Happy Hour

Beau Nash Champagne Bar & Cocktail Lounge Opens at Hotel Crescent Court

An evening at Hotel Crescent Court is not one you want to miss! Their hospitality is always top notch from the divine cocktails and bites to the accommodations. When I heard about the Beau Nash champagne bar and cocktail lounge grand opening, I just knew I had to be in attendance! 

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My Lyft driver pulled into the driveway to drop me off in front of the mansion-like hotel and I strolled in to see the new-and-improved backlit bar stocked with shiny new bottles and the most beautiful pendant and accent lighting. It is certainly a fabulous addition to the hotel's elegant lobby with a modern, youthful touch.

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It wouldn't be a proper cocktail lounge grand opening with a drink or two! I tried the Smoke & Rosemary (below on the left) which is mixed with Avión Silver Tequila, Campari, fresh lime juice and rosemary. If you're a fan of herbal flavors and a smoked finish, you will love this cocktail. This one had quite the kick! Next, I tried the Uptown '86 (below on the right) which I absolutely adored. This one was mixed with Absolut Elyx Vodka, Grand Marnier, peach purée, G.H. Mumm brut champagne -- more my speed with fruity flavors.

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Next time, I would love to try the Maple Old Fashioned or the Orchard Manhattan -- anything with bourbon or whiskey for a night cap. This makes a cute spot for after work to grab a drink with the girls or to snuggle up at the bar on a date with your boo. Beau Nash even serves small plates, entrees, salads and desserts on the menu. 

Need some food recommendations? Try the popcorn shrimp (the sweet chili sauce is to die for), the tuna poke (so fresh and so yummy) and the jumbo lump crab cakes (this is coming from a crab cake connoisseur). 

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Check out some more photos from the evening: 

Chocolate fountain at the charcuterie table. Who doesn't love chocolate drizzled marshmallows and fresh strawberries?

Chocolate fountain at the charcuterie table. Who doesn't love chocolate drizzled marshmallows and fresh strawberries?

The entire lobby during the Beau Nash grand opening event was filled with conversation, laughs and live vocals.

The entire lobby during the Beau Nash grand opening event was filled with conversation, laughs and live vocals.

It's me! I'm with the marketing and PR team for Hotel Crescent Court who were kind enough to invite me to experience the new cocktail lounge.

It's me! I'm with the marketing and PR team for Hotel Crescent Court who were kind enough to invite me to experience the new cocktail lounge.

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If you're in the Uptown area, I highly recommend spending an hour or two chatting it up at Beau Nash with a glass of bubbly! And the newly renovated suites are BEAUTIFUL. Whether you're from out-of-town or a Dallas resident, Hotel Crescent Court makes an excellent staycation. Make a weekend of it!

See what else this fab property has to offer and check out my past experiences at The Spa at Hotel Crescent Court and Nobu.

RA Sushi Gives Back with Nicky's Week Menu Benefiting St. Jude

Today kicked off the 13th Annual Nicky's Week at RA Sushi benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with a special curated menu where 100% of the proceeds are donated from May 22-28. Ever since my visit to Nobu a few weeks ago, I've been craving some good sashimi and seared tuna, so I definitely wanted to try this spot out and share about this thoughtful fundraiser.

About Nicky's Week

Nicky's Week honors the life of Nicholas Mailliard, who lost his battle with pediatric cancer in 2005 at the age of 13. Nicky was the nephew of Rich Howland, one of RA Sushi’s founders. His battle with cancer deeply impacted the RA Sushi family and inspired the annual event benefiting St. Jude.

RA Sushi anticipates to raise over $200,000 this year bringing their overall contributions since its inception in 2005 to $2 million. Cash donations are also accepted. Dallas locations include: Southlake, Addison, and Plano.

My sister and I visited the RA Sushi location in Addison which is an excellent location for busy business professionals in the area who want a solid lunch, happy hour or girls' night out/date night dinner. It's a pretty casual restaurant that still has the swank of an upscale spot. There's even a fire pit on the patio that would be amazing to sip cocktails by in the evening. All of the menu items we had the opportunity to taste were delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed each dish. 

Here's what we got to taste:

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it back to the restaurant again before the end of Nicky's Week, but I have definitely found a new restaurant with three convenient locations for me: Addison, Southlake, and Plano. I'm excited to return very soon though! I've been dying to find a restaurant nearby with good sashimi and seared tuna, and RA Sushi has both at affordable prices. Visit my foodie page @Gastronomic Grub for more/future photos from RA Sushi!

Browse the full Nicky's Week menu at RA Sushi

Happy Hour at Nobu in Hotel Crescent Court

Outside of Nobu Dallas in Hotel Crescent Court

If you haven't already read about my #BreakForBeauty spa experience at Hotel Crescent Court, you can catch up here. After a full 50-minute relaxing Blueberry Smoothie facial and peel, we all headed downstairs for happy hour at Nobu. This was a little surprise to the afternoon's itinerary and I was super excited because I'd never eaten there...and y'all know I LOVE tasting at new spots to share on the blog and Gastronomic Grub.

Nobu is described as "the world's most recognized Japanese restaurant known for its innovative new cuisine style" by celebrity chef, Nobu Matsuhisa. Located downstairs just near the main lobby of the hotel, Nobu is a convenient happy hour or dinner option for hotel guests and Dallasites alike with excellent dishes and cocktails!

See photos from my tasting experience:

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If you're looking for a restaurant with plenty of flavor that is upscale, Nobu is a great spot to add to your list. I've since tried a few other similar places, but I think there are many elements of the dishes that make theirs unique...so I'm kinda itching to return. Thank you to Hotel Crescent Court for accommodating me at Spa Crescent and Nobu. I had a fabulous time connecting and meeting a few new bloggers in Dallas!

Photography by Tony Valadez

Gastronomy 101 at Dallas's Public School 972

A few years ago before I brought my foodie experiences to the blog, I had a solo lunch at Public School 214 in West Village for the first time. I thought the schoolhouse ambiance was the cutest idea in the world. From the notebook-printed napkins to the vintage books and paraphernalia, the details of the spot were clearly well thought out.

I had an opportunity to dine at the new location in Dallas, Public School 972, which is nestled comfortably on Montfort Drive in Addison and perfectly located for easy access to "recess" (their version of happy hour). There are also Public School locations in California: Los Angeles, Culver City, Thousand Oaks, Sherman Oaks; Colorado: Denver; Nevada: Las Vegas; and (soon) Atlanta, GA. 

Craft Cocktails | Crushed Velvet

My reservation was at 6PM, so just in time for recess! I perused the curriculum for drinks and settled on the Crushed Velvet (not included in recess specials) which is crafted with vodka, blackberries, blueberries, and ginger beer. It tastes SO much better than it sounds. I really enjoyed it -- not too weak, not too strong.

The Crushed Velvet cocktail with blackberries

The Crushed Velvet cocktail with blackberries

For the Table | Parmesan Truffle Frites

To start, I ordered the Parmesan Truffle Frites. Nomally, I try to stay away from truffle fries because they tend to be very strong on the breath, but I was dining solo and was feeling a bit risky. To my surprise, they actually weren't that strong with the truffle oil. They were served with preserved lemon aioli and what I believe was a delicious Sriracha ketchup. I barely touched the aoli as I'm not a huge fan, but Sriracha ketchup with fries? YES MA'AM.

Parmesan Truffle Frites with preserved lemon aioli and Sriracha ketchup

Parmesan Truffle Frites with preserved lemon aioli and Sriracha ketchup

Plates | Pan-Seared Salmon with Harissa Vinaigrette

Since I ordered a burger for lunch during my last Public School meal, I decided to order a more dinner-like dish. The Pan-Seared Salmon with Harissa Vinaigrette sounded like a solid choice and my waitress recommended it. I love asking for favorites so I can order differently. The salmon rested on a bed of zucchini and asparagus topped with mandarin orange slices and herb salad. Salmon with a sweet salsa or citrus is my fave.

Sweets | Chalkboard Special (varies by day/location)

Dessert was completely unexpected, but my waitress said the restaurant was offering it with my meal and I gladly accepted. I indulged in a very rich chocolate brownie drizzled with a Guinness sauce and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream drizzled/sprinkled with caramel and cayenne pepper. It was heavenly, but the brownie was so rich that I had to box most of it to-go...but the party definitely continued as soon as I got home! 

This is a fun spot to hang out with friends! I highly recommend their recess menu which is available everyday from 3-7PM and 9PM to close. Of course, you can order additional dishes, but I'm always down for tasty and inexpensive small plates that I can share with my friends over cocktails!

Public School 972 is located at 14854 Montford Dr. in Dallas

DINNER | Jamaican Delicacies at The Island Spot in Oak Cliff

I've been eyeing The Island Spot for a minute and now that they have locations in both of my hoods (Oak Cliff and Carrollton), I had to go ahead and try them out! With some roots in Trinidad and a Nigerian boyfriend, I'm no stranger to flavorful foods...but I'm always down to try new things. Plus, it's black-owned and authentic -- no BS here. Originally, I scheduled to visit the spot this week until a few friends wanted to try it out last Friday. There was a live DJ and plenty of people enjoying the vibes. I ordered fried plantains to start and brown stew chicken for my main dish along with Jamaican soda. It was delicious and my leftovers were even better the next afternoon after the spices really had a chance to settle.

When I went back earlier this week, I was able to sample quite a few different Caribbean dishes from what I had before. The Island Spot is definitely great for weekend nights if you want to go out with friends for dinner and their drinks are delicious! I love that this restaurant is so authentic and the food is perfectly prepared. Everything had flavor and a kick which is exactly what I live for when it comes to food. I enjoyed every drink and dish from the rum punch to the jerk chicken. I now have a new spot to frequent on my list!

Here's a little of what's on the menu:

Learn more about The Island Spot and read their story

What are you waiting for? Stop by and enjoy the vibes! There are locations in Carrollton and Oak Cliff.