Archive of ‘Nightlife’ category

Chinese Lantern Festival = My fountain of youth


Last night, I had the chance to enjoy a preview party at the Chinese Lantern Festival at Fair Park — what a wonder! I could go on and on (and ON!) about how breathtakingly beautiful it was, but I think it’s best to let you have a glimpse of all the magic and majesty that’s awaiting you. Suffice it to say, however, that I felt like a 7-year-old, even going so far as to skip from highlight to highlight — yes! I was, all, “Ooooh, ahhh, LIGHTS!” Should go without saying that I highly recommend you to visit! Just make sure to take a gander at the map; had we not looked around certain corners, TechGod and I would’ve missed out on some fantastic scenery.

The lantern fest opens to the public tomorrow, Sept. 27, and runs through Jan. 5. Definitely read up on how to get tickets before you go, here. For now, check out the slide show!


The giant dragon boat was phenomenal! So colorful …

water art

Meanwhile, in the pond …


Beautiful giant tulips …

tunnel detail

Ants marching through the exhibit …


Symbols of fortune and long life …


Gorgeous fan …


T. Rex says RRAAARRR!


The Porcelain Pagoda, made of thousands of pieces of chinaware. Breathtaking!

Cotton Bowl view

A view of the Cotton Bowl!

The giant dragon boat was phenomenal! So colorful ...sceneplatysaurusbirdtreesMeanwhile, in the pond ...Beautiful giant tulips ...tunnel detailtunnelMushroomsbutterflyAnts marching through the exhibit ...Symbols of fortune and long life ...Gorgeous fan ...T. Rex says RRAAARRR!The Porcelain Pagoda, made of thousands of pieces of chinaware. Breathtaking!A view of the Cotton Bowl!

Join GODIVA’s Truffle Takeoff at Klyde Warren Park!


Hola, chickadees! I’m back with more delicious details about this Thursday’s VIP Truffle Takeoff tour going down at Klyde Warren Park. First off, there is more edible info to share about the Truffle Flights themselves — see what makes GODIVA’s filled chocolate candies so delectable …

At Thursday’s VIP tasting event, a handful of lucky fans and followers will join an expert-led tour through your favorite flight. Just tell me: Which flight would YOU choose? Your options are …

Nut Lovers Truffle Flight: Salted Almond, Hazelnut Crunch, Pecan Caramel, Butterscotch Walnut, Maple Walnut, Pistachio.

Dark Decadence Truffle Flight: Dark Vanilla Mousse, Chocolate Soufflé, 50% Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Lava Cake, 72% Extra Dark Chocolate, Aztec Spice

Heavenly Mousse Truffle Flight: Dark Vanilla Mousse, Milk Chocolate Mousse, Strawberry Mousse, Lemon Mousse, Peach Mousse and Café Au Lait Mousse

Cake Truffle Flight: Birthday Cake, Pineapple Hummingbird Cake, Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Lava Cake, Lemon Chiffon Cake.

Ultimate Dessert Truffle Flight: Chocolate Éclair, Crème Brulee, Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Lava Cake, Tiramisu, Strawberry Crème Tarte

Milk Chocolate Lovers Truffle Flight: Chocolate Éclair, Milk Chocolate Mousse, Milk Chocolate, Butterscotch Walnut, Salted Almond, Hazelnut Crunch

I’m torn between the Cake Truffle Flight and the Nut Lovers Flight, yum! Good problem to have! And I hope you can join me!

I have four pairs of tickets to give out to an 8 p.m. seating this Thursday — just use the nifty and conveeeenient Rafflecopter tool below to enter by tweeting my special message OR leaving a comment. (Oh, and be sure to check out how Atlanta and NYC’s Truffle Takeoff events went here!)

And if you don’t snag a ticket to the VIP affair, no worries! GODIVA will set up a booth for all chocoholics to pop by and try a truffle, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Klyde Warren.

This post was created in partnership with GODIVA Chocolatier, which provided me with product and compensation for this post; however this post is based on my own experience and opinion, and I wouldn’t host or endorse anything I don’t like or respect!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Studio Movie Grill ups its menu game

SMG grub

In the last month, local eat-while-you-watch theater chain Studio Movie Grill has updated its menu with items and specials that aim to appease tummies. I was asked to pop in to check them out recently. My movie selection, by the by, was R-rated comedy We’re The Millers, which I super-highly recommend … laughs for days, and such a fun little trifle. But on to the food!

Thanks to the rugrats next to me and my guest (YES, there were kiddos at this strong R-rated show) ordering them and killing us with the aroma, we started with the classic buffalo wings. Mmmmm times 2! Satisfied that jones and got me my fix of SMG’s strangely addictive ranch dressing. What is IN that stuff??

Along with our wings, we requested a couple of the new adult shakes — I went for the Kahlua Mudslide, with Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Absolut Vodka and vanilla ice cream, while my friend “Dr. Lucy” went with the vodka and orange liqueur-starring Orange Dreamsicle. I took a sip of mine and freakin’ loved it, then I took a sip of hers and didn’t want to give it back — that Dreamsicle was like my fondest childhood memory of the ice cream truck, with a hit of vodka. Love! Dr. Lucy reports, “OMG, the Orange Dreamsicle was ridiculously good!! I would have had another if I wasn’t driving.” Way to stay safe, doc! :)

Steak and Gravy_RET

I was strongly recommended to sample the Steak & Gravy sandwich (above), and as a Texan, I think this dish needs a new name — I envisioned a chicken-fried steak on a roll with cream gravy! This was more like a French dip situation, with slices of tenderloin steak, Swiss cheese all good and melty and caramelized onions on a sub roll and a Cabernet dipping sauce on the side. Talk about hearty! The roll itself was super-delicious and had just enough give to not overwhelm the steak-y star of the show. The steak was tender and nicely seasoned, and the dipping sauce a savory sensation. I actually craved a glass of wine with this …

Another new dish we sampled was the tenderloin tips and mushroom pasta. Talk about hearty, part 2! It’s a dish I imagine would warm my insides come late fall/winter. Flavorwise, it was pretty darn good — rigatoni, hefty portobellos, steak chunks tossed in a creamy garlic-Cabernet sauce and served up with buttered and griddled bread. Quite tasty, and a dish I’d share with a movie mate! Dr. Lucy said, “the beef tips were actually very tender and well seasoned with the mushrooms but not overly so.”

A featured chicken parmesan sandwich was part of SMG’s new Chefs for Children program, where 5% of proceeds from featured menu items go toward Children’s Medical Center Variety The Children’s Charity. We didn’t order it during the film due to a miscommunication, but general manager Matt sent us with a serving to go. What little I tasted of it (I was stuffed to bursting at this point!) was delish, and Dr. Lucy said she loved it.


Among other menu additions at SMG are ceviche wraps and a yummy-sounding blackened chicken salad (above) that I may have to make mine next visit, slathered in the aforementioned addictive ranch dressing. Glad to have some new options besides my standby (and original and forever love!!), SMG’s chicken tenders. Also new is a 2-for-$25 meal special that’s perfect for duos or dates. Keep up the tastiness!

NOLA Day 3: Biking with booze

day 3 collage

Friday in New Orleans started out bright and beautifully, just beckoning us outside. Good thing we’d be spending a good chunk of time outdoors with a much-looked-forward-to excursion that spoke to our inner lushes: Confederacy of Cruisers’ cocktail history bike tour of the French Quarter! It’s like we were made for each other! But first we had to breakfast!

A spot I’ve come to loooove visiting on my trips to New Orleans is Le Croissant d’Or, on a quiet stretch of the FQ.


Cocktails and art mingle at The Modern

cocktails at the modern

This Thursday, an artful event beckons one and all to Fort Worth — and that’s huge, considering this Diva generally doesn’t venture often past West Dallas for kicks. Leave it to a cocktail-fueled party to tempt me!

The sleek Cafe Modern inside The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is hosting a lovely fete full of bevs and bites as well as live music at a little event they’re calling Cocktail Evening. Sip on concoctions featuring Milagro Tequila, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Monkey Shoulder Whisky, Hendrick’s Gin and Reyka Vodka. Feast on small plates and nibbles from Cafe Modern chef Dena Peterson while taking in the sounds of smooth jazz saxophonist Vandell Andrew. Sounds like a sexy night that’d make for a terrific date — eats and drinks amid the bold architecture and forward-looking art of The Modern. Who’s in?

Cocktail Evening runs Thursday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., and reservations cost $60, not including tax and gratuity. Snag a spot by calling the cafe at 817-840-2157.

DTC’s ‘Fly’ is a fountain of youth!


Dallas Theater Center’s latest production, Fly — a modern reinterpretation of J.M. Barrie’s timeless kiddie classic Peter Pan — is a soaring, toe-tapping take on the enduring musical, thanks to the strength and bubbly spirit of its leads. Of course, a musical like this almost completely rests on the performances of the kids, especially Peter and Wendy, so it’s pivotal that strong actors anchor these roles — happily, they do!

Isabela Moner as Wendy and Grant Venable as Peter (below) display heights of childlike whimsy and depths of emotional friction as they navigate not just through The Neverland but also deal with death, bullying pirates led by Captain Hook (a sometimes prickly sometimes tender Bradley Dean) and the ever-present threat of growing up. The story’s pretty much the same tale you remember, but what Fly adds to the mix is a nouveau-tribal sensibility underpinned by mostly catchy, modern music.


In addition to the music and the swelling solos from the leads, I loved the outdoorsy set design and — of course!! — the actual flying! My favorite musical numbers were the ones dominated by the kids, who danced and sang the heck out of every act; drumming and modern-dance movements from the chorus of “trees” provided heart and momentum. A rousing show from first note to last, Fly is one show to catch at the Wyly before it ends on Aug. 18. Get all the ticket and showtime details here!

Back in NOLA, chickadees!


Hola from the Crescent City, my travel-loving chickadees!! I’m back in New Orleans, circling the action — and sometimes diving in — at the annual spirits fest Tales of the Cocktail. As always, my colleagues in funning, fooding and drinking are Detroit Diva and Dimples. Stay tuned as I bring you stories of our latest chronicles immersing ourselves in the local culture … including explaining that photo above. Till then, laissez les bons temps rouler!

Taste of Dallas, Asian Film Fest kick off

taste of dallas banner

It’s shaping up to be a big weekend in Dallas! Not only has the Asian Film Festival of Dallas just kicked off as of Thursday night, but Taste of Dallas returns to Fair Park today for more delicious times!

Taste of Dallas

Taste of Dallas unites food, music and drinks in Fair Park for an experience enticing all the senses. Among the components of the event will be Taste of the Town, and indoor dining experience inside the Automobile Building; Taste Curbside, starring some of the area’s most popular food trucks; and the Taste Tavern, an inside space for wine, beer and spirits sampling. That’s a lot of yum in one place.

Find out all about ticket info here. And bring some sunscreen for your trek to the food trucks!

AFFD title card

Asian Film Festival of Dallas

This year marks the 12th year of the showcase highlighting a dazzling array of films by Asian and Asian American filmmakers. The movies I caught last year, though few in number, packed a wallop in terms of emotional heft, visual interest and outright uniqueness. This year’s schedule promises a similar variety of subject matter, skilled moviemaking and delight, action or intensity, based on what style or genre floats your boat.


Based on a few trailers I viewed on AFFD’s site, I’m super-interested to check out Graceland, a taut thriller set in the Phillipines; Cats and Dogs (above), a sweet-looking Korean flick that bills itself as the first feature film made on an iPhone 4S; Seeking Asian Female, a documentary that chronicles an American man’s adjustment to life with his new-to-America Chinese mail-order bride; and Sake Bomb, a road movie comedy set in California.

Pore over AFFD’s schedule here; the fest runs through July 18.

5 things I love about Alamo Drafthouse


So today I attended a media roundtable about Alamo Drafthouse rules and culture ahead of the Austin cinema-eatery’s debut in DFW on August 9. It was so fabulous feeling the palpable excitement of the company leaders as they taught us how to “do the Alamo.”

Pretty quickly, a few favorite qualities emerged about the theater — here are my top five aspects of the Alamo brand!

Super-fun programming!

The theme of our local Alamo will be robots (a nod to Richardson Heights’ mid-century modern aesthetic and the tech scene), and as part of that, it will feature a regular rotation of robot-themed classics. Think Iron Giant, Transformers (the 1980s toon), and Robocop. Food & Film will pair special menus with first-run movies. Austin’s Master Pancake will bring their  Mystery Science Theater 3000-esque comedy stylings to a screening of Terminator. Throw in Quote-Alongs and Sing-Alongs, and you can expect to find me in Richardson a LOT.

Craft brews and from-scratch food

Nuff said. The Alamo guys said this location’s lobby bar, Half Glass Full, will be one of the largest such spaces in the chain. Sweet!

Few kiddos roaming the joint

This Diva loves her some children, but let’s face it; they’re not always the best at piping down in the theaters ( especially that toddler that’s dragged to an 11 pm showing of a rated-R movie). And throngs of tweens can flout guidelines on talking and texting mid-movie. Happily, Alamo allows kids, but only with grown-ups; bebes are only allowed at special showings. Booo for them, yay for movie fanatics.

Strict anti-disturbance policy

At Alamo, hindrances to folks enjoying the movie aren’t tolerated. In other words, you get one warning on texting or chatting, and you’re asked to leave. One and done, chickadees, hope you’re taking notes here!

Quiet food/bev ordering process

When you’re ready to get your grub on, you don’t have to flip on a spotlight to grab a server’s attention. Rather, you write down what you want on a piece of paper and slip it into a holder. A server will swoop in, take the slip and leave sans conversation. (This is also the process for moviegoers to report disturbances caused by others.)

So there you have it, every sweet perk about the Alamo empire, according to me! The location at 100 S. Central Expressway soft opens with food ane movie specials Aug. 6-8, with its official launch on the 9th. You’ll more than likely find me there often!

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