More than 325 bottles of international wine fill Zambrano Wine Cellar’s shelves and its climate-controlled wine cellar, arranged by chef, wine enthusiast, and owner Cef Zambrano. When not hobnobbing with celebrities such as Harrison Ford, Nolan Ryan, and Katie Couric, Zambrano coordinates a menu of bistro fare to harmonize with his library of wine selections, which received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2009. Zambrano presents updated takes on Mediterranean favorites, crafting small plates of escargot broiled in garlic butter and shallots, as well as four types of bruschetta topped with tomato, chicken, duck, or fillet tips. Diners can dive into shared nibbles with custom plates of international meats and cheeses or pizzas topped margherita-style or with signature spanish ham.
Zambrano’s prized glass wine cellar sits behind a smooth stone bar, inlaid with variegated amethyst that glows as it catches the light better than an outfielder with a magnifying glass. While perched at its high-backed leather banquettes, diners can sip from the 50-plus list of wines by the glass while gazing at a flat-screen TV in the corner or admiring the custom art on the dining room’s exposed-brick walls. In the front of the dining room, gauzy orange curtains frame sheets of sunlight that illuminate simple wooden tables, each adorned with a single flower that provides color and an amuse-bouche for hungrier guests. A sidewalk patio offers al fresco dining and bustling sights of Sundance Square.
Every graduate of The Premium Institute of Bartending Schools' 34-hour mixology program can count on one thing—being hired as an on-call bartender with Premium Event Staffing, a company that provides staff for private parties and corporate events. Like a pie-fight truce, this guarantee benefits everyone involved. Students get to earn income while they use the institute's job-placement services to find a steady gig at an affiliated bar or elsewhere. Premium Event Staffing in turn gets access to bartenders who have completed the mixology program and who know their way around a muddler.
The reason even the institute's most recent graduates are so comfortable behind a bar isn't that they're wearing footie pajamas under their clothes—it's that classes take place in such a realistic setting. Students work at a bar setup that includes bar guns, liquor bottles, and 14 types of glasses, and they learn to pour on a real draft-beer system. This hands-on approach also characterizes the four-hour introductory classes the school holds for people who wish to learn to make martinis, shots, frozen drinks, or other specialties.
Gene Estes suspects that growing up in the 'dry' precinct of Abilene, Texas may have inspired his alcohol-based ingenuity; he crafted his first batch of wine from Concord grape juice when he was just 23. Years later, after holding various pharmaceutical jobs and putting to use his Masters in Microbiology, Estes' interest in wine re-emerged with a full and passionate force. Today, as the president and vintner of Lost Oak Winery, Gene works alongside resident winemaker Jim Evans to craft a host of award-winning wines. Among them is the 2012 Viognier, which scored a double gold in the renowned San Francisco Chronicle International Wine competition—meaning all five judges awarded the varietal with top scores before gilding the bottle twice in molten gold.
The winery itself offers both guided and self-guided tours, offering visitors a glimpse into the wine-making process complete with samples straight from oak barrels. Additionally, special events draw guests to the lush grounds for live music, wine club events, and the pre-Christmas holiday open house, where they can place preemptive wine orders with Santa.
The Lash Lounge's founder Anna Phillips—an advanced certified eyelash-extension trainer—once traveled the nation to impart the art of semipermanent eyelash application to scores of fellow lash artists. Now, at all of Lash Lounge's locations, such artists work to ensure that every guest returns to their day-to-day activities batting fuller, darker lashes. They meticulously apply each synthetic strand to a natural lash with medical-grade glue, imbuing peepers with a customized, natural look that can last up to two months with proper care. Applying lashes of varying lengths, thicknesses, and degrees of curl, they have earned the praise of publications including Allure magazine and Women's Wear Daily.
They also strive to eliminate lengthy daily makeup applications with permanent-makeup services. After a complimentary consultation, a staff of licensed aestheticians and permanent-makeup artists precisely applies permanent eyeliner, lip color, or third eyebrows. For those who prefer makeup that washes off, Anna has concocted her own line of mineral cosmetics, brushes, and primers.
It's a good idea to arrive early at Movie Tavern, and not only if you hate missing the opening credits. Early birds can peruse the extensive menu of chef-crafted American cuisine, from kobe beef sliders to pizza and sandwiches. But even after the show begins, the snacks keep coming. Unobtrusive servers slip in during the show to deliver orders, and can be called on for more drinks or dessert with the push of a button. Guests can even sip margaritas or signature cocktails at the full bar before heading in to the theater. The family-friendly establishment also serves finger food for kiddies.
As for the entertainment, audiences get to enjoy all-digital presentations of first-run films any day of the week, plus Retro Cinema every Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. as well as Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Audiences also benefit from Movie Tavern's membership program.
Anyone can sign up for free online to receive one free bag of popcorn, plus a free ticket every year on their birthday, special offers, movie news, and invites to screenings and other special events.
Landscaped holes sprawl across the grounds of Putt-Putt Fun Center's three locations, challenging visitors to take hold of putters and test their short game. Besides putt-putt golf, the center has batting cages that hurl baseballs and the occasional tomato at various speeds. The attractions at Alley Cats Entertainment Center, include kid-friendly laser tag, rock-climbing, and an arcade, as well as a bar with billiards for the grown-ups. Both locations are home to giant arcades featuring state-of-the-art games and redemption centers to cash in tickets for prizes.
Specials and parties are offered year-round including summer camps, which are offered through Alley Cats and Putt-Putt Fun Center's multiple locations. At camps, kids ages 5 to 13 experience daily themes in a classroom setting from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., from June 9 through August 22. All facilities are fully licensed for daycare and activities include days such as magic day, where children are taught tricks by a professional magician.
At downtown Toronto's Fit Factory Fitness, voted Top Fitness Club of 2013 in Toronto by Top Choice Awards, former US Marine Corps drill instructor and Fit Factory co-founder Tony Austin mimics the intense training regimen he completed during his military days. Along with his fellow instructors, Tony uses his 22 years of fitness experience while donning
a military-style olive cap to lead exercisers of all fitness levels through more than 120 diverse classes, including personal training, boot camp, and boxing. One week, exercisers might jog with buckets full of water on the shores of a lake or swing sledgehammers into the sand, and the next, they might head indoors to drag heavy bags across the astroturf. With Tony's military background, the exercisers receive training and regiments like those practiced by the U.S. Armed Forces. Instructors also teach boxing boot-camp classes, in which patrons pummel heavy punching bags until they agree to personally train them.
Designed by former PGA Champion and Texas native Don January, Fort Worth Golf Club’s 18-hole course takes golfers on a club-swinging expedition across 6,600 yards of tree-lined fairways and emerald topography. Though towering arbors provide the bulk of the course’s sphere-impeding obstacles, a medley of other obstructions augment their twiggy efforts, including six water hazards known to feast on the life-force of errant golf balls. Formerly known as the private Eagle Mountain Country Club, Fort Worth Golf Club has opened up its emerald corridors to the public for the first time in 40 years, allowing new golfers the chance to drive, pitch, and shot-put their balls across the rolling hills of Eagle Mountain Lake. Before each round, golfers can warm up for the round by joyfully pummeling golf balls at the club’s driving range, where 48 natural-grass hitting bays serve as outdoor laboratories for players’ swing experimentations and their ongoing attempts to cross-breed divot tools with worker ants.
As legend has it, an 1875 article in the Dallas Herald claimed that a live panther was spotted walking the streets of Fort Worth. The city soon became known as the "The Panther City," so when Fort Worth's first minor-league baseball team was founded, in 1888, calling it the "Panthers"—rather than, say, the "Fighting Dandelions"—just made sense. Over the years, journalists shortened the club's nickname to the "Cats," and the team dominated the Texas League through the first part of the 20th Century, at one point winning six consecutive league titles in the 1920s.
After bouncing between affiliations with several MLB teams, the Cats disbanded in 1964. However, the Cats returned in 2002, almost immediately reliving the success of the previous century and capturing three straight titles from 2005–07. Despite never adopting the Panther name, the modern-day Cats have never lost sight of their history, as evidenced by mascot "Dodger" and LaGrave Field's classic design.
Owners Maarten and Hanna Vanderstoel created Van Grow Studio of the Arts to promote creative thinking and problem solving in children through artistic crafts. Boasting degrees in fine arts and studio arts, respectively, Maarten and Hanna teach most of the classes and prepare the curricula for all of the studio's camps. TCU graduate Alma Worrell manages the open studio and paint-your-own-pottery rooms, which are also accessible to adults. Van Grow's upbeat instructors nurture creativity and confidence across three age groups, offering classes, parties, and workshops to pique a wide range of interests. Courses foster each student's individual vision, rather than a mastery of technique, and help to develop motor skills, self-esteem, and the ability to sculpt gummy-bear replicas of Rodin's The Thinker.
Brownstone is the result of award-winning designer Hatsumi Kuzuu's vision. Combining the expertise of the restaurant visionaries at Sameni Entertainment Group with the innovative architecture of her own imagination, she's given life to an airy, 5,000-square-foot space that crackles with convivial energy. As patrons fill the air with the din of friendly conversation or watch HD televisions from the comfort of their residential-style seating, the waitstaff ferries plates packed with forward-thinking takes on American cuisine. Juicy Angus burgers topped with fried eggs, cuts of chicken-fried steak, and delicate sea scallops seem right at home amid the din of friendly conversation. A well-stocked bar encourages diners to linger at tables on the open-air patio long after plates are cleaned, socializing while sipping on the specialty cocktails that were named some of the best in the city by reporters from Fort Worth CVB.
Since age 3, Dana Bailey has been twirling to her own beat, progressing from childhood cha-chas to appearances in promotions for Pepsi and JC Penney. After studying under instructors in California and New York City, Dana now offers pintsize patrons the same opportunity to get a head start in the performing arts with child and teen dance classes. She enlists working industry pros to wrangle kids as young as 2.5 in tap, ballet, and tumbling classes atop pliable wood and marley floors.
The boys' tap, jazz, and hip-hop classes accommodate a demographic often overlooked by the dance industry and prepare a studio team for local and national performances. Instructors regularly glean pointers from top national choreographers to craft classes such as Teen Hip Hop, which equips students with basic moves and combos that, much like the prom held outside the Grammys, are set to a soundtrack of current hits.
Founded in 1961, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art boasts a wide-ranging permanent collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures that break from Hollywood tradition by staying dead at night. Exhibitions are displayed on a rotating basis and include the upcoming The First 50 Years, which will commemorate the museum's first half century as an authoritative art stockpiler, and the Hudson River School: Nature and the American Vision, which rolls into town on February 26 to celebrate the iconic landscape paintings of such visionaries as Frederic Church, Thomas Cole, and Asher B. Durand.
Shingled peaks and a lofty white balcony greet visitors as they stroll up to the Texas Civil War Museum, where more than 15,000 square feet of exhibits and collections work together to educate present generations on The War Between the States. The museum's themed sections weave a visual trek through time with artifacts preserved from both sides of the conflict, including infantry, cavalry, and artillery remnants. Medical relics and musical instruments supply additional glimpses into the war zone, and a collection of more than 300 Victorian dresses, which rotate on exhibit, showcases the style of women and celebrity cannons from that era. In addition to escorting guests through history, the museum also plays host to frequent events, such as monument ceremonies and live musical acts.
The six-headed hydra of spontaneous comedy known as Four Day Weekend has been wreaking havoc on North Texas doldrums since 1997. Critically adored by the metroplex’s most prominent presses, the group squelches laughter droughts with their weekend bouts of unscripted hilarity. The professional troupe of cut-ups, many with film and Second City Conservatory of Chicago credentials, happily share the tricks of the trade in their four-level training center. Emphasizing “truth in comedy,” the curriculum covers fundamentals such as characterization and long-form improv, giving students the tools they need to extract their inner hilarity or survive an hour in a prop closet with Greg Proops.