Coming Soon to Magnolia

You’d think that after living on Magnolia a couple months, one would run out of restaurants or new places to check out. With new establishments emerging constantly, there’s always something new to try (or try again and again) in the Near Southside. Here’s a few upcoming openings I’m pretty pumped about:

Cane Rosso | 815 W. Magnolia
I’ve yet to actually try this popular Italian pizza, but anytime I tell people Cane Rosso (“red dog”) is replacing the Ryan’s Grocer space, they get pretty excited and then freak out when I say I’ve never tried it as I’m teaching Thursday nights (when they post up at Times Ten Cellar from 6-9pm). No word on the website as to when they’ll be open, but chances are I’ll be there opening week and will keep ya posted.

Grand Cru Wine Bar & Boutique | 1257 W. Magnolia

I will be frequenting this Fort Worth wine shop moving in across the street quite often. Opening this fall, Grand Cru Wine Bar and Boutique (previously located in Overton Ridge as Grand Cru Wine Shop) is is such a perfect addition to the neighborhood.

Tina’s Cocina | 961 W. Magnolia

Tina’s Cocina, a BYOB traditional Mexican restaurant – focused around fresh ingredients at a great price – is set to open this Tuesday. I’m looking forward to trying this place, and also excited to hear they’ll be open for breakfast, my favorite meal of the day.

Tina's Cocina

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Party Time

Last night, was the highly anticipated (in my mind) housewarming and joint birthday party for Scott (25) & Ollie (1), the two most important men in my life. It was a great turnout and the Stock the Bar theme certainly lived up to it’s expectations. It was such a sweet evening with some of my favorite people in the world: from long-time friends, new friends, people from work life and from yoga – all under one roof.  For my first time hosting a party, I tried to make things as easy and fun as possible.  Here are some tips for first-time party throwers like myself. For a guest list of 20-30 people, follow these, and you’re party is sure to be a hit.

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Food & Drink

  • ImageMint Ginger Ale – I found this simple punch recipe on Williams and Sonoma. Combine ginger ale, mint, bourbon & ice.
  • Cocktail Weiners – Throw 3-4 bags little smokies in a crockpot (or large pot). Add 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Worchister sauce, 1.5 bottles of sweet honey bbq sauce and tabasco to taste. Heat on medium to high until cooked and warm throughout. Serve with toothpicks.
  • Fruit & Veggies – A few of my friends are on Paleo, vegetarian and/or just really healthy, so I cut up a half watermelon, 2 peppers (yellow & orange for color), celery and carrots. Serve with ranch or your favorite dipping sauce.
  • Pimiento Cheese Dip (recipe coming soon from Scott’s mom and thank goodness, because it is AMAZE)
  • Sandwiches – Easy peasy to prepare in advance: turkey or ham, grey poupon, your favorite cheese (swiss and cheddar are both great) on dinner rolls.
  • Tortellini Skewers – Another super easy app that you can prepare in advance. Boil two bags of tortellini. Drain, and serve with pesto and toothpicks for quick bites.
  • Mac & Cheese Bites + Stuffed Mushrooms – These snacks are so tasty and easy to eat, your guests won’t care that they’re from the frozen aisle at Trader Joe’s. Pop both in the oven (I made a dozen of each) for 20-30 minutes before guest arrive at 425 degrees.
  • Sweets – Everybody loves a funfetti cupcake, so go ahead and make a batch of 24 (cheap and easy to do in advance). Cookie cakes are great, too for cutting into pieces so everyone can enjoy a bite. Image

Decorations

It’s easy to go overboard with decorations, but I think it’s all about keeping it simple. These ideas prove you don’t need to spend a ton of money to create a festive space. I recommend picking 2-3 colors to stick with throughout and tying in a theme when you can. I was inspired by the colors and patterns from The Wizard of Oz, and so, incorporated an Oz theme, There’s no place like Home.

  • Flag Banner – Fold some colored paper (diamond shape) horizontally over string. Glue or staple on the fold and include the string. Write a message on the triangles or use letter stickers from the Scrapbook section. Use the scraps to make matching “streamers” like the photo above.
  • Poms – You can follow these directions here. Or by the time, you buy the tissue paper, wire, etc. you might as well just buy the pre-made poms at Hobby Lobby (Set of three for $3.99)
  • Fresh flowers – easy/pretty way to bring in color
  • Cupcake or dessert flags – So, I failed in making these adorable etsy cupcake flags, but I think it’s a cute idea to incorporate the theme into your desserts.

Cheers!

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Date Night: Bearded Lady

One of the latest pieces to the Near Southside’s ever-growing puzzle of restaurants, the Bearded Lady – just off Magnolia and 8th Ave. – resembles many of the craftsman-style houses in the neighborhood. It’s a funkified 1926 restored and renovated home turned bar with a huge shady dog-friendly patio and an energy that’s as welcoming as the neighborhood. Known for the craft beer menu, they offer dozens of Texas and national gems on draught, and plenty more bottle options. If you’re not super educated on the beer front, or just want to try something new, ask the helpful wait staff. No matter how busy it’s been, I have to say as a former waiter, the service has been excellent.

The Bearded Lady

Open late night, this spot is perfect for post-party munchies. And for us, we love to share appetizers and small plates (without breaking the bank) when dining out, so the Bearded Lady’s menu is the answer to our prayers. Eclectic appetizers, fresh soups and salads, and some creatively good eats made for an exceptional date night. We split a few of items-all of which I highly recommend: Mini Beer Brat Corn Dogs, Fancy Grilled Cheese + Avocado, and the Pork Chop Sandwich. All sound semi ordinary, but each item was above and beyond delicious, and I can’t wait to try something new each time. The corned dogs come with crispy fries and some amazing dipping sauces; the fancy grilled cheese takes it to another level with add-ons like beer-sauteed onions, bacon and fried egg; and the “Slap yo Mama” sauce mixed with grilled cinnamon was an unexpected delight.

Corn Dogs

Bearded Lady | 1229 7th Avenue | 817.349.9832

Check it out for dinner or late-night grub and brews: Mon – Sun: 4:00pm – 2:00am