The flavors of Mexico City get an inventive reboot at Cantina Laredo, which has specialized in modern Mexican cuisine since 1984. Over the decades, Catina Laredo locations have spread to numerous states, countries, and at least two planes of reality. Classic dishes fill the menu, including guacamole prepared tableside and hand-rolled enchiladas stuffed with everything from Angus beef to avocado and artichokes. At the same time, the chefs elevate and refine traditional flavors by creating chicken fajitas with bacon, mushrooms, and chipotle-wine sauce and filling tortas with slow-roasted pork, apricot spread, goat cheese, and fried egg.
As for drink pairings, the Casa Rita?Cantina Laredo's signature margarita?is versatile, its classic version including silver tequila with Cointreau and fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juice. Diners can customize their drink by adding flavors such as mango or tamarind into the mix.
As “Iron Chef America” winner Kent Rathbun’s first foray into the management of other restaurant concepts, Zea Woodfire Grill in Plano offers a casual dining experience with a New Orleans twist. Zea features mouth-watering menu items, such as the Red Beans and Rice Platter with Crispy Fried Chicken Breast!
It was a fateful night in January 1999 when the bellies of college sophomores Leon and Tiffany started to rumble. The two UT Austin students convened at Leon's apartment, where they whipped up a batch of chocolate-chip cookies in his oven. As they chewed on the warm, gooey fruits of their labor, the pair was struck by the idea to sell these freshly baked cookies to their fellow students. They began delivering treats to their peers during evening study breaks before expanding their customer base to include parents and Austin residents, all the while renting the back kitchen of a local restaurant to accommodate the growing demand. Fifteen years later, the indulgent lure of Tiff's Treats has helped Leon and Tiffany open 13 locations throughout Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Within these bakeries, kitchen crews sculpt fresh dough into 10 types of cookies, supplementing the gooey morsels with decadent brownies and signature Tiffwiches?vanilla Blue Bell ice cream sandwiched between two warm cookies. Bakers hand-deliver batches every day, pulling them fresh from the oven instead of the overheated engine block of the delivery car.
It’s hard to determine what’s more impressive about Artin’s Grill—the food or the atmosphere. Casually refined, the interior is warm and cozy, with modern artwork hanging on mocha-hued walls and plenty of rich mahogany and glass textures scattered throughout. The unmistakable aroma of wood-grilled steak typically floods the softly lit space, encouraging diners to order a USDA prime fillet, or perhaps a Texas rib eye—both staples of the grill’s dinner menu. And while the classic steakhouse route is hardly regrettable, the chef’s take on comfort food—he adds an Asian twist—is a sure winner. Braised beef short ribs paired with mushroom mac 'n' cheese. Sesame-crusted ahi tuna seared and served over wasabi mashed potatoes. These and other items capture both comfort and elegance in one fell swoop. The Scottish salmon easily won over Mark Stuertz of Dallas Observer, who deemed it “moist and scorched into perfect poise, the smoke acting as a negligee to arouse engagement with the salmon.” And because comfort food is nothing without dessert, the kitchen sates sweet cravings with decadent coconut sesame-bread pudding, drizzled in Malibu rum sauce.
Despite being the singular martini the upscale eatery and bar is named for, the Blue martini is actually just one of approximately 40 painstakingly crafted martinis. Bartenders stir up cocktails such as the Cake Pop martini swirling with flavors of vanilla, champagne, cranberry, and chocolate, and the Down and Dirty martini doused in olive juice and Russian Standard Platinum vodka. A menu of upscale plates starring fresh seafood, flatbreads, and lemon-pepper chicken complement drinks from the bar, while the luxurious ambience at all 12 locations is enhanced by romantic lighting, energetic live music, and a VIP lounge for martini glasses once owned by US presidents or celebrities.
Live music fills the air every night in Sambuca 360's futuristic lounge space, urging hips to sway with strains of everything from acoustic rock to high-energy dance music. The food is equally energetic—chefs craft globally influenced entrees and small plates such as lobster enchiladas in a poblano cream sauce and tempura-fried buca beignets stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto. Mixologists craft more than 30 creative cocktails—many of which are designed with low-calorie diets in mind—at a glowing, saffron-colored bar that touches the stage, allowing revelers to sip an agave-nectar margarita or mango-peach martini between cheered requests for the band to play a favorite tune or play in a favorite guitar tuning.