Embracing a bohemian aesthetic, Zin Zen Wine & Bistro lavishes guests with comfortable sofas and a menu of bright, gourmet cuisine to meander through while relaxing on the patio. From the kitchen, chefs send out pizzas straight off the grill, and rich baked brie wrapped in a flaky pastry puff with an apricot glaze. Throughout the month, Zin Zen also hosts live musicians, whose soulful croons provide sippers with a lively soundtrack to synchronize with their brass cymbal-style toasts.
CineStar Outdoor Movie Company turns backyards and parks into open-air cinemas, supplying high-quality, widescreen movie screens for events ranging from weddings to block parties. The staff does more than just drop off a big screen at each customer's desired location: from the moment a customer calls, they get to work planning the event, setting up the screens—which can be prepped for live feeds playing local sports, UFC matches, or other Pay Per View events—and providing optional accompaniments such as popcorn, glow sticks, and even beanbags or couches. To ensure every event is a success, they help customers with licensing, promoting, and scheduling, and will even talk to neighbors to prep them for the event and gently explain why Movie Godzilla shouldn’t be feared, but Real Godzilla should be.
Behind the brownstone façade of Cheesecake Amor Cafe & Wine Bar—a cozy eatery reminiscent of a quaint café—owners Gayle and Jeff Haynes pair signature gourmet cheesecakes and fine wines with a full menu of elegant Italian-American dishes. The warm café invites diners to curl up on a leather couch beside a flickering fire or slide their knees under polished black tables garnished by a selection of fine cheeses, pizzas, and entrees coupled with suggestions from a list of more than 60 wines. Gayle pours her passion for baking into an assortment of housemade cheesecake slices in 30 flavors, from classic New York style to liqueur and candy flavors.
Three years. That’s all the time it took for partners¬¬––and culinary school chums––Jason Boso and Quincy Hart to turn their dream of running a quality-driven burger joint and turn it into reality. If it sounds a little too good to be true, consider this––Twisted Root Burger Co. even has it’s own pastry chef, a veteran of the Four Seasons Hotel, who spends his time crafting rich, creamy frozen custard for the shop’s milkshakes and root beer floats. The attention to detail has obviously paid off: the company has picked up accolades across Dallas, including Reader’s Choice nods by both D Magazine and the Observer, and was also featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Weighing in at a half-pound each, Twisted Root’s burgers are made from beef, turkey, buffalo, or game meats such as venison and elk, and come dressed in an endless combination of toppings. The menu of course features a handful of chef-conceived creations, such as The Spicy Goat––topped with chipotle sauce and goat cheese––but customer’s can also build their own burgers from fixings such as guacamole, garlic mushrooms, and even Cheez Wiz. Fried pickles and sweet potato chips complement any meal and are made fresh in-house, but the biggest indication that this isn’t your run-of-the-mill burger restaurant may be the ketchup, homemade from sugar, ancho and chipotle paste, and a secret ingredient. As for those custard shakes, they’re made from real cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla, and come in a choice of flavors, such as peanut butter or cookie dough for kids, and banana-Bailey’s for adults or monkeys who have had really bad days.
The full-sized Allen Community Ice Rink hosts open skate times, learn-to-skate programs, and adult and youth hockey leagues. Off the ice, the facility boasts locker rooms, an equipment shop, and skate rentals, plus seating for more than 300 spectators. Skaters can even rent the rink for special events, such as birthday parties or zamboni family reunions.
At Conway's Bar & Grill, formerly The Venue Bar & Grill, the clack of pool balls and the buzz of sports games accompany a lengthy menu of burgers, pizza, and sandwiches. Plates of chicken wings bathed in zesty sauces mingle with meaty burgers stacked with jalapeños, bacon, and grilled mushrooms. Chicken-fried steaks and tacos fuel postmeal rounds of darts and serve as backup ammo if the darts are out for repairs. Each Wednesday, patrons can celebrate with karaoke or toast professional bands during weekly live-music events. College flags and banners hang from the ceiling, a testament to the hangout’s love of NCAA athletics and embroidered fabrics.