IMO Thursday – Vanessa Trevino Boyd is a Wine Star!

IMO Thursday - Vanessa Trevino Boyd is a Wine Star

Vanessa in Word Mode

This week’s IMO Thursday – Vanessa Trevino Boyd is wine star and Beverage Director at Philippe Restaurant + Lounge in Houston, TX. She oversees one of the city’s most thoughtful wine lists and this past April she was awarded ‘Best New Sommelier’ by Food & Wine magazine. So why then am I lauding this young woman when she clearly has plenty of allies? Because she is a dear friend and she goes about it the right way. At the end of the day choosing wines for a restaurant is no different from choosing great ingredients for the establishment’s kitchen. One must trust the supplier and sample the goods. I have seen Vanessa meticulously smell and taste limes before making a margarita. I have watched her cut tomatoes and inspect their every nuance before placing in a salad. In June of this year when she came to Colorado to work the Aspen Food and Wine Festival we sat down for lunch at one of the most recognized restaurants in the area and within minutes the sommelier on duty (also the GM of the place) was asking Vanessa’s opinion on a myriad of wine related subjects because she remarked on the quality of the wine and the provenance of some of the produce.  [Read more…]

Coffee – Our Daily Passion

Juliet taught me to love coffee. Yes, I was an Italian caffe’ guy from way back but I did not drink much coffee in America.

The main reason I discovered was that coffee in America was often simply not good. This, I am proud to say, is changing rapidly and has improved dramatically since I met Juliet 5 and a half years ago. [Read more…]

A Creative Pause – Monday Morning Meditation

A stirring week of fortune has left me creatively bankrupt.

I seek home and the familiar places of solace.

Yet it has been some time since I knew this place on a map. [Read more…]

Haiku Sunday – Day at the Museum (Hipstamatic)

sun shines brighter than

neon and for a much longer

period of lifetimes

Dear Adventurers and New Readers – On Sundays at TBA we do Haiku. The theme this week is part 2 of my Hipstamatic series in the old drug store. Please enjoy and feel free to share Haiku of your own in the comments.

[Read more…]

Time Capsule – Ancient Drug Store and Soda Fountain (Hipstamatic)

This was literally one of my greatest days as a photographer. I was invited to join a restaurant developer in Houston last spring to look at a building for sale in a rapidly gentrifying part of town.

I went along hoping to discover a site for a new restaurant and bar; what I found was a living museum.  [Read more…]

Uchi Houston – 1st Look

A Familiar Print for an Ever-Changing Menu

The venerable Jeremy Parzen wrote a terrific piece yesterday in the Houston Press on the wine program at the new Uchi Japanese Restaurant in Houston.

I thought I would take this opportunity in the midst of our long drive from Houston to Colorado and detail our 1st dining experience at Uchi Houston.

I have been a longtime fan of Uchi in Austin as my wine group began doing programs at the original Uchi back in 2003. Through the years I have dined over and over at this hub of creativity and elegance on South Lamar in Austin. In the process I can say with all certainty I have enjoyed at least 3 of the top 10 meals of my life there. [Read more…]

Tour of Texas Continues – HOUSTON 1/12/2011

I wonder if 13 C has this :-)

Followers of Bliss – Juliet and I will be at 13 Celsius in Houston tomorrow night from 10PM-Closing to visit with Houston friends and celebrate at our favorite wine bar in Texas! If you happen to be in town come by and raise a glass to a new year of exciting Blissful Adventures.

All the Best,


Introducing the 140 Character Restaurant Review

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep

The above well-known and immensely provocative quote is 140 characters in length. I am setting out to utilize the concision of language prevalent in Twitter to succinctly review the multitude of restaurants where I dine regularly and have dined on occasion. I am certain that some of my colleagues and friends will argue that any depth or subtlety in my reviews will be egregiously absent. To my detractors I present the argument that I am a professional diner and my reviews are meant for a professional audience. My reader will not glean much from my reviews if dining out is something he/she does infrequently and if the idea of dining out instills any sort of “special occasion” vibe then they should likely be reading reviews from someone else. [Read more…]