Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bess Bistro

*** UPDATE: Bess Bistro has unfortunately closed as of September 20, 2015. ***

Hey Austinites - have you been to Bess Bistro?  The food, the ambiance, the all-around-everything... it's a must!  Sandra Bullock surely knew what she was doing when she created this establishment.

Bess is the best of two of my favorite cuisines - French classics and Southern Comfort.  For starters you can get Fried Green Tomatoes or a crock of Mussels.  Warm, fresh baked bread is brought to the table, likely sourced from their sister down the street, Walton's, another Bullock gem (to be posted soon!).

Monday, March 25, 2013

J. McLaughlin Cotton Shirts

This past Wednesday (3/20/12) marked the first official day of Spring, which means it is time to start transitioning the wardrobe.  And, one of my favorite switch-of-season garments is the Catalina 3/4 sleeve top from J. McLaughlin:

It's not short-sleeved, it's not long-sleeved, but in between for that in between temperature.  The shirts are made of mostly nylon with a touch of spandex, so they breathe very well, but are also strong enough to keep in warmth.  They are super comfortable and a great fit to accentuate your silhouette.

And, as with most of J.McLaughlin, the fashion doesn't go out of style.  Most colors and patterns are timeless equestrian couture.  So, not only do you pay for a quality material, but also one that can last a long time, year after year. 

* Photos courtesy of J. McLaughlin *

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Parc by Stephen Starr is coming to DC

Down town in Center City, Philadelphia, just off Rittenhouse Square, is an awesome French restaurant called Parc owned by Stephen Starr.  For those that may not already know him... Stephen Starr is to Philadelphia what José Andrés is to DC, owning a multiplicity of successful restaurants across the city.

And now, Starr will be bringing his shining *insert another word for star* down to Andrés's turf.  Parc is expected to open in DC's Logan Circle this Spring!  It'll be called Parc Deux, how cute.

Parc carries all of the French classics, all delicious, but my favorite for brunch is the Oatmeal Brulée - I mean how cool is that?! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Beer Bread

In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, we were cooking Shepherd's Pie, but needed a starter to accompany the meal.  So, on a day filled with lots of green beer, we found it only fitting to make a little beer bread.

What's so great about beer bread is that it can be a quick last minute decision.  Because beer is naturally yeasty, you don't need to do a more traditional yeast starter that sits for hours.  Plus, the ingredients are pretty easy to come by in your typical pantry.

Everything just mixes together and cooks in one.  Go ahead, give it a try!

3 cups self-rising flour (or 3 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 TBS baking powder)
1 12-oz light beer*
3 TBS honey or agave nectar
1 tsp salt


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Cocktail Cuff

Upon browsing a recent copy of Town & County, I came across a bit on the Cocktail Cuff.  The Cocktail Cuff is a mix between your standard sleeve's Button cuff and a French style cuff.  So, you get the fancy flare of the French, without the hassle of the knot or cuff link.  It's the best of both worlds!

Most notable in pulling off the Cocktail Cuff style is James Bond.  So men, when you go to order your Martini, shaken, not stirred, do it in style.

The cocktail cuff can be worn by both men and women, and I am a big fan.  I'll be stocking up on some to add to my wardrobe.  Thanks Town & Country, for the reminder of a classic cut that doesn't go out of style.

* Above photos provided by Thomas Pink and Brooks Brothers. *

Thursday, March 7, 2013


When Texans are looking for their Philadelphia cheesesteak fix, they needn't look any further than Texadelphia.  

And, with the mothership's close proximity to UT's campus, it's no wonder their motto used to be:
"Curing hangovers since 1981".
The secret's in the sauce, the mustard sauce that is.  Slather it on (everything), liberally.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Red Fox Inn in Middleburg, VA

Conveniently nestled about an hour's drive from DC, Middleburg is located just on the edge of Fauquier county, commonly referred to as horse country, and makes for a perfect day's getaway.  The drive is gorgeous with breath taking landscapes.  It feels just like the French or English countryside.

In the town of Middleburg, we like to head over to the Red Fox Inn for some brunch.  The food is good with a cozy, quaint atmosphere.  A menu must have is the classic, creamy Virginia Peanut soup - just a taste, because it is quite filling.