After much delay, Howard Wang’s China Grill is finally open in The Star in Frisco.
Every Howard Wang’s restaurant embodies over 30 years of family recipes, tradition, and experience. Howard Wang’s is a family-owned business that has been passed down across generations. The new Frisco location will be run by Jowin Wang, son of founder Howard Wang. Jowin has also served as the Director of Operations in Howard Wang’s Uptown and Southlake locations.
“We heard a lot of good things about The Star,” Jowin says. “[Dallas Cowboys Owner] Jerry Jones has been to our other locations and wanted us to open in The Star. We had a good opportunity and we couldn’t pass it up.”
Howard Wang’s specializes mainly in Chinese cuisine, offering traditional Chinese dishes like broccoli stir fry and orange chicken, as well as signature dishes, like Wang’s Bulgogi and Ginger Beef Tenderloin. The new Frisco location will also be offering Dim Sum.
“All of our food is fresh and made to order,” Jowin says, “We use fresh vegetables, a lot of which are sourced from various parts of Asia.”
Howard Wang’s is open for lunch and dinner in The Star. This holiday season, the will be open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Scotch & Soda celebrated their Dallas opening with an in-store party hosted by lifestyle and fashion bloggers Alex Young (Eat Style Dallas) and Jane Aldridge (Sea of Shoes). Tunes were spun throughout the evening by DJ Blake Ward and cocktails were mixed at an open-bar, sponsored by Damrak Gin.
“We’re thrilled to be here,” Scotch & Soda CEO Ari Hoffman says. “This is our first entry into the Texas market, with our Houston store opening next spring, and our Austin store opening next fall.”
Although Scotch & Soda is labeled as Amsterdam couture, Hoffman believes the store offers a diverse collection.
“We’re far from couture, we just have a great sense of humor,” Hoffman says. “We travel the world and we blend all of the world’s flavors to create this eclectic mix.”
While Scotch & Soda’s clothes may be a bit pricey, they are comfortable, fitting, and stylish, giving each wearer an artsy, cultured, bohemian look. Amsterdam couture will soon be the next trend to sweep the metroplex.
Since 2010, QC Stone has used her privilege and good fortune to help others in DFW. She is the president of The Source of Hope, an organization to provide vocational support and meals to low-income individuals. By reinforcing their skills, Stone believes The Source of Hope helps people get on their feet and rebound from adversity.
“We offer advanced education in the beauty industry,” Stone says. “We also have a clinic, where we treat skin and beauty conditions at a reduced cost. We have another program where we feed our community with home cooked meals. Any time we have extra ingredients from our restaurant sponsors, we make meals out of it.”
Stone believes that the skills the students learn at The Source of Hope will stay with them for a lifetime.
“Our goal is to teach people how to fish, rather than give people fish to eat,” Stone says. “Because of the struggles I’ve endured, it’s very easy for me to bounce back.”
Throughout her life, Stone has faced multiple hardships, however, she has used what she has learned from her adversities to help others.
“I grew up in the orphanages in Vietnam,” Stone says. “My mother was struck by lightning, and she was unable to care for me. She gave me to an elderly couple and said she’d come back to get me. 12 years later, my family sought out for me. We built a fishing boat and went to this country. We went 13 days with no food or water.”
Upon arriving to the United States, Stone hit the ground running, however, the path to success wasn’t smooth or clear of any roadblocks.
“My success has been 31 years in the making,” Stone says. “I’ve failed twice. The first time was when my oldest daughter had a brain tumor. It wasn’t expected that she’d survive, but now, she’s a successful model and blogger in DFW. The second time was here, in Plano, where I became homeless for a short period of time.”
No matter how successful she becomes, Stone emphasizes the importance of gratitude and humility. Stone wants each of her Source of Hope students to feed homeless people and help others find their God-given purpose.
“God allows people to go through some things so they learn how to survive,” Stone says. “Before you inspire somebody, you need to be of service. At some point, we all struggle, but you always have to remember where you were and how you got to where you are today.”
From the masterminds behind Firebird Restaurant Group (El Fenix, Taqueria La Ventana) comes a new, luxury concept called Tulum.
Tulum was inspired by Firebird CEO Mike Karns’, and his wife, Valerie’s, travels to the namesake city in Mexico. It is the couple’s favorite vacation spot, and with Tulum, they hope to recreate the experience for guests of the restaurant. Tulum, the restaurant, encompasses many elements of Tulum, the city, and is an amalgamation of what people seek on their vacation; good food, relaxing atmosphere, and a temporary escape from the ordinary.
Upon entering Tulum, guests are greeted with a flowing bar in the center of the entryway. Sounds of the Amazon rainforest are heard throughout the restaurant and images of the beaches and the waters are projected onto a large screen in the back of the main lounge. The music selection consists of jazz vocalists, electronic trance and house, and Latin sounds. Overall, the atmosphere and ambiance allow for a luxury, cultural experience.
Guests cannot find the typical chips and queso on Tulum’s starter menu. Instead, they are offered a diverse selection of land, sea, and even vegan plates. Among the starters are the chicken flutes, the vegan ceviche, and the charred Spanish octopus. The octopus comes served as a portion of an octopus tentacle sat atop an achiote ginger orange sauce, and with charred hearts of palm on the side. The outer skin of the tentacle is grilled to a crisp. The tentacle itself cuts like a steak, and is juicy, hearty, and flavorful.
From a menu curated by Chef Nico Sanchez, guest can choose from a variety of minimalistically plated dishes. The diver scallops are an arrangement of three jumbo scallops sat atop a bed of mashed potatoes. They are served with a side of grilled beets and tamarind sauce. The scallops cut fairly easily and despite being a seemingly small portion, they are filling and satisfying.
Another good choice is the cheshire pork ribs, which are wood-burnt baby back ribs immersed in a chile Morita and served with a side of salsa negra and charred pineapple. The chile Morita makes the ribs spicy with each bite. When dipped in the salsa, the ribs become even spicier, however, a bite of the charred pineapple instantly cancels out the heat, making for an ideal symbiotic pairing of food.
One of the desserts at Tulum is a chocolate sponge cake, which is served soaked in Nestle Chocolate Abuelita. It is a warm, comforting dessert that is not too heavy, yet makes for a delightful conclusion to a meal.
Tulum is set to open its doors to the public on Thursday, October 25 at 5:00 P.M.
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.
After having operated as a tent pole in The Star in Frisco for nearly a year, Cowboys Fit is set to open a new location in Plano, off of Preston and West Park Blvd. Cowboys Fit is a state-of-the-art gym facility offering members a comprehensive fitness experience with high-tech fitness equipment and luxury amenities.
Apart from rigorous training programs and the latest fitness equipment, Cowboys Fit also puts an emphasis on the recovery portion of the workout, offering amenities like cryogenic therapy and other treatments that can’t be found anywhere else.
The Cowboys Fit team of personal trainers consist of former NFL players, cheerleaders, and fitness experts across all disciplines, who will help you with a customized game plan to help you reach your fitness goals and make you feel like part of America’s team.
Cowboys Fit will open their new Plano location in early winter of 2019, right on time to bring in the new year with new fitness goals.
Cowboys Fit, 4817 W. Park Blvd., Plano, TX (Coming 2019)
The 24-day, four-weekend extravaganza that is the State Fair of Texas is back. The great thing about the fair is its predictable greatness, from the butter sculptures to the pig races to the oodles of fried food. You can try all the new concoctions, check out the midway, enjoy free concerts every day, or take a trip to the top of the Top ‘o Texas Tower. The beauty is that there’s never a shortage of things to do, so what are you waiting for? Free weekend concerts will include Morris Day & The Time, Aaron Watson, Ludacris, Casting Crowns, and more. Go here for a full concert schedule.
Oktoberfeast Beer and Music Festival
9/28 – 9/30 at 7:00 p.m. each night
Legacy Hall will present Oktoberfeast, a signature, four-day beer and music festival. In celebration of all-things beer, brats and bands, all three floors of Legacy Hall and the Lexus Box Garden will be transformed into a biergarten atmosphere complete with yodeling, accordion players, oom-pah music and more. Guests can dine on authentic German-inspired dishes like the new beer brats from Degenhardt’s Brat House or opt for a sampling of other flavors from one of the food hall’s 23 other dining options.
Gelato Festival America
9/29 – 9/30 at 12:00 P.M.
Dallas Farmers Market
Gelato Festival America comes to Dallas to spread awareness of real Italian artisanal gelato through a contest in which gelato artisans and chefs will compete with original gelato flavors they have created for the event. Tropical Blast, Spicy Green Paradise, Sicily Orange Sunrise, and Fresh Love were just a few of the flavors invented last year. Tickets can be purchased here.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden presents Autumn at the Arboretum
9/29 – 11/21
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Thousands of pumpkins, gourds and squashes are sprouting in the Texas Panhandle this summer, soon making their way to Dallas for Autumn at the Arboretum, a national fall festival, presented by Rogers-O’Brien Construction. The festival will feature scenes from the beloved book, Peter and Wendy. The event includes the nationally-acclaimed Pumpkin Village featuring pumpkin houses and creative displays incorporating more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds, squash, cornstalks, and a hay bale maze. Themed “The Adventures in Neverland,” the Pumpkin Village takes guests on a journey through Neverland in the Pecan Grove. The Pumpkin Village begins in London at the house of the Darlings where Wendy and her brothers are dreaming of pirates and fairies. Other major stops include the Lost Boys hideout where Peter, Wendy and the Lost Boys talk about never growing up. A pirate ship sails the seas of gourds and pumpkins in Pecan Grove where Captain Hook keeps his eye to the sky as his never-ending hunt for Peter continues. Tick-Tock, the Crocodile, waits patiently among the pumpkins for another opportunity to attack. A visit to Neverland would not be complete without a stop by Tinker Bell’s home where she does all of her tinkering.
Dinner with Snoop Dogg
9/30 at 8:00 P.M.
The Ranch will host a celebrity-centered dinner buffet and night of live music featuring Snoop Dogg. Tickets can be purchased here.
Market at The Star x Fleastyle is an outdoor market that will feature a curated mix of fashion, jewelry, home décor and other unique lifestyle goods. This new, open-air market will host 30 booths running directly through The Star District. Additional entertainment at the market will include food specials from neighboring restaurants, children’s activities and more. Tickets can be purchased here.
9/21 – 9/23 at various times
Addison Circle Park
Addison Oktoberfest features four days of family-oriented entertainment. German entertainers in authentic costumes perform traditional Bavarian folk dances, schuhplatten, oompah music, sing-a-longs, yodels, the Oktoberfest 5K benefitting Wipe Out Kids Cancer, and more. A special “Oktoberfest” Paulaner Bier is served along with several types of German sausage, sauerkraut, strudel, giant pretzels and more. There are carnival rides, midway games, and children’s entertainment. Guests can register to dine at the Chamberlain’s Brau Haus for a full-service dining experience featuring an exclusive menu. Tickets can be purchased here.
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church presents Greek Food Festival of Dallas
9/21 – 9/23 beginning at 11:00 a.m.
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church’s tradition of celebrating the magic of Greece features delicious cuisine, pastries made with love, spirited live music and dance, fun attractions for kids, and a marketplace brimming with imports and activity transform the corner of Hillcrest and Alpha into Dallas’ own Greek island. New this year is karpouzaki, a wedge of watermelon that gets its Greek accent from crumbled feta, fresh mint and a balsamic glaze. There are lamb chops seasoned and grilled to perfection and many other meat and veggie options. The festival presents an opportunity to view recently completed iconography covering the church’s walls, ceiling and dome. Church tours and a visit to the Greek Cultural Center and bookstore add elements of enrichment to the three-day celebration. Tickets can be purchased here.
Dallas Heritage Village presents History with a Twist: Sock Hop
9/21 at 6:30 p.m.
South Side on Lamar
Dallas Heritage Village will present its 6th Annual History with a Twist. The evening will include food stations and generational cocktails of the ‘50s with a twist, served by some of the city’s brightest mixologists and bartenders. Guests are invited to dress ‘50s chic, sip classic cocktails from Mint Juleps to Singapore Slings, and dance the night way to popular ‘50s tunes by DJ Jennifer Miller. The event will also feature dance lessons, and live and silent auctions. Tickets can be purchased here.
Dallas Cowboys presents Market at The Star x Fleastyle
9/22 at 9:00 a.m.
Ford Center at The Star
Market at The Star x Fleastyle is an outdoor market that will feature a curated mix of fashion, jewelry, home décor and other unique lifestyle goods. This new, open-air market will host 30 booths running directly through The Star District. Additional entertainment at the market will include food specials from neighboring restaurants, children’s activities and more.
FIG Finale is a spectacular sale open to the public where shoppers can find designer deals up to 75 percent off retail from top stores and brands. FIG Finale features women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. Tickets for FIG Finale can be purchased here.
Downtown Arlington Brewing Arts Festival
9/14 and 9/15 at 12:00 p.m.
The inaugural Downtown Arlington Brewing Arts Festival will be a collision of art, music, food trucks, and craft beer that will light up the city’s bustling Urban Union entertainment district. The event will bring together art collectives from across Dallas-Fort Worth including Elevate Dallas, Ash Studios, ArtLandish, Art Luck, Art Tooth, Black Sheep Art Culture, and Color Me Empowered.
He Said Magazine presents Pride Brunch
9/15 at 10:00 a.m.
Perle on Maple
He Said Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Cooper Koch and Editor Steven Lindsey will host a brunch and bubbles to kick-off Dallas pride activities and festivals. The Stoneleigh’s new French-inspired restaurant, Perle on Maple, will feature a French-inspired a la carte brunch created by Perle on Maple’s Executive Chef Wade Burch of Food Network’s Chopped and Chopped Champions and a “Bubbles from Around the World” Champagne Bar. Tickets can be purchased here.
Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic
9/15 at 11:00 a.m.
SMU Tennis Center
The 3rd annual Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic will once again feature 2003 US Open champion and International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Andy Roddick, considered one of the most influential, successful and quotable tennis players of all time. Other players will include Grand Slam doubles champ and five-time Olympian Mark Knowles; and Boris Kodjoe, German actor best known for his roles as Dr. Will Campbell in the CBS drama, Code Black, and the sports-courier agent Damon Carter on the Showtime drama series, Soul Food. Proceeds benefit the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, which awards grants annually to organizations focusing on children’s wellbeing, health and education. Tickets can be purchased here.
The Mix Off
9/16 at 5:00 P.M.
DEC on Dragon
Enjoy some of the best cocktails in town! You’re the judge as the hottest bartenders in Dallas shake and pour their liquor-loving hearts out for the chance to be named the signature drinks of Chefs For Farmers 2018. Since you can’t drink on an empty stomach, chow down on upscale food from the best up-and-coming chefs in town. Your votes determine the winners, but when the rising stars of the Dallas restaurant scene compete alongside the best bartenders in Texas, the real winner is you! To buy tickets and to see a full list of sous chefs and mixologists, click here.
Those in pursuit of success in entertainment will often give up their last coin to move to a larger metropolis like Los Angeles or New York City. While this route is common, film director and Double T Productions founder Timothy Talbott believes that this is not the only way to go. A native Texan, born and raised, Talbott is determined to bring light to the landscapes and scenery that are often passed up or overlooked. Talbott also wants to put undiscovered talent under the spotlight.
I join Talbott at Ascension Coffee, located in the Design District, which is also home to fellow film director Johnathan Brownlee. We discuss a variety of topics, including how he came to develop an affinity for the film and entertainment industry.
“I don’t know if there was a moment where the inspiration just hit,” Talbott says. “It was really just a matter of things I enjoyed as a kid.”
Talbott then recalls how he was able to give his undivided attention to a television screen at any given moment during his youth.
“I’m an adventurer,” Talbott says. “My mom used to tell people that if you put me in a room, you better keep an eye on me, unless you turn on the TV, then I’d just sit down and start watching.”
As a child, Talbott’s love for the arts was unmatched, compared to that of his friends.
“Even though I love sports, watching TV and film was way more fun to me,” Talbott says. “Movies and television programs are like puzzles; you put this big thing together and it’s different every time. A football game is a football game. You get four quarters, things happen, but rarely is it that exciting. Take the Super Bowl for instance. If your team isn’t in it, how involved are you?”
Although Talbott tends to favor art and entertainment over sports, he is fond of professional wrestling and even had a stint as a wrestler in National Wrestling Alliance’s Southwest Division in the late 90s.
“I wanted to get into wrestling because it’s live-action storytelling,” Talbott said. “I knew that if I could get into wrestling I could get into acting.”
Talbott later moved to Los Angeles, where he would live for ten years before eventually deciding to return home to Texas, where he would produce his first feature film.
“That was really a defining moment,” Talbott says. “After ten years in L.A. just grunting it out and trying to get by, I move back to Texas, and within a year to the day, I’m beginning principal photography on The Demon Inside. We filmed that movie in Denton over the course of two weeks.”
After his work on The Demon Inside, Talbott believes that talent in Dallas’ film scene is just as remarkable of larger art-centered cities.
“When my L.A. friends want to shoot a movie, I tell them, ‘we’re going to shoot the movie in Texas, and we’re gonna use Texas crew and Texas actors,’” Talbott says. “The problem is, I’m a small brand and I definitely want to grow. I question why we don’t have a film industry equal to or better than that of anywhere else.”
Talbott also expresses frustration with filmmakers setting their works in Dallas, yet filming them in other locations.
“You’ve got a movie like Dallas Buyers Club,” Talbott says. “You’ve got Matt McConaughey sitting on his car, and the Dallas skyline is in the background. Filmed in Louisiana. Part of that takes away from Dallas. “As far as Dallas goes, there’s more to it than just Dallas. It’s Texas as a whole. L.A. is L.A. They have six major studios there. They have acres and acres of studio lots. Here in Dallas, you can drive an hour in any direction and you have different landscapes. You have space. We have weather. ”
Having worked on multiple projects in Dallas, including hit Hulu series “11.23.63” and his upcoming thriller film, Trunkfish, Talbott can attest to the fact that Dallas’s art scene is on the rise.
“Texas is growing and there are a lot of areas that are getting rejuvenated,” Talbott says. “Things are changing, and hopefully, part of that is keeping productions here. I’ve seen the old, and maybe it’s time to come into the new. Nobody is going to take down Hollywood. Hollywood is Hollywood. But I don’t see why Texas can’t have its own film industry on par with everyone else.”