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Food & Drink

Value Vino: ‘Girly wines’ aren’t so pretty in pink

Photo: Courtesy photos, License: N/A

Courtesy photos

We tasted these, so you don’t have to


LBD’s 2010 Divalicious Red is the wine equivalent of sausage making: there are nine listed red grapes plus “other.” “It smells like a Glade candle,” said one taster. “There’s very soft blackberry fruit,” said another, hopefully. “Nobody would buy this unless it were $4,” was another opinion. (It’s actually around $12.)

Which brings us to the pink-labeled 2010 Bitch Aragon Grenache, one whose target audience was less clear. In the words of more than one wine industry pro, it might be equally aimed at men and termed a “panty-popper.” (Note that others make variations on this theme: Royal Bitch, Sweet Bitch, Happy Bitch, Sassy Bitch…and these are more clearly woman-oriented.) Regardless, “Is this really a joke? That’s the secret power of this wine,” and “I’m upset that I like this the best,” were typical comments.

In the end, there was pretty much universal scorn for the marketing premise as typified by Little Black Dress: “Flavorful and feminine, [these] blends are the perfect way for every woman to embrace her inner diva.” Why not, we thought, celebrate instead women in wine by concentrating on influential female winemakers—of which there are many. Seems like a superior sisterhood.

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Olmos Park’s Latest Cocktail Bar

Photo: Jessica Elizarraras, License: N/A

Jessica Elizarraras

Get familiar with Park Social boss David Naylor


His nod to Peña, for instance, comes via the Cinco Missions, a take on BKSA’s Missionary No. 1 with Cinco Vodka and grapefruit juice along with hints of mango, balsamic and cucumber. Naylor’s also adding personal favorites such as the savory Il Pomodoro, his take on a bloody mary, with Dorçol’s Kinsman Rakia, tomato passata (or uncooked tomato puree), dry vermouth and bitters. A tamarind nut, Naylor is also adding an Isle of Tamarind made with tequila, tamarind syrup, a Serrano pepper shrub, lime juice and beer.

Guests (and who will make up the potential clientele of Park Social is still up in the air), should also look forward to darker, boozier spirits filed under the “Night” section of the menu.

“If I could pick one spirit that I absolutely have to have it’d be a smoky whiskey or Scotch,” Naylor says.

He’s hoping to incorporate Balcones Distilling’s Brimstone into the Smoke ’Em cocktail that will include sarsaparilla for sweetness and tobacco bitters; and he’s already using a rye for his take on an Old Fashioned with scorched caramel syrup and bitters (this and the Cinco Missions have been available since Folc’s preview opening a few weeks ago).

Finally, for those looking to expand their breakfast cocktail options (and really who isn’t getting sick of basic mimosas), Naylor’s hoping to spice things up by serving a Satan’s Whiskers ’tail with gin, orange juice, bitters and triple sec, plus sweet and dry vermouth (“it’s really quite light,” he says), and eventually three iterations on the bloody mary starting with a standard red which will draw bitterness from balsamic instead of pickle brine. Recipes are still being tweaked for a tomatillo bloody and a fruit-based bloody. Our interest is definitely piqued.

Park Social

224 E Olmos
(210) 882-0100
park-social.com

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Deco Café Adds Necessities With Little Frills

Photo: Jessica Elizarraras, License: N/A

Jessica Elizarraras

This sandwich gets the job done


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Cocktail Know-how: A brief history of the Manhattan

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Muelle 58 Brings the Coast to Stone Oak

Photo: paytonphotography.com, License: N/A

paytonphotography.com

Let the chef decide for you with a ceviche sampler


When it came time to order from the massive menu, I let my lunch partner take the reins. She settled with an octopus “grinds” or chicharrones—fried, well-seasoned and slightly spicy octopus bites kicked off this excursion on a tasty note.

We followed the starter by splitting a shrimp burger and fish ceviche tostada. The latter, served in the style of Mazatlán, with diced carrots, coriander, onions and citrusy fish, was reminiscent of the one found at the late Bahia Azul (inside the Alley on Bitters). The fish is finely chopped and strained so what’s left is packed on top of the baked tostada. Prepare to get messy.

The burger’s patty, made in-house, features some of that same spicy sazón tasted in the octopus starter. There’s a nice char, the fixin’s are fresh and the ciabatta is sweet and springy, which make up for the readymade fries.

If there’s any beach-inspired warning flags at Muelle 58 that may lead to iffy surf conditions, it’s the all-too-laidback staff. While general manager Hector Tamez and his staff were friendly and accommodating at first, they went MIA once our plates were delivered. Maybe they were fighting off seagulls in the back? Regardless, Muelle 58 is worth visiting if you’re willing to wade through all your menu options—just make sure you’ve got a Margaritaville frame of mind.

Muelle 58

19903 Stone Oak Pkwy, Ste
202 (210) 267-5865
Skinny Kitsch meets fish, shrimp and then some at this Stone Oak cevicheria that adds slew of aforementioned ceviche, and other creative concoctions to some mixed results.
Best Bets Arroz marinero, michelada shrimp, shrimp burger
Hours 11am-10:30pm Sun-Thu; 11am-11pm Fri-Sat
Prices $3.99-$44.99

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