From its paradisiacal perch on North Padre Island, Black Sheep Bistro spices up its menu of fresh seafood, steak, and pasta dishes with an array of international flavors, ranging from Mexican to Martian. Rich, flavorful appetizers like Nacho Ordinary Crab ($8)—a savory pile-up of toasted corn tortilla chips and fresh blue crab meat, topped with pepper jack cheese—complements the Bistro's warm, colorful ambiance and gives taste buds a seamless segue way to entrees such as the locally famous Little Joe ($25), a filet smothered in blue cheese and caramelized onions, and the Pescado La Ticla ($15), the catch of the day grilled over mesquite coals and slathered in pico de gallo. Diners with ample post-prandial stomach space can close with a slice of Grandma's Homemade Apple Pie A La Mode ($4.50). Otherwise, savor a glass of Napa Valley wine on the outdoor patio and feel the ocean breeze playfully muss your hair as you indulge in a little people watching, fleeing-people watching, zombie watching, and zombie fleeing.
Soaring white columns crowned by a pediment beckon guests to the door of Fernando's Restaurant?and once they're there, the aroma of char-grilled steaks, Latin seafood, and chicken simmered in wine sauce brings them over the threshold. At cloth-draped tables set with red linen napkins, diners settle into leather seats topping cherry-toned wood chairs.
Servers bustle through several feet of open space in between tables, carting such dishes as the tender steak Fernando, paired with asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes, and the signature paella: yellow saffron rice with a bounty of clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, fish, crawfish, squid, chicken, and chorizo. Fernando himself often takes to the kitchen or waits on his guests alongside the servers.
The bar hosts both early and late-night happy hours, and a dance floor with music?sometimes live, sometimes blasted from a passing car outside?gets guests moving.
Three-sided tables house massive hot griddles at Koby Japanese Steakhouse, where chefs deftly dance with blades and flames to transform food preparation into a show. During dinner, they dice meats, juggle knives, and drum rhythms against the tabletops. They sculpt fried rice into massive hearts before slicing portions off and delivering them to guests’ waiting plates. For the finale, they prepare different proteins—from chicken to lobster—in signature sauces before they disappear in puffs of steam from their freshly cleaned griddles.
Crowned the 2009 Readers’ Choice Best of the Best New Restaurant in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Johnny D’s features a menu of daily seafood specials, racks of lamb, and other American-style eats. Open for dinner only, Johnny D's silences the cries of hungry stomachs with its popular blackened ahi tuna, seared rare and thinly sliced and served over a wasabi-beer sauce with jasmine rice and baby bok choy, cabbage's adorably tender offspring ($21). Steak offerings range from tender filet mignon rubbed in a house blend of coffee and spices ($21) to foot-pedaled car topplers such as the 12 oz. béarnaise-topped rib eye ($23).
For close to a decade, the stylists at Salon Divine have done much more than transform hair with services such as extensions and texturizing treatments—they've made a difference in their community. In September of 2011, the team paired with Driscoll Children’s Hospital during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to help people donate their hair to make wigs for young cancer patients. They also recently hosted a benefit for a client with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Their care and compassion is reflected in the attentiveness they show to clients' hair, nails, and skin. They soothe tired feet with fragrant peppermint, citrus, or rose salt scrubs, and enhance the stress-reliever manicure with a hand and wrist massage, loosening joints that are stiff from rehearsing one-man sock-puppet shows. As a further tribute to client comfort, the salon boasts leather furniture and elegant, dark wood accents throughout. Bright pops of magenta from the backlit ceiling and strategically placed floral accents add a whimsical vibe that permeates the team's creative hairstyles.
A towering chalkboard announces the menu at Chef Mark's restaurant, which certified executive chef Mark Carpenter erases and redrafts each day. Drawing from nearly 40 years of experience, Carpenter oversees an experienced kitchen staff as they whip up hearty comfort breakfasts and lunches from scratch. The restaurant's countertops steam with freshly made platters of pot roasts, meatloaf, and pork chops, and a salad bar showcases colorful vegetables and dressings. Meanwhile, a dessert bar is piled high with trays of warm cinnamon buns, crusty rolls, cookies, and pies. After selecting their meals, customers retire to a sunlit dining room filled with white-clothed tables. The welcoming, communal atmosphere is accentuated by decorative flower arrangements, a bookshelf of reading material, and a prohibition on duck hunting of any kind.