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September/October 2010


The Luxury of Choice

design as

Art Find style, sophistication and panache in the spaces that surround us

Lone Star Living

Inside the unique styles of 3 Texas homes

South Seas

Sail in style to South America and beyond

Viva la Aura!

Authentic French cuisine in the ’burbs

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25 At Home

september/October 2010

in Texas

3 unique homes show a style of living that is Texas, tried and true


Continent of Contrasts

Explore South America in style aboard the Regent Seven Seas

59 september/october • 2010


alsoinside Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Karyn Dean

09 • c  ocktails & conversation • Where to Go, What to Do He Said, She Said • Artful Ambiance • Buzz All-Star Bars • City Q&A • Grand Revival His & Hers • My Life • School Spirit

39 • c  onnoisseur • PL’s Guide to Discerning Taste Trés Magnifique! • Good Eats • Table Talk • Fess Parker Winery • Au Chocolat


51 • t  he gentleman's room • For the man who commands the very best True Blue • FX Effect • Home Sweet Home • Fins & Feathers 68 • p  L’s Postcards • Greetings from texas destinations San Antonio • See + Do

Managing Editor Michelle Jacoby

Editorial Assistant Samantha Edmondson

Art Direction & Design SW!TCH s t u d i o Jim Nissen, Erin Loukili, Chaidi Lobato, Kris Olmon, Nicole Budz Senior Account Executive Mike Taylor

74 • p  rime list • Events, Galas and Fundraisers An Evening of Golf & Glamour • Houston Restaurant Week Kick-Off Best of Both Worlds • Supercharged Summer • Datebook

48 list

70 • l  ive well • Feel Good, Look Good Hair Apparent • Moody Mane Gray Matter • Time in a Bottle • Think Pink


Publisher Terry Dean

Account Executive Jennifer Ludlow

Marketing/Event Coordinator Jennifer Dean

Circulation/ Distribution Brian Stavert


Contact 311 Julie Rivers Drive Sugar Land, Texas 77498 281.277.2333 Editorial Inquiries


Advertising Information Texas

e The Luxury of Choic

on the cover

design as

Art ication and panache Find style, sophist surround us that in the spaces

Lone Starg Livin

styles Inside the unique homes of 3 Texas

South Seas

South Sail in style tobeyond America and

! la Aura VivaAuthent ic French cuisine in the



The perfect example of luxury refined, this simple yet sophisticated arrangement was created by designer Renea Abbott, winner of Prime Living's "Redesigning Downtown: A Style Competition at One Park Place." Photographed by Brian Bookwalter.

Prime Living Magazine is a publication of SRG Services, Inc., published bi-monthly. Copies are mailed and hand delivered to households and businesses throughout the greater Houston area. This publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the express prior written permission of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility to any party for the content of any advertisement in this publication. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position of the publication.

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Community Heroes Do you know of someone who’s making a difference in the lives of others? In the first annual Prime Living’s Community Hero project, we’ll feature a special Houstonian who is making a difference in our community. Nominate your community hero by telling us all about them on our Facebook page at or by sending an e-mail to


The Luxury of Choice

luxe life the

The Luxury of Choice

’Tis the season to celebrate in style and splendor

Terry & Karyn Dean Publishers


ow that the dog days of summer are gone, I’ve been reflecting on how quickly it—and time in general, it seems—has passed. In late July, we celebrated my son’s 21st birthday—yes, 21st—with a family cruise to Mexico aboard the new Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas. Known for its firstclass entertainment and international cuisine, the ship also had an amazing casino that, needless to say, was a favorite spot with my newly minted adult son. If you’re in the mood to set sail, read our travel feature “Continent of Contrasts” on page 59. The Regent Seven Seas is offering an amazing journey through South American ports with stops in Peru, Chile, Argentina and Antarctica. This is one adventure you won’t want to miss. For more cruise news, including which ship just installed the largest LED chandelier, check out “Enlightened Explorer” on page 66. With this being our Design issue, we’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the three very gracious homeowners who opened their doors and gave us a personal tour of their stunning homes. From luxury in the suburbs to posh lakefront living to sophisticated seaside style—complete with magnificent personal yacht—these homes are shining examples of how unique and diverse Texas living can be. See the inspiring designs in “At Home in Texas” on page 25. If you’re craving a taste of authentic French cuisine, load up the car and make the trek to Missouri City, where we’ve discovered a true culinary gem in the heart of the ’burbs. Run by chef Frederic Perrier and his lovely wife Michelle, Aura serves the most luscious dishes, including suckling pig and Duck Two Ways. It’s “Tres Magnifique!” on page 40. Finally, if you’re planning a night on the town, we’ve included a list of restaurants new to the Houston dining scene, as well as those that unfortunately didn’t make it. For the latest, check out “Table Talk” on page 45. Here’s to the end of a perfect summer…

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Artful Living with

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From US 59 in Sugar Land, take Hwy 6 south three miles . Home Builders: Ashton Woods . Coventry . Darling David Weekley . Highland . Meritage . Newmark . Perry . Plantation Trendmaker . Westin . Westport Custom Home Builders: Christopher Sims Custom Homes . Peterson Homebuilders . Sterling Classic Homes . Westport

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International Risotto Festival Houston Design Center Sun., Oct. 17 l 2-6pm l $65

Art Gallery Showing with Kathy Womack

Live WeLL. PLay Hard. Have Fun.

in Riverstone Mon., Oct. 18 l 4-6pm l $15



Fort Bend Parkway

in Riverstone Oct. 6-8 l Watch Her Work l $5 Oct. 9-17 l View Masterpiece l $5

Special Guest: Torie Halbert, Season 4 of HGTV’s Design Star Fri., Oct. 15 l 11:30am-1:30pm l $40

Sienna ienna a O aT PLanTaTiOn Med Center

Internationally Renowned 3D Chalk Artist: Tracy Lee Stum

Houston Design Center Wed., Oct. 13 l 9:30am-1:30pm Bus Tours l $40


benefiting American Cancer Society Sienna Plantation Resort Lagoon Sat., Sept. 25 l 8pm l $100

Fort Bend Goes to the Fall Design Market



FF KICK OCouture for the Cause

Special Guest Tracy Lee Stum Fri., Oct. 8 l 7pm l $75

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Women & Wine art dinner with Kathy Womack

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Aura Restaurant Mon., Oct. 18 l 6:30pm l $75

Fire & Ice

Post Oak Grill—Sugar Land Thurs., Oct. 21 l 6:30pm l $150

Mix It Up at the M Lounge

Bartender’s Challenge Wed., Oct. 27 l 6:30pm l $40

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cocktails & conversation.

cocktails & the prime living guide to what's happening now

Brian Bookwalter


Space designed by Renea Abbott, "Redesigning Houston" winner.

10 11 12 14 15 16 20 22 23

• • • • • • • • •

Prime Ten | He Said, She Said Night Out | Artful Ambiance The Buzz | What's New Hot List | All-Star Bars Houston Deconstructed | City Q&A Arts | Grand Revival Design | His & Hers My Life | Frank Bielec Treasures | School Spirit september/october • 2010


cocktails & conversation.

prime ten

Romance. Men: I think about you all the time. Let’s get naked. Women: Let’s wear our matching T-shirts with the “I heart you” logo and go on a date.


Problem solving. Men: I’ve analyzed the Excel spreadsheet and have calculated a solution. Women: The economy is a mess, our nest egg is dwindling and the roof is leaking. I need a hug. Directions. Men: I’m sure it’s right around the corner. Women: How about we stop at that information booth we’ve circled 10 times?

He Said, She Said

Story | sally j. clasen Illustration | Paul Svancara

Since the dawn of time, men and women have had different perspectives on just about every subject. Men will never grasp the concept that women must shop until they drop. Women don’t understand why men can’t drop the toilet seat. It’s all a matter of interpretation in the minds of the sexes. Here are 10 dividing takes on daily living:


Cleaning. Men: Honey, Retirement. Men: does the dishwasher Wouldn’t it be fun have a remote? Women: I’m to hit the road in an RV and see going to clean all the tile grout America? Women: No. with a Q-tip. Health. Men: I have Dinner. Men: Let’s this little cough—I have pizza—it covers better rest and watch ESPN all all the food groups. Women: I’ll day. Women: After I deliver the make a salad with a side salad. twins sans epidural, I’m going to finish the addition on the house. Children. Men: I checked on them Fashion. Men: Give me about a week ago—they are fine. 10 of the same shirt in Women: Call 9-1-1. white. Women: I need one of EACH style in every color. Travel. Men: I booked us a double Memory. Men: I at the hotel across the street from can’t remember the ballpark. Women: I booked us what happened yesterday. a triple—a manicure, pedicure Women: I’ll never forget the exact and massage—across the street date and time Johnny made me from the ocean. cry in first grade.

night out

cocktails & conversation.

While you’re in the neighborhood, check out these other great spots:

Ensemble Theatre For an evening of entertainment and thought-provoking themes, catch a performance at the Ensemble Theatre, Houston’s renowned African-American repertory company. Part of the fabric of Midtown for nearly 40 years, the company offers unforgettable moments by a cast that’s as passionate as it is talented. Now playing: “The Waiting Room,” through Oct. 17 3535 Main St. 713-520-0055

artful Ambiance


Story | Holly Beretto Photography | Mark Lipczynski


tep out of Houston’s blinding sunlight into Nouveau Antique Art Bar’s dim, golden welcome and you might feel like you’ve entered the back door of a 1920s speakeasy. “Or like being spies!” raved a fellow writer. OK, so she’s on the dramatic side. But the dramatic contrast between dark and light—and the sheer beauty of the bar’s interior contrasted to its Midtown location—is worthy of a rave. Owner Clark Creasey didn’t set out to build an Art Nouveau bar, but when he was looking around for décor, he stumbled upon some replica Tiffany lamps and one thing led to another. “It kind of consumed the decorating process,” he says of trekking across the South, looking for antiques to fill the space. The

result is a spot unlike others in the Bayou City. Creasey built much of it himself, including the 60-foot main bar and the sideboards oak mirror behind it. When he started decorating, he didn’t know anything about Art Nouveau, a period between 1890 and World War I that rejected mass production and returned to handcrafted pieces. Now his appreciation of the craftsman of that period is evident in his bar, where elegance meets easy. The drink list boasts fun, flirty cocktails such as the Concubine, a blend of elderflower, vodka, honey liqueur, lemon and orange. There’s a small but serviceable wine and beer list. Here, you sit and stare, taking in the art and ambiance. With nooks and alcoves, ample tables and over-

stuffed couches, you can unwind and let the day roll away. Strolling through the place is like a treasure hunt through Ali Baba’s cave. The lamps cast a gentle glow over the deep, dark wood of the wardrobes and amoires. Explore every corner and you’ll find posters and wall hangings that beg you to look and linger. Everything about Nouveau Antique Art Bar was designed deliberately to make guests feel that lingering was okay, says Creasey. “You don’t need to be into Art Nouveau to find it fun and relaxing here,” he says. “Come in once and look around; we know you’ll come back.” nouveau antique art bar 2913 main st. 713-526-2220

Inspired cuisine awaits you at Reef, Bryan Caswell’s under-the-sea oasis. Fresh fish, inspired land fare, a killer wine list and an inviting atmosphere make this Midtown standby a local favorite. Don’t miss the crispy skin snapper, served with sweet and sour chard, or the naked ribeye with brown butter gnocci. 2600 Travis 713-526-8282

Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Soaring sounds to lift your spirit echo from the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. Next month, the cathedral dedicates its newly commissioned organ with a series of concerts. Music lovers won’t want to miss the opportunity to hear this stunning and lovingly created instrument. 1111 St. Joseph Pkwy. 713-659-1561

september/october • 2010


cocktails & conversation.



dressed up A look at what’s new in Houston’s fashion scene Fashionistas all around the city are buzzing about Fashion Week 2010. Held Oct. 11 at the Wortham Center, top fashion designers—including “Project Runway” winners Christian Siriano and Houston’s own Chloe Dao—will show off their latest designs and collections. Expect lots of surprises: “America’s Next Top Model” winner Kalyn Hemphill will hit the catwalk and the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Eileen Ford, co-founder of Ford Models Inc.

Designer Katy Briscoe’s collectable, stackable cuffs will be seen by millions when they hit the pages of the new Saks Fifth Avenue holiday catalog. Part of her “Punto” (Italian for “polka dot”) series, cuffs are handmade of 18-karat gold, agate and semi-precious stones. Priced at $10,000 each and available exclusively by special order at Saks. 5115 Westheimer. 713-662-9668, For the first time in the custom shirt maker’s history, Houstonbased Hamilton Shirts is launching its first fall ready-to-wear collection. At $185 each, long-sleeve shirts are made from the same fabric as their hand-made custom men’s shirts. This is as good as it gets, guys! 5700 Richmond Ave. 713-264-8800,

On the Bend

This month, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will open its new, LEED-certified visitor center for the museum’s Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. Named the Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center, the 18,000-square-foot venue was designed by Houston architect Leslie Elkins, who created a sleek, two-story center that includes an exhibition space; a public research library containing 6,000 volumes on American art, culture, history and gardening; meeting rooms; education garden and retail shop.


Visitors will also get the opportunity to see newly renovated and restored spaces within the house museum. The most significant transformation is the Hogg Memorial Room, which has been reinstalled as a folk art room featuring pieces from Miss Hogg’s original collection. The grand opening is slated for Sept. 25 from 1 to 5 p.m. and admission is free. 6300 Memorial Drive. 713-6397750,

Shaimaine Klein Design | Hamilton Shirts | Katy Brisco | Robb

Houston-based jewelry maker Shamaine Klein recently unveiled her new signature collection and announced Lisa F. Pliner as the new face of her company at a swanky soiree at the Donald J. Pliner store. 713-594-4844,


cocktails & conversation.

’Tis the Season

haute Thom Filicia: Vanguard Furniture/Thom Filicia Home Collection | Nutcracker Market: Houston Ballet


New York City-based designer Thom Filicia— most known for his interior design know-how on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”—has done it all: contributor to dozens of home design shows, interior designer to the stars, author of step-by-step design book and, most recently, furniture designer. If you love this design guru’s style—and why wouldn’t you?—you’re in luck. His multifaceted

The Votes are In

…and we officially have a winner of Prime Living’s “Redesigning Downtown: A Style Competition at One Park Place.” Congratulations go to Renea Abbott, designer and owner of Shabby Slips, for her stunning design that balanced notes of masculine and feminine, and put the sophistication in vintage urban design. Held from Feb. 17 to May 2, the competition invited Houston design lovers to tour and vote for one of three spaces on the 32nd floor of One Park Place, a high-rise development in the heart of downtown. For information, visit

furniture collection is now available at James Craig Furnishings, the only retailer in Houston to carry the new Thom Filicia Home Collection from Vanguard Furniture. “The collection truly captures Thom’s classic style and combines unexpected modern flair,” says James Keathley, owner of James Craig Furnishings. 4500 Washington Ave. 713-741-2266,

Houstonians are making their lists and checking them twice…already! Thanks to the recent Nutcracker Market Preview Party at Del Frisco’s in the Galleria, locals are getting in the holiday spirit by gearing up for the 30th annual shopping extravaganza benefitting the Houston Ballet. Scheduled for Nov. 11-14 at the Reliant Center, this year’s theme of “Holiday Under the Big Top” promises more than 300 national and international merchants offering everything from home décor and gourmet food to unique fashions and accessories. To get a step ahead of your fellow holiday shoppers, mix, mingle and browse at the Wells Fargo Preview Party on Nov. 10. Plus, donate and try your luck at a variety of raffle prizes, including one of eight Mary Nichols’ original handbags. Don’t be caught making a fashion faux pas—it’s cocktail attire at this swanky event. Tickets are $150 per person. 713-5236300,

PL`s click list

Our favorite Texas-friendly sites

Houston Ballet Guild

Roseann Rogers Known as Houston’s “Buzz Lady,” Roseann Rogers has been on top of the Houston’s social, fashion and entertainment scene for nearly 15 years. A regular contributor to Prime Living, she is also a TV personality, spokesperson and active philanthropist.

september/october • 2010


cocktails & conversation.

hot list Loggia


All-Star Bars Story | Karl Hauenstein

Sports fans, rejoice! Fall, the season we eagerly anticipate, is almost upon us, bringing with it a sense of new beginnings, hope and excitement. This is a time when our favorite teams, no matter how bad they were last year, are once again championship contenders. Gear up for the season by staking claim on your spot at the best sports bars in the area. Here are five spots worthy of consideration. Located across from Minute Maid Park, this baseball lover’s haunt really swings (no pun intended) on game days. A better than average, reasonably priced menu makes this a good choice for family events or game-watching parties. 1800 texas 713-222-1993

Maple Leaf Pub

Hockey fans are a loyal and unique bunch. Fortunately, there’s a place where they can indulge their passion for the game with like-minded folks. The Maple Leaf Pub features one of the largest selections of Canadian beer, including FrenchCanadian brands, in the area. If your idea of a perfect evening is watching the Calgary Flames play the Toronto Maple Leafs while enjoying a Trois Pistoles beer, this is the place for you. 514 elgin 713-520-6464


With 28 50-inch TV screens filling every nook and cranny, two humongous screens above the bar, delicious chef-prepared food, fine wines and an ambitious selection of draft and bottled beers, need we say more? How about live music on weekends? This is a place you can take a date and still impress while enjoying the game. 2248 texas 281-903-7324

Mezzanine Lounge

Want to enjoy the game on your choice of 30 big screen TVs? How about playing a little sports trivia or Texas Hold Em? Or maybe you just want to have a few beers with friends and shoot some pool? Enjoy all this and more at just possibly Houston’s most ultimate sports bar.


2200 southwest freeway 713-528-6399

Champps Americana

Yes, it’s part of a national chain, but Champps is all about giving Houston sports fans a place to kick back and cheer on the home team. Great food, a good selection of domestic and imported beers, and a comfortable atmosphere also give less-than-die-hard sports fans a place to be part of the action. 1121 uptown park 713-627-2333


Loggia: Philippe Boucaumont | Champps: Krista Lynn | Champs Americana Corporate

Home Plate Bar & Grill


cocktails & conversation.

city Q&A

Houston Deconstructed Get the answers to your burning questions about the Bayou City

Story | Barbara Fulenwider


In which two decades did Houston double its population? Between 1950 and 1970. In 1950, the population of Houston was 596,163, which made it the country’s 14th largest city. By 1960, the population nudged the million mark and by 1970, the census counted 1,232,802 Houstonians, making it the sixth largest city in the country.


Houston Museum of Natural Science

What two industries spurred Houston’s tremendous growth and enabled the city to thrive during the Great Depression? Growth in the early 20th century was primarily the result of the development of the ship channel and oil industry. Houston became tied to oil in 1902 with the discovery of the Spindletop Oil Field, followed by the 1904

discovery of the Humble Oil Field, Pierce Junction in 1906 and Goose Creek Oil Field in 1908. Forty oil companies had offices in Houston by 1929, including Texas Company (now Texaco), Humble Oil and Refining Co. (now Exxon), and Gulf Oil Corp. Sinclair Oil Co. built the first major refinery in Houston in 1918. Various others followed and crude oil became Houston’s economic lifeblood.


What was Houston’s first museum? The Houston Museum of Natural Science was formed in 1909 as the city’s first museum. Its collections were bought by Sigmund J. Westheimer and given to the city. The museum remained a city agency until 1946, when a nonprofit museum corporation was formed to maintain and operate it. The first step toward the present museum was taken in 1959, when the president negotiated a 99-year lease with the city for a 4.5-acre site on the north edge of Hermann Park.


Who put up the money for the Burke Baker Planetarium? This question is similar to the one that asks why the chicken crossed the road. The planetarium carries the name of Burke Baker because the oil and insurance company mogul gave trustees of the Houston Museum of Natural Science $250,000 to build a planetarium. The museum and planetarium were both built in 1964 at a total cost of $2.5 million.


Who is Burke Baker and how did he amass his personal fortune? In 1924, Houston had its first Community Chest campaign with banker Burke Baker named director. At the time, Baker, 37, was president of several small oil companies and founder of Seaboard Life Insurance Co. Earlier in 1915, he had joined Houston’s civic leadership when he and his father successfully attracted steamships to the city’s new

turning basin. In the years after that, Baker served the state and national YMCA, Second Presbyterian Church, Red Cross and was on the boards of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and Kinkaid School. His money helped build the Burke Baker Planetarium and he founded the River Oaks tennis matches.


Where and how many signed the Texas declaration of independence From Mexico? The signing of the declaration of independence took place at Washington-on-the-Brazos near Brenham. The Convention of 1836 was convened on March 1 and a committee of five, led by George C. Childress, was named to write the document that closely resembles the United States Declaration of Independence. It is believed that Childress brought a proposed draft with him to the convention since the committee was named on March 1 and the signing took place March 2. Fifty-nine men signed the declaration and only two of them were born in Texas. Some had been in Texas for as long as 10 years, others had been here less than a year and 16 of the signers came from Tennessee.

Have a burning question about life in Houston? E-mail your curious inquiries to september/october • 2010


cocktails & conversation.


bestbets Be Dazzled Starting Sept. 23, the Houston Ballet presents George Balanchine’s “Jewels,” a tribute to three golden ages of dance and to the beauty of the ballerinas Balanchine adored. Poetic and flowing, emeralds evoke France, the birthplace of romantic dance. Rubies mirror the carefree spontaneity of America and are a throwback to its musical comedies and films. Diamonds dazzle as Balanchine’s tribute to the work of Marius Petipa and evoke the grandeur and precision of the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg with each shimmering wave of classical elegance.

Grand Revival

Story | John DeMers Photography | Jerry Powers


hen Anthony Freud grabbed the reins at Houston Grand Opera, the question on everyone’s minds was could this guy really save opera—a 400-year-old art form associated with dead European white guys—in Houston? It turned out rather quickly that Freud not only worked tirelessly to save opera, but also used it to save, create and inspire a whole lot of other things. At first, many didn’t know what to make of Freud’s resume. For one thing, after more than three decades of national and international headlines for world premieres produced by predecessor David Gockley, Houston hadn’t looked at anyone’s resume in a long time. What’s more, the fact that Freud came to his first American job on the strength of heading up the Welsh National Opera was puzzling to some. Wales? The place sounded tiny and definitely off the beaten path. Was that also what Houston was in opera terms and we were just never smart enough to realize it? Hardly, insists Freud. “Living in the United States for the first time, I wanted to work with a company that was entrepreneurial, visionary and non-cynical, just like its city,” he says. “I came here to produce an art form with origins in Europe 400 years ago in an un-European and 21st-century city. I wanted to explore how an opera company can truly relate to its community.” Already during Freud’s tenure (a blink of an eye by Gockley standards), HGO has moved away


from generating headlines within the opera world to generating headlines, goodwill and deepened understandings far beyond it. HGO Co., for instance, is a company-community collaboration that so far has given the world “The Refuge,” an impressive new musical work about the journey to Houston of seven different immigrant groups told in their own words. Other collaborations have spotlighted blues and the local African-American experience, and there’s a production coming in November that’s arguably the world’s first mariachi opera. According to Freud, “To Cross the Face of the Moon” brings a real “theatrical intensity” to music by Jose “Pepe” Martinez, best known for his work with Mariachi Vargas. While hardly slighting the must-do operas of Puccini, Wagner and Bizet, HGO under Freud has expanded its efforts to reach out to parts of the community seldom or never touched by the art form. Opera to Go takes portable productions to more than 65,000 local school kids each year, while the so-called Nexus Initiative drums up $13 million annually to subsidize taking first-time opera goers to see live opera at the Wortham Center. In late 2009, HGO became the first opera company to ever receive the Leading Lights Diversity Award in Arts and Culture from the National Multicultural Institute. “We are engaging with our communities not on our terms but on theirs,” observes Freud. “Opera is ultimately telling stories through words and music. And that is universal.”

The Beginnings of Peter Pan Rarely produced, though constantly referenced, J.M. Barrie’s original fantasy “Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up” comes to the Alley in October. Directed by company artistic director Gregory Boyd, the story begins with Peter’s arrival into the lives of Wendy, John and Michael, and together they embark on a fantastic flight to Neverland, where they meet the Lost Boys, a horde of pirates, and the wickedest villain of all time. This is the inspiration for all other versions of “Peter Pan” and, perhaps, the strangest and best. Local Boy Makes Music The Houston Symphony kicks off its new season with e a new concertmaster who certainly knows his way around the freeways. Frank Huang, who grew up in Sugar Land, returns after serving in the prestigious post of instructor at the Eastman School of Music and as first violinist with the famed Ying Quartet. He debuts with the symphony under the baton of music director Hans Graf on Sept. 11, performing Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante with principal violinist Wayne Brooks.

cocktails & conversation.


Through Sept. 4 Naked Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main St. 713-529-4848,

Through Oct. 17 The Marvelous Wonderettes Stages Theatre, 3201 Allen Pkwy. 713-527-0220,

Sept. 9 to Oct. 3 The Doctor’s Dilemma Main Street Theater-Rice Village, 2540 Times Blvd. 713-524-3622,


n recent years, Main Street has emerged as a significant force on the Houston theater scene by doing the two things that matter most: filling their seasons with a wide variety of gutsy but still entertaining works and pulling them off with some of the finest actors in town. If some companies specialize in tap-dance happy musicals, Main Street specializes in making us think and feel sometimes outside the box. “Arcadia” by Tom Stoppard fits this mold beautifully. It’s as funny as a sitcom from start to finish, but covers subjects that would make the blood drain quickly from any TV comedy producer’s face. As with any Stoppard play, language is king and in "Arcadia," it’s more than story, set or costume. The small, intimate, in-the-round setting of the company’s Main Stage works in the show’s favor. It sets the audience in the center of conversations that go on and on, and also up any lazy river the playwright finds interesting. All regularly scheduled zingers were delivered with confidence, passion and solid British accents by the spirited cast assembled by Main Street artist director Rebecca Greene Udden.

In the sections set in 1809, Steven Laing sat reading or writing in a series of journals at the center of it all. He was the tutor of young Thomasina Coverly, beautifully played by Jennifer Gilbert, at the very moment she seemed to want to seduce the good-looking, worldly older man more than learn algebra, etc., from him. Still, we got the sense that something smart and important was going on, especially anytime Crystal O’Brien was onstage as Lady Croom. Returned to again and again with a kind of whodunit fascination, this scene was set against the same table in the same room in contemporary times, while two sharp-tongued scholars argued over the evidence and the meaning of it all. It’s hard to get any better than the charismatic antagonism of Philip Lehl and Shannon Emerick playing these two. If this were a sitcom, they’d surely end up together. Their battle royal was complicated and deepened by the observations of statistical scientist Valentine Coverly, played terrifically by Justin Doran, and Ivy CastleRush, who threw her two cents into the fray as Valentine’s sister Chloe.

Spotlight: Kathy Womack Gallery

Kathy Womack has been painting her entire life, except when she dabbled as a fashion illustrator/graphic designer in retail advertising. Soon thereafter, she picked up her brushes again and hit the ground running. Womack is perhaps best known for Women and Wine, a series of paintings depicting elegant, stylish women celebrating life, friendship and wine. The mother of three will be featured in the Shops at LaCantera Art Festival in San Antonio around the end of October. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 2015 w. gray • 713-521-0404 •


Sept. 16 to Oct. 11 Southern Rapture Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Pkwy. 713-527-0123,

Sept. 23-26 Jewels Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-227-2787,

Sept 24-25 Weekend of Contemporary Dance Miller Outdoor Theater, 6000 Golf Course Drive. 8 p.m. Free. 281-373-3386,

Sept. 25 to Dec. 30 Craft Texas 2010 Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main St. 713-529-4848,

Sept. 10 to Oct. 9 The House of the Spirits Main Street Theater, 2540 Times Blvd. 713-524-3622,

Oct. 5-17 Hairspray Theatre Under the Stars, 800 Bagby. 713-558-8887, Events subject to change. Unless indicated, contact venue for exact show dates and times.

review “Arcadia” | Main Street Theater

cocktails & conversation.


his & hers F

or a woman, the closet is a hallowed place—home to that daily, delightful question: Who does she want to be? A gentleman’s time in his wardrobe is equally important. This is where he arms himself for the world: suit, tie, shirt, oxfords. If you want to get really touchy-feely about it—and we do—the closet is a keeper of souls. For decades, it was stuffed with pretty things to wear and generally ignored. Chandeliers were unheard of. Shoe display wasn’t an art. But what fun it is to consider a closet now. His or hers or theirs together, a closet can be as stylish as the bounty it contains. Start with swanky shelving. Rich, deep wood will make him feel secure enough for her to sneak in a crystal-laden light fixture or two. Crisp white is a favorite of the feminine set, and it makes it easier to locate favorite pieces.


Next, shoe shelves. Carrie Bradshaw’s were open and gorgeous on the big screen in “Sex and the City.” In real life, those open-shelved shoes get dusty. Put them behind glass or in clear boxes. Even in wide, walk-in closets, interior designers now encourage their clients to consider doors on each cabinet—glass, mirrored or wood—to keep the space feeling clean. Those closet ads are gorgeous, but who has an entire wardrobe consisting only of khaki and white? Real wardrobes are messy. Cover them up. Be sure to add lights inside the cupboards, though. Cabinetmakers and closet manufacturers can add lights that turn on and off when the cabinet doors open and shut. Finally, add a little swank to the space. A statement light fixture is a perfect beginning. On her side, go for something draped and

California Closets

Story | Jaimee Rose


cocktails & conversation.

Dressing up the Wardrobe Statement lighting can take a closet from drab to fab. The Manning chandelier from Horchow is tailored enough for him and pretty enough for her, $1,475 at

A full-length mirror can be a glamorous thing. This Manor House floor mirror boasts European flair that can satisfy him and her alike, $1,395 at Restoration Hardware, 4091 Westheimer. 713-850-8838,

Stow stacked sweaters, extra blankets, and off-season clothing in baskets that look elegant on the shelf, like these bleached Palau baskets from Williams-Sonoma Home. $240 to $310 at

California Closets

A pretty place to perch while she puts on her shoes, this white leather ottoman has a rhinestone brooch in the center, the perfect nod to feminine attire. $1,799 at

romantic. On his side, choose a more tailored piece, but keep the scale grand. Put in matching sconces. Light is the most important thing in a closet next to the mirror. Speaking of the looking glass, choose a framed, elegant floor mirror instead of something standard. Add sumptuous seating, as large and cushy as the closet can hold—a bench, at least, and even an overstuffed sofa if space allows. We know a couple that outfitted their sprawling closet with thick shag carpet, two leather arm chairs, a flat screen, a wet bar and a door that locks. When either needs time away from the family, the closet comes with a built-in excuse: “I’ll be out in a minute, honey. I’m getting dressed.”

Keep your shoes dust-free with these chic canvas dropfront boxes. $9.99 to $12.99 each at The Container Store, 2511 Post Oak Blvd. 713-960-1722,

september/october • 2010


cocktails & conversation.

my life


Bielec Artist


Story | Jean Ciampi

Photography | Mark Lipczynski

St. Agnes Academy


ubbed the “king of country,” Frank Bielec spent eight years as a featured designer on the hit reality TV show “Trading Spaces.” Today, the Katy resident is spending his time combining his love of primitive art with design by working primarily in textiles hooking and punching rugs. He also has a book in the works, creates his own line of greeting cards and says he’s not a fan of interior design. “There’s no direction, no defining design. I don’t like being told what to like, what colors to wear, by the media or other designers,” he says in his signature straightforward manner. “We need more financial and psychological stability in our culture for a style to take off. We don’t have that right now. I’m anxious to see what will happen.” Despite what design might be missing, Bielec sees the global influences of ethnicity, colors and world cohesion as exciting. Design, as he sees it, must meet the needs of society and be nice to look at, a philosophy reflected in his own creations. It’s important to be comfortable in each moment, to be comfortable in a room, in a color, in a pair of pants. If you like it, what does it matter if it’s in style? “Buy something for the passion of the object,” he advises. “I love to use an object in flux, that’s looking for a home. It’s like rescuing an ugly dog. If you give it love and protection, it will morph into a lovely animal. Passion becomes workable! If you’re passionate about a Popsicle stick, it can be art. The trouble [comes] when you try being something you’re not.” Bielec has no qualms about being who he is: affable, opinionated, eclectic and unapologetic. He’s found his space and he wouldn’t trade it for anything else.


cocktails & conversation.

Texas State – Chandler Prude | A&M – Association of Former Students | Baylor – Jim Sigmon | U of H – University of Houston

School Story | Doug Pike


n Texas, there may be no time-honored tradition more revered and respected than the college mascot. From UT’s Bevo to A&M’s Reveille, the mascot is the consummate cheerleader—ramping up the energy when the home team is dominating and raising our spirits when we’re being handed our you-know-what on a plate. When it comes to showing off their school spirit, die-hard fans wear their pride on their sleeves. Literally. If you can imagine it, you can own everything from beer koozies to leather recliners all decked out in the colors—and even shape—as the mascot from your alma mater. School pride is so powerful that it can turn grown men and women into giddy, certifiable fools. Only addictive and contagious pride can explain the nearly endless roster of universitythemed products. A Google search for “UT Longhorn gifts” generated 39,100 results, each of them a repository for dozens or hundreds or thousands of Bevo-themed trinkets and articles of clothing—all seen as tasteless junk to anyone who graduated elsewhere. Be you Longhorn or Bear, Aggie or Owl, Cougar or Mustang, Tiger or Horned Frog,

know that you could bury your home or car or person in school spirit and some people do. There are Horned Frog and Longhorn thongs for the wishful thinkers. There are green-and-gold bikinis for women who want to be Baylor “bare.” (Not really, but that would make a great marketing slogan, so remember me with a royalty.) The gamut runs from the unimaginative, such as flags and bumper stickers, to jewelry of the stunningly expensive kind. And don’t forget the clothing from head to toe (occasionally in sizes that maybe shouldn’t be offered for some garments). On any autumn weekend, at any game or in any bar where games are televised, the brightness of the costume tends to be inversely proportionate to that of its wearer. The loudest fans speak their own language that sounds like English, but is not. Phrases that sound to you and me like “Go Coogs!” or “Gig ‘em” or “Hook ‘em, Horns” all translate in alum-glish to “Look at me!” In the end, however, it’s all harmless fun and a chance to be a kid again for folks who haven’t been kids for a very long time.

september/october • 2010


at home

IN Texas From an easy, breezy coastal abode, to a Tuscan treasure tucked in wooded splendor, to a lake house filled with Lone Star charm, three unique homes each show a style of living that is Texas, tried and true. Story | Bruce Farr, Cathy Gordon & Jaimee Rose Photography | Brian Bookwalter

september/october • 2010


The Breaux’s modified craftsman-style home sits strikingly in Hitchcock’s Harborwalk waterfront community. From the bedrooms to the living areas, the home is drenched in light. The spacious living room, which connects to the kitchen by way of the dining room, has beautifully-crafted French doors that open to the rear balcony. Adding to the home’s charm are the rich black walnut floors.


beach style W

hether they opt to be inside or outdoors, on land or on the water, Ken and Kristi Breaux’s striking home on West Galveston Bay is uniquely designed to let them move comfortably and effortlessly through a range of lifestyle and entertainment choices.

Situated in the private, gated community of Harborwalk, the spacious, three-level dwelling is built by the water, but sits proudly on terra firma. Not surprisingly, though, its vantage on the Intracoastal Waterway delivers just as many “al fresco” charms. Having that flexibility was central to the Breauxs’ home search, which began roughly five years ago. Former Louisianans who lived on Lake Pontchartrain and moved to Texas in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Breauxs were accustomed to waking up every morning to a gorgeous view of the lake. And, as big boat owners, they needed to find a home that gave them ocean access. A “Street of Dreams” home tour four years ago provided the magic they’d been seeking. The first home they toured—and the one they eventually bought—was showcased among several and was a multiple award-winner in three design and build categories. “We just stumbled upon it,” Kristi says, “but it was love at first sight.”

september/october • 2010


Awash in a sea of blue, the Breaux’s powder room boasts an all-glass sink surrounded by turquoise tile that echoes the home’s nautical overtones, found also in the additional baths. (Opposite) More sea-loving details can be found in the kitchen and guest bedroom, while out on the patio, a sea of fish bring color and whimsy to the overall scene.


Built by Bilmar Homes and designed by Brooks-Reid Studio, the home hews to a modified craftsman style and echoes an array of traditional oceanfront styles found along the East Coast from New England to the Carolinas. At roughly 3,500 square feet, the home’s living space is situated on the top two of three levels. The ground level features separate garages and covered areas for barbecuing and outdoor entertaining, while the main living area on the second level is large and free flowing from room to room. Also on that level is the kitchen, which, Kristi says, is her favorite room in the house. “It’s the best of the best,” she says, of the spacious and well-appointed heart of the home. “And, there’s room for more than one cook here.” With top-of-the-line appliances accented by plenty of natural light gleaming in off the water, the Breauxs make good use of the space for cooking and entertaining. And speaking of entertaining, room for overnight visitors is never a problem—with four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths, the Breauxs can easily accommodate a houseful. Rounding out the home’s many pleasures are a study and a comfortable media room. And the study, with its unique leather floor, is another conversation starter, Kristi says. Not surprisingly, the interior motif is accented with several nautical touches throughout. A master touch of the Breaux’s home is unveiled in the rear, where three balconies overlook the water and surrounding protected wetlands. The views are fascinating, but not more so than the fact that they have a boat parked in their backyard—a big boat, mind you. The craft, which Kristi calls her husband’s pride and joy, has a master stateroom and guest stateroom with extra bunks in the “B” berth, three heads and a full galley. One truly unique feature of the home is the powder room, which is strikingly appointed with aquamarine tiles and a sink made entirely from glass. “Everyone who walks into the room comes out and says, ‘Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this!’” Kristi exclaims. After nearly four years in their new home, the Breauxs say they couldn’t be happier with the decision they made to buy it. “Ken remarked just the other day that the house looks as good and is just as inviting as it was on the day we moved in,” Kristi says. “We feel fortunate to be able to enjoy all of these things that we’ve worked so very hard for.” – BF

sail style

Parked just steps from the Breaux's backyard is their 64-foot, 1966 vintage Burger cruiser, outfitted with all the luxuries of home, including a master stateroom, guest stateroom and a full galley. Owning the cruiser has been Ken’s lifelong dream.

september/october • 2010


on the

waterfront S

omeday, she thinks, there will be glittering house parties or afternoons in the pool, or icy margaritas on the patio overlooking the lake. But for now, Susannah and Clay Griffin’s tranquil Applehead Island abode has a higher purpose. “We’re building memories right now,” says Susannah, mother to three children, ages 8, 4 and 3. Clay Griffin bought the threestory home on Lake LBJ two years ago, so enamored by its rustic elegance and wideopen spaces that Susannah told him to buy it before she’d even seen it. As a child, she spent summers by a lake in east Texas, and loved the idea of giving her own children the same water-colored remembrances. Meanwhile, the Griffins went to work teaching their children to swim and to respect the water. “All the entertaining and parties will come,” Susannah says. “But kids grow up so fast, and this time is about love, peace, family and happiness.” When she’s ready, the house is outfitted for any event Susannah can dream up. Designed by architect Jim Cox and built by Clifford Grubbs, the house evokes Tuscany in front and a Spanish villa in back. It was built with vintage materials that add the kind of patina only age can afford.


september/october • 2010


With its rustic elegance, the Griffin home was built with vintage materials that evoke hints of Tuscany and a Spanish villa. Inside, furnishings—such as this cozy leather sofa and decidedly unique bench accented with vintage wagon wheels—are just a few of the items that remind the Griffins of their Texas roots.


All over the home, no detail is left untouched by Susannah’s creative eye. The kitchen island, for example, is handrubbed mesquite, inlaid with copper, while the negative edge pool was designed to make you feel like you’re floating in the lake just steps away.

The motor court is paved with old Chicago brick, and the grand front doors were a custom creation by Durango. Inside, a sprawling great room draws character from beams salvaged from a Michigan barn that was more than 100 years old. The adjoining kitchen features another glorious relic: brick saved from buildings damaged by the Chicago fire of 1871. The kitchen island is hand-rubbed mesquite, inlaid with copper. When Susannah first saw their new home, she turned to her beaming husband and pronounced, “Honey, you did good.” She decided to decorate it in his favorite style: a soft, elegant Southwestern look that nods to his deep Texan affiliations. (“He’s a UT grad,” she explains.) Susannah is an artist and outfitted the whole place herself—and in a single shopping spree to boot. “I went to The Arrangement one afternoon, had a couple glasses of wine, and spent four or five hours shopping. I completed the entire house that afternoon,” she says. “I don’t mess around.” Outside, the patio boasts a television, comfortable furniture and a negative edge pool that feels like you’re floating in the lake, Susannah says. The boathouse holds grown-up toys like jet skis. Inside, Susannah chose a table inlaid with turquoise to welcome guests into the entry. Cozy leather club chairs and a cowhide ottoman keep company with a stone fireplace in the sitting area. In the winter, the family congregates here. To keep the familial feeling going, Susannah accessorized the space with a piece that tells a story. “[We have] a 75th anniversary commemorative saddle, bought for our son by his grandfather Red Griffin, who is a lifetime vice president and member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo,” Susannah says. And she kept her family in mind, too, when she chose a large leather sectional for the TV area of the great room. Behind it, she tucked her favorite piece: a bench accented by vintage wagon wheels that holds blankets and pillows for those nights when the Griffins pile on the sofa with their children, watching movies and making memories in their happy home by the lake. – JR

september/october • 2010


Built with stone, stucco and tile, Kay and Ed Dineen's home in The Woodlands evokes a classic Mediterranean villa.


The open dining room engages the rest of the home and provides a great floor plan for entertaining.


All eyes look up in this family room that has a fireplace wall in brown Ozark stone that appears to reach for the sky.


erhaps it was the shadows dancing against groin vault ceilings in the front foyer. Or the gentle arches, beckoning entry from room to room. “It wasn’t just one particular feature that attracted us, it was everything,” exclaims Kay Dineen of the home she shares with husband Ed in the exclusive Carlton Woods neighborhood of The Woodlands.

“This house just had that wow factor!” she says of the five-bedroom, 6,286 square-foot Jeff Paul custom home that enticed them, even in the drywall stage. “I came from a somewhat traditional house with compartmentalized rooms and a Thomasville china cabinet, that kind of thing. But here was this amazing house with a wide-open floor plan and that wonderful Tuscan feel. I knew we’d found our next home.” Curbside, the residence screams Mediterranean villa in stone and stucco with a tile roof, but the interior is Tuscan with a twist, tweaked to embrace Kay's penchant for the French Country look. Linda Morgan Unique Interiors helped morph the dwelling into the home of the Dineens's dreams.

september/october • 2010


“I worked on their previous home and know their style well, so we brought that French influence in through furnishings, lighting and other subtle details that fit her personality,” Morgan says. “For instance, we brought in French bergere club chairs and a cozy, curvy sofa in the living room and mixed them with a gold, sort of gilded coffee table. We basically married her style with the Mediterranean style of the house.” This union results in a fresh, airy home that captures the spirit of Mediterranean architecture minus the heavy, dark feel. An organic palette emphasizes rich texture over attention-grabbing hues. Ceilings and walls si mulate Old World surfaces through special faux-painting techniques. “This is not a typical ‘dining to the right, study on the left’ kind of house,” says builder Jeff Paul of the residence that boasts an interesting mix of ceiling heights, including a grand stairwell tower that adds to its architectural drama. Equally eye-catching is a massive fireplace wall of brown Ozark stone in the den, flanked by lofty art niches on either side. “There’s a surprise around every corner in this house,” says Paul. “Absolutely not your everyday floor plan, especially when you consider that the media room is downstairs.” Indeed, a media room in dramatic deep burgundy and black gets a lot of use, just off of the kitchen. Quotes from the family’s favorite movies are artfully scripted on the walls for whimsical effect. The builder was ever mindful of this home’s relationship to the outdoors as well, positioning its entry, living room and upstairs game room to capture direct views of the lake across the street. Sight lines from the home’s main core also take in gorgeous backyard vistas of an infinity-edge pool that appears to drop off into a step-down pavilion fronted by a horizontal lined fire pit. Lush tropical landscaping accompanies this serene scene. Inside and out, this is a home that sparkles with elegance yet entices one to prop up their feet. “It’s just a great place to come home to,” says Kay. “You can’t ask for better than that.” – CG


A true oasis, the backyard features an infinity-edge pool with step-down pavilion. Cream painted cabinets mix with darker wood finishes in the kitchen for a light and bright look. A granite table extension off the island serves as a buffet or additional seating.

september/october • 2010






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the prime living guide to discerning taste

inside: Apple Martini, Opus Bistro

40 42 44 47 48

• • • • •

Main Dish | Trés Magnifique! Small Bites | Good Eats Table Talk | Dining News Uncorked | Fess Parker Winery Entertain | au chocolat september/october • 2010


connoisseur main dish


trés Magnifique! Story | Holly Beretto Photography | Mark Lipczynski

Aura (n): A distinctive but intangible quality that seems to surround a person or thing. To see it personified, head to a hamlet in Missouri City, where the whitewashed walls and wide, terracotta-tiled floors welcome you into a place that feels so removed from Houston you’ll believe you’ve entered an alternate reality.


This is the beauty of Aura, where all the food is sensational thanks to the life’s work of chef Frederic Perrier. Born and reared in Lyon, France, Perrier crossed an ocean to open La Cite, a multi-million-dollar sprawling enclave of a restaurant in New York City. Then he did it again with F-Stop, which became another NYC star eatery. With two highly successful restaurants done, Perrier followed his wife back to her hometown of Houston, where today they raise their family just a mile from Aura’s front door. “This is the settled stage of my life,” he says. “I want to make simple food that tastes great. No fusion, no fuss, just taste.” Perrier has more than achieved his goal. Now yours is to enjoy a premier table in Fort Bend County. If Perrier’s homegrown tomatoes are available, begin your meal with any salad that includes them. The tomato and burrata cheese salad—marinated with vinaigrette and served with baby Portobello mushrooms and shaved onions—is a taste bud’s treat. Almost buttery in texture, burrata is a rich, creamy Italian cheese that contrasts lusciously with the acidity and sweetness of the tomato and the rich flavor of the bellas. It’s also a tease of what to expect from the rest of the meal. Another don’t miss is the Lyonnaise salad with its peppery, earthy frisee and heady, smoky bacon. Green apple sticks blend with the greens and it’s topped with a perfectly poached egg. Perrier’s pate is a divine inspiration: half foie gras, half chicken livers, all whipped to mousse consistency and served with a baguette and coarse ground mustard. Linger over this one, because it’s the sort of dish you’ll daydream about for days.

For entrees, do not be deceived by the pan-seared flounder. It’s perfectly simple, seasoned with a little sea salt and black pepper, and utterly devine. It is accompanied by a creamy green onion, Parmesan risotto and spears of asparagus, and captures Perrier’s insistence in letting the food be the star of the show. Regulars to Aura know to abandon the menu and trust in Perrier’s imagination and skill, by ordering off the chalkboard of specials. If you find suckling pig as one of those specials, just stop reading and order it. Served on the bone like leg of lamb and paired with fresh gulf shrimp, this is a new sensation in richness. It’s all done alongside a port wine reduction and roasted vegetables. Another epicurean must is Duck Two Ways, a lovely French country affair. The leg is braised and served in puff pastry with blueberries and a reduction made from its own fat. The breast is roasted to your liking and served with seasonal vegetables. It is simply stunning. Leave room for dessert because the profiteroles are such fun. These delightful cream puffs are filled with homemade vanilla ice cream and topped with dark chocolate. To dine at Aura is to constantly look up at your dining companion and exclaim, “Try this. Taste that. You will not believe this.” There’s also an absolutely lovely wine list and the vibe here is that of effortless white-glove service combined with a sincere, homey welcome. It’s a place to linger, to think of fondly after you’ve left and know you will return. aura 3340 fm 1092 road, missouri city 281-403-2872

connoisseur main dish


Tomato Burrata Salad

Carre de Cochon de Lait (Rack of Suckling Pig)

1 rack of suckling pig, 6 chops (available at Meat & Greet Boutique or specialty butchers)

1 small eggplant 1 spring onion

2 gloves garlic, chopped 10 stalks of asparagus 8 new potatoes Dijon mustard 10 leaves of sage

Extra virgin olive oil Dry white wine Sea salt Pepper

Slice all vegetables and marinate in extra virgin olive oil with two leaves of sage for one hour before cooking pork. Set aside 1/4 onion and grill vegetables, preferably over wood fire. Season pork with salt and pepper, add garlic. Heat one tablespoon olive oil at medium-high heat in a large pan. Sear the pork, skin side for three minutes, then sear the other side to seal meat. Place 1/4 onion and two sage leaves in pan. Brush rack with Dijon mustard on both sides then place in a 375-degree oven. Bake 18 minutes, then rest for five minutes. Deglace the pan with 1/2 glass of dry white wine and juice from the resting pork. Pour into blender and add two tablespoons olive oil. Blend on high until completely fused. Slice pork chops, place over warm vegetables and add sauce. Makes three to four servings.

Duck Two Ways

september/october • 2010



small bites

Stylish Ceviche

Ocean's Margarita

good eats Story | Holly Beretto Photography | Mark Lipczynski

For a new take on the well-rounded meal, table-hop these Houston eateries for some of the best tastes in town.


When you walk into Ocean’s, quietly tucked into a corner on Montrose and Roseland, you know it’s destined to be the “next cool Houston hangout.” Maybe it’s the airiness of the place and the stylish chic décor that cozies up alongside a stunningly redone historic home. Or maybe it’s the ceviche. Maybe definitely. What other hip joints in the area do for sushi, Ocean’s does for ceviche. There’s a long, open bar where you can watch the chefs craft your ceviche right in front of you. Choose from an Oriental style replete with ginger, cucumber, soy sauce and rice vinegar or select the house recipe: red onion, olives, chile, orange juice, avocado and shaved parmesan cheese. No matter which one you order, the result is a fantastically prepared and presented portion where flavor takes center stage. Forget the image of ceviche in a martini glass, all chunks of shellfish and drowned in lime juice. That is not what Ocean’s is about. Here, it’s a deconstructed design with the fish so fresh, expect the main ingredient to change nightly. Ocean’s Ceviche is a beautiful example of flavors working together. The red onion snaps with sass, blending stunningly with the fish. The avocado adds a perfect summery note to the dish and the cheese is a great topper, bringing all of the components together. Here, the food is simple and elegant and built to share in an atmosphere that’s chic and comfortable. This is a place you’ll return to again and again, with the ceviche only one reason to do so. ocean’s 819 w. alabama 713-520-7744

c connoisseur

Reinventing a Classic

small bites

It’s hard to get more old school than steak Diane. One of the earliest mentions of the dish dates back to a 1907 edition of Le Guide Culinaire, and calls for adding lightly whipped cream to a pepper sauce along with pieces of truffles and an egg white. That’s not quite the recipe you’ll find at Opus Bistro, a new homey spot for highend cuisine in Clear Lake Shores. Opus aims for white-glove service without being stuffy, a definite plus in this laid-back, waterfront enclave. The menu borrows heavily from French classics, which explains the steak Diane. Chef Christopher Simon perfectly grills your steak and tops it with a delightfully sharp cracked black pepper sauce, a combination of pepper, cream and a little port. Earthy, chewy mushrooms complete the sauce and the steak comes accompanied with a large, round garliclaced crouton. Accompanying the entrée is a side of creamed spinach and a Mexican-spiced potato blend. The perfectly seasoned steak with the utterly yummy, peppery Diane sauce is a great way to go retro on your dining experience. From the first bite, you realize why steak Diane is still going strong after more than 100 years. It’s just that good. At Opus, it’s done right with every nuance of both the steak and the sauce allowed to shine. opus bistro 1002 aspen blvd., clear lake shores 281-334-5225 •

Yelapa: Kimberly Park

Mango Mania

When it was suggested I try the mango parfait at Yelapa Playa Mexicana, I was not expecting that it would haunt my dreams and become a craving almost as strong as the one I occasionally get for Del’s frozen lemonade, a delicacy in my home state of Rhode Island. But that’s exactly what happened. “I was looking for a creative twist on Dulce de Leche cookies, the traditional Latin American shortbread cookie sandwich that has dulce de leche in the center,” says pastry chef Chris Leung. “Mango is a flavor I enjoy and I knew that I wanted to do something that was frozen and refreshing.” He’s succeeded in spades. The lightly cinnamon-tinged cookie comes accompanied with the Dulche de Leche, and a stunning mango soft-serve that is a blend of mango puree, sugar and egg yolks. As if that weren’t decadent enough, Leung created a white chocolate yogurt sauce for the dish, and topped it off with toasted sesame seeds both of which add a little silk and spice to the summer sass of the mango. When you have it all together with the cookie, you find infinite new flavor combinations between the fruit, the cookie, the sauce, and the seeds. It’s one of the most popular desserts on the menu and after one bite you’ll understand why the mango parfait invaded my dreams and may invade yours. yelapa playa mexicana 2303 richmond ave. • 281-501-0391 •

september/october • 2010


connoisseur table talk

Veg Out

Perhaps you’re spending time at the Medical Center for work or visits? Trevesio, that airy delightful room with a view atop the John P. McGovern Commons building, has rolled out two new menus: a new light a la carte and a vegetarian. Try the Aragosta e Pomodora, a beautiful salad composed of Maine lobster, heirloom tomatoes, orange, cucumber and micro arugula The vegetarian menu includes mezzaluna pasta stuffed with eggplant and tossed with marinara, plus two fab soups: roasted butternut squash with pumpkin seeds and cool, invigorating arugula. 6550 Bertner Ave. 713-749-0400,

Crazy for Cupcakes

Chef Shuffles

Michael Dei Maggi, the talented executive chef of the now shuttered Rockwood Room, has joined the Vallone empire as the new chef for Ciao Bello the popular Galleria-area eatery. The spunky Italianborn chef has gilded the menu with some personal touches, including homemade cavatelli and fish specialties, but will keep many of the classics on board, such as the famous meatballs. As the days get cooler, enjoy the covered Garden Room patio with a new vibrant mural by local artist John Palmer. 5161 San Felipe. 713960-0333, Speaking of Rockwood Room kitchen alumni, Greg Lowry, who has a strong pastry background, is the new executive chef for Hotel Icon, replacing chef Michael Kramer who has joined The Tasting Room. Lowry is working on putting his spin on the menu of VOICE, the dazzling, turn-of-the-century hotel dining room. 220 Main. 832-667-4470, Finally, Jason Gould of famed Gravitas has unexpectedly landed with the Cyclone Anayas group and plans to update their menu. It will be interesting to see what an Aussie whips up in a Mexican kitchen! For locations, visit


Side Sips Wine events you don’t want to miss

There’s still time to reserve a table for the Best Cellars Celebrity Dinner on Sept. 14. This highly lauded event started in Nashville 10 years ago by music industry executives associated with the T.J. Martell Foundation. The event pairs Best Sellers (music and entertainment celebrities) with Best Cellars (top wine collectors). Held at the River Oaks Country Club, the dinner will feature an extraordinary four-course meal prepared by Houston’s Robert Del Grande and Dallas celeb-chef Dean Fearing, both of whom are musicians. The chefs will top off the meal with a performance by their band, The Barbwires. Proceeds benefit The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. For information, call 615256-2002 or visit If you’re lucky enough to be in California wine country during the harvest season, visit the Healdsburg area for the 18th annual Sonoma Wine Country Weekend on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-5. This epicurean event combines the elegance and festivity of the Taste of Sonoma with the fundraising frivolity of the Sonoma Valley Harvest wine auction. For tickets, visit This fall brings back the Houston Cellar Classic presented by The Tasting Room and Max’s Wine Dive. Scheduled for Oct. 18-23, it’s bigger and better than ever with a jampacked week of vintner dinners, sommelier competitions, cigar and wine pairings and more. For information, visit

Clockwise from top left: Sprinkles Cupcakes | Trevisio | George Rose | VOICE

If you’re craving the tastiest, cutest and most crazy-creative baby cakes in the nation, then tune in to the new “Cupcake Wars” on the Food Network to follow the competition. No surprise that Sprinkles’ founder and executive pastry chef Candace Nelson—who finally brought her cupcakery to Houston—is one of the cupcake judges. 4014 Westheimer. 713-871-9929, For a different kind of sugar high, check out the Tuesday evening cupcake and wine pairings at 13 Celsius wine bar. The combination sounds illegal, but the proof is in the pudding. Shiraz really goes well with raspberry-filled dark chocolate cupcakes. You’ll also be astounded by the combinations house wine genius Marc Borel has put together. 3000 Caroline. 713-529-8466,

Bar Bites

It’s about more than seafood at newly christened McCormick & Schmick’s at Town & Country, which offers weekly wine tastings featuring a flight of three wines plus organic, locally produced cheeses and assorted fruits and nuts. There’s also an option for wine flights paired with chocolate. 791 Town & Country Blvd. 713-465-3685, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse likes to keep things fresh so they change the bar and cocktail menu with the seasons. For a little weekday indulgence, try the new slider trio of blackened scallop, prime burger and pulled pork with Asian slaw. Rib-sticking barbecue pulled pork nachos, succulent panko-crusted scallop lollipops, or cheese-stuffed hamburgers are now served along with nine new cocktails including a Breath of Fresh Pear and the Ultimate Martini with Ultimate vodka and a blue cheese-stuffed olive. 5061 Westheimer Road, 713-355-2600, Have you heard about the 25-cent martinis at Brennan’s? Available weekdays at lunch only, they are minis, which is a good thing at noon. To get your appetite revved up in the bar before dinner, order the amazing crab and leek bread pudding or the spiced three apple salad with Tabasco pecan brittle and Point Reyes blue cheese. 3300 Smith. 713-522-9711,

Hello & Goodbye

Del Frisco's | Azuma

The latest restaurants to join and leave the Houston dining scene Openings: Azuma on the Lake, Sugar Land Café Moustache (formerly SoVino, same owners) Korma Sutra McCormick & Schmick’s, Town & Country Ocean’s Phil’s Texas Barbecue Sushi Tora The Burger Palace


Closings: Magnolia Bar & Grill Sweet Mesquite, Sugar Land The Rockwood Room Tesar’s

Come dine with me.

Houston’s most notable chef’s will be serving up their best dishes at Houston National Golf Club on September 30th! Bragging rights are on the line as our chef’s compete for the 2010 Best of Tejas award. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy our chef’s Texas-inspired signature dishes and vote on the winner. Don’t miss out on this great culinary experience and opportunity to give back to the Gulf Coast Muscular Dystrophy Association. All proceeds will benefit the children and adults served by MDA in Houston.

Tickets $35 ($45 at door)

For additional information and tickets, please contact Vienda Ward, with MDA, 713-552-1426

Houston National Golf Club is located at 16500 Houston National Blvd. in the community of Stone Gate. Take US 290 west to Barker-Cypress and turn left. The entrance to Stone Gate is about 1/2 mile on the left. Proceed on Queenston, past the Cypress N. Houston intersection to Houston National Blvd. and turn left. Tel. (281) 304-1400

connoisseur uncorked

fess parker

Winery Story | John DeMers

Rob Brown, Winescapes Photography


f Fess Parker already knew a thing or two about pioneering, he certainly came by the information and inspiration honestly. As an actor in the ’50s and ’60s, he portrayed Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, two of this country’s most well-known pioneers. The native Texan portrayed the pair so well, and with so much grit and homespun humor, that many of the scenes and even lines run together years later. And after the show was on a season or two, every other young boy across America emulated Crockett by donning his trademark coonskin cap, including me. Parker’s trademark cap isn’t the only legacy he left when he passed away in March at age 85. In fact, he left quite a few: a son Eli and daughter Ashley, and vineyards and a winery that keep them both busy. The gods of American business willing, it will forever bear the Fess Parker name. “Fess was a true pioneer,” says head winemaker Blair Fox, who took over the job

after Eli moved up to company president a few years ago. “He pioneered so many varietals here in Santa Barbara County, especially the ones associated with the Rhone Valley. I just got back from an event put on by the Rhone Rangers in California, and this year it was all about the contributions Fess made.” The wines of Fess Parker have a kind of split personality since they are grown on more than 700 acres in four vineyards that are in dramatically different sections of the county. In general, the Fess Parker pinot noir and chardonnay thrive in the cooler climates of the Santa Rita Hills, while the Rhone varietals grow in the warmer Santa Inez Valley. Syrah is king, as lovers of French Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cotes du Rhone and Gigondas will happily attest, with viognier as its floral, feminine, white-wine counterpart. There are other Rhone varietals as well, including grenache and mourvedre,

and these figure into the wide assortment of flavors and price ranges offered by the winery’s five labels: Fess Parker, Epiphany, Frontier Red, Parker Station and Fortress. “I’m a very spoiled winemaker because I have very good grapes to use,” Fox says after a Houston tasting of two chardonnays, a pinot noir and an intense, almost-chocolatey syrah. “These are perfect grape growing areas. Still, it’s Mother Nature who drives winemaking. My goal is to keep making the absolute best wines possible for Santa Barbara County.” My goal, on the other hand, is to own another coonskin cap. They’re available for $15 from the winery’s website. John DeMers Covering food and wine for more than 25 years, John DeMers hosts “Delicious Mischief” on NewsRadio 740 KTRH. He recently released Follow the Smoke: 14,783 Miles of Great Texas Barbecue.

september/october • 2010




Sitting Pretty All dressed up and somewhere to go, these dainty vanilla macaroons and dark ganache squares decorated with gold leaf set the scene for your next chocolate and cocktail party.

Au chocolat

Tasty Trio From top to bottom—or bottom to top—this tiered dessert plate holds lovely and delicious mousse cakes served with fresh raspberries, coconutcovered cupcakes and an assortment of chocolate truffles.

Story & Styling | Jaimee Rose Photography | Mark Lipczynski

It can be rich and creamy, dense with the decadence of ingredients that should only be indulged in sparingly, lest you hopelessly fall victim to its delicious charm. Or, it can be light and airy, satisfying that little sweet fix that slowly but surely creeps up on you with a welcome surprise. Whichever way you like it, chocolate is a treat meant to be relished and enjoyed. If you’re a true chocolate lover, indulge in this charming display of treats that will have you falling all over yourself with happiness.


Got Milk? Nothing goes better with cookies than a little cream. Add whimsy and fun to glasses of ice cold milk with these charming flags. Served alongside a tray of chocolate and vanilla macaroons, this display is both pretty and yummy.



By the Numbers Don’t lose sight of your drink with these charming numbered coasters. Available in numbers 1 to 10, they not only make for accurate drink placement, but are also great conversation starters.

Shaken, Not Stirred A sweet twist on the classic cocktail, the chocolate martini is a favorite among dessert lovers. We dressed ours up with a floating chocolate truffle and a rim covered in chocolate shavings.

To Die For Rich, creamy and delicately divine, this chocolate mousse cake is simply to die for. Served with a French caramel truffle, you’ll get a double dose of decadent deliciousness that will have you wondering if you’ve died and gone to heaven.

The Goods french caramel truffles

Available in a 5-piece sleeve or 10-piece tower, $15.99 and $21.99 at Julia Baker Confections, 877-4585422,

decorative flags and invitation

Designed by Featherpress Design,

dark ganache squares

Available in 6- to 48-piece box sets, $19.99 to $149.99 at Julia Baker Confections.

chocolate mousse cakes

Available by special order only at Julia Baker Confections.


Chocolate coconut, dark chocolate and vanilla milk chocolate flavors, $3.25 each, $36 per dozen at Sprinkles Cupcakes, 4014 Westheimer. 713-871-9929,

linen coasters

Numbered Edition Coasters, set of 10, by Heather Lins Home. Special order at 608-219-4892 or

chocolate truffles

Available in 4- to 30-piece box sets, $9 to $80 at Godiva, 5085 Westheimer. 713-623-4707,

september/october • 2010


gentleman’s room

For the man who commands the very best


52 54 56 57

• • • •

Nostalgia | True Blue Driver's Seat | FX Effect High Tech | Home Sweet Home Great Outdoors | Fins & Feathers

september/october • 2010


gentleman’s room nostalgia

True Story | Karl Hauenstein


Levi Strauss & Co.


s there a more universally recognized and distinctly American cultural icon than the blue jean? A symbol of all things American, jeans are worn all ages and generations. Nothing really beats the impact of denim blue jeans. It all started with Levi Strauss. Named Loeb Strauss at birth, he changed it to Levi after he immigrated to America. Strauss was born in 1829 in Bavaria and immigrated in 1847 to join the family’s prosperous wholesale dry goods business in New York City. Young Levi soon got caught up in California gold rush fever and in 1853 moved to San Francisco where he set up his own wholesale business to sell clothing and other dry goods to the stores which served the expanding population of the West. The light bulb moment came in 1872 when Strauss teamed with Jacob Davis, a tailor from Reno, Nev., who had developed a process of strengthening stress points in pants with rivets.

gentleman’s room nostalgia

Milestones in the Making of the 501 1853 1872 1873

Levi Strauss arrives in San Francisco and opens a wholesale dry goods business.

Jacob Davis, a tailor from Reno, Nev., writes to Strauss, telling him about a process he invented to rivet the pocket corners on men’s pants to make them stronger.

1870s "Waist Overalls"

Strauss and Davis patented the process and blue jeans, as we have come to know them today, were on their way to fame. Not only is Levi Strauss & Co. an innovator in clothes manufacturing, but throughout its history, has also been at the forefront of enlightened management practices and corporate charitable and community services. In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, the company avoided laying off idled production workers in San Francisco by putting them on a short work week and assigning them plant maintenance jobs. In the 1960s, the factory in Virginia was integrated before federal law banned segregated workplaces. While the first Levi’s jeans were called waist overalls, and intended to provide laborers with durable and protective pants, it wasn’t long before that segregation too stopped. The popularity of Levi’s jeans quickly spread beyond the needs of laborers to become the most preferred and accepted leisure wear in the U.S. After WWII ended and American soldiers in Europe started wearing Levi’s jeans while on leave, their popularity quickly spread worldwide. Today the Levi Strauss & Co., which Levi Strauss founded in 1853, is a multi-billion dollar and among the world’s best-known brands. Not bad for the pant maker from Bavaria!

didyou know? In 1951, singer Bing Crosby was turned away from a Vancouver hotel because he was wearing a pair of Levi’s jeans. (Eventually, a bellhop recognized him and he was welcomed to stay.) When Levi Strauss & Co. heard about this, they made a denim tuxedo jacket for Crosby and presented it to him at a celebration in Elko, Nev., where he was honorary mayor.

Strauss and Davis are granted a patent on the process of riveting pants by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on May 20. It is patent number 139,121. This is the invention of the blue jean.

1886 1890 1901 1902 1936 1954 1960 1964 1966 1981 1984 1993

The Two Horse brand leather patch is first used on the jeans, then called “waist overalls.” The rivet patent goes into the public domain, so that Levi Strauss & Co. is no longer the exclusive manufacturer of riveted clothing. Lot numbers are first assigned to the products being manufactured. 501 is used to designate the famous copperriveted waist overalls.

The pants, now called “overalls,” have two back pockets. Levi Strauss dies at the age of 73. His nephews take over the business; their descendants still run the company today. The red Tab is first placed onto the right back pocket of the overalls. The word “Levi’s” is stitched in white in all capital letters on one side only.

A zippered version of the overalls is introduced and named 501Z. The word “overalls” is replaced by the word “jeans” in advertising and on packaging.

The jeans become part of the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The first TV commercial for Levi’s jeans is aired.

501 jeans for women are introduced, with the airing of the famous “Travis” TV commercial. The renowned “501 Blues” TV advertising campaign is launched at the summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Levi Strauss & Co. sponsors the “Send Them Home Search,” a contest to find the oldest pair of Levi’s jeans in the United States. The winning pair dates to the late 1920s.

1997 2003

Levi Strauss & Co. buys a pair of c1890 501 jeans for $25,000. Levi Strauss & Co. celebrates the 130th anniversary of the invention of the blue jean.

501 Rigid STF

Source: Levi Strauss & Co. september/october • 2010


gentleman’s room driver's seat

FX Effect

quick facts Infiniti FX 50 AWD

Story | Don Armstrong


gauges. Along with standard amenities such as the eight-way adjustable leather seats, pushbutton ignition and a 12-point, sequential “welcome” lighting system, the FX features an available advanced climate control system. It includes air filtration and a clean mode ionizer that reduces unwanted, airborne contaminants. Power is another key factor in the high-end luxury class and the FX 50 doesn’t disappoint. The 5.0-liter V-8 delivers 390 horsepower to its full-time all-wheel drive system through a seven-speed automatic transmission. Order the sport package and your 50 will come equipped with solid-magnesium paddle shifters that will allow you to fully realize the sports car nature of this incredible crossover. To enhance the driving experience even further, the FX 50’s optional sport package has includes an electronically controlled suspension, which

continuously adjusts damping to provide optimal ride and handling. A rear active steer system turns the rear wheels up to one degree, helping generate a nimble steering response at low speeds and enhances stability at high speeds. The FX also features a lane departure warning system that uses cameras in the side view mirrors that let you know when you’re about to drift out of your lane. The cameras are also part of the around view system that helps get the FX in and out of tight parking spots. Both are part of the optional technology package. Starting at $58,400, the 2010 Infiniti FX 50 AWD may be the land shark that can take a bite out of your sports car desire. don armstrong Don’s passion for all things automotive is no secret. His popular What’s Don Driving? TV series garnered rave reviews and made him the new car go-to guy. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

Designation FX 50 AWD Classification Crossover SUV Seating Capacity Five Engine 5.0-Liter V-8 Horsepower 390 Torque 369 ft-lbs. Mileage 14 city, 20 highway Transmission 7-speed automatic Brakes 4-wheel vented disc Curb weight 5,766 lbs. Base MSRP $58,400



ince its introduction in 2003, the Infiniti FX has been, and continues to be, a horse of a different color—a crossover SUV that puts a different spin on luxury and performance. Stingray, Shark, Barracuda would be great names for the FX 50, if actual names for cars were still in vogue. The redefined body is now smoother and sleeker than the first-generation model and its large open-mouth grille gives you the sense of a very fast, man-eating, ocean predator on steroids. The original fastback roofline and monstrous wheel openings continue to define this steel-bodied man-o-war. Pop open a door and you and your four guests will be welcomed to one of the finest interiors on four wheels. The balance between luxury, convenience and functionality play out in the FX like few others. The dash wow-factor is high, beginning with the white and violet fine vision electroluminescent

Manufacturer Infiniti (Nissan)

Custom Lakeside estates i n H o u s t o n ’ s F i n e s t C e m e t e ry memorial oaks, Houston’s premier cemetery for the last 50 years, introduces our proudest achievement yet: reflection Lake estates. We have developed 26 of our most beautiful acres into a peaceful environment rich with breathtaking scenery and impressive monuments. For this new development, the finest landscape architects, developers, and designers have created a stunning, awe-inspiring vista. along the manicured shores of reflection Lake, we proudly offer Lakeside estates. these premier sites offer families the opportunity to build custom, private estates on our build-to-suit sites. several estate choices are available

including custom-designed and built estates, private family estates, private family mausoleum estates, bench estates, lawn crypts and cremation estates. you will work directly with our designers to create the perfect monument for you or a loved one. superior design standards for the new sites will be stringently upheld to ensure that the sweeping beauty and tranquility of reflection Lake estates is maintained for you and your family. the lakefront placement of these sites provides families a serene environment for meditation and remembrance, while overlooking the calming waters of reflection Lake.

I would like to personally invite you to call me at 281-497-2210 to schedule a tour of the new grounds and to discuss special construction pricing that is available only during this introductory period. Availability is strictly limited. Please inquire about how you can provide an enduring and majestic legacy for your family in Houston’s premier cemetery development. Sincerely,

russell allen, President P. 2 8 1 . 4 9 7. 2 2 1 0 |

w w w. R e f l e c t i o n l a k e e s t a t e s . c o m

gentleman’s room high tech

Home Home


hough we’re a decade into the 21st century, we still have far to go before we live in fully automated homes like George Jetson. Some unique functionality, however, can be had today with touch-screen devices, remote controls and even voice commands. Here are a few gadgets to jumpstart your abode into the future. And you will certainly be light years ahead of Fred Flintstone.

HomeRemote Gateway If you’ve ever left home wondering if you left the lights on and then had to head back to double check, now there’s a device and service that provides peace of mind. The HomeRemote Gateway is a portal between the Internet and your home that lets you control lights and appliances from your cell phone or a web browser. The Gateway connects to your home network router and acts as the central management system for your home. You can schedule your lights to turn on and off at a specific time, set up event alerts to your cell phone, or e-mail or control an entire group of devices with the touch of a single button all from Gateway’s user-friendly interface. And if your home has a video camera surveillance system, you can even view live video remotely from your cell phone. With a device like this you may actually want to leave your high-tech house. $229 at


Logitech Harmony 1100 Remote Control

Ultra Digital Wireless Surveillance System

When you want to add a touch of luxury to your living room, look no farther than this universal remote control. It’s easy to control the show with this 3.5-inch, fullcolor, touch-screen device cradled in the palm of your hand. The RF (radio frequency) technology controls devices that are out-ofsight or in other rooms. For those who are phobic about programming devices, the Harmony 1100 can easily be customized online and then downloaded to the controller. With that done, you should have no problems controlling your entertainment, lighting or other home functions as the Harmony 1100 works with more than 225,000 devices from over 5,000 brands. $399.99 at

The need for video surveillance systems is rising thanks to the rising statistics on burglaries. In fact, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, one occurs every eight seconds. Fortunately, you can protect what’s important to you with a state-of-the-art, closed-circuit TV observation system. I found an eight-channel wireless surveillance system that is simple to set up and easy to use. The package comes equipped with four ultra digital wireless cameras and four more can be added to the system. My favorite feature is the space-saving, 19-inch LCD surveillance monitor/DVR combination. It has pre-event recording for a pre-set time prior to motion triggered activity, the cameras have night vision and a microphone for listen-in surveillance, and the 160GB hard drive will hold weeks of video. $1,900 at Michael Garfield Known as “The High-Tech Texan®” to audiences nationwide, Michael hosts technology and issueoriented talk radio shows six days a week on The 9-5-0. See what he’s up to at

Logitech | Hawking Technologies | Vigilance & Security

Story | Michael Garfield

gentleman’s room outdoors

Where to cast-and-blast Dozens of Texas lodges, guides and outfitters offer the service, but you won’t find any better than these two:

Fins & Feathers Story | Doug Pike

Bay Flats Lodge – Chris Martin


ot for the weak or weary, the ritual known as cast-and-blast is an unforgettable experience for those who can stand the heat, both literally and figuratively. September on the Texas coast marks the change from summer to fall. Well, almost. Truth is, weather can still be stifling hot and sufficiently humid to pose a drowning risk. It is the first month that ends in “er” and rhymes with “brrr,” making that enough in this sweatbox of a region to count for something. That something is counted among devoted anglers as the month in which reds and trout, driven more by photoperiod than temperature, abandon their summer lethargy to fatten themselves up for winter. Hunters know September as the month in which dove and teal seasons open. And all across Texas, for men and women who can ignore sleep and love eating excessive amounts

of outstanding food, there are outfitters who host double-dip trips known as cast-and-blast. Half fishing trip, half hunting trip, all good. There are two ways to skin a 24-hour cast-and-blast. One or the other will sound almost logical and doable to anyone, but rest assured that you will finish the exercise entirely spent and in need of at least a half day’s recuperation. Some outfitters prefer that you arrive one evening, enjoy a fine meal and a few laughs, sleep as you can against the anticipation, and then sip from both fountains the following day. A morning hunt for doves or teal is followed by a quick lunch and then an afternoon flats fishing. Or vice versa, depending on weather and tide. You empty the room and pack your gear after lunch, enjoy your second session, then wave goodbye as the next crew is

welcomed into camp. Or, you might be asked to arrive midday, fish or hunt that afternoon, do the eat-sleep thing and get back in the field or on the water the next morning. Both are good plans. Neither will leave you feeling exactly daisy fresh as you finally turn the car into your own driveway. Do yourself and your employer a favor and take the following day off because you’ll be worthless either from sleep-deprivation or because you can’t stop telling stories about your adventure. Cast-and-blast tired is a good tired—the kind that will eventually make you eager to repeat the fun. doug pike Doug has traveled the world to satisfy his passion for the outdoors. During his career, he has won 100-plus state and national awards for writing, broadcast and photography.

Bay Flats Lodge Owned by Chris and Deb Martin, Bay Flats is a beautiful property outside Seadrift. Book well in advance or have a backup plan. While booking your adventure, beg for a dinner of raspberry-chipotle duck during your stay. Guides are top-notch, full-time pros who can find fish and call birds. 888-677-4868,

Shoal Grass Lodge Owned by Bobby Caskey and managed by Terry Upton, two of the most sincere and attentive hosts in the outdoors industry. In addition to fine hunting and fishing around Redfish Bay at Aransas Pass, Shoal Grass also features first-rate meeting facilities and nearby golf. Corporate retreat anyone? 866-758-5307,

september/october • 2010



Continentof Contrasts Explore South America in style aboard the Regent Seven Seas Mariner Story | Linda Bauer

Photography | Steve & Linda Bauer

september/october • 2010




outh America is a continent of spectacular extremes, where bigger is better and travelers are treated to such awe-inspiring sights as glacial peaks in the Andes and steamy jungles in the Amazon. To experience this amazing and wondrous place, there is no better way than aboard a Regent Seven Seas cruise, where samba and salsa are embraced, and distinctive cuisine and friendly staff are the order of the day. Six-star luxuries begin from the moment you step aboard the Regent Seven Seas Mariner, beginning with a glass of champagne served by an escort who soon whisks you to your suite complete with private balcony (97 percent of the ship’s suites have private balconies). With only 700 guests, the size of the ship is perfect for mixing and mingling, or reading and resting.


The Regent cruise line is famous for its fine cuisine and the new Prime 7 Steakhouse is no exception. With such entrees as Dover sole, lobster, King crab and premium steaks—all served with fine wines, mind you—this restaurant will take your onboard dining experience to new heights. Foodies will also delight in the Le Cordon Bleu inspired cuisine served in the intimate Signatures and Compass Rose dining room. Cooking classes with a Cordon Bleu chef are another specialty offered. For real insight into the local culture, guest lecturers educate and entertain guests with their wit and wisdom. Most recently, Jean-Michel Cousteau delighted guests with stories about his famous father and explained his lifetime commitment to the Ocean Futures Society, while Terry Breen, an anthropologist


and storyteller, enthusiastically related her love of every aspect of South America. More onboard amenities include the Canyon Ranch Spa—which offers luxurious treatments, exercise classes and personal trainers—as well as a selection of retailers for your shopping enjoyment. On this particular cruise, onboard jewelers give special attention to guests who wish to take advantage of the exquisite jewels this amazing continent has to offer. While days at sea are full of activities and seem to fly by, the highlights of this cruise can be found at the various port excursions in South America. With stops in Peru, Chile and Argentina, among others, the ultimate highlight may be the opportunity to sail to the world’s southernmost city Ushuaia, also known as “the end of the world.” From there, the ships sails on

to Antarctica, where a special pilot boards to guide it for several days through the treacherous, iceberg filled Antarctic waters. With 90 percent of the world’s ice and 70 percent of the world’s fresh water located here, Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest place on earth. The visibility and motion of the ocean vary daily and provide spectacular sights. After spending several days at sea in Antarctica, the Falkland Islands are a welcome treat. On shore, you can visit old battlefields where mine sweepers remove hazards before your eyes or encounter wild penguins frolicking on the shores. From the Falklands, it’s on to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where passengers can visit Evita Peron’s grave, cruise the Tigre delta or take tango lessons. Take a private plane trip to Iguazu Falls or visit the

september/october • 2010



Argentinean ranches and estancias, where succulent beef is served and hearty gauchos show off their amazing skills with aplomb. The next port of call is Rio de Janeiro, where a cog rail will take you up Corcovado to stand beneath the Christ of the Andes, giving you amazing views of Sugarloaf ’s majesty. It’s a city where you can also enjoy samba shows or simply chill on Copacabana beach. Entering the Amazon after experiencing the wonders of coastal Brazil is undoubtedly one of the greatest thrills at sea. Bubble gum pink dolphins frolic in the fresh water and the air is filled with beautiful butterflies and moths. A tour of a jungle tributary reveals flora and fauna like nowhere else on earth. This entire journey is one of spectacular sights with music, animals and extremes. The meeting of the waters


provides one of the most memorable contrasts of colors on earth. Piranha fishing from a riverboat had to be the most unique of all the fabled excursions. This cruise up and down the Amazon took us to exotic ports of call and various treks, shows and unique opportunities to better understand river life. South America is brimming with deep traditions, wonderful cuisine, fantastic wines and marvelous cultures. It reaches from the warm Caribbean to the icy Antarctic, to the cities of Rio and Buenos Aires. Whether you treks through the jungle, ride horseback in Argentina, go glacier gazing, tango dancing and penguin, or lazily linger on your balcony sipping wine and watching the sea, Regent offers the very best. So pack warm woolies and a swimsuit for a marvelous, exciting cruise of contrasts. Bon voyage!


Ports of Call

regent seven seas mariner • grand circle south american cruise • 71 nights, jan. 11 to march 23, 2011 Jan. 11 – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Jan. 14 – Willemstad, Curaçao Jan. 15 – Oranjestad, Aruba Jan. 16 – Cartagena, Colombia Jan. 20 – Manta, Ecuador Jan. 21 – Guayaquil, Ecuador Jan. 23 – Salaverry, Peru Jan. 24 – Lima (Callao), Peru Jan. 26 – Pisco, Peru Jan. 29 – Coquimbo, Chile Jan. 30 – Valparaíso, Chile Feb. 1 – Puerto Montt, Chile Feb. 2 – Puerto Chacabuco, Chile Feb. 3 – Laguna San Rafael, Chile Feb. 6 – Punta Arenas, Chile

Feb. 7 – Ushuaia, Argentina Feb. 8 – Drake Passage, Antarctica Feb. 9 – Deception Island, Antarctica Feb. 10 – Paradise Bay, Antarctica, Antarctica Feb. 11 – Half Moon Island, Antarctica Feb. 13 – Port Stanley, Falkland Islands Feb. 15 – Puerto Madryn, Argentina Feb. 17 – Montevideo, Uruguay Feb. 18 – Buenos Aires, Argentina Feb. 21 – Montevideo, Uruguay Feb. 22 – Punta Del Este, Uruguay Feb. 23 – Rio Grande, Brazil Feb. 25 – São Paulo (Santos), Brazil Feb. 26 – Paraty, Brazil Feb. 27 – Ilha Grande, Brazil Feb. 28 – Búzios, Brazil

March 1 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil March 4 – Salvador de Bahia, Brazil March 6 – Fortaleza, Brazil March 9 – Macapá (Amazon River), Brazil March 10 – Alter do Chão (Amazon River), Brazil March 11 – Boca Da Valeria, Brazil March 12 – Manaus (Amazon River), Brazil March 13 – Parintins (Amazon River), Brazil March 14 – Santarém (Amazon River), Brazil March 16 – Devil’s Island, French Guiana March 18 – Bridgetown, Barbados March 19 – St. John’s, Antigua March 20 – Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas March 23 – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

september/october • 2010


escape enlightened explorer

Pampered Pooch If your pampered pooch isn’t spoiled to the max, then

Jumeirah Essex House in New York will be icing on the doggie biscuit. The iconic New York hotel has launched its first ever Canine Turndown Program. The hotel has partnered with Amy Kizer, doggie designer to the stars, to create this luxurious pet-pampering service, which includes a gift bag with a plush fleece blanket and homemade doggie treats. If it’s too hot to take your pooch for a day in the Big Apple, a doggie hospitality attendant will attend to your dog’s every need. For more information, visit

On a Mission Looking for somewhere new to stay on your luxury getaway? Try the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, this year’s winner of Fodor’s Choice Gold Award. Recognized as a leader in its field, the inn and spa are located 40 miles north of San Francisco in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, which affords breathtaking views. Visit fairmont. com for information.


If you’re planning to visit Russia any time soon, the Radisson Royal Hotel in Moscow is a must-see. The newly refurbished five-star hotel promises a luxurious stay along with a healthy serving of Russian history and heritage. If Russian art is a major interest, you’re in luck. The interior of the hotel features restored ceiling frescoes and murals, and more than 1,200 original works by famous Russian artists. This hotel not only promises luxury, but is also an art fan’s feast. Visit royal-Moscow for more information.

Clockwise from top left: Jumeirah Essex House | Radisson Royal Hotel Moscow | Fairmont Hotels & Resort

To Russia With Love

escape enlightened explorer

Texas Fall Fests September Houston Hot Sauce Festival

Medina Lake Cajun Festival

Southwest International Boat Show

Fantastic Fest

Plano Balloon Festival October Cuero Turkey Fest

Chocolate Lovers Festival

Art of the Cocktail Halekulani on Waikiki, one of the world’s finest and most acclaimed

luxury resorts, is unveiling Halekulani Living, a new luxury lifestyle series designed to cater to a variety of needs. “The Art of the Cocktail” provides guests with the opportunity to “mix” and mingle with some of the world’s top mixologists, including Dale DeGroff, Julie Reiner and Tony Abou-Ganim. Enjoy lively seminars learning everything you ever wanted to know about classic and contemporary cocktails and take the opportunity to create a signature bloody mary while enjoying a three-course brunch. The event takes place Sept. 17-19. Visit for more information.

Open Book This September, Jérôme Chevalier, owner of

Historic Mansfield Music Festival The Shops at La Cantera Arts Festival

Canton in the City Holiday Gift Market

See more new hotel openings and Texas fall festivals at

Pavillon de la Reine, will open a second small luxury hotel in Paris that combines arts, literature and fine design located in the 8th arrondissement. Didier Benderli (a Jacques Garcia protégé) is heading up the design of this new literary property, which is devoting each of its 26 rooms to a letter of the alphabet and an international writer corresponding to that letter (think H for Hugo or B for Balzac). Text from the corresponding author’s book will be painted above the bed and a hard copy of the book can be found on the nightstand…right next to the iPad in each room, loaded with international bestsellers. Closed in 2009 and previously called the Hotel Elyseé, the hotel is being transformed from a twostar property into a four-star hotel complete with two penthouse suites with sweeping views of the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais. While sharing a designer with its sister hotel, Pavillon de la Reine, Pavillon des Lettres has a more modern feel. The Pavillon des Lettres is an impossibly chic gem for travelers who enjoy literature, galleries and modern art and prefer something slightly discreet.


Cruise News Beginning Nov. 14, 2011, Carnival Cruise Lines's newest ship, the Carnival Magic, will be docking in Galveston. With a debut in Europe in May 2011, the ship will offer seven-, nineand 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona, followed by a 16-day transAtlantic crossing from Barcelona to Galveston. The world’s largest LED chandelier ever aboard a cruise ship was installed aboard Norwegian Epic. The structure is 21 feet high and is shown here spanning more than the height of two decks in the Epic Casino. It weighs more than two metric tons and has more than 40,000 crystal glass pieces. Celebrate Thanksgiving on Crystal Cruise's Mexican Riviera Christmas/New Year cruise in the Caribbean or just take a break from the pre- and post-holiday stress with seven- to 10-day Mexican Riviera sailings. If you book your cruise by Sept. 30, enjoy savings of $1,000 or $500 per person.

Clockwise from top left: Hotels & Resorts of Halekulani | Norwegian Cruise Line | Pavillion de Letters

Europe. The art. The food. The service. And then you disembark. 7-Night Eastern Mediterranean Cruise onboard Celebrity Constellation® Barcelona roundtrip

September 11 through October 30, 2010 Veranda starting from


1,099 * †

For more information, or to make a reservation contact:

Woodlake Travel 1800 Post Oak Blvd.


CELEBRITY CRUISES RESERVES THE RIGHT TO IMPOSE A FUEL SUPPLEMENT OF UP TO $10USD PER GUEST PER DAY ON ALL GUESTS IF THE PRICE OF WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE FUEL EXCEEDS $65.00 PER BARREL. *Prices are in U.S. dollars, cruise-only, per person, based on double occupancy, on select sailings, and subject to availability. Itinerary and prices subject to change without notice. Government taxes and fees are additional. Certain restrictions apply. ©2010 Celebrity Cruises Inc. Ships’ registry: Malta and Ecuador. 10019460 • 6/2010 †

10019460_CEL_Europe_4X5_Ad.indd 1

6/3/10 1:01 PM

post cards

See + do

Living, Dear Prime Halloween to partake in If you like on the k al w y pl sim festivities or ia’s or ct Vi of things, wilder side tonio is An n Sa in Inn Black Swan u. The inn place for yo the perfect site of 1867 on the was built in , so you do la le of Sa the 1842 Batt tiful au that this be can be sure d lore. an n io it ad d in tr inn is steepe p in the m bu gs that go But for thin putation re a s ha n also night, the in t haunted e of the mos e for being on t worry, th s. But don’ e m sites in Texa co el w ill spirits w ghosts and mantha eartedly. – Sa -h le ho w u yo

For more San Antonio fun, check out these popular tours and sites

San Antonio


Story | Samantha Edmondson


on’t fret if one night is all that you can handle at a haunted inn. San Antonio offers much more, including the quaint Riverwalk Plaza Hotel (100 Villita) located in the downtown historic district, just a short walk to the Alamo. If enjoying hilltop luxury is more your style, make a reservation at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country (9800 Hyatt Resort). This resort and spa is ideal for 27 holes of championship golf or luxurious spa treatments that will bring you to a new state of bliss. San Antonio not only has countless places to lay your head, it has even more places to dine. With more than 80 selections of tequila available, the Iron Cactus stands apart as a premier dining and drinking destination (200 Riverwalk). If great Mexican food and tequila aren’t what you want,


beat it to the three-story Hard Rock Café (111 W. Crocket) on the city’s popular Riverwalk. It’s amazing how many people miss seeing the Alamo while in San Antonio. Granted, it is small and there’s no neon lighting to announce it, but it’s also only a short walk from numerous hotels, restaurants and the Riverwalk. The Alamo (300 Alamo Plaza) is located in the heart of the city and is a jewel surrounded by thoughtfully landscaped grounds. San Antonio isn’t only a gold mine for Texas history buffs, it’s also a gold mine for shoppers. At Market Square, there’s an array of boutiques, specialty shops, produce stands and craft vendors. La Villita Historic Arts Village promises one-of-akind gifts and souvenirs, such as hand-woven rugs, metal works, clothing and Native American jewelry and art, in one of the oldest areas of the city.

Alamo City Ghosts Tours

Explore the paranormal side of San Antonio with a ghost tour that’s offered day or night. You can choose to walk through graveyards or take a private limo. Whichever way you go, you will see two of the city’s oldest hanging trees, an old Spanish palace, battlefields, old hotels, cemeteries and the Alamo Plaza area. 212 Losoya. 210-336-7831, Tower of the Americas

The 750-foot-tall tower offers a panoramic view of the Alamo city. Dine at the towers revolving restaurant or just take in the view from the observation deck. 600 Hemisfair Plaza Way. 210-2233101,

Clockwise from top left: Daughters of the Republic of Texas at the Alamo | Crash Tammie | Jonathan Jackson | Penny Burt

San Antonio Museum of Art

The mission of the San Antonio Museum of Art is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret significant works of art representing a broad range of history and world cultures. Be sure to dedicate plenty of time to see all that this museum offers. 200 West Jones Ave. 210-978-8100,

live well

hair Apparent Story | Sally J. Clasen


air. It can be a woman’s crowning glory…or thorn in her defeated mane. Short vs. long, to color or not to color? At any age, it’s an endless quest for coif perfection, but it’s not always easy to know what styles are appropriate or flattering, especially for women in their 40s, 50s and beyond. Ceron, top-dollar stylist and owner of Ceron Salon in Houston and Dallas, says it’s time to shed the aging hair clichés. “The key is to find a hair style that works for you, period. There are no rules. It’s about attitude, not length. You don’t need to wear your hair short or like your mother did at a certain age,” he says. If you’re searching for a hair cue, Ceron says it’s OK to look to the stars for inspiration:


live well


think pink Show your support by attending these Breast Cancer Awareness Month events

Oct. 2 2010 Komen Houston Race for the Cure

Competitive and non-competitive 5K run and walk. Sam Houston Park, Downtown Houston. 6 a.m. registration. 713-783-9188,

Demi Moore Her natural flowing waves fly in the conventional face of hair wisdom that suggests older women shouldn’t wear long locks. A testament to her timeless mane is that young girls want to emulate her style, says Ceron, a look he refers to as “beachy.” The tousled but soft cut is achieved with a balance of layers and mouse for volume, which he suggests be applied to almost dry hair. Then air dry or finish with a diffuser. You also can add texture to ends of hair by highlighting them with a shade two times lighter.

Oct. 14 Nancy Owens Memorial Luncheon Julianne Moore It’s all about vibrant color and body when it comes to imitating this red-hot redhead’s look. Moore’s long bob is ultramodern, but channels vintage Hollywood a la “Valley of the Dolls” and Veronica Lake, says Ceron. The glamorous movement comes from multiple layers that start at the chin, which shape and define. How to get the look? To add volume, use 1-1/2-inch Velcro rollers.

Ninth annual luncheon featuring Allen Wilson, male breast cancer survivor. Westin Galleria Houston, 5060 W. Alabama. Call for time. $100. Sponsorships available. 713-932-1032,

Oct. 16 Project Pink Seminar, Luncheon and Style Show

Help fight breast cancer in style. North Cypress Medical Center, 21214 Northwest Fwy. 11 a.m. $55. 832-912-3820,

Oct. 25 Pink Ladies Golf Tournament

50's + 60's

Nine-hole tournament for lady golfers new to the sport. Benefitting the American Cancer Society. Sugar Creek Country Club, 420 Sugar Creek Blvd., Sugar Land. 8:30 a.m. $75. 713-706-5645,

Oct. 28-29 6th Annual Breast Health Summit

For survivors, advocates, caregivers and supporters. United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive. 281-464-5144,

Oct. 28 to Nov. 7 Holiday Shopping Card Sharon Stone Stone rocks the sexy-but-sophisticated shag with mid-century confidence, says Ceron. The key to her style, which he describes as “one of the most crazy haircuts,” is a blend of short and long layers with the longer ones starting at the crown. The chic cut suits most hair types and is a relatively easy coif to maintain. Use a pomade to separate and keep the wispy hairs in place.

Barbra Streisand The legendary entertainer sports a reverse bob, which is shorter in the back and longer in the front and accentuates a long neck. Streisand made the “stacked” style famous and from it, several variations have emerged, showing that it’s a versatile cut that can deliver many daily looks. “You can pull it back in a chignon for a sophisticated effect or can make it curly. You can dress it up or down,” Ceron says.

Save at more than 700 greater Houston retailers while benefitting the American Cancer Society. 800-227-2345,

Oct. 30 D’Feet Breast Cancer Run/Walk

Designed to raise funds for mammograms for uninsured Galveston County women ages 40 to 64. Moody Gardens, One Hope Blvd., Galveston. 409-771-5574,

september/october • 2010


live well

Time in a Bottle Along with other body transformations, hair sometimes takes on a new identity as we age. Wear and tear, decreases in estrogen levels, effects from stress and other medical issues can contribute to dull, lifeless, even thinning hair. Certain products and styling tools can help protect and promote healthy hair to keep you hair in tip-top shape. According to Mark Horn, owner of Solution for Hair in Houston, the hair care industry is following closely behind the skincare industry in providing anti-aging products, particularly those made from natural ingredients such as black current, soy protein and algae. In fact, his salon will soon be offering a new line of antiaging hair care products made with a derivative of sunflower seeds. Products containing vitamin C are also popular, as are brands made with hydrolyzed soy protein, a vegetable-sourced protein that contains cystine for strengthening and nourishment. Horn also says the industry is focusing on nanotechnology, which provides maximum color protection on a molecular level. When it comes to choosing the right products, Horn says many women are challenged with using hair products that fit the season. “In the summer, use shampoos that add moisture and nourishment, gels for the hold factor and oil-free products to keep hair from being weighed down. Mousse foams are good as well. In the winter, don’t wash hair as often and back off of the moisture-inducing shampoos and styling products. Also, back off the mousse in the winter and use less conditioning,” he says. Here are a few of our picks for shiny, healthy and age-defying hair:

Schwarzkopf Professional BC Time Restore Treatment Contains a higher concentration of Q10 Plus, a co-enzyme that helps activate the production of keratins.

L’Oréal Professionnel Série Expert Age Densiforce Shampoo Made with an omega 6 and lipid ester formula that targets the cuticle and hair surface.

Fekkai Ageless Shampoo and Conditioner Primes cuticles to optimize vital nutrients and combats biological age accelerators.

N4 L’eau de Mer Hydrating Shampoo Vitamin B5 properties create shine and strength.

Kerastase Masque Substantif Featuring hyaluronic acid, which hydrates and rebalances the scalp while adding moisture,body and suppleness.

Moody Mane

It’s estimated that women spend $50,000 on their hair over a lifetime, so it’s no surprise that a bad hair day can produce some un“do” emotional reactions. For others, it can be a real head case that spirals into something beyond superficial sensitivity. Dr. Marianne LaFrance, PhD, professor of psychology and women’s and gender studies at Yale University, conducted a study that evaluated men and women to determine the effect of bad hair days on mood. She discovered that unmanageable manes can cause negative psychological consequences, and determined that self-esteem issues, including self-doubt, social insecurity and poor job performance, intensified with a bad hair day.


Aveda Light Elements Smoothing Fluid Plant-based ingredients, like certified organic jojoba, condition and smooth hair.

“Interestingly, both women and men are negatively affected by the phenomenon of bad hair days,” says LaFrance. “Even more fascinating is our finding that individuals perceive their capabilities to be significantly lower than others when experiencing bad hair.” Results from the study indicated that a perception of bad hair leads to a reduced sense of performance self-esteem, causing men and women to doubt their capabilities and perform below their level of competence. In addition, just the thought of a bad hair day caused both men and women to feel they are not as smart as others. The most surprising hair-raising revelation: the impact on performance selfesteem was more pronounced among men.

Gray Matter Show off your silver crown with these great tips

Shampoo regularly with a moisturizing shampoo. Graying thins the cuticle of the hair, which makes the strands break easier. A good moisturizing shampoo will help protect your hair from looking and feeling coarse. Use a shampoo specifically made for graying hair once a week. These types of shampoos help prevent hair from yellowing due to sun, smoke and other airborne pollutants. Don’t use the shampoo too often, or you’ll end up being a blue-haired old lady long before your time. Treat your hair with a clear gel or clear mousse once a mouth that is specifically designed to put shine in gray hair. Stay away from tinted products as they may alter the color of your hair. If you’re growing out your silver mane—which has become a popular trend—you don’t have to sacrifice color for length. It’s all about blending hues. If you have light amounts of gray, match dye to your silver to create highlights. If you have dyed hair, use lowlights on your roots to help blend the dark hues. If you have uneven patches of gray, try platinum streaks to help even the patches out to a salt and pepper style. Not feeling an urge to go for color? Let gray hair grow out naturally, but go in for an occasional trim. As hair loses pigment, it also often becomes thinner and more prone to damage. By regularly trimming your hair, you help prevent already thin strands from splitting and looking messy.



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Houston Restaurant Week Kick-Off


Bistro Don Camillo • 7.22.10


Prime Living and Houston Restaurant Week partnered once again to help raise funds for the Houston Food Bank. As one of many kick-offs for Houston Restaurant Week, Prime Living and Bistro Don Camillo treated guests to an evening of excitement and mouth-watering Italian delights. Proprietors Jean-Philippe and Genevieve Guy charmed attendees with their hospitality, amazing talent for French cuisine and, of course, their wonderful French accents. Guests also had the opportunity to mingle with Cleverley Stone, founder of Houston Restaurant Week, and Amy Ragan of the Houston Food Bank. Photography | Roswitha Vogler










10 See more event photos at 1 Dwight & Karen Cook 2 Donnie Stewart, Jean Philippe Guy 3 Kathy Boyhan, Julie Shapiro, M.L. Shniderson 4 Taylor Smith, Samantha Bowman, Austin McDowell, Brittany Boone 5 Sara Cook, Carla Hackett 6 Beth Benson, Bill Robertson 7 Jean Philippe & Genevieve Guy, Amine Matta 8 Cari Schoemate, Nancy Mathe 9 Frances Elliot, Cleverley Stone, Allyson Goodloe, Amy Ragan 10 Ana Martin, Michael Pearson, Nanette Garelis, Cristal Moore


An Evening of Golf and Glamour


Jaguar Houston Central • 7.15.10


Only a select few had the opportunity to join Prime Living and Jaguar Houston Central at the official unveiling of the 2011 Jaguar XJ. Prime Living’s own Doug Pike emceed the event, which featured PGA golf pro Gilbert Torres giving pointers on the perfect stroke, a stunning scene created by Flowers by Nino, and an exhibit of luxurious golf carts and specialty vehicles by Golf Cars of Houston. Guests also raved about the hand selected British bites provided by Brady’s Landing and the display of unique timepieces by Donoho’s Jewelers. Photography| Leroy Gibbins










get on the list at

1 John Adams, Gilbert Torres 2 Ondina Aguirre, Elena Zoubok 3 Diane Eilbec, Shannon Paige 4 Nikki Hart, Myron Heronema 5 Doug Pike, Gilbert Torres 6 Wanda LeBlanc, Dolly Berry, Bromley Oliver 7 Sharon and Tom DeWitt 8 Cary Grider 9 Bruna Devale, Paula Colombo, Richard van der Dys

september/october • 2010


Best of Both Worlds


Porsche West Houston • 7.20.10


Prime Living, inMotion Marketing, Porsche West Houston and 300 of their closest friends celebrated the “best of both worlds” at the official unveiling of the 2011 Porsche Cayenne. To effectively represent the all-new Cayenne, the event’s theme showcased the sentiment that Porsche does not make you choose between what you want and what you need, it simply gives you both. Stunning arrangements provided by Flowers by Nino embellished the event, led by Prime Living columnist and emcee Michael Garfield. Guests indulged in specialty hors d’oeuvres provided by Brady’s Landing, which cleverly incorporated cayenne into each dish, and swooned over beautiful pieces from Lewis Jewelers and a stunning array of Audemars Piguet watches. Photography | Roswitha Vogler






6 See more event photos at


1 Claudia Roberts, Maria Moncada-Alaoui, Mario Williams, Amie Krueger 2 Flowers by Nino 3 Deanna Gelwicks, Patricia White 4 Nino Shbeeb, Karyn Dean, Andre Fafara 5 Kattya Solis 6 Peter Thomson, Slade Lewis 7 Carla Burton, Robert Horry, Karyn Dean 8 Cary Grider



Supercharged Summer


Houston Motor Club • 6.9.10


On June 9, Houston Motor Club guests cooled off with summer cocktails and some of the coolest cars in Houston! While enjoying light bites from Eddie V’s, guests had the special privilege of taking part in the introduction of a Pearl White Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder to the club’s collection. The fun continued when one lucky guest went home with a pair of designer shades from Houston’s coolest sunglass boutique, Eye Couture. Photography | Doug Duhram


3 get on the list at

Choose this treasure for business with pleasure!

Plan your business and family functions, conferences, weddings, reunions, and church retreats at the resort preferred by guests for quality and convenience. • Elegant ballrooms and banquet spaces • Dramatic 2-story suites available • Luxurious spa and 130,000-square-foot fitness center • 2 golf courses nearby

South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center

Just south of Houston on scenic Clear Lake (281) 334-1000 •

Call now for information about holiday parties, Thanksgiving Buffet, Breakfast with Santa and Sunday Brunches.


Oct. 13 13 Annual Bad Pants Open Golf tournament benefiting the Newborn Center at Texas Children’s Hospital. The Clubs of Kingwood, 1700 Lake Kingwood Trail. 11 a.m. $500. 832-8242124, th

Oct. 14

Wings Over Houston Air Show, Oct. 23-24

Sept. 14 Best Cellars Celebrity Dinner Dinner recongizing some of Houston’s top wine collectors who will share vintages from their personal cellars. Benefiting the T.J. Martell Foundation. River Oaks Country Club, 1600 River Oaks Blvd. 7 p.m. $1,000. 615-2562002,

Sept. 17 Fort Bend Seniors Groovy Party Come out and get down to one of Fort Bend Seniors' signature events. Safari Texas Ballroom, 11627 FM 1464, Richmond. 6:30 p.m. $65. 281-633-7057,

Sept. 17-19

Community Oak’s Meadow Park, 16919 N. Bridgeland Lake Pkwy., Cypress. 10 a.m. Free. 281-3045588,

Oct. 5 Central Houston Annual Meeting Christopher Leinberger of the Brookings Institution will be the keynote speaker. Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar. 11:30 a.m. $150. 713-650-1470,

Oct. 8 Food For Thought Luncheon Authors, like teachers, invent, imagine, explore, create and inspire. Benefiting transcendent learning experience for teachers. Hotel ZaZa, 5701 Main St. Noon. $125. 713-296-6141,

Fall Antiques Show & Sale More than 150 antique dealers from around the world will be showcased. George R Brown Oct. 8 Convention Center, 1001 Avenida Harmony-Experience East Asia De Las Americas. 11 a.m. $10. 281-658-5382, Seventh annual fundraiser benefiting Asians Against Domestic Abuse. Hilton Post Oak, Sept. 22 2001 Post Oak Blvd. 11:30 a.m. Second Annual Black Bag Affair $100. 713-974-3743, Fashion show luncheon benefiting Dress for Success. La Oct. 9 Hacienda, 12503 Telge Road, Bay Area/Galveston Cypress. Noon. $50. 281-517Memory Walk 1008, The nation’s largest event in raising awareness and funds for Sept. 25 Alzheimer care, support and Nature Fest research. Stewart Beach Pavilion, Family event featuring a multitude 201 Seawall Blvd., Galveston. 8 of nature-themed activities. a.m. 713-314-1313,


Mary Jo Peckham Luncheon & Fashion Show Annual luncheon and fashion show benefiting the philanthropic programs of the Assistance League of Houston. River Oaks Country Club, 1600 River Oaks Blvd. 11 a.m. $150. 713-5267983,


River Oaks Country Club, 1600 River Oaks Blvd. 10 a.m. $150. 713-798-3802,

Oct. 29 Boo Ball Honoring Marilyn and Louis Mogas and Mogas Industry Volunteers. Benefiting the Ronald McDonald house. Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar. 6:30 p.m. $300. 713-795-3500,

Oct. 30 Northwest Harris County Heart Walk Non-competitive, three-mile walk benefiting the American Heart Association. Towne Lake, 9214 W. Bridgeport Pass Circle, Cypress. 9 a.m. 866-430-9255,

Bay Area Heart Walk Non-competitive, three-mile walk benefiting the American Heart Oct. 30 Association. Kemah Boardwalk, 8 Kemah Boardwalk. 8 a.m. 713- Fort Bend Memory Walk The nation’s largest event in 610-5072, raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and Oct. 16 research. AMC First Colony North Harris/Montgomery Theatre, 3301 Town Centre County Memory Walk Blvd., Sugar Land. 7:30 a.m. The nation’s largest event in 713-314-1313, raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. Town Green Park, 2099 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands. 7:30 a.m. 800-2723900,

Oct. 23-24 26th Annual Wings Over Houston Air Show One of the top air shows in its category, attracting more than 85,000 festival goers. Ellington Airport, 11900 Galveston Road. 8 a.m. Prices vary. 713-266-4492,

Oct. 27 2010 Women’s Health Summit Educational forum and luncheon with keynote speaker, Lesley Stahl, Emmy award-winning journalist and co-editor of “60 Minutes.”

Mary Jo Peckham Luncheon & Fashion Show, Oct. 14

Prices listed are for individual tickets. Sponsorships may be available. Event dates, times and prices subject to change. To have your event considered for inclusion in the Datebook, send complete event information to

Kevin Hong | Todd Parker


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Back toBack Finding the humor in expressing himself, artist

Frank Bielec lets his creative (back)side get the best of him during his photo shoot at the St. Regis Houston.


Photographed by Mark Lipczynski on July 1, 2010.

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Prime Living - Sep / Oct 2010  
Prime Living - Sep / Oct 2010  

Prime Living is greater Houston’s affluent authority. For those who know that life’s greatest pleasure is the luxury of choice. We’re here t...