Best of Guide is a proud sponsor of Sunnyland Outdoor Furniture’s Dad’s Gift Grillin’ Eggfest. This Saturday, Sunnyland Outdoor Furniture will be hosting their annual Dad’s Gift Grillin’ Eggfest in their parking lot. Eggfest will consist of various local chefs participating in cooking demonstrations while utilizing the Big Green Egg Grill. Attendees will get the chance to vote for the best cooking demonstration at the conclusion of Eggfest. For more info on Dad’s Gift Grillin’ Eggfest, click here.
Four Seasons Markets at CityLine
Every Friday in June, CityLine in Richardson will be hosting a European-style market in the plaza. Patrons can purchase a variety of groceries, basic essentials, and various accessories from over 25 local vendors. For a full list of participating vendors, click here.
Dirk Nowitzki’s 2018 Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game
Tonight, you can catch Dak Prescott, Mark Cuban, Ezekiel Elliot, and many more of your favorite local public figures playing a round of celebrity baseball. Opening pitch begins at 7:00 p.m. at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Dirk Nowitzki Foundation and the Heroes Foundation. To purchase tickets, click here.
This Saturday, Mutt’s Canine Cantina will be hosting its first ever Tough MUTTer. Participating dogs will attempt to master an obstacle course for a chance to win a gift card from Mutts. Tickets are just $5 per competing dog, and all proceeds benefit the SPCA. To register for Tough MUTTer, click here.
Plano Comedy Festival
All weekend long, Plano will be hosting several comedians in the city’s inaugural comedy festival. In a mini-SXSW fashion, the likes of Aaron Aryanpur (Funniest Comic in Texas, FOX), Jonny Bratsveen (Comedy Central’s Hart of the City), and Mac Blake (Just For Laughs in Montreal) will be performing sets at Hyena’s Plano, Taste of the Islands, and Art Centre Theatre. For venue information, a full schedule of events, and tickets, click here.
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.
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
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
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!
If five years ago, someone told me that Plano would grow to be a thriving restaurant and nightlife district, I probably would’ve never believed them. What I love about Legacy West are the many opportunities for shoppers, diners, and consumers to embrace a variety of world cultures. At Legacy West’s newest addition, Toulouse, Planoites are offered a wide selection of fine, authentic French cuisine.
Toulouse is the product of Lombardi Family Concepts, the founders of Taverna. It is the second of three Lombardi restaurants to open in the Legacy West development thus far (the third being Kai, which is set to open later this spring.)
On a Thursday evening, my best friend Nick and I dine in Legacy West’s newest addition. Upon arrival, we are promptly greeted by a hostess, who appears to be in great spirits. Although my reservation has somehow managed to have gotten lost, we are welcomed with open arms and seated immediately.
The restaurant’s walls, ceilings, and floors are decorated in white and silver. Each shelf of the bar is stacked to the brim with fine wines and pricey liquors. It is a replication of an authentic French brasserie.
Moments after being seated, we are approached by a server, who is clearly knowledgeable of the menu, ready to make suggestions based on our tastes.
To kick things off, we both order Old Fashioneds. Traditionally, an Old Fashioned consists of bitters, rye whiskey or brandy. Although the drink is served in a tiny glass, the amount served was satisfying. It is a very strong cocktail, so it is best sipped slowly.
For my second drink, I order the Blackberry Mule. I had previously tried the Blackberry Mule at Taverna and it immediately became a favorite of mine. I am thrilled to see that Lombardi brought it over to Toulouse. The Blackberry Mule is heavy on fruit flavor, but not too strong on booze. It’s like drinking a pressed berry juice with a ginger kick.
When it came time to order appetizers, we ordered the Escargot Bourguignonne and the Oysters Rockefeller. When Nick and I order appetizers we typically take a little bit off of each others’ plates, and that night was no different.
I had never tried escargot before, but I am quite surprised by how much I enjoy Toulouse’s. They are easy to chew and taste no different from most kinds of seafood. Plus, the garlic sauce they come coated in adds an absolutely divine kick.
What I like about Toulouse’s oysters is the fact that they aren’t super greasy and oily, like those of most restaurants. Albeit light on oil, Toulouse’s oysters are still very hearty and flavorful.
For my main course, I order the Duck Two Ways. The Duck Two Ways is a plate containing Long Island Duck Breast, both grilled and fried, compressed apples, potato dauphinoise, and dark cherry demi. I find the duck to be delicious beyond my expectations, and the pairing with the fruits allow for sweet touches.
Like the appetizers, Nick and I go splitzies on our desserts. We ordered soufflé and crème brûlée. It was my first time trying soufflé, and I wasn’t expecting it to be so egg-heavy. It’s good, but perhaps I probably would enjoy it more around breakfast time.
The crème brûlée, on the other hand, is incredible. The caramelized coating is crisp to the touch, and the custard filling is thick, creamy, and consistent; not at all sloppy or oozy. Toulouse’s crème brûlée is probably the most well put-together version of the dish I have ever had the pleasure to try.
Overall, I feel Toulouse is a fabulous addition to Legacy West. It is the closest thing to a French brasserie one can get in Dallas and makes for a remarkable cultural experience. Lombardi Family Concepts can do no wrong, and they show no signs of slowing down.
For nearly eight years, The Common Table has been a hot brunch destination for Dallasites and Uptown dwellers. With its new location in The Star in Frisco, founder Corey Pond hopes to expand Common Table’s horizons and attract a wider demographic. As its name suggests, The Common Table is a haven for those who wish to bond over the love of beer and food.
“It’s more of a feeling than it is anything literal,” founder Corey Pond says of the eatery’s name. “A common table is a place where you would go and meet people you don’t know, and hopefully make new friends. We believe we’ve incorporated that sort of philosophy here.”
Although The Common Table is arguably most known for its brunch and beer dinners, Pond notes that he hadn’t originally planned to serve food.
“I had a love for craft beer and wanted to open a craft beer bar,” Pond says, “but because of the location we ended up with, we also had to have a restaurant. It took us a little while to get the food right, but now I think the food in both places is very good, especially for the price.”
Founder Corey Pond (left) with Operation Partner Rodman Shields (right)
Weekend brunch is a staple in Dallas. With so many restaurants to choose from, The Common Table has set itself apart by making quality dishes and creating an amped up atmosphere.
“Brunch food really isn’t difficult to prepare,” Ponds says. “It’s just all about buying good ingredients. It’s a chill vibe here most of the time, but at brunch time, we turn up hip-hop music a little louder than usual.”
Although The Star and Uptown are two vastly different scenes, The Star’s location shares a lot of the elements that the original location has become well known for.
“We’ve just recently started the live music series here [in The Star,] Pond says. “The music events are held every Thursday and Saturday night, like in Uptown. Some of the artists are the same, but we also have some new artists.”
Apart from the live music events, The Common Table’s Frisco location also has Live Trivia Wednesdays, Brewsday Tuesdays, and Pour Man’s Beer Dinner on Mondays.
“The Pour Man’s Beer Dinner is different every week,” Pond says. “Each week, the chef in each location comes up with a different four-course menu, each of the courses is paired with a different beer.”
Because of the wide variety of beer available in house, The Common Table’s customers are able to taste unique pairings of beer and food.
“Beer’s such a versatile drink, more than wine.” Ponds says. “There are over 100 different styles of beer, so for any type of food you make, there’s a perfect beer to pair it with.”
The Common Table is currently open in both Uptown Dallas and in The Star in Frisco. Be sure to pay a visit and try their unique pairings.
In the dining industry, the quality of each guest’s experience is just as important as the quality of food they’re being served. The minds behind the Crafted Bar Concepts restaurant group strive to create a guest experience as unique as possible. Sushi Marquee, the newest addition to The Star in Frisco, is a hot, fresh concept from the minds of CBC.
Sushi Marquee started off as an idea of CBC’s Vice President Brad Hawkins. Hawkins partnered with Dallas Hale, CEO of Crafted Bar Concepts, to create what would become Sushi Marquee.
“At Sushi Marquee, the guest comes in anticipating a phenomenal meal,” Hale said, “In addition to that, they receive an interactive, fun experience. We’ve got sake bombs, ’80s and ’90s music, and we aim to create just an all-around good time, that way, when the guest leaves, they say ‘man, I can’t wait to go back!’”
When approached by Hawkins to partner in the creation of Sushi Marquee, Hale, confident in its success, immediately agreed.
“I wish I could take credit for this idea,” Hale said. “This is the brainchild of Brad Hawkins. We’ve been the best of friends for about 25 years and we’ve always talked about creating a concept together.”
Sushi Marquee is largely inspired by the sushi restaurants Brad Hawkins encountered while visiting Los Angeles.
“Brad has been telling me about this concept for about 20 years,” Hale said. “He had gone to L.A. and came across a place that had a fun, interactive vibe but the worst sushi he had ever tasted.”
Because of his experience in L.A., Hawkins was determined to create something better with Hale.
“He came to me and said, ‘Dallas, we need to recreate this concept, but we need to jazz it up and make it the best sushi they’ve ever had,” Hale said. “I told him, ‘let’s go.’”
Despite having been primarily relying on word-of-mouth promotion, Sushi Marquee has seen much success since its grand opening two weeks ago.
“It’s surprising how well the turnout has been,” Hale said. “We haven’t advertised yet because we’re still working out all of the kinks, but the food’s been amazing, we’re getting great reviews, and the crowds keep pouring in, it’s been great!”
Although Sushi Marquee is currently only open for dinner, they plan to officially open for lunch at the top of next year. Their lunch menu will feature a variety of options which they call their “Power Lunch” meals.
“Our Power Lunch menu is amazing,” Hale said. “We will offer our full menu at lunchtime, but we will also have poke bowls, sushi burritos, and bento boxes.”
The Power Lunch menu will provide guests with easily customizable options.
“We’ll have signature poke bowls, but we’ll allow the guests to select their choice of fish, along with their choice of rice, sauce, and veggies,” Hale said. “Once their bowl is ordered, the customer will be served within five to seven minutes.”
Although Sushi Marquee is fresh off of its opening, they have managed to keep the ball rolling with all sorts of events.
“We’ve already had people call to set up their bachelorette parties, birthday parties, and bridal showers,” Hale said. “We also hope to get a video DJ for New Year’s Eve.”
Sushi Marquee is a novelty for lovers of sports, music, and Asian cuisine. It is a fresh, fun, modern concept, unlike any other sushi restaurant in town. Sushi Marquee is officially open in The Star in Frisco.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.