Even with Fidel Castro Dead, Cuban Cigars Won't Hit US Shelves for Years (If Ever)

Over the past couple of years, the U.S. Government has been cozying up to Cuba, in an attempt to "reset" a relationship that has been pretty chilly since the late 1950s. Yesterday, for the first time in decades, a regularly-scheduled commercial flight left the United States and landed in Havana. While we'll leave the geopolitical politics to others, the question we ask here is "what does this mean for Cuban cigars in the United States?" Great question, but one that's without a simple answer. The trade embargo with Cuba instituted by President Kennedy in 1962 still stands. As you have likely heard, Kennedy actually sent his Press Secretary (and fellow cigar lover) Pierre Salinger all over

The Perfect Margarita, as Made by Chef Rick Bayless

We were traveling Thanksgiving week, and had a layover in Chicago. Hungry, thirsty, and looking for a quick snack before boarding our next flight, we found Tortas Frontera, by Chef Rick Bayless, and decided to stop in for a bit of guacamole and a couple of margaritas. Now, for those of you who don't know Rick Bayless, here's a very short biography. He's about as authentic as it comes when you're trying to find good Mexican food. He spent 6 years scouring the Baja peninsula for techniques and recipes, creating his signature style of cuisine, before opening his first restaurant--Frontera Grill--in Chicago in the late 1980s. He opened a second restaurant in Chicago--Topolobampo--two years l

The Red Parrot--a Family Favorite

Recently we were in Newport, RI for a little over a week. We've been to Newport over a dozen times at this point--we got engaged here, we got married here, etc. We like it up here. A lot. We've been to all sorts of restaurants in and around Newport--good, bad, and simply average. But we'd never been to the Red Parrot. We'd heard a lot of different things about the Red Parrot. We'd heard that it was a fantastic restaurant--one of the best in Newport. We'd heard that it used to be a fantastic restaurant, but that it was now in decline. And we'd heard "never go there--it's terrible." So, after a long day working on a project, and running several errands, we decided that a late lunch wa

Cassoulet While Away

Like millions of Americans, we're traveling this year for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it's a business trip with Thanksgiving falling right into the middle of it. But that doesn't mean we're going to eat bad food. Nope. Not how we roll. We rented a quaint Air B&B for our trip, which is something we now prefer on trips so we can cook. The grocery options in Newport are VERY limited - you can choose between Stop n Shop or Wal-Mart. Since Stop n Shop is next door to our favorite wine store, we chose to go there. Trying our best to pick something that would warm us up, the original choice for a cold and rainy/windy night was between tortilla soup and white chicken chili. Thankfully, neith

Mini Vertical of Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet

When searching for wine to drink with Thanksgiving dinner, we ran into a couple of real treats: a bottle of 1989 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet, along with a bottle of 1996 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet sitting together on the shelf of the local wine store. They were begging to go home together, so we strapped them into the car, and decided we'd enjoy a mini-vertical tasting to accompany Thanksgiving turducken. Add in a nice bottle of Perrier-Jouet champagne, and we figured we couldn't help but have a good time. We were really right. Turns out, while the wines seemed happy to come home with us, they absolutely didn't want to be opened. The corks looked sturdy enough, and the cork

All that you Need When you Want to Sous-Vide

For those of you thinking about picking up sous-vide equipment during Black Friday shopping, we wanted to provide some guidance. While a sous-vide setup is still a bit of an investment, prices have really come down over the years from when we got our first immersion circulator used on E-Bay out of a European chemistry lab (don't judge--they were still running over $1,000 new back then). While it's still possible to spend thousands of dollars on top-of-the-line commercial equipment, the set up shown above cost roughly $250. There are four things you must have when you decide to cook sous-vide: an immersion circulator, a vacuum sealer, vacuum bags, and a large pot or plastic tub. The first

Sous-Vide Turducken?? No, we're not crazy.

We at FoodieDFW love Thanksgiving! Like a lot!! We love the pies, the rolls, the sides, the stuffing. We LOVE the secret family recipe cranberry relish! Pretty much everything. Except for the traditional turkey. Neither of us are huge fans, as it usually turns out a bit dry no matter how you cook it. A couple of years ago, we solved this problem by making an easy and juicy Turducken, and we're happy to share our secret with you. The secret is the magic that is sous-vide cooking. For those of you that don't know what sous-vide is, it's essentially vacuum-sealing food you plan on cooking, then submerging that package in a precisely-heated water bath until the food is cooked to perfecti

GlenDronach 15: A Fitting Tribute to Winston Churchill

As I sit watching episode 2 of The Crown on Netflix, where King George VI passes, and Princess Elizabeth becomes the new monarch, I have a moment to reflect upon life. As a student of history, I have always been fascinated with the life and career of Winston Churchill, with whom I share a name (in my case, my middle name). Sir Winston's eulogy for the King--depicted in the episode--was fitting, touching, and powerful, even though it was delivered when Churchill was a very aged man, and under attack by those in his own party. As Churchill was always a fan of Scotch, I felt I needed to pour a glass in his honor. In this case, I chose 15 year GlenDronach, a bottle I purchased the last time

2014 Vina Cobos Cabernet Sauvignon Felino

Enjoyed with a nice chicken truffle risotto on a low-key Sunday night. Spicebox, plum and bright cherry on the nose. Cherry cola, with jammy plums and figs on the palate. Bright, not overly heavy, still quite astringent near the end of the palate. Not terribly tannic, but could use more time to balance out. A good daily drinker. 89-90 points.

Shake Shack--Not Quite as Good as the Hype, but Close

It was a beautiful day out so we decided to give Shake Shack a try, since the outdoor space is full of adirondack chairs, regular tables, benches, and corn hole. Very dog friendly too! And, since they've been open for a few weeks, we figured they had worked the kinks out and we could give them a fair shake (corny pun intended!). We were thankful the line was small and it was moving quickly. So quickly, in fact, that we didn't really have time to look at the menu board before we were getting pushed towards the cashier. It'd be nice if they had a holding area for first-time customers like us who need a minute to look over the menu--even if the menu was posted outside, that would work well.

Relish, at Klyde Warren Park

Natalie and I decided to walk down to Klyde Warren Park after lunch. It was a beautiful day, and probably one of the last shorts / t-shirt days of the year. Great sailing day!! Tons of people were out and about, kids were running through the water features. Food trucks were super busy. And the dogs: they were happy, wagging, and everywhere. Simply put, joy was so palpable, you could cut it with a knife. And, to top it all off, people everywhere were drinking beer. 16 ounce glasses of beer. And not just within the walled-off confines of Savor, the resident "gastropub" at the park. We've often wondered where you could get beer at the park. So we wondered around till we ran into Relish, an a

E-Bar - Pretty good, but hold the onions.

Surprisingly good! We stopped in for a quick lunch but weren't expecting much. The first thing I judge a TexMex restaurant on is their chips and salsa - it's really hard to screw that up, so if the salsa is bad then that can only mean the food will be REALLY bad. I'm glad to say E-Bar had great, fresh salsa served with perfectly warm and crispy tortilla chips. We were a little concerned about how the service was going to be since the guy at the table next to us flagged down our waiter to see how much longer his food would take. We quickly came to the conclusion that he was just a pompous jerk (based on eavesdropping on his other conversation, which included bashing Ship's Tavern. Never,

2012 Woodward Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon Artist Series #21

Enjoyed this wine at home after staying up way too late the night before watching the election (and getting 3 1/2 hours of sleep because of that). Served with a very simple dinner of seared rare prime filet mignon (didn't have time to sous vide the steak even) with a side caesar salad. Smooth, nuanced flavors. Earthy, leathery, yet w sweet fresh fig notes. Still reasonably astringent, but the acid fades after the early palate. Good, well balanced, although may turn flabby in next 5 years. Will gain some nuance, but you'll have to catch it before the backbone goes away. Drink over next 2-3 years. 90 points.

Whistle Britches: The Best There Is

Chef Omar Flores has done it again! Although the location is not as ideal as his Casa Rubia in Trinity Groves, Whistle Britches is definitely worth the long trek to Addison. Sissy's can step aside. Whistle Britches has Sissy's beat in restaurant space and (more importantly) food - hands down. The restaurant space itself can be transformed into the perfect indoor/outdoor combo thanks to a garage-door type wall that leads to a dog-friendly, expansive patio. While the space is awesome, the main reason to come here is the fried chicken. A little background: Whistle Britches prides itself on everything being made from scratch - from the biscuits, to the chicken batter, to all 4 sauces offere

2011 Travaglini Gattinara DOCG

This is an interesting little Piedmont wine. 100% Nebbiolo. Notes of roast beef on the nose. Smooth cedar, some notes of cigar box, tanned leather, earth, some sauteed onion, and light notes of green pepper. Extremely smooth, with some good acidic balance, but not a lot of tannin. Well aged at this point and drinking nicely. Strange looking bottle (although mine appears to be signed by the wine maker) that holds very tasty wine! 90-91 points. Great quality-price-ratio!

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