Tasting notes

Posted on 03 Aug 2012 at 8:15am

Monica’s back in the gayborhood, gay-owned Roots Juices presses the flesh and Bishop Arts gets happy

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GREENE’S DAY | Monica Greene’s new dual-concept resto/lounge space moves into Cedar Springs almost five years to the day after she closed her acclaimed Mexico City restaurant Ciudad. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor

Food-Issue-Logo-02It has been five years, almost to the day, since Monica Greene shuttered her Oak Lawn eatery, Ciudad D.F., a beacon of Mexico City-style cuisine amid the twinkling lights of traditional Tex-Mex. Now, Greene is back to the gayborhood with Monica’s Nueva Cocina and ME Lounge, a dual purpose experiment at the ilume. On the Cocina side, Greene and exec chef Hector Hernandez will create Mexican-influenced dishes (not, though, a Ciudad retread Greene says — that’s been done); on the ME side, smaller bites and drinks will carry the day.

The kitchen started serving last night with a soft opening, working out service and perfecting the dishes; it’ll expand to lunch and dinner service as of next Tuesday before the formal VIP invitation-only grand opening the following week.

Look for a full-length interview with Greene — as well as a review of the new restaurant and lounge — in upcoming editions of Dallas Voice.

Brent Rodgers got the idea for Roots Juices while traveling the world. Most places where people drank fresh juice, he noted, cold-pressed the fruits and vegetables to maintain the nutrients. Why not try it in Dallas? In just three months, the reaction has been strongly positive as his delivery service of freshly made juice combinations swimming in antioxidants has kept Rodgers and his staff busy.

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DRINK UP | 303 Bar & Grill in Bishop Arts offers cheap happy hour prices on its signature cocktails.

The combo juices have names like Restore (it look like True Blood — a thick, dark glass of beets, carrots, aloe, apple and ginger, with a slight kick) and Glow (the best-seller, Rodgers says — a mix of apple, spinach, celery and lemon).

They even offer a detox juice cleanse kit that will purify you in five days. Of course, they also make great mixers with vodka, Rodgers says … just so you know. You can order and learn more at RootsPressedJuices.com.

Artizone.com, an online market and home grocery delivery service, started this week offering free Downtown Dallas pickup service every Thursday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. behind Spaghetti Warehouse. The service will allow Downtown residents “a no-fuss solution to getting locally sourced groceries,” according to Amber Dietrich, Artizone.com’s VP of marketing.

Artizone has also teamed up with Green Grocer, a Chicago-based concept set to open its “intimate market” on Lower Greenville Avenue near Gloria’s and Snuffer’s. The store, which will feature local, artisan and organic foods, is set to open in September.

Those who are selective about groceries because of food allergies might want to check out the second annual Gluten & Allergen Free Expo, which returns to Dallas in September. The two-day event brings chefs, cookbook authors and nutritionists to the Westin Park Central where they can give tips for making dishes for those with food sensitivities that don’t taste like shoe leather. (The top eight allergens? Milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.) To order tickets online for the Sept. 8 – 9 event, visit Gfafexpo.com.

The 2012 Caesar Salad Competition has announced the 10 chefs who will be competing for the best Caesar recipe. Among them are Jeffery Hobbs of Sissy’s Southern Kitchen, Andre Natera of Pyramid and Joel Harloff at The Second Floor. The competition itself — a fundraiser for the American Institute of Wine and Food — will take place Sunday, Sept. 30, at the Westin Galleria. For details, visit Aiwf.org/dallasftworth.

303 Bar & Grill in the Bishop Arts District offers two happy hours every weekday. Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m., then again late night from 10 to midnight, you can enjoy specials like call drinks for $4 and imported drafts for $4.50, as well as specialty drinks for as little as $3.50. 303BarandGrill.com.

Hotel ZaZa, home of the terrific Dragonfly restaurant, will expand its ballroom to double its current size by October.

That should offer even more room for its wild monthly Sunday School Brunch.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 3, 2012.

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