactive exhibits and showcase a variety of documentaries. There will also be musical performances by Chucho, Atlantis Aquarius, Black Joe Lewis, and more. To see the musical performances, you will need to pay a $5.00 fee, but on Sunday, if you bring a vinyl record, you can see the music performances free of charge! For a full schedule of events, click here

A screencap from “Bangladesh,” a short film to be showcased at EarthX this weekend (Via EarthX)

Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival

Got rained out of Deep Ellum Arts Festival? Well lucky for you, Fort Worth will be having an arts festival of their own this weekend. The Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival will showcase a variety of food, paintings, sculptures, music and more from local artisans. The best part? Attendance is free! For a full schedule of events, click here

The Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival will have activities for people of all ages (Via Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival)

Live Music at Chocolate Secrets

Chocolate, wine, and music: the best way to end a stressful week. Every weekend Highland Park’s Chocolate Secrets features live performances from local artists. Be sure to catch Cindy Hortsman and Mike Medina tonight beginning at 7:30 and Joe McBride this Saturday at 7:30. Check out Horstman’s “Summertime” below!

 

Haywire to Begin Serving Brunch

In the three weeks since their official grand opening, Legacy West’s Haywire has proven to be a hit. People from all over the metroplex are stopping by to get a taste of southern hospitality.

This coming weekend, Haywire will begin serving brunch.

I was lucky enough to try some of Haywire’s soon-to-be-available brunch items last weekend during a special Frontburner friends and family event. Their items are far different from the regular chicken and waffles or eggs benedict Dallasites know and love. Haywire’s brunch menu consists of many traditional brunch items that have a southern touch one couldn’t find anywhere else.

To kick things off, I ordered a Seelbach cocktail. The drink had a fruity, citrus flavor, similar to grapefruit, followed by a strong, alcoholic aftertaste. I cooled down with a mimosa, in which the champagne and orange juice flavors had a perfect balance.

Mimosa (Photo Credit: Alex Gonzalez)
For the starter, I was served the Cast Iron Cheddar and Jalapeño Biscuits. The biscuits were served with sides of sausage gravy and peach compote. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the biscuits were crispy, with a crunchy, cheesy outer layer, and didn’t fall apart leaving a flaky mess. The gravy complemented the biscuits in a way that made them feel warm and comforting.
Cast Iron Cheddar and Jalapeño Biscuits (Photo Credit: Alex Gonzalez)
The biscuits were followed by the Ranch Chicken Cobb Salad. Although the salad was phenomenal, I found it a bit oddly presented. It looked like two chicken strips were simply plopped atop a bed of greens. Perhaps the salad would’ve been more aesthetically pleasing had the chicken strips been cut into smaller pieces and spread among the salad. Despite the salad’s peculiar appearance, it was packed with flavor. It was heavy on bleu cheese and Texas honey & herb vinaigrette dressing, which gave the greens a creamy texture. Plus, the bacon bits gave the salad a sweet, meaty kick.
Ranch Chicken Cobb Salad (Photo Credit: Alex Gonzalez)
I ordered the Texas Gulf Shrimp and Grits for my main course. Normally, I’m not very big on grits, however, I do not regret trying Haywire’s. The grits were topped with a beautiful arrangement of high-quality shrimp and a poached egg. The shrimp was the brightest shade of red, and thick and meaty like sausage. The grits were creamy and soupy in texture and had a spicy kick courtesy of Haywire’s signature creole sauce.
Texas Gulf Shrimp and Grits (Photo Credit: Alex Gonzalez)
I concluded my brunch meal with the Texan Pecan Brown Butter Pancakes. In all honesty, these pancakes were the best I’ve tasted in my life. I’ve never had pancakes with a perfect cake-like texture, but Haywire hit this nail on the head. These pancakes were a stack of heavenly, fluffy goodness, topped with delicious whiskey peach compote, pecans, and whipped cream.
Texan Pecan Brown Butter Pancakes (Photo Credit: Alex Gonzalez)
Legacy West’s Haywire is a manifestation of southern hospitality. It’s an experience unlike anything you’ll find in Plano and is sure to be a hit for years to come.

Haywire officially rolls out their brunch menu on December 23rd at 11:00 am.

Legacy Hall is an Artistic Celebration of Food and World Cultures

The most anticipated addition to Plano’s Legacy West shopping center is finally set to open its doors this Wednesday. Legacy Hall is a three-story food hall containing a variety of restaurant set-ups and bars. It is the first of its kind in the United States, inspired by the food halls Jack Gibbons, president of The Frontburner Group, encountered during his international travels.

“My business partner Randy and I were in Russia traveling back through Amsterdam,” Gibbons said. “When we studied the history of food halls and how they started in Europe, we felt that there was a big place for this in the United States.

Legacy Hall’s opening comes shortly after the opening of Legacy West’s Haywire, which is also parented by The Frontburner Group. Like Haywire’s three stories, each floor of Legacy Hall has a different feel to it.

“On the first floor, there are 20 stalls that are serving all different product from shawarma to lobster rolls. Each of the 20 stalls is run by local chefs and restaurateurs,” Gibbons said. “There’s a full working brewery on the third floor.”

This past Saturday evening, media and press were invited to a sneak preview of the much-anticipated food hall. Each of the attendees was given a pre-loaded “hall pass,” containing $25 worth of credits, valid at any of the bars and food stalls.

For dinner, I made my way over to Blist’r and ordered a Char-grilled chicken tikka naan wrap. I was given the option of choosing “regular” or “spicy” and opted for the latter. My wrap was assembled quickly, in the same fashion of a Chipotle burrito.

Char-grilled chicken tikka naan wrap from Blist’r in Legacy Hall (Photo credit: Alex Gonzalez)

I was very satisfied with the taste of my naan wrap. While the chicken was hot, spicy, and flavorful, it was the tamarind and mint chutney, along with the pickled onion that gave the wrap a sweet kick. I washed down the wrap with a lemon berry acai flavored Stubborn Soda. The soda tasted different from any other soda I’ve ever tasted, as the sweet fruit flavors overpowered the carbonated water. Originally, I had planned to give up drinking soda in the imminent new year, however, I may have to make an exception for Stubborn.

After dinner, I opted for a healthy dessert at Berrynaked, a stall offering a variety of popsicles, smoothie bowls, and sundaes. I was able to try both the matcha latte and the blueberry lavender popsicle. While both popsicles were refreshing, I preferred the blueberry lavender. The matcha latte was good, however, the dairy base doesn’t allow for the consumer to get to the flavor as quickly as the water base of the blueberry lavender does. As for both popsicles, they were frozen to the right consistency to which they didn’t melt immediately upon removal from the freezer.

A display of popsicles at Berrynaked (Photo Credit: Alex Gonzalez)

To end the night, I paid a visit to the third level bar and ordered a drink called “Teaches and Peaches.” The Teaches and Peaches consists of Peach Brandy, Madeira, lemon juice, raspberries, and billers. Albeit a bit pricey, it was packed with fruity flavor and had a strong impact.

Teaches and Peaches from Legacy Hall’s third-level bar. (Photo Credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Although I didn’t get a chance to try every single food stall, there were several items that looked very appetizing, including “The Soulman” from Press Waffle Co., as well as handcrafted pizza from Forno Nero.

The Soul Man from Press Waffle Co. (Photo Credit: Alex Gonzalez)

Apart from offering a multitude of delicious food options, Legacy Hall encourages its guests to be environmentally conscious, as they have different trash containers for paper, plastic, and food waste.

My only complaint of the night was that the first floor felt rather crowded, however, this is likely to change, as more outdoor additions are underway.

In March of 2018, Legacy Hall will open an environmentally friendly music venue right outside of the first floor.

“Our venue will be called ‘The Box Carton,” Gibbons said. “It is made out of recycled shipping containers and has different bars and restaurants that will really complete the food hall project.”

Although the Gibbons and The Frontburner Group have a lot on their hands right now, they have no plans to slow down in the near future.

“We’ve started a company called ‘The Food Hall Company,’” Gibbons said. “We’re starting our Plano hall as our first one, but we plan to create more of these unique venues and make them wildly popular across the country.”

Legacy Hall is an artistic celebration of food and world cultures. There is something for everybody at Legacy Hall and it will undoubtedly be a hit upon opening.

Legacy Hall is set to open on December 6. For a complete list of bars and food stalls, click here.

 

Haywire Brings Southern Comfort to the Middle of Suburbia

This Wednesday, Legacy West’s newest addition, Haywire, has officially opened its doors. Haywire is a three story building that serves as a lounge, restaurant, and a bar.

“They’re all an experience,” General manager Brian Knoy said of Haywire’s three floors. “On the first floor we have the whiskey lounge, which is like a jazzy cocktail lounge with a Texas twang to it. On the second floor you can have your full dinner. The second floor bar is called the butcher bar, and we have a great selection of wine on tap, wine by the bottle, and wonderful crafted cocktails. There’s also an open kitchen up there.

On the third level, there is an outdoor patio complete with high definition televisions, and a remodeled Nomad Airstream designed for parties and group dinners.

Inside look at Haywire’s Nomad Airstream

“We like to look at our third floor as our Marfa West Texas Lounge,” Knoy said. “There’s something for everybody here.

Prior to Haywire’s opening, each of the servers and bartenders underwent intensive sommelier training.

“Sommelier training consisted of four master sommeliers coming to Haywire for a two-day class,” server Casey Mallow said. “At the end of the second day, each server takes a 75-question test and if you pass, you receive your level one introduction to the Court of Masters Sommelier certificate, and a pin.”

Server Casey Mallow testing the wine ahead of Monday night’s Friends & Family event

By requiring their employees to go through such thorough training, Haywire can attest to the fact that their service will be nothing less than absolute quality. This was the case during Haywire’s friends and family night this past Monday.

I had dinner Monday evening on the second floor, which consisted of an open kitchen, a bar, booths, tables, and vintage record setups.

A glimpse at Haywire’s open kitchen, located on the second floor.

I was served by Lisa, who, despite having many tickets to fulfill, still tended to my requests happily and professionally. There were roughly around 200 people being served at the same time as I, but I still managed to receive each of my courses in a timely manner.

I kicked things off with Haywire’s signature Marfa Mule, which consists of Cinco Vodka, Ancho Reyes Verde, Ginger Beer, and lime and grapefruit flavorings. The individual elements of the Marfa Mule complimented each other and created something very sweet. The Marfa Mule had a citrus flavor, similar to that of Sprite or Squirt. The cocktail’s aftertaste was strong, but overall, the drink was one of the best I’ve tasted in years.

Haywire’s signature Marfa Mule

To follow up the Marfa Mule, I then ordered the Cadillac Margarita, which consists of Dulce Vida Tequila Añejo, Paula’s Texas Orange, light agave for sweetening, and Himalayan salt. The margarita was my favorite cocktail of the two I consumed on Monday evening, as it was sweet but not too tangy or citrus-y. It had just the right amount of lime flavor, with little to no aftertaste. The impact, however, was strong enough to my liking.

Haywire’s Cadillac Margarita

Overall, Haywire’s cocktails are perfect for those who don’t like the taste of alcohol but enjoy the feeling of intoxication.

For the appetizer, I ordered the Spicy Tortilla Soup. Admittedly, as a Hispanic man, I wasn’t expecting for the soup to taste as great as it did. The soup had a very authentic flavor. It had just the right degree of hotness and a good amount of chicken and avocado chunks. The tortilla strips on top allowed for a good southern crispness.

Spicy Tortilla Soup, with avocado, chicken, and tortilla strips.

The Charbroiled Angus Filet made for an exceptionally delicious main course. The steak was served with Haywire’s Warm Roasted Marble Potato salad. The potato salad was a phenomenal side dish and contained caramelized onions, bits of bacon, and a signature sauce. The salad’s unconventional ingredients allowed for a sweet kick that one would be hard-pressed to find in potato salads from anywhere else. The meat was topped with a chili butter, which complemented it very nicely. The steak itself was thick, flavorful, juicy, hearty, and managed to cut like bread.

Charbroiled angus filet with warm roasted marble potato salad.

From service to food quality, Haywire far exceed my expectations. The three-story restaurant and bar officially opened its doors on Wednesday, but guests can expect a variety of celebratory opening events over the course of the next two weeks.

 

“We look forward to welcoming a true taste of Texas to the Plano community,” Jack Gibbons, President of Frontburner Restaurant Group said.

 

Haywire’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on December 14th at 4:30 P.M., but don’t wait until then to check the place out. See below for a list of events taking place at Haywire!

 

  • Wednesday, Nov. 29, 5:30-7 p.m: Grand opening sabering event featuring Tattinger on the first-floor patio. Take part in the celebration as the restaurants’ leaders wield large steel sabers to expertly lop the necks off bottles of fine champagne, then take a guided tour through all three floors of this incredible building.

 

  • Thursday, Nov. 30, 5:30-7 p.m: Boots and Bubbles wine and cheese event. Janet Trefethen, principal of Trefethen Family Vineyards, will be pouring her award-winning wines – paired with Haywire’s delicious, locally sourced meat and cheese boards – in the Private Dining Room.

 

  • Friday, Dec. 1, 7-9 p.m: Whiskey Tasting. Haywire’s whiskey experts will explain the intricacies of the spirit while offering tastings in the one-of-a-kind whiskey lounge. The lounge stocks more than 400 brands, including the best Texas has to offer. House of Cigars will likewise be on-site rolling handmade cigars for guests.

 

  • Saturday, Dec. 2, 6-8 p.m: Don Julio 1942 Party featuring craft cocktails on the third-floor rooftop patio bar and in the Airstream trailer. Yes, you read that right – there’s an Airstream trailer on the roof so guests can relax with a signature cocktail, a cold local craft brew or a fine bourbon under the stars.

 

  • Sunday, Dec. 3, 6-8 p.m: Half-off wine nights begin. Haywire is wine lovers’ new Sunday destination as the restaurant offers half-priced bottles of over 100 labels on its impressive wine list every Sunday night. The series kicks off at a special time on Dec. 3 before settling in for its regular 4 p.m. start on Dec. 10.

 

  • Monday, Dec. 4, through Friday, Dec. 8, from 4-7 p.m: Happy Hour, featuring Haywire’s handcrafted specialty cocktails and signature drinks at each bar. An array of vendors will be stationed on every floor offering booze and bites to guests.