Prime Living - Sep/Oct 09

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september/october 2009


The Luxury of Choice

LuvYa Blue

Former Oilers coach Bum Phillips is stillthe real deal

Ghost Hunt

What goes bump in the nightat Houston’s most haunted

Art & Soul

Chef Robert Gadsby masters theart of fine food

Only in

texas 41 reasons to love the Lone Star State

What if digital breast imaging could give us a more accurate idea of what’s inside?

Digital mammography. The very latest in breast cancer diagnosis from Memorial Hermann Southeast. W hat if a mammogram could be done more quickly, with equal or lower doses of radiation? W hat if our experts could get a more precise view of potential breast cancer? At Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, we never stop asking what if. Constantly asking what if is what led us to offer our patients digital mammography. This

technology takes an image of the breast that can be stored and sent electronically. Experienced breast radiologists at Memorial Hermann Southeast can then use state-of-the-art software to interpret the mammogram. Digital mammography. It’s just another example of how we make breakthroughs — every day.

Same-day and Saturday appointments are often available. Call 281.929.6485 to schedule your mammogram at the Breast Care Center-Southeast. Visit for more information.


september/october 2009

Bum smile when you call him

Former Houston Oilers head coach is a true Texas icon


texas treasures

41 things worth braggin’ about in the Lone Star State


houston haunts

Historic buildings are home to ghosts of Houston’s past



30 september/october • 2009




11 • cocktails & conversations • Where to Go, What to Do 10 Signs It’s Football Season • Wine Find • Need a Lift? • Fall Fests • City Q&A • Wine Maestro • Jean Therapy • ‘Tis the Season • My Life

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Karyn Dean

Publisher Terry Dean

Managing Editor Michelle Jacoby

39 • connoisseur • PL’s Guide to Discerning Taste Bedford • Good Eats • Cleverley’s Corner Table • Blackstone • Girls Day Out

49 • the gentleman's room • For the man who commands the very best Harley-Davidson • She’s Leaving Home • Trucker Paradise • Hot Wings • Game On 66 • live well • Feel Good, Look Good Know Your Genes • Fighting the Wrinkle War

Assistant Editor Sue Hauenstein

Art Direction & Design SW!TCH s t u d i o Jim Nissen, Erin Loukili, Chaidi Lobato, Kris Olmon

68 • dining guide • dine out & dig in at houston’s top restaurants 74 • prime list • Events, Galas and Fundraisers Prime Living Messina Hof Harvest • 12th Annual Ambassadors’ Club Soiree • Prime Living’s Houston Restaurant Week Kick-Off • Black Ties & Baseball Caps • Datebook

Senior Account Executive Linda Osborne

Account Executives Mike Taylor

Cynthia Liska



Marketing/Event Coordinator Jennifer Dean

Circulation/ Distribution Brian Stavert

Contact 311 Julie Rivers Drive Sugar Land, Texas 77498 281.277.2333


e The Luxury of Choic

Blue LuvYa Oilers coach Bum

Former the real deal Phillips is still

t Huntnightat Ghos goes bump inthe What haunted Houston’s most

Art & Soul Gadsby masters Chef Robert food theart of fine




on the cover


Only texas love the Lone 41 reasons to

Star State

Suit by Ermenegildo Zegna from Saks Fifth Avenue; watch, ring and diamond cuff links from Molina Jewelers; Lucchese alligator tail boots, Stetson hat and Leegin belt from Saba’s Western Wear. Photographed by Mark Peterman, styled by Lisa Forster, model from Ford Robert Black.

Editorial Inquiries Advertising Information 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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publisher’s note ifyou’re fromthe

LONE Star STATE thenyou’llknow

every treasure


karyn dean Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

coming up Get in the spirit of the season with Prime’s Living’s Luxury Gift Guide. In our next issue, we’ll be sharing our picks for the holiday's most to-die-for gifts perfect for friends, family and loved ones.


t was about this time last year (my, how time flies!) when we were preparing to launch Prime Living. Our office was buzzing with excitement and anticipation of the magazine’s debut…however, due to my involvement in the community with Katrina relief efforts, I was on heightened alert with the announcement that Tropical Storm Ike had become a hurricane and was headed our direction. Needless to say, we were some of the lucky ones with only minor damage to our offices and no power for a week. It’s times like these that the grit and adversity that come with being a true Texan shine through. It also makes it fitting that we celebrate all things Texas in this special issue of Prime Living. From Friday night football to the Yellow Rose of Texas, check out our list of real “Texas Treasures” on page 30. If you’re from the Lone Star State, then you’ll know every treasure listed. If you’re not, then “y’all pull up a chair and sit a spell.” One of our most famous Texas treasures is former Houston Oilers football coach Bum Phillips. How many of you were at the Astrodome the day the Oilers and Bum returned from that unjust loss to the Pittsburg Steelers in January 1979? What a turnout! To relive those glory days, be sure to read “Smile When You Call Him Bum” on page 26. You’ll be delighted to know that he and his wife Debbie are doing well and Bum…well, Bum is still as we remember him: Larger than life. Now that the weather is cooling down (okay, just a little) I can’t wait for this year’s slew of fall festivals. If you’re like me, then be sure to read our picks of fall fests that you don’t want to miss. Fall also means the beginning of “empty nesting” for some, like our resident “guy” expert, Bruce Farr. His humorous and touching account of his daughter going off to college is heartwarming and funny. I can’t finish up without plugging the absolute best lemon cake I’ve had in years! It’s Del Frisco’s Lemon Cake and seriously, it will make you forget all about Jenny Craig. Until next time, “Luv Ya Blue!”


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“Our Body of Work Speaks for Itself �

contributORS the talented people who drive prime living


Lisa Forster | Stylist Stylist Lisa Forster has seen her share of the behind-the-scenes workings it takes to create a gorgeous magazine cover. With more than 15 years experience in wardrobe and makeup styling, she has worked with Annie Leibovitz, Albert Watson, Mark Seliger for Vanity Fair, Vogue and GQ. A native of Carefree, Ariz., Lisa enjoys getting back to nature, especially with rides through the desert on her horse Whoa Mega.

Sandra Lord | Haunts Expert This month’s “Houston Haunts” feature couldn’t have happened without the help of Sandra Lord, founder of Discover Houston Tours ( As owner of Houston’s only guided walking tour company, she has conducted over 3,600 tours for more than 48,000 people. This year marks the 10th anniversary of her downtown Ghost Walks and the second year for her Broomstick Adventures.

Mark Peterman | Photographer

Robin Barr Sussman | Writer Freelance writer Robin Barr Sussman normally reports on enlightening food, wine and travel experiences, but this issue, she walked on the dark side. To get you in the spirit, Sussman covered haunted haunts unearthed by those who know the chilling adventures of ghosts returning to their old stomping grounds. Sussman’s work also regularly appears in Private Clubs Magazine, My Table and Modern Luxury Houston.

Mark Lipczynski | Photographer A professional photographer for nine years, Mark Lipczynski has been documenting the human condition for publications and clients in Ohio, California, Arizona and Texas. A self-proclaimed “foodie” (in the photo realm), he specializes in food and dining photography, but has been known to knock out a great portrait, too. Mark is the founder of Shoot for the Stars, a photo project showcasing the work of adults with disabilities.

Dr. Nadya Hasham-Jiwa |

Phoenix-based photographer Mark Peterman shoots for a diverse stable of clients and his work has been published in a wide variety of national and international publications, including Fortune, Rolling Stone and Runner’s World. He recently was selected to participate in a photo project sponsored by the Virginia C. Piper Charitable Trust, a Phoenix-based trust that works with and helps support local nonprofits.

Medical Oncologist A medical oncologist and Medical Director of Specialty Cancer Care (clinic and infusion center), Dr. Nadya Hasham-Jiwa specializes in the treatment of all types of cancers. She is an affiliated physician with the Memorial Hermann Southeast Cancer Center/Radiation Center, where a continuum of diagnostic, treatment and support services designed with the patients’ needs in mind is offered.

cocktails & conversation.

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


12 13 14 15 16 18 22 23 24

• • • • • • • • •

Prime Ten | Football Season Night Out | Wine Find The Buzz | What's New Hot List | Fall Fests Houston Deconstructed | City Q&A Arts | Wine Maestro My Life | Sonya Fitzpatrick Style | Jean Therapy Design | Home Tours september/october • 2009


cocktails & conversation.

prime ten


Signs It’s Football Season

Story | sally j. clasen Illustration | Paul Svancara

Leaves are turning brilliant shades of yellow, temps are on the decline and the smell of pigskin is wafting in the air as the faithful prepare to cheer on their favorite high school, college and professional teams. Here are 10 signs it’s football season: Armchair quarterbacks settle into a reclining field position with requisite potato chips and remote, shouting playbook advice as if they have better insight into how to avoid being crushed by a 375-pound tackle. Otherwise non-verbal members of your household start having animated, emotionally charged conversations while viewing the game, asking rhetorical questions like, “Why didn’t you run the ball?” and “You call that defense?”


The football fashionconscious purchase another $100 synthetic sports jersey to go with the 25 other similar nonbreathable ones hanging in their closet, completing a shirt “collection” that no designer would dare endorse. The lines between reality and roleplaying blur when millions of fans forget they have jobs, kids and other important commitments as they lose themselves in a fake (note: fake) pastime called Fantasy Football.

Your husband, who claims he can’t change the oil in the car or use power tools, reveals a patent-ready barbecue grill he’s built in the off-season especially for tailgating. Football “widows,” suffering from a lack of spousal attention, console themselves with retail therapy and find that buying new purses and shoes is an important step in coping with their sports abandonment issues. Who’s No. 1? The statewide autumnal shouting match begins between the Aggies and the Longhorns, signaling the bell for the greatest inter-collegiate Lone Star football rivalry.

A 58-inch plasma TV appears, along with an expanded sports cable package, in your living room so the “entire family” can live, eat and breathe football 24/7 for the next five months. Forget happy hour. If you want to mingle at the end of the week, try any high school stadium where most Texans, young and old, have gathered to toast their gridiron greats at Friday Night Madness. Irritating, retired NFL football players launch secondary media careers as analysts and color commentators, causing even sports historians to wonder: Who did he play for?

night out

cocktails & conversation.

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

Wine Find

Story | Holly Beretto Photography | Mark W. Lipczynski


ellar 17 is a story of necessity being the mother of invention. Back in 2007, Jeanmarie Lesseraux and her husband Ron, owners of Serious Cigars (located next door), wanted to expand their growing cigar business by renting the adjoining space. There were two problems: They didn’t need all the space and the landlord didn’t want to subdivide it.

So the couple took the all-ornothing deal and used that extra square footage to open a wine bar. “We liked the idea of our cigar patrons being able to go next door, grab a glass of wine and head back to the cigar shop,” says Lesseraux, Cellar 17’s general manager. “Plus, we had this great environment for wine drinkers.” Slipped into a strip center amid the commercial kudzu of FM 1960 in Champions, the bar and retail shop is elegant and inviting. Plush, comfy couches and chairs dot the huge space, interspersed with coffee tables and high tops, some tucked into semi-private alcoves. There’s also a huge back room where guests can host or attend private parties. Wine is available by the glass, bottle or case, and patrons can create custom wine flights to sample what’s on offer. “We decided early on to have smaller production wines, boutique items,” says Lesseraux. Thus, Cellar 17’s nearly 300 wines are ever changing.

Lesseraux says she wants people to think of the wine bar and retail store as a resource; the shop happily places special orders for customers who get hooked on particular favorites. It’s also a place to learn more about wine. Throughout the fall and spring, Lesseraux has several winemaker dinners and tastings scheduled, where drinkers can meet the people behind the products. Add in the live music on the weekends, and it’s easy to see why this is a great grown-up hangout. Another bonus: Cellar 17 offers a small cheese and appetizer menu, but patrons can bring their own food to pair with one of the wines. Cellar 17 is the kind of place where a night out feels like a cozy night in—with much better wine.

cellar 17 6608 fm 1960 road west #c 281-893-6400

Serious Cigars

Featuring the largest humidor in Texas, Cellar 17’s sister business combines cigar warehouse with clubby smoking room. From standard sticks to items only available here, those in the know recognize it as Houston’s premier address for fine smokes. 6608 FM 1960 West #D 281-397-9800

Matsu Japanese Restaurant

Stop for sushi at this homey spot and you won’t be disappointed. Homemade hand rolls in creative combinations abound, while the bento boxes offer incredible portions. There’s even a serviceable beer and wine list, making it one of the best Japanese restaurants around. 4855 FM 1960 West 281-893-8700

County Line BBQ

Tucked amid green trees along Cutten Road, this barbecue mecca serves up a positively perfect pulled pork sandwich, plus huge portions of ribs and brisket, all in a cowboy kitsch setting. Laid back and easy, this is how barbecue was meant to be. 13850 Cutten Road 866-960-8749

september/october • 2009





here are special and unique things that we all must experience at least once in our lifetimes. Hotel Derek is offering one such experience. This fall, Valentino Houston—owned by Piero Selvaggio (left)—will open at the Galleria boutique hotel, offering a dining experience that will leave you breathless. Celebrated chef Luciano Pellegrini offers the $1,000 Truffle Dinner, which features Uova al Tartufo (egg raviolo with truffle shavings) and a series of truffle courses. The dinner begins with a selection of Crudo di Pesce with fruit and brine infusion, served with such vintages as Barolo Ginestra 1990 by Conterno-Fantino. For dessert, indulge in a sumptuous duet of rum baba and Sicilian cassata prepared by Valentino pastry chef Alessandro Stoppa and paired with Solaria Jonica 1959, a late harvest Primitivo specially aged for Valentino. For information, visit or call 713-961-3000.

Need a Lift? I

Triple Shot ot that their lineup of


creamy frozen goodness isn’t already filled with to-die-for flavors, but Blue Bell Ice Cream is releasing a brand-new flavor that you’ll go nuts for. Mexican Praline—in the gold rim—is a rich and decadent praline ice cream with chunks of tasty and uniquely textured Mexican pralines, roasted pecan pieces and praline swirl. We don’t know about you, but this one’s a keeper!


n homage to design divas and style mavens everywhere, artist Omar Angel Perez has taken the art of fashion to new heights with a gravity-defying exhibit showcasing a series of platformshoes-turned-works-of-art. “Omar Angel Perez: Stilett“O”s” features the transformation of platform shoes to sky-high art pieces made with wood and accent pieces such as band saw blades, snakeskin, leather, feathers and Swarovski crystals. Drawing the line between sadistic and stunning, Perez’s works are playfully thought-provoking. Born and raised in Houston, Perez is not only an artist, but a skilled woodworker as well. He discovered his passion for building through his parents—his mother was a painter and seamstress and his father built handmade toys. Today, Perez specializes in fine-crafted furniture and sculptural objects. An opening reception will be held on Sept. 3 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will be on view from Aug. 29 to Oct. 25 at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. For information, visit or call 713-529-4848.

clockwise from top left: Ryan Forbes Photography / | Gensler | Katharine Landmeier | Blue Bell Creameries

cocktails & conversation.

cocktails & conversation.

hot list

Greek Festival

fall fests Story | Karl Hauenstein

Bayou City Art Festival

clockwise from top left: Amy Spangler | Art Colony Association | Gruene Music & Wine Festival | Amy Spangler

The brutal Texas summer is almost over and soon it’ll be time to have some fun outside the air-conditioned comfort of your home. What kind of fun? We’re talking fall festivals and fortunately, our little piece of heaven has more than its share of events to delight the mind and the senses.

Gulf Coast Film & Video Festival

If you want to view thought-provoking films and rub elbows with film stars, this festival is the place to be. From Sept. 25-27 at the Hilton Nassau Bay, see the innovative work of independent filmmakers at weekend screenings and celebrate their work at an awards dinner featuring Jon Lovitz of Saturday Night Live fame. 3000 nasa parkway, nassau bay 281-333-5804

Greek Festival

Celebrating one of the largest Greek Orthodox communities in the country, the 43rd annual Greek Festival returns Oct. 1-4. In its 43rd year, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral hosts this event that gives locals the chance to dance like Zorba, feast on gyros, dolmas and baklava, and wash it all down, of course, with a glass of Greek wine. Opa! 3511 yoakum blvd. 713-526-5377

12th Annual Jazz Festival Gruene Music & While you’re getting your film fix at Wine Festival the GCF&V Festival, wander down to the Kemah Boardwalk between flicks to take in some of the best jazz performers in the country. Past years’ events have showcased performances by Carol Morgan, Carlos Garnett, Will Cruz and Woody Witt. 215 kipp ave., kemah 281-334-9880

Greune Music & Wine Festival

Greek Festival

Bayou City Art Festival Downtown

From Oct. 9-11, head to New Braunfels for their annual celebration of Texas culture and Americana featuring live music and local foods with Texas vintners and brewers showcasing their finest wares. For the first time in the event's 23-year history, the festival will include a craft market.

Downtown will be brimming with art and culture at this nationally ranked festival set for Oct. 10-11. Hit the streets and enjoy artists’ booths, a children’s zone, stage performances, music and dance, and art demonstrations. And because gourmet fare is yet another form of art, there will be wine tastings and cooking demonstrations.

1601 hunter road, new braunfels 830-629-5077

downtown houston city hall and hermann square

september/october • 2009


cocktails & conversation.

city Q&A

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

Story | Barbara Fulenwider

Alley Theatre



Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo


What organization has celebrated 77 years in Houston and is still the group to be involved with? The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was established in 1931 and held its first show in 1932. Gene Autry, the show’s first big-name entertainer, performed in 1942, the same year the calf scramble was introduced. Ten years later, the Salt Grass trail ride began when four men traveled on horseback from Brenham to Houston. After moving into Houston's new domed stadium in 1966, the rodeo attracted more than 40,000 people to one performance. In 2003 at Reliant Stadium, each performance drew more than 70,000 fans. In 1999, 4-H and FFA scholarships were increased for the second year in a row. Each commitment increased to 70 percent per program for a total of

140 four-year, $10,000 awards. In 2001, the show held its largest ever presentation of scholarships when a total of $3 million worth were awarded to Houston area students—which is what this rodeo is really all about.


What Houston hotel stands on the site that was once the capitol of the Republic of Texas? The historic Rice Hotel is the third hotel that has occupied the downtown site where the capitol of the Republic of Texas was from 1837 to 1842. After the legislature moved to Austin, the Allen brothers, who founded Houston, retained ownership of the capitol building until 1857 when they sold it to R.S. Blount for $12,000. In 1881, the building was razed and a fivestory building named the Capitol Hotel went up. Two years later, a five-story annex was added and the hotel was renamed Rice. In 1911, the Rice Hotel was sold to Jesse Jones who demolished it. In its place, he built a $2.5-million, 17-story structure, which opened as a hotel in 1913. In 1922, the Rice Hotel Cafeteria was the first air-conditioned public room in Houston. Over the many years the Rice Hotel has been open, six presidents have visited and Democrats held their national convention there in 1928.

Has there been a female mayor of Houston? Kathy Whitmire rode the wave of the women’s movement into elective office when she ran for city controller in 1977 and won, becoming Houston’s first female elected to a city government job. She won her re-election bid as controller two years later and, in 1981, ran for mayor. Whitmire was sworn into office as the first female mayor of Houston in 1982 and first female mayor of a city this size in the U.S. She served five two-year terms and is noted for being the first Houston mayor to put mass transit on the front burner. Rice Hotel

Have a burning question about life in Houston? E-mail your curious inquiries to

Courtesy of The Alley Theatre


How did the Alley Theatre get its name? On Nov. 10, 1947, more than 100 people met at a dance studio at 3617 Main to discuss a new theater for the city. Membership cost a dime and the payee received a vote on each question that needed resolution. Actress Rita Cobler paid her dime, looked at the narrow path that led to the building and suggested the new theater be named the Alley. The name got unanimous approval. The dance-studio-turnedtheater-at-night could seat only 87 theatergoers who suffered no heat in the winter and no fans in the summer. The nearest drinking fountain was three flights up and a sycamore tree, which grew through the roof with gaps around it, guaranteed that those seated nearby would get wet when it rained. Two years after the Alley’s first production, they moved to a fan factory on Berry Avenue and in 1968 to their current downtown location.

cocktails & conversation.


bestbets Our Town in H-Town

There’s something exciting about the Alley’s decision to launch its new season with Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, taking audiences back to Grovers Corners, N.H., for a bit of minimalist stagecraft that changed the American theater for generations.

Looking Latin

Story | John DeMers


s the new Houston Symphony season approaches, Hans Graf has every reason to lift a glass of the good stuff. While most evenings Graf takes on the role of music director and conductor, many other evenings he transforms himself into Hans Graf, Wine Guy. It’s not for nothing that Graf divided his time for years between Houston and Bordeaux, not simply imbibing France’s single most legendary wines, but conducting an orchestra that somehow still managed to steer through a score. You get the feeling Graf is a little tired of jokes about wine being the only reason he hung onto the Bordeaux gig for so long. “That’s what not-very-benevolent people pretended,” he says, “that I went to Bordeaux only because of the wine. But wine is a very important thing for me. Wine is a thing like art. People who make wine need to have the same skill and dedication and extraordinary gifts to make it a very good wine.” Graf has settled into a new commitment in Houston, without the Bordeaux gig. The narrowed focus seems to buy him a fresh sense of reverie, a “remembrance of times past” that have led him to


his work here. And those times, going back almost to his childhood in Austria, powerfully involve and evoke the love of wine. “When I was young, still a young music student or maybe in my first year teaching,” Graf says, “once in a while I treated myself to a nice dinner just to find out. When you get out in real life, you find out about delicacies you’ve never even heard about. So I try, try, try. When I go to a new city to conduct, especially in Italy, this was wonderful. They have such incredible things. I learned to go always for the odd things, the local things. Why should I eat what I can get at home?” Though Graf brushes aside any comments about his “wine collection,” he does fess up to keeping a variety of nice bottles wherever he is staying, whether in Houston or at home in Mozart’s lovely Salzburg. He and his wife like to play “that silly game,” tasting wines without reading the label and trying to guess the place of origin and the vintage. Most of all, his love of wine seems one with his love of music, indeed with anything beautiful and carefully crafted that lifts us from the routine of our daily lives.

Lescaut to the Ballet

Houston Ballet is launching its 40th season Sept. 10-20 with Manon, the dramatic story of love and money. This production draws on two well-known operas: one in Italian by Puccini, the other in French by Massenet. The choreography is by 20th century giant Sir Kenneth MacMillan, making this one of the past half-century’s most popular full-evening story ballets.

HGO’s New Elixir

A new production of Donizetti’s lively opera The Elixir of Love—the story about a poor boy who falls in love above his class—was a hit of the prestigious Glyndebourne Festival in Scotland this summer. Now, that very same production opens the 2009-2010 Houston Grand Opera Season, featuring Russian soprano Ekaterina Siurina as love interest Adina and tenor Eric Cutler as the “unworthy” Nemorino.

© Chris Lee

wine Maestro

You still have September to take in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s eye-popping look at the Latin American art it’s acquired since 2001. North Looks South: Building the Latin American Art Collection features more than 80 works created between the 1920s and the present.

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cocktails & conversation.


Through Sept. 13 Amy Blakemore: Photographs 1988-2008 Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-6397300,

Sept. 10 to Oct. 11 The House of Spirits: From the Novel by Isabel Allende Main Street Theater – Rice Village, 2540 Times Blvd. $20 to $36. 713524-3622,

Sept. 12

review Swan Lake • Houston Ballet


rtistic director Stanton Welch tends to see things in black and white—or at least he did in his version of this classic ballet. At least he saw things in terms of stark contrasts: yes, black and white (as in the color of swans), but also day and night, life and death, good and evil. First performed at the Bolshoi in Moscow in 1877, Swan Lake was given its familiar look by Petipa and Ivanov at the Mariinksky in St. Petersburg almost two decades later. To picture Welch’s take on this ballet of Tchaikovsky’s lush melodies, picture this: SleepingBeauty-Meets-Dracula-With-Feathers or, more specifically, evil prince dressed in black keeps maidens captive by turning them into swans. Love happens between one swan and one human, then death happens, breaking the spell and setting all the maidens free. On opening night, Sara Webb and Connor Walsh showed just how much they’ve grown as performers since this new Houston Ballet production debuted in 2006. Webb made the

perfect woman-or-swan, depending on the place in the story, and Walsh brought his substantial acting gifts to the fore while portraying one of ballet’s most heroic yet doomed heroes. It’s a true gift when Walsh is having a “conversation” with someone in dance, and you always know what he’s saying. Nicholas Leschke made a brooding, strutting Dracula—I mean Rothbart—and the corps de ballet performed wonderfully throughout the entire, rather long evening. During the eight-performance run of Swan Lake, the role of good/evil Odette/Odile was also danced by Houston Ballet principals Amy Fote, Mireille Hassenboehler and Melody Herrera, giving her first performance in the role. Other Prince Siegfrieds included Simon Ball with Fote, Ian Casady with Herrera, and Linnar Looris, making his Houston debut in the role with Hassenboehler. All were luminous on the large Wortham stage amid spectacular preRaphaelite sets and costumes by the late New Zealand designer Kristian Fredrikson, this Swan Lake being his final project before passing in late 2005.

Museum District Day 2009 Houston Museum District. 10 a.m. Free. 713-349-0780,

Sept. 17 Rienzi Gallery Talk Rienzi, 1406 Kirby. 1 p.m. Free. 713-639-7800,

Sept. 25-26 A Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive. 8 p.m. Free. 281373-3386,

Oct. 3 to Dec. 24 Texas Masters Series: Rachelle Thiewes Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main St. 713-529-4848,

Oct. 3 to Dec. 24 One of Houston’s newest art venues, Galleria Lazzara is a haven for art lovers and collectors, and quickly becoming an innovative art space showcasing local, national and international artists. Each month, the gallery hosts a VIP Artrepreneurs Night, a byinvitation-only event where serious art buyers can have a first look at the month’s new show. 5400 mitchelldale #b7 713-681-0681 •


Coming Up • Solo Exhibit: Betirri Sept. 8 to Oct. 4. Artist reception, Sept. 10, 7 to 10 p.m. • Anniversary Collective Oct. 8 to Nov. 8. Artist reception, Oct. 8, 7 to 10 p.m. • Anniversary & Halloween Gala Oct. 31

Celebrating Our Creative Spirit: Texas Federation of Fiber Artists Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main. 713-529-4848,

Oct. 27 A Nightmare In Venice Red Priest. Trinity Episcopal Church, 1015 Holman. 7:30 p.m. $10 to $35. 713-432-1744,

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cocktails & conversation.

my life

Sonya Fitzpatrick Animal Communicator


ver wish you could talk to the animals? Former British fashion model and star of Animal Planet’s 2002-2003 The Pet Psychic Sonya Fitzpatrick does just that. And, they talk back. “I was born with it—my grandmother had the same gift. I was born with a hearing loss and didn’t speak until I was four and a half, but I could talk telepathically to animals.” “When I communicate with animals, there is no time or space. I can tune into animals all over the world. That’s how I can do pet readings over the phone. I see pictures and feelings, they don’t speak to me in language.” “I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities: Ashley Judd, Ellen, Robert Wagoner. I’ve communicated with his horses and his new dog.” “It isn’t just pets. I talk to a lot of wild animals, bears, snakes, Siegfried and Roy’s cats when they were doing their stage show.” “Gatorland in Orlando, Fla., called me because Pop, one of the alligators, wouldn’t get out of the water. Pop told me he wasn’t getting his red meat. When I asked his trainer about it, he said they had switched to chicken because of the cost. When they switched him back, he came out of the water and performed. Of course, I don’t talk to gators everyday of the week.” “Sometimes people are embarrassed at what the animals tell me. One lady called and said her dog was peeing on her boyfriend’s shoes. What she didn’t tell me, and the dog did, was that she was married and her husband was out of town. The dog didn’t like the boyfriend in the house!”


Interview | Marene Gustin Photography | Mark W. Lipczynski

“Some animals are funnier than people. Sometimes they’ll tell me their mums don’t like it when their mother-in-laws come to visit!” “I can also talk to animals that have passed on and sometimes people come in. Their spirits are looking for someone who can hear them, so it doesn’t matter if I’m an animal communicator, they want to have their say.”

“I have a house on an acre in The Woodlands. Right now, I have five dogs and four cats, all of them are rescues. There’s so much animal abuse, it’s important to do what we can for them.” “I’m shooting a new pilot for Animal Planet right now, I have a radio show on Sirius and I do several phone readings a week. And I’m teaching my seven-year-old granddaughter, who was also born with the gift. She just talks to animals all the time!”

cocktails & conversation.

top: indi denim | bottom: CJ by Cookie


jeantherapy v

ersatile, stylish and yes, even sexy, jeans are the essential fashion piece. Years ago, Jordache, Calvin Klein and Levi’s were household names. Today, brands like 7 For All Mankind, Diesel and Lucky are what’s hot, available in a variety of styles and washes. While fashion is cyclical, there are some new denim classics: dark for evening, boot cut and skinny styles. This fall, don’t despair, there’s a pair for every occasion. Here’s the lowdown on the rising trends in jeans.

Story | Roseann Rogers

White – The Labor Day rule no longer applies, especially in Texas where white denim is white hot year-round. Pair with a splash of color in the summer (think jeweltone purple or Kelly green) and sandals. For fall, trade color for a black or camel-colored turtleneck and slip on your favorite boots for a chic, updated look.

“Green” – Going green is all the rage these days and now there are jeans for the eco-conscious fashionista in all of us. Designer Seun Lim created James Cured eco-friendly denim that’s been Custom – Can’t find the perfect treated with green tea leaf and jeans on the rack? Try IndiDenim. coffee extractions before being com, which recently launched a “cured” under the California line to give you the look you want. sun. For a “green” take on a Choose from an array of fabrics classic, try the Levi’s Capital E, and then let your Project Runway which features all organic cotton, inner designer out by selecting natural indigo dyes and is made everything from the leg style, to the with recycled buttons and zippers. type of hem, to the back pocket style and finishing treatments for a one-of-a-kind pair.

Boyfriend – Tired of sticking to that liquid diet to fit in your skinny jeans? Trade them for a burger and boyfriend jeans, the most comfortable trend in denim right now. Wear them loose and low on the hip, but be careful not to get them too baggy lest you look like an actual guy. CJ by Cookie Johnson (wife of former Los Angeles Laker Magic Johnson) offers great fits perfect for all body types. Slimming – Finding the perfect fitting jeans is a battle all women face. Fortunately, slimming jeans allow for both comfort and sexiness. Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and Kymaro Curve Control Jeans both use special weaves in the denim to flatten your stomach (look two sizes smaller!) and lift your bottom getting rid of the dreaded muffin top and giving you that fresh-from-the-doctor’soffice-tummy-tuck look.

september/october • 2009


cocktails & conversation.


Season s

Home for the Holidays: J. Pamela Photography Inc. | CASA Home Tour: Mary Favre | Yuletide: (clockwise from left) MFAH, © Bruce Bennett, © George Ramirez

tis the

ure it’s still sweltering outside, but there’s really no better time than now to think about the spirit of the season—especially if you’re looking for great holiday home décor ideas. Here’s a look at a few holiday home tours that will not only delight and inspire you, but also give you a chance to help:

Homes for the Holidays Dec. 4-5 If traditional architecture is right up your alley, tour seven fabulous homes in the Houston Heights district, each reflecting traditional Houston Heights architecture. Docents will also be on hand to describe the history, architecture and holiday décor of each home. On Sat., Dec. 5, don’t miss Mistletoe Madness, where visitors can browse and shop the district’s local boutiques and restaurants from noon to 6 p.m. Heights First Saturday will also be going on, featuring merchant special events and pet adoptions. Proceeds will go towards promotion and enhancement efforts of the Houston Heights Association. Tickets will be available online at and at various Heights locations. For information, visit or call 713-861-4002, Ext. 7.

18th Annual Child Advocates of Fort Bend CASA Christmas Home Tour Dec. 11-12 An area holiday tradition, this year’s tour will showcase six beautifully decorated homes in Fort Bend County and the Richmond area. In addition to touring the homes, visitors will enjoy live entertainment and holiday treats. Proceeds from the home tour will



cocktails & conversation.

Yuletide on Bayou Bend December Bayou Bend, Miss Ima Hogg’s historic home, will be transformed into a festive showplace at the annual Yuletide at Bayou Bend. Eight rooms of the mansion will be decorated with historic recreations of holiday celebrations from the 18th to 20th centuries, with docents giving historical perspective on the home and insight into holiday customs and traditions. Candlelight Open House tours will be available on Thursday and Friday nights from 5 to 7 p.m., while December Sundays will be held from 1 to 5 p.m., featuring activities for children and families. Proceeds will benefit programs and conservation efforts at the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. For information, visit or call 713-639-7750.

benefit Child Advocates of Fort Bend, a nonprofit organization that works on behalf of abused and neglected children through two advocacy programs: Court Appointed Special Advocates and the Children’s Advocacy Center. Starting Nov. 1, tickets will be available at Randall’s, Kroger and other area businesses. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. For information, visit or call 281-341-9955. *Events subject to change.

september/october • 2009




When You Call Him Bum Former Houston Oilers head coach Bum Phillips is a true Texas treasure

Story | Bruce Farr Photography | Mark W. Lipczynski

In the beginning, it was mostly about that unlikeliest of nicknames, “Bum,” which Oail Andrew Phillips’ older sister stuck him with when she couldn’t pronounce “brother.” From then on as he grew up, no matter who Bum Phillips met, they’d always shoot him a quizzical glance and chuckle just to think about that improbable moniker.


oday, mention Bum Phillips to anyone inside or out of the Lone Star State’s borders and they’re almost guaranteed to bring up the unofficial Texas state sport— football—and how, for many generations of Texans and lovers of the game everywhere, Bum has come to embody the heart and soul of it. They’re also inclined to tell you about Bum’s well-deserved place in the pantheon of legendary football coaches—giants like Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry and Bear Bryant—who have left an indelible mark on what has arguably become the most popular sport in America.

East Texas roots Bum Phillips was born in 1923 in Orange, Texas’s easternmost city—although Bum says he’d be hard-pressed to describe that community as a city, given that it barely had a paved road back then. As a boy, he wandered the grassy range and the shoreline along the Sabine River, and learned about discipline and hard work from his grandparents on the ranch they owned in that town, just across the border from Louisiana. Bum’s family—his mother, father and grandparents—raised him in the Texas tradition, “as a Christian and a good

september/october • 2009


Colorful coach Bum’s career took off in 1975, when he was named head coach of the Houston Oilers. Applying the same grit, determination and will to “do things the right way” that he had in his high school and college coaching jobs, Bum whipped the faltering Oilers into shape. Over the course of the next five years, he became the “winningest” coach in the franchise’s history, twice taking the team to the AFC championship and racking up a 5938 record. It was more than just his winning ways though, that made Bum the beloved Texas icon that he is today. Every week during football season, America watched as the Oilers’ big, square-jawed coach planted himself firmly at the sidelines of every game, a tall white Stetson crowning his head. It became Bum’s trademark—that Stetson and his western attire—and something about his folksy manner and the sight of him out there week after week touched a positive nerve in America. It wasn’t long before Bum’s Oilers had transcended the Texas borders and become a beloved national team.

citizen,” he says. Those early years instilled in Bum the character he would carry with him through a lifetime of playing in and coaching football teams, gaining momentum and fame as he moved from high school squads, through college teams and finally into the spotlight as head coach of two of the NFL’s most legendary franchises, the Houston Oilers and, later, the New Orleans Saints. All-consuming pastime The Phillipses moved to Beaumont, Texas when Bum was 14. “Up ‘til then, I didn’t know anything about football, but that’s when I started to play,” he recalls.


“Luv Ya Blue” Through the 1970s, when Bum was coaching the team, something was happening in Houston, and Bum was at the center of it. The team’s fans sparked a movement that famously was called “Luv Ya Blue,” and the spirit and enthusiasm for the team embodied in that catchphrase traveled like an electric current out of the stadium and throughout all of Texas. “I can’t for the life of me tell you how or why that movement became as big as it did or why it did,” Bum says. “I think it coincided with a lot of interest in western His sports career was temporarily interrupted clothes and life and other things, and the when he enlisted in the Marine Corps during timing was just right.” World War II. But, back from the war, Bum Of course, it didn’t hurt that Bum was attended Stephen F. Austin State University where he resumed playing and soon lettered in football. building a powerhouse of a football team, shaping and molding his roster of talented After college, Bum was preparing to young players to become a force to be go to work in the Texas oilfields when reckoned with on the gridiron. Bum will his former coach offered him an assistant try and tell you his success is owing to the coaching job in Nederland, Texas. Bum pure luck of having found the right players, thought he’d try it for a year. of bringing in athletes like Heisman Trophy “Once I got into it, though, it just winner Earl “The Tyler Rose” Campbell, the consumed me,” he says of the sport. legendary quarterback Dan Pastorini and a High school and college coaching stints handful of other brilliant players of the game. followed, most notably at Texas A&M, the Pastorini begs to differ. “Bum likes to deflect University of Houston, Southern Methodist any credit from himself—it’s just the kind of University and Oklahoma State.

“A lot of people might be book smart, but [he] has a great knack for influencing people. He’s just that kind of person.” - Wade Phillips

guy he is—but he knew football inside and out, and he was a brilliant strategist of the game. He was really a philosopher. Personally, though, he had a unique ability to bring people together and communicate with all players; that’s the reason our team was so successful.” Bum chalks it up to knowing who you are. “As a coach, I think that being honest and being yourself is the most important key to your success—you can’t be somebody else. I couldn’t be a Tom Landry. If I’d tried, I would have failed. In the clutch, it’s always going to come out what kind of guy you are.” Football in their blood Bum’s son Wade Phillips is currently head coach of the legendary Dallas Cowboys. While Bum admits he’s pleased Wade has followed in his footsteps, he makes the strong point that he never foisted his chosen profession on his son.

“You don’t want to force your children into anything that they don’t like,” he emphasizes. “But he’s the same kind of guy I was, I guess. He’s not going to do anything unless he does it right.” For his part, Wade says it would have been impossible not to be influenced by his famous father. “I was always around the field and the office when my dad was coaching,” he says. “I was a water boy for a while, and I’d do anything then, really, just to be around him and the game.” Much of what Wade brings to his current coaching job with the Cowboys comes from his father’s influence. “He has great common sense,” Wade says of his dad. “A lot of people might be book smart, but daddy has a great knack for influencing people. He’s just that kind of person.”

Goliad “retirement” In a way, Bum Phillips has come full circle— at least that’s how he sees it. These days, Bum and his wife, Debbie, are content to sit back and enjoy their 250-acre horse and cattle ranch in the historic town of Goliad, Texas. The ranch isn’t unlike the spread his grandparents had when he was a boy, and it’s become a sanctuary for Bum and Debbie, and the happy setting for innumerable Texas-style get-togethers where the Phillipses’ steadily growing family of six children, 23 grandchildren and four great-grandkids mix and mingle with a stream of Bum’s former players, assistant coaches and just plain lovers of the sport, who show up to reminisce with the beloved old coach. It’s not that Bum has slowed down much, it’s just that he and Debbie are devoting themselves to different kinds of projects, particularly a handful of missions and charities that they feel are important to their Christian “walk” through life, and consistent with Bum’s passion for “leaving things a little better than I found them.” One of their primary activities is aiding their daughter and son-in-law, Kimann and Mark England, in their Heart Sign Ministries, which supports hard of hearing and deaf children in their communities, offering camps, retreats, workshops and much more. Another involves Mike Barber, one of “Bum’s Boys” and a former star receiver for the Oilers in the late ‘70s. Barber now devotes himself exclusively to operating a prison ministry that is helping to lower recidivism rates among prison inmates throughout the country. Bum and Debbie have lent their names, time and energies to help Mike further this important cause. “It’s amazing to see what a difference Mike’s ministry makes in each individual prisoner and life in general in these prisons,” Debbie says. Yet another focus of the Phillipses is Coaches Outreach, a program designed to build coaches’ and their spouses’ characters by helping them live better Christian lives. It sounds like Bum and Debbie are keeping plenty busy, but, true to form, when people ask Bum what he’s up to these days, he likes to tell them, “I’m not doin’ nothin’ and I don’t start that ‘til noon.” If you believe that, though, you don’t really know Bum.

september/october • 2009


Story | Allison Bagley

Think you know Texas? Here’s our handy guide to 41 things worth braggin’ about in the Lone Star State. Whether you’re a newbie or a native, these are just some of the reasons we’re proud to call Texas home.

B attle of San Jacinto

Fought right here in Harris County and led by General Sam Houston, the famous 18-minute Battle of San Jacinto led to Texas’ independence from Mexico in 1836. Using head and heart rather than size and strength, the early morning raid was how the South was won. It’s our version of Waterloo, and the battle is memorialized in a striking monolith rising high in suburban Deer Park, Texas. (Constructed, in trademark Texas style, to be just a tad bit taller than the Washington Monument.)


Big Hair

What’s the saying? The higher the hair, the closer to God? Well, hallelujah! Here in Texas, our bouffants and teased up-dos nearly touch heaven. Big Texas hair hasn’t gone out of fashion, even if the styles have changed over the decades. Take the much-beloved Farrah Fawcett, who made a name for herself as a hot young Angel because of all that hair, or Houston society doyenne Lynn Wyatt, who still works a trademark over-thetop ’do.

Cowboy Hat The cowboy hat may only be dusted off for special occasions (the Rodeo or the ranch), but cowboy boots are a part of our everyday uniform. Litigators wear them into the courtroom with suits and fashionistas pair them with short little dresses all year long.

Ford Pick-Up

ig Bend B State Park

Hey, we’ve got mountains too. With lush vegetation, natural wildlife, canyons, desert, and the winding Rio Grande, the aweinspiring 800,000-acre Big Bend State Park is our state’s backyard.


Three bearded bikers formed the iconic band ZZ Top in 1969 in Houston, and today the original rockers are still going strong, touring and churning out records.

Bob Merlis for Hire


Not since the Spartans had so few fought so many. From the moment Colonel Travis drew a line in the sand with a sword and invited those who wished to stay and die to cross. Along with Bowie and Crockett, they all did. And until the last fighting Texian drew a breath, a group of courageous men showed their nescient republic, along with the United States and the rest of the world, just what a Texan with some guts can accomplish. We’ll always remember the Alamo, and what the remaining structure in downtown San Antonio represents.

Congress Avenue Bridge

You don’t need a bat phone to summon the largest urban bat colony in the world. Home to 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats, Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge is the place to see and be seen at dusk. This amazing spectacle can be viewed from mid March to October. Austinites love the flying rodents not only because they keep it weird, but are said to eat their weight in mosquitoes each night.


Each spring, families pull to the side of highway for the obligatory photoop surrounded by bluebonnets, the wildflower treasure we’re more than proud to call our state flower. We have nature-loving Lady Bird Johnson to thank for the painted blue landscape that pretties up our highway system once a year.

2009 Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders

Chevy and Dodge can hold their own with the city slickers, but drive off the interstate and along the dusty back roads that lead to nowhere, and the only pick-up you’ll see on a real deal ranch is a Ford, preferably with a steer horn up front and a gun rack in back.

Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders

As if watching the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon wasn’t enough for any self-respecting, red-blooded Texan, watching scantily-clad cowgirls strut their stuff at halftime is a weekend bonus. Many have tried, but no one successfully mimics the gorgeous Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. september/october • 2009



Dairy Queen

Dubbed the “Texas Stop Sign,” Dairy Queens are a staple in small town Texas life. The same booth can be the scene of a couple’s first date and their 50th anniversary. The drivethru and parking lot are a hotbed of social activity in onelight towns—it’s not uncommon to spot the pretty girl just elected prom queen celebrating her victory, tiara and all, with a Blizzard. And that’s what we like about Texas.



They don haute couture in the pages of international fashion magazines, adhere to rigorous party schedules by way of private jets, and graciously host diplomats in their lavish homes. Texas socialites are in a league of their own. With elegantly long names like Becca Cason Thrash and Joanne King Herring, their infamous parties are matched only by their generous philanthropy.

FridayNightFootball All across the great state, from Lubbock to Laredo, Texans kick off each autumn weekend the same way: under the stadium lights for Friday night football. We grow ’em big here, and make no secret about holding back boys from starting kindergarten to give them the running start they’ll need on the field. Yep, high school football is a religion and we pray for the state trophy all year long. / Elaine Shock Inc.


He reclaimed country music from those posers in Nashville and brought it back to Texas. Scratch that, he created Texas music. Willie Nelson still plays at sell-out rodeos and dive bars alike. He’s good-timin’, but steps up consistently when fellow Texans are in need. And who could forget the IRS incident? The braided superstar responded by releasing a megaselling album, giving him enough change to pay off the pesky feds while keeping a chunk for himself. In all other parts of the world, they say there are only two things in life that are certain: death and taxes. Not in Texas and not for Willie.

Yellow Rose of Texas

Proving once and for all that the way to a man’s heart is not through his stomach, the seductress responsible for “occupying” Mexican commander Santa Anna, while we stampeded his camp for victory in 1836 during the Battle of San Jacinto, is fondly known in legend as the Yellow Rose of Texas. We’ve given Miss Emily Morgan her very own song and hotel, along with a pass for her promiscuity.

Debutante Balls

It’s a right of passage for blue bloods and nouveau riche alike, as country clubs make way for the annual flurry of debutante balls. Young women on the deb circuit practice the time-honored Texas bow from a young age (while learning how to keep their white gloves clean in cotillion), and they’ve only got one chance to get it right. The donning of a couture ivory gown, however, is merely practice for their second society affair: their wedding day.

Frito Pie

Classic state fair grub and a Friday night dinner staple, Frito Pie is comfort food done right. There’s no need to question the ingredients—there shouldn’t be anything in the dish but chili, cheddar, chips and onions—but the actual container is long debated. Play it safe and eat it the old-fashioned way, with the ingredients poured directly over Fritos in a bag.

Reliant Park | Texas Medical Center Corp.

Beauty Queen

You don’t have to wear a sash to be considered a beauty queen in these here parts. Texans claim to be the best in everything, and our gorgeous women are no exception. Whether baby’s got her blue jeans on or is dressed in her pageant finest, there’s an easy confidence in a Texas smile for all the world to see. And, no, we’re not above beauty contests to prove it.


The “Eighth Wonder of the World” was built out of necessity—detailing plans for the proposed Astrodome was the only way a group of prominent Houston businessmen could persuade the National League that hot and humid Houston was a viable spot for a pro baseball team. The first domed arena achieved measures of greatness that went unmatched for decades. Even though bigger domed stadiums have been constructed since, nothing conjures up images of Texas greatness and innovation quite like the birthplace of AstroTurf.

Texas Medical Center

When Baylor University decided to move their medical school from Dallas to Houston in the ’40s, they were considered pioneers. The result of their forethought is the sprawling Texas Medical Center, which draws 160,000 visitors each day, for a total of 5.1 million annual patient visits. The largest medical center in the world is home to 47 institutions, including behemoths like Baylor College of Medicine (no longer affiliated with the Baptist Baylor), M.D. Anderson, UT Health Science Center and Memorial Hermann. The stomping ground of internationally lauded researcher the late Michael E. DeBakey, it’s also the site of more heart surgeries than any other in the world.

september/october • 2009



Galveston Seawall

The beach ain’t pretty, but it is all ours. The Galveston Seawall, constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers after the devastating Hurricane of 1900, protected our state’s most famous coastline from what would have been catastrophic blows by both Alicia and Ike. The 10-mile strip faces a row of hotels, restaurants and bars that make up the main drag of our coastal get-away.

What’s on tap in Texas? Two beers compete for the title of our favorite beer. Originally brewed in San Antonio and still enjoying mass appeal from frat houses to hole-in-the-walls, a cold Lone Star in a can is a required accessory for telling tall tales. Shiner Bock, on the other hand, hails from the oldest independent brewery in the state. Made in Shiner, Texas, the dark German style beer is a decidedly different taste.

Who Shot J.R.?

It was the shot heard round the world, literally, as world-wide fans of the beloved soap opera Dallas, spent an entire summer hypothesizing who gunned down their love-to-hate central character, J.R. Ewing, in the cliffhanger season finale episode, “Who Shot J.R.?” It turned out Sue Ellen’s crazy sister pulled the trigger, attempting to put an end to the wheeling and dealing, womanizing, liquor at lunching wild man that epitomized the boom and bust of the oil field for millions of viewers who, to this day, equate Southfork with Dallas, and the Ewing’s fleet of Mercedes with Texas.


Mechanical Bull

“Ride it, Sissy!” From honky tonks to haute events, the fun of a rickety mechanical bull spans the ages and the social classes. We may never clock eight seconds on a real bull, but no matter. Real talent is displayed in the middle of a crowded bar, hanging on to a saddle with one hand and triumphantly holding a brewski overhead with the other.

Lone Start Brewing Company, San Antonio, Texas | Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau

Lone Star vs. Shiner Bock

The Galleria

The international shopping mecca that is the Galleria attracts more than 24 million visitors annually to Houston and is said to be the hottest tourist attraction in town. Walk its sunlit halls and you’ll hear an assortment of international tongues as travelers and residents congregate with a universal love for labels.

Nolan Ryan Nasa NASA may be a federal

left: courtesy nasa | right: courtesy Reliant Park

administrative agency fully backed by federal funds, but let’s not forget it was Texas that put the first man on the moon.

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

It might not be the oldest, but it is the world’s biggest, and why shouldn’t it be? Texas is the home of the cowboy. During the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, locals and visitors alike feel it’s perfectly acceptable to put aside all other obligations for a month to attend festivities day and night. And what other rodeo can boast they are the end point for 13 grueling trail rides? In the world of cowboy folklore and reality, the Houston rodeo proves once again that all roads lead to Texas.

Not only did “Strikeout King” Nolan Ryan beat his own record, it doesn’t look like his sweep is close to being matched. The only player to ever come close is another Texan, Roger Clemens. And let’s not forget when a 46-year-old Ryan taught a younger league member a thing or two about respect for your elders. Mr. Robin Ventura learned you never charge a determined Texan with a strong right arm. Yep, Nolan Ryan was and always will be the closest thing to Superman we’ll ever have.

Kilgore Rangerettes

They marched onto the field of Kilgore College in 1940 as a ploy to keep sports fans from mischievous halftime boozing, and the Kilgore Rangerettes have been high kickin’ ever since. They call themselves the first drill team in the world, and we’ll take that proud distinction. The competition to become a part of the elite set is fierce—the boot-clad beauties are known around the world and have appeared on the cover of Life, Newsweek, Esquire and the Saturday Evening Post. september/october • 2009


Texas Chili Cook-Off

There may be no greater honor, or challenge, than judging a Texas chili cook-off. Each of these competitors—many of whom travel the state’s circuit with their recipes—could win hands-down in some rinky-dink cook-off in the Midwest. But here you have to be the best to take home the blue ribbon for spiciest.

“Don’t Mess with Texas.”

In a state not known to be a fierce advocate for enviromentalism, the ’80s ad campaign, “Don’t Mess with Texas,” was a command of sorts from Texans to Texans to keep their state beautiful. It quickly came to mean so much more, spreading through the country like brushfire, tagged with all the bravado, rugged independence and confidence Texans are now known for. If you were a Yankee, would you mess with a Texan?

Urban Cowboy

If you want to know what kind of impact Urban Cowboy (filmed in Houston) had on the rest of the nation, compare images of California street fashion before and after the blockbuster was released in 1980. You betcha’, even the richies on Rodeo Drive started to dress in boots and jeans, so influenced were they by our blue collar bad boy. Just like Bud rescued Sissy at the end of the movie, it’s safe to say Texas rescued the rest of the country from their fashion doldrums.


Texas Rangers

Instilled by the “Father of Texas” Stephen F. Austin in 1823 to watch over the “range” that formed the republic of Texas, the Texas Rangers have been keeping the peace and fighting bad guys ever since. Our elite set of law enforcement hunted down villains like Pancho Villa, caught bandits Bonnie and Clyde, and had the burdensome task of trying to quell drinking during Prohibition. Hats on their heads, boots on their feet and always emblazoned with a shiny star, the Rangers remain synonymous with swift justice.

Austin City Limits

It’s not a coincidence that the live music capital of the world lures the finest musical acts from across the globe and from every genre. Austin City Limits, the live television series produced by PBS, is still cutting edge 34 years later, having birthed the wildly successful annual Austin City Limits Festival.


Bull ridin’, brawlin’ and boot scootin’ with a beer in your back pocket. Gilley’s, formerly located in Pasadena, is synonymous with good times. And if you think Billy Bob’s is the honky tonk of Texas, you never experienced the heyday of the massive bar made famous as the setting of the movie Urban Cowboy.

Blue Bell Creameries

B lue Bell Ice Cream

Did you hear the scoop? You can find Blue Bell Ice Cream as far away as Nigeria. The oil execs camped out there screamed for ice cream, and they can now get the homemade goodness for $25 a half-gallon. The little creamery in Brenham—where they eat all they can and save the rest—opened in 1907 and prides itself on selling to only 17 states (all in the south, natch) while holding their place as the third best-selling brand in the country.


The armadillo, with its thick outer shell that’s virtually impenetrable by outside elements, has become a mascot for thick-skinned Texans everywhere. The armored creature is so beloved, it spawned Gary P. Nunn’s hit song London Homesick Blues. (Wanna go home with the armadillo?) And don’t forget the gleaming majestic silver statue that marks Goode Company’s Armadillo Palace live music bar on Kirby Drive (affectionately known by regular patrons as the ’Dillo.)

H omecoming Mums

The bigger the better when it comes to mums for annual high school homecoming festivities, a tradition in small towns and urban areas alike. Bestowed by high school boys upon their dates, the oversized pin-on corsage dangles nearly knee-length, adorned with ribbons, charms, cowbells and an assortment of other paraphernalia intended to one-up the girl next door.

Longhorns vs. Aggies

Gig ’em or hook ’em. You can’t be a Texan without rooting for one or the other. The age-old rivalry between burnt orange and maroon is practically as old as the state of Texas. Once every year, generally around Thanksgiving, the University of Texas battles Texas A&M on the football field for the year’s bragging rights.


Grill it, pan-fry it, broil it, chicken fry it. We like steak in all shapes and sizes, from the sirloin to the New York (gasp!) Strip. Although a Texan may have his or her preference in cut or preparation, everyone agrees that eating a good slab of beef is the best way to show you ain’t no sissy. If you can tackle the 72-ouncer at the Big Texan in Amarillo, the meal is free and you’ll have life-long braggin’ rights. If you can’t, join the rest of us in boasting that Texas has more steakhouses per capita than anywhere else in the world. We can’t prove it, but that doesn’t stop us.

rio grandé

In a way, the two pronunciations of Rio Grandé symbolize all that Texas has become with respect to diversity. The gigantic river that snakes its way between the Lone Star State and our neighbors in Mexico provides a natural geographical border, but also symbolizes all that we have inherited, from cuisine to culture, from those that prefer to call it by its’ four-syllable, accented moniker (Rio Gran-day). Stretching an impressive 1,885 miles, the Rio Grandé is the fourth largest river in the U.S. september/october • 2009


Where Houston’s Top Chefs Show Off Their Best


the prime living guide to discerning taste

inside: Bedford Roll, Bedford

40 42 44 45 46

• • • • •

Main Dish | Bedford Small Bites | Taste This Corner Table | Cleverley Dishes Uncorked | Blackstone Entertain | Girls Day Out

september/october • 2009


connoisseur main dish


homage to a Home Town Story | Holly Beretto Photography | Mark W. Lipczynski

Chef Robert Gadsby is a celebrity chef utterly at home with himself and more eager to show off his food than his fame. The mastermind behind Noe and Soma sushi has exaltations of “brilliant,” “creative” and “eccentric” routinely following in his wake. ¶ His career has taken him all over the world, but he’s made a home for himself in Houston.


ouston’s been very good to me,” says Gadsby. “There was nowhere else I wanted to do this—it’s very personal to me.” “This” is Bedford, named for Gadsby’s hometown in England, a market town dating back to the Middle Ages. Its two famous landmarks are the Butterfly Bridge and the old clock tower. Both are represented in the logo for Gadsby’s Houston incarnation of Bedford. He built this restaurant from the ground up, 10,000 square feet of dining and event space offering up a laid-back neighborhood atmosphere. From the red brick facade that makes the place look reminiscent of those grand old mills of New England, to the soaring view of downtown from the rooftop balcony, this is both comfort zone and escape, familiar and far away. Rich dark woods, inviting large wicker chairs and bronze-colored cushions abound. The showpiece is the glass-topped bar and Chef’s Table, with 1.6 million carats of emeralds and amethysts shining up under the glass. Of course, the real attraction is the food, highlighted by Gadsby’s perfect multi-layering of flavors, marrying the sweet and savory so every bite is an explosion of emotion and zing. And the new menu offers something more: mid-range pricing. Gadsby recently streamlined his offerings and made the pricing more attractive to the current economic climate. Cold appetizers are priced at $14, hot appetizers at $16 and entrees at $21. And don’t think budget prices mean mediocre meals. Au contraire. Gadsby’s commitment to fresh ingredients and artistic arrangements wouldn’t allow for that. Consider the Mimosa Salad, a Gadsby specialty that’s been in his menu collection for over a decade, but only recently served at one of his restaurants. Layers of hard boiled egg whites and yolks sit atop a blend of red and green onions, bacon, chicken, papaya

and crunchy noodles. It’s served with a shot-glass sized coconut frappe, creating a medley of sweet, spicy, savory satisfaction. “I want to excite the palate,” says Gadsby. “If you look at food as a symphony of flavors, I look to create a roller coaster.” Ready for a ride? Then, settle into the Torched Sea Scallop, gently sliced and paired with a sweet chili, green olive and cucumber salad and offered with a slightly sweet orange marmalade or the beautifully prepared Mushroom Rice, done with wild mushrooms, crab nuggets and a sweet chili sauce. It’s a rich, earthy, velvety concoction, still nodding to Gadsby’s signature blending of layered flavors. The handmade Rigatoni with Lamb Sausage is a heart warmer of a dish, served with zingy arugula, a slightly spiced tomato confit and potato mousseline. Topped with freshly grated Parmesan, it’s simply delicious. For dessert, enjoy the sample of chocolates, which comes with homemade white chocolate ice cream in a handcrafted cone and a series of rich truffles and cookies. While Bedford radiates Gadsby’s signature high-end feel, there’s something exceptionally neighborhood about it. Regulars drop in and razz the chef, while bartenders greet oft-returning guests by having their favorite drinks at the ready. Through it all, Bedford radiates a philosophy that food is meant to be shared and enjoyed, that new flavors should enhance old favorites, that approachable cuisine is a new level of comfort food. “I think of it as feng shui for how you eat,” says Gadsby. “Food isn’t only substance for the body. It fills the spirit, too.”

bedford 1001 studewood 713-880-1001

connoisseur main dish

Mimosa Salad

Homemade ice creams

Torched Sea Scallop

Rigatoni with Lamb Sausage

Dining room

september/october • 2009



small bites

want sum?

Dragon Blossom, Gigi’s

good eats Story | Holly Beretto Photography | Mark W. Lipczynski

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


Think $12 might not buy much in Houston’s upscale shopping mecca, the Galleria? If so, you just don’t know where to look. On Saturdays and Sundays, that bargain price buys you all-you-can-eat dim sum at Gigi’s Asian Bistro, a swanky, sophisticated scene in the heart of the Galleria’s hustle and bustle. The dim sum menu offers a dizzying array of steamed and fried choices. Picking just one would be obscene; best to think of this as chance to indulge your spirit for adventure, even as you give in to your craving for comfort food. The pot stickers fall into that category— pan-fried chicken dumplings accompanied by a spicy red vinegar ginger sauce that will have you reaching for more. You can’t miss the shrimp dumpling either. Folded into a homemade tapioca wrap and steamed in butter, this dish is an explosion of plump, juicy shrimp swirling in a velvety symphony of dough and delight. And the Shu-Mai is to die for: racy steamed crab, succulent shrimp and crunchy water chestnuts paired with a trio of spicy or savory sauces. Gigi’s offers an appetizer menu that allows you to be part explorer and part artist, finding new flavors and designing your personal style. Put yourself in the hands of chef Junnajet “Jett” Hurapan, a Bangkok fireball by way of New York and Atlantic City and be prepared to experience all of Asia’s exotic elegance. gigi’s asian bistro 5085 westheimer #b2515 713-629-8889

Hanging out

c connoisseur

small bites

Houstonians know that benjy’s is one of the best addresses in town for haute cuisine. A standby fave in Rice Village, the outfit opened a new location late last year on the busy Washington Avenue corridor, further cementing its own reputation for great food and enhancing the avenue as a dining destination. Central to the restaurant opening on Washington was the idea that it wouldn’t be a copycat of the Village locale, but would be a spot with its own personality and flair—still possessing benjy’s commitment to cuisine. Enter the Buffalo Hangar Steak. You’ll find a version of it on the Village’s menu, but chef Mike Potowski wanted a way to make the Washington incarnation stand out. He starts with lean buffalo meat, then seasons it with ras el hanout, a Moroccan market spice that perfectly compliments the buffalo’s rich, gamey texture. It’s topped with a demi-glace and espresso sauce that’s a punchy companion for the meaty steak, and paired with a creamy, lush bone marrow risotto and roasted vegetables. The result is a stunning marriage of flavors that bounce off one another and enhance the whole. It’s a hearty, Texas taste, a perfect carnivore’s delight. benjy’s 5922 washington ave. • 713-868-1131 • benjy’

Layers of Lemons

Debora Smail

Some things just have to be tasted to be believed. Del Frisco’s Lemon Deborge Cake is one of them. It’s a New Orleans’ style six-layer cake with lemon-butter cream icing and a lemon glaze, all of it full of sass and snappy citrus. But, far from being a sugar overdose, it’s light, airy and beautifully showcases the flavors of both the lemon and the creamy rich goodness of the cake and the icing. Little wonder then that it’s the signature dish on Del Frisco’s menu—and the restaurant’s No. 1 selling dessert. This is the sort of luscious treat that hits all the right sweet-tooth notes, never falling into that too-rich-for-more-than-one-bite category that many restaurant desserts face. It’s this balance that makes it such a winner. The cake itself is the epitome of comfort food. The icing is just decadent enough to make you feel like it’s a real guilty pleasure. The glaze is like having little lemon fireworks go off in your mouth. Together, they are a true high note of a meal ender. Of course, it’s so good you might be tempted to skip Del Frisco’s steaks altogether and just order cake and coffee. You can do that, of course, but you’d really be missing out. Much better to enjoy a full evening of dining at this clubby Galleria eatery and save the best for last. del frisco’s double eagle steak house 5061 westheimer #500 713-355-2600

september/october • 2009


Tom Zizka and Cleverley

connoisseur Cleverley

cakes for a cause



I’m a good cake eater, but a decorator? Not so much. Houston media folks competed in a cake decorating contest sponsored by Kroger. Fox 26 anchor Tom Zizka won for the prettiest cake. Wha?? I’ll never live that down in the Fox newsroom! Kroger donated $1,000 to the Houston Food Bank after the butter cream battle. Bruce Molzan

table Story | Cleverley stone

natural man Robert Del Grande

Bruce Molzan’s Ruggles on Montrose was shuttered by Hurricane Ike. But he’s back with Houston’s first Certified Green Restaurant™, Ruggles Green on W. Alabama. I love the Hi-Protein Hempanadas™ and his n June 30, Robert Del Grande closed Café Annie. Less than a month later, he opened his gluten-free dishes are big hits. Molzan cooks hormone, anti-biotic and new restaurant, RDG + Bar Annie, on July 17. preservative free and they have the largest What I love about his menu is that he has included dishes from his entire culinary career, recycling operation of any restaurant in town, dating back to the 1980s. The year each dish debuted appears on the menu, from escargot with overseen by Molzan’s business partner, Federico caramelized garlic and parsley butter (circa 1980) to shrimp meat balls (circa 2009). Candace Marques. The restaurant offers counter service Schiller’s interior design talents have given us one of the chicest restaurants in town. and sometimes there’s a line, but it moves quickly. You can view the menus and get the recipe for the shrimp meat balls on my blog at When I asked Bruce when (and if ) Ruggles on Montrose would re-open, he said, “We are working hard for Ruggles Montrose to open. Dealing with insurance and city inspectors has been a real challenge.” Do you know who created Ruggles many ow lucky are we to have the only Michelin-starred chef in years ago? Prolific Houston restaurateur Texas in our own backyard? Manfred Jachmich, who is now a partner Matthew Gray, formerly of Inverlochy Castle in in SoVino Restaurant & Wine Bar. When I Scotland, has landed at Chez Roux, the signature fine dining restaurant at La Torretta Del Lago Resort in Montgomery. He was asked him what the word “ruggles” meant, he hand-picked by world famous chef Albert Roux, who was named said, “Nothing. I just made it up!” the “most influential chef in the United Kingdom” and was cleverley stone awarded three stars (the best) by Michelin for his restaurant, Le She dishes about Houston’s food, wine Gavroche, in London, the very first UK restaurant to receive three and dining scene on CNN 650 Radio stars. Chez Roux is his only American restaurant. Check out this News, Fox 26 TV, 
“Cleverley’s Restaurant Minutes” on K-HITS 107.5, and in her delectable dish of desserts Matt made for me.

circa 1980 to 2009

stars shine bright

Top left: Matthew Gray, Chez Roux


newsletter and blog at

connoisseur uncorked

blackstone photo: Tom O’Niel


ore than a decade ago, when a lot of us were drinking nothing but “a nice glass of merlot,” one of those “nice” glasses we were almost certainly drinking came from Blackstone Winery in Sonoma. At that time, of course, the grapes were sourced from anywhere and everywhere in California, but still, the national fascination with this soft, pleasant, not very complicated blending grape from the Big Five in Bordeaux, mixed with Blackstone’s $8 to $9 price tag, was pretty hard to resist. Then, after two or three years, the usual thing happened. Americans lured into wine enjoyment by merlot—a bit like those lured in by the much-abused white zinfandel a generation earlier—turned away from their first love. Suddenly, they were complaining that it was too soft, too pleasant, too uncomplicated—not at all “interesting” enough for our now-sophisticated palates. Who can ever forget the sight of the character in the movie Sideways, rejecting merlot

every few frames for his oh-so-much more sophisticated pinot noir? So yes, we’re drinking better wines now. And happily, for a host of reasons, we’re paying more for the privilege of a life enhanced by the grape. Once again, however, if you’re sane about these things, that grape should sometimes be merlot. And perhaps even more amazingly, your winery of choice on any given evening should indeed be Blackstone. Recently, I got to sit down with Blackstone winemaker Gary Sitton over dinner at Café Annie (especially meaningful because it was days before that restaurant’s closing to be reborn as Restaurant RDG) where I got to taste a quintet of releases from the new line called Blackstone Sonoma Reserve. As the name implies, these wines use grapes all from Sonoma, often from a blend of legendary appellations like the Dry Creek and Alexander valleys. And as the name also implies, they’re a tad more expensive in a retail setting that old California merlot. Still, in the range from $16 to $20, they represent a huge

Story | John DeMers

leap upward in quality without a huge leap upward in price. We tasted five wines in all, including the merlot (had to, this being Blackstone), plus a nifty pinot noir and a cabernet sauvignon that deftly sidestepped the “big” obsession that haunted neighboring Napa for too long. There were two knockouts. The 2007 Sonoma reserve chardonnay is amazing, with limited oak, not too much of that butteriness and just mouthfuls of clean, crisp, delicious flavor. And then there’s the 2007 Rubric, Sitton’s version of a meritage blend, which of course is California’s version of a Bordeaux blend. “There’s no place like it,” Sitton tells me of Sonoma, which along with Tuscany and Burgundy are my favorite corners of the wineproducing world. “The immense diversity, from the coastline to the mountains, valleys and rivers, still leaves me in awe. For me, tapping into this range of growing conditions is fundamental to making beautifully expressive wines.” 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 • 2009




girls Day Out Story & Styling | Jaimee Rose Photography | Mark W. Lipczynski

This September, we’re suggesting a back-to-school party of a different sort: the kids are back in class and the moms survived the summer. Invite your girlfriends over for an evening or morning of celebratory indulgence: champagne, chocolate and a little spa time, too. Here’s our guide to hosting a sophisticated soiree to toast “me time.”




Chic Eats - Put together a pretty cheese tray and let your friends enjoy adult tastes. We paired a sharp cheddar, Camembert, a goat cheese and Petit Basque with raspberries and crackers. The pink pedestal tray and cheese knife (bottom right) are from Saks Fifth Avenue. Treats – Hit the ladies’ favorite pastry shop and pick up a variety of joys. Palmiers are a classic Mini manicures – Ask your French treat: sinful and so worth two favorite nail technicians to set it. Dress up your trays with fresh up mini manicure stations at your raspberries and sprigs of mint. home, and then set a schedule for your friends to be sure each girl gets a turn during the party. Ask the guests to bring their favorite nail polish or provide a few new fall shades to tempt them. Party favors – Give each guest a little gift as she arrives: a kit filled with all the tools her manicurist will need, plus more to enjoy at home. We filled polkadot boxes with cotton balls, birch wood cuticle sticks, and a nail file and brush, all from Sephora. The cosmetic-themed tray (right) is by John Derian at Saks Fifth Avenue. Pink place setting – Set the table with sassy hot pink. We layered luxe white plates, hot pink napkins and small white bowls from Crate & Barrel. Each guest will also sit down to a surprise at her seat: pink nail polish and a Gerbera daisy tucked into each bowl.

Dessert – Mini cupcakes you’ve baked yourself will make your guests feel spoiled and guilt-free. They’re easier than they look: fill mini muffin cups with your favorite batter, and top with cream cheese icing and coconut. You can also ask your favorite bakery if they’ll bake tiny treats for you. Drinks – What to sip? Why, Pommery Pink Pop Rose, of course. It’s even sold in mini bottles so you can give each guest her own, and then let her sip it demurely through a straw. september/october • 2009


gentleman’s room

For the man who commands the very best


50 51 52 53 54

• • • • •

Nostalgia | Harley-Davidson Guy Talk | She’s Leaving Home Driver’s Seat | Ford F-150 Great Outdoors | Hot Wings High Tech | Game On


september/october • 2009


gentleman’s room nostalgia

Hog Wild

Racing great Sherbie Becker (1910).

Story | Karl hauenstein Photography | the Harley-Davidson Motor Company Archives


arley-Davidson was born in a garage in Milwaukee, Wisc. in least importantly, their distinctively cool sound, which the company 1901 when 21-year-old William S. Harley and his childhood trademarked in 1994. friend Arthur Davidson built a motorized bicycle using By 1920, Harley-Davidson was the largest motorcycle manufacturer a 116 cc displacement engine designed by William. The in the world and the company’s bikes dominated motorcycle racing original Harley-Davidson motor bike proved too weak to conquer events for many years. The nickname “Hog” — which has become Milwaukee’s modest hills without pedal assistance, so William and universally associated with H-D motorcycles — originated in 1920, Arthur went back to the drawing board. when a farm boy motorcycle racing team began taking their numerous Six years later, the duo created the first “real” Harley-Davidson victory laps with a live pig on their motorcycle. motorcycle, a vehicle powered by Today, the company that began a 405 cc engine that defined the production in a 150-square-foot performance and appearance of shed has become one of the most the modern motorcycle. recognized and admired brands in The first Harley motorcycles the world. H-D motorcycles have The Harley-Davidson Motor Company has not only were manufactured in a 10-bycome to symbolize dependable been a world class performer on the road and on 15-foot shed in the Davidson performance, freedom and family’s back yard. From its rugged individualism, and have the racetrack, but it has also been a star on Wall Street. modest origin, Harley-Davidson developed an almost cult-like A $10,000 investment in Harley-Davidson stock quickly set the standard appeal that has not diminished (NYSE ticker symbol HOG) on Dec. 31, 1986 would for innovative motorcycle in the least with the age, have been worth $2,319,100 on the same date in 2006. technology and became widely affluence and supposed maturity Now that’s what we call a great ride! loved and admired for their of riders. Some toys you just power, speed, durability and, not never outgrow!



gentleman’s room guy talk

she's leaving home

bye bye

Story | Bruce Farr Illustration | Paul Svancara


ach early fall, like millions of other doting dads, I’m reminded of the day my only daughter packed up and left home for college in California. Not just California, mind you, but L.A., “Lalaland,” where, in my tortured vision, evil lurked on every corner and an 18-year-old ingénue fresh out of high school was far too easy pickings for any manner of gangster, thug, con artist or pervert who prowled the streets of that dark metropolis. My overwhelming sense those first few agonizing weeks was that if I didn’t call my little girl every day, something terrible would befall her. Somehow, in my pained and twisted logic, I imagined that, through sheer force of will, I could stave off any harm to her by simply picking up the phone and hearing her voice on the other end of the line. At first she seemed just as glad as I to chat. I listened raptly while

she rattled off everything new she was experiencing: her classes were fun and challenging, she was meeting a ton of new friends, her tiny apartment—which she’d opted for instead of a dorm room—was a breath of fresh air. But, after a couple of weeks of my daily calls, we seemed to run out of things to say, and it became clear that her patience with my phoning was wearing as thin as our subject matter. So one fateful afternoon, our conversation went something like this: Me: “Hi, honey!” Her: “Uh, hello, Dad. Wassup?” Me: “Well, just calling to see how you’re doing.” Her: “Umm-hmm.” Me: “So…how ya doin’?” Her: “Fine; just as good as I was doing when you called yesterday, Dad.” [Here, I paused, trying to think of something meaningful to

her on her daily path. I still have moments when I can’t conceive of how it could have happened; how—all on her own—she seems to have taken charge of herself and blossomed into this thoughtful, charming and very independent young lady. I suppose at some point it’s Now, four years later, I’m happy every dad’s fear and conceit that to report that somehow—even our kids can’t survive without us, without my obsessive vigilance— my daughter is not only surviving but then, isn’t that what we’ve spent their entire lives trying to college and L.A., she’s actually instill in them? That sense of thriving there. She’s getting close independence? to graduation, has found a job in These days, when I experience her chosen field, is going out with an overwhelming urge to be a great guy and seems, beyond all sense of reason or possibility, to be needed, I’ve learned to shift managing her own life very nicely, my focus to our pet dog, Roxy. Having replaced my thank you very much. daughter as the reigning diva Sometimes, when four or of the household, I can at least five days or even an entire week be assured that she won’t be has passed and I haven’t heard heading off anywhere more from her, I chuckle to think that distant than the back yard, and she’s proving to be so capable of that all the doting in the world making her way in one of the from her “daddy” won’t faze her world’s largest cities, and doing one little bit. it without dear old dad to steer ask her.] Me: “So…what’s for dinner tonight?” Her: “Dad?” Me: “Yup!” Her: “You’ve got to stop calling me every day.”

september/october • 2009


gentleman’s room driver's seat

trucker Story | Don Armstrong


sk your neighbors to name a famous pickup truck and most will answer, “Ford F-150.” Why? Because Ford has sold more of these half-ton pack mules than any other truck builder: 33 million since 1948. The Ford F-150 continues to prove itself everyday—in Texas cotton fields, at the Port of Houston and going out for a night on the town starting at Houston’s Wortham Theatre. Part of the F-150’s success comes in the form of choice. Ford offers no fewer than seven trim levels, three cab sizes, three bed lengths, three engines and comes in both two- and four-wheel drive models. You’d be hard pressed to say you couldn’t find exactly what you were looking for with this pickup. Feeling pressure from competitors like Toyota and GM,


Ford fast-tracked this new, “fromthe-ground-up,” 2009 model F-150. By getting input from all across America, it seems Ford didn’t miss a beat. The F-150 is now built on a fully boxed frame, which gives it more rigidity and helps to keep it from twisting under load. The new cab and bed take cues from the Super Duty series, Ford’s 3/4ton and larger trucks. Atop the F-150’s numerous trim levels is the Platinum Edition, a notch above the popular Texas King Ranch luxotruck. Among its accoutrements is a satin chrome grille with mesh inserts, 10-way leather captain’s chairs upholstered with tuxedo stitching and embroidered logos on the seatbacks. Another nice touch is the satin gloss Lacrosse Ash wood grain accents and real brushed aluminum panels, center

console and doors. Standard are 20-inch, 16-spoke polished aluminum wheels. One of the many options you must have is the Sony navigation radio with Ford’s Sync system. And don’t forget the cargo management system, tailgate step, built-in trailer-brake controller and stowable bed extender, just to name a few. Even if you’re not in the market for one of these beauties, if you spot one in the parking lot, take a look. We think you’ll agree: This is what drivin’ in Texas is all about—or at least it should be.

don armstrong A professional broadcaster for more than 35 years, Don Armstrong is also a seasoned writer and voiceover talent. Catch him on Sky Fox on Channel 26 reporting on Houston’s morning traffic.

quick facts F-150 Platinum Lariat 4X4 Classification: ½-ton pickup truck Seating: Five Engine: 5.4-liter V-8 Horsepower: 310 Torque: 390 lb-ft Fuel economy: 14/18 mpg – city/highway Transmission: 6-speed auto Brakes: 4-wheel disc Curb weight: 5683 lbs. MSRP: $43,885

Ford Motor Co.


hot wings Story & Photography | Doug Pike


here’s something special about the opening day of dove season, and its allure has little to do with the birds. While Northerners huddle aimlessly beneath trees and wait for leaves to dry and fall, we who reside at a more temperate, tolerable latitude ready ourselves for dove season, which, in Texas’ north and central zones, opens the first day of September, not the first Saturday in September. And on that day, rain or shine or tropical gully washer, a majority of Texas offices, refineries and small businesses are missing some or most of their employees. Opening day is more than a first opportunity for country folk to put fresh meat on the family table. It can be that in rural areas, but over time in a state so game-rich and gregarious, the kickoff has become so much more. Opening day is a hybrid combination of tailgating, barbecuing, socializing…and gunfire. September’s first dawn is when men and increasing numbers of

women, often in the company of their children, gather to rekindle old friendships and spark new ones. And on that same afternoon, Texans uninterested in early alarms repeat the activity. It makes no difference whether you wore a suit or uniform or coveralls to work the previous day. In the field, when the sweat pours and birds fly, all are equal. Make no mistake that dove hunting in southeast Texas in September can be uncomfortable. All days in September are hot. Some are quite humid and the rest are extremely humid. Perspiration washes away your mosquito repellent and sunscreen; you’ll need to reapply both. Daub your ankles, too, to discourage chiggers and watch for snakes. All that, and I wouldn’t miss it. Even when hosts concede poor dove counts in their fields, a possibility any time with migratory birds, nobody I know would pass and go to work. There remain some Texas hunters for whom success always

gentleman’s room outdoors

beating the odds is measured by the numbers of doves in their sacks, but more of us view the kickoff as an excuse to breathe some fresh air and maybe a little cigar smoke. Notation must be made here that every dove shoot I have experienced in recent years has strictly prohibited alcohol until after the guns are secured. We dove hunters are not the whiskeyguzzling caricatures as which we are portrayed by the ignorant and intolerant. Field time with friends provides its own good feeling. What adults do afterward is their business. Dove hunting is casual and a session can begin and end whenever you like within lawful hunting hours. The difference between a full limit and nothing is barely two pounds of meat. It’s not the birds that make this annual occurrence so popular. It’s opening day. Doves are just a plentiful, challenging, tasty excuse to drop the tie and polished shoes, don some khaki or camo, and enjoy the company of friends.

If you hunt doves, show enough respect for the birds to become a qualified marksman. Take a lesson or two so that you can outshoot the average dove hunter, who sacks a pathetic three doves on average per box of 25 shells. In addition to being costly, sloppy shooting also wounds and kills birds that won’t be recovered. Get some instruction. Dove hunting’s a lot more fun if you finish with something that can be wrapped in bacon and stuffed with a jalapeno.

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.

september/october • 2009


gentleman’s room high tech

Story | Michael Garfield



Are the Blu-ray players that come built in some of the video consoles worth it or should I buy a separate player to watch HD movies? A: Currently, Sony’s PlayStation 3 is the only major video game console to come with a Blu-ray player. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 did have a HD-DVD player add-on but, alas, that format is now history. The PS3 Blu-ray player works well and is a solid choice if you want to watch I have three kids high-def DVDs. The controller and each one wants a different lacks some of the special features that can be accessed on stand-alone game console. Should Blu-ray players but it is worth the we get all three cost savings and space on your or can you help us entertainment center rather than decide on the Xbox having two devices. 360, PlayStation 3 or Nintendo Wii? Nintendo A: Actually, this is a personal changed the decision that calls for a family way we interact meeting. One factor to consider is whether or not the games you with games by releasing the Wiimote. We love it, want are interchangeable. Some but is there anything titles are exclusive (Halo, for cooler planned down example, only plays on Xbox 360). If you still are up in the air, the road? look at the game controllers that A: Controllers come in many shapes, not just the handheld come with each system to see if gamepad. There are joysticks, the family is comfortable with trackballs, paddles, throttles them. Online interactivity is also important as each company and even steering wheels. The Wiimote has been a big success offers certain downloads like due to its motion sensing ability movies, TV shows and songs. to recreate a golf or tennis hen it comes to video games, I remember playing machines that were six feet tall. Today, there are several choices that connect to your TV monitors that make Space Invaders actually look 3D. Which console is the best for you? What’s next on the video game horizon? You want to know and I respond:





How do games seem so real when it comes to sports? A: Animated stick figures are a thing of the past. Professional sports leagues now license their teams and player names for realism. Actual athletes are also used to help create the motions and plays. Since video game consoles are actually high-powered computers, fluid movements can be shown such as football throws, racing car speed and steering and even reeling in a bass.


Can you recommend a handheld video game unit? A: Sony PSP and Nintendo DS are pretty much the two players in this industry. The PSP is a bit more expensive ($170) but is at least a step ahead of the competition. Its high-def screen can play movies and it can play audio in addition to games. Go for it!

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

courtesy Nintendo | courtesy Sony


swing, baseball pitch or bowling roll. The next “big thing” is a camera-based controller utilizing gestural control, voice command and facial recognition. Microsoft is working on this for the Xbox 360, but no release date has been announced.


Haunts Houston

Story | Robin Barr Sussman

Photography | Mark W. Lipczynski

Whether terrifying or tickling us, ghost stories capture our imagination, especially around Halloween. Say “ghosts” and you might think of old lighthouses wedged on the cliffs of Oregon, foggy London streets, or Dracula’s castle in Transylvania. But believe it or not, downtown Houston also flickers with the paranormal. Read our tales and you decide: Haunted or just spooky folklore? september/october • 2009




Julia Ideson Library

amed after Houston’s first librarian, the Julia Ideson Library was opened in 1926 and its dark, profound Spanish Renaissance-style architecture alone sets the stage for mystery. “Entering the Ideson building on a sunny day is scary. I push open the heavy doors…and as they ‘shush’ behind me, all I see is black,” says Sandra Lord, owner of Discover Houston Tours, which includes this historical site on its popular Ghost Walk tour. Despite the presumption that Julia Ideson is haunting the grounds, legend commands that it is actually the spirit of Julius Frank Cramer, the library’s first custodian and gardener who lingers on the property. Cramer was a man of solitude, living only with his German shepherd Pete in a hollow apartment deep beneath the library. After his death in 1936, he had only a sister left to sign his death certificate. Perhaps it’s because he had no one else in the world that Cramer returned to his beloved library to carry on his duties of custodian and handyman. According to legend, when he lived in the building, there was no air conditioning (the unthinkable) and the heat was so stifling that Cramer would lead his dog up to the gallery on the third floor. From the large, open-air balustrade loggia overlooking McKinney street, Cramer would launch into a waltz on his violin allowing the booming acoustics to carry song throughout the library and into the night air. Hattie Johnson, who worked at the library in 1946, could hear Cramer’s violin on cloudy, dreary days and the music would play for the longest time. “Johnson, like the other former employees who worked in the building, said the place spooked her,” adds Lord. Today, if you’re in the old library and hear the pitter-patter of feet following you, or if a whisper of music fills your ear, it might be the ghost of Cramer with Pete in tow. You might also sense his presence by a small oak tree he planted on the west side of the building named the Cramer Oak, in his honor. Even in death, it is said that he likes to tend to the tree as one of his ever-lasting responsibilities. julia ideson library • 500 mckinney 832-393-1313 •

september/october • 2009



brewery tap


f you’re looking to slide a stool up to the bar at the Brewery Tap, you might find yourself with company. But don’t be alarmed. It’s only the spirit dubbed “William” who is looking for some company, too. The Brewery Tap is housed in the Magnolia Brewery Building, formerly the Houston Ice and Brewing Co. Built in 1912, the building became part of a sprawling complex running along the Buffalo Bayou. And while it beautified the cityscape, nature had a different destiny for the brewery. When two separate floods hit the downtown area, the first in 1929 and later in 1935, the company began to flounder. During prohibition, it reluctantly closed its doors in 1950. Yet, while the company struggled to stay afloat, there was a very contented man who worked his days away in the basement of the building. One day, the loyal worker died in that dark basement after a keg fell on top of him. Patrons of the Brewery Tap can still witness William’s allegiance to the company since he became the bar’s resident ghost. According to the legend by Brewery Tap owner Phil Carver, the ghost remained unnamed for many years until he became friendly with a barmaid named Kathy. After auditioning several names for the spirit, she felt William suited him best. William is known to have abundant personality, fluctuating between

flirtatious and mischievous. Charlene Briones was a participant on a tour of the Brewery Tap this year and took a photo of a framed photograph being held by the tour director that displays an image of ghost William. “The ghost comes across as a light or orb hovering over a bar customer in the picture. There also seems to be a paranormal image in my photo of a third hand helping the director hold the frame of the photo,” says Briones. Debe Branning, an Arizona resident who writes for, also toured the Brewery Tap. “We asked the spirit to make our magnetic field meter blink for us and I recall the lights blinking when the meter was in my hand,” she says. “Ghosts are known to use magnetic/electric fields to manifest so these tools can measure a change in the field.” Apparently, William is never one to shy away from a pretty girl, and he’s likely to knock something over, just to grab your attention. Kathy will always be his favorite gal, as she claims he saved her life after pushing a chair in front of her that made her notice a thief waiting outside the bar. Cheers to ghosts! brewery tap 717 franklin st. • 713-237-1537

september/october • 2009




founders memorial cemetary

he best place to look for ghosts is the last place they rest, but at the Founders Memorial Cemetery near downtown Houston, there seems to be no rest for the eerie. The cemetery is said to be filled to the brim with paranormal activity. As you enter, you’ll notice the Texas Historical Markers in commemoration of Houston’s founders John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen. It is said that these brothers, who set aside the land for Houston’s first city graveyard, now spend eternity within its parameters. But the Allen brothers are far from the only historic legend lurking throughout the cemetery. “The cemetery wears a very protective feeling over it, like you are being watched. At dusk, it is eerie,” says Branning, who also participated in this tour. Many people report feeling an ominous presence surrounding them at Robert Barr’s grave, who was the first Postmaster General of the Republic of Texas. “When you look at his headstone at night with a flashlight, a face appears to be peering right back at you,” explains Branning.

While that is enough to scare anyone, the monument that people find most frightening is erected in honor of the 40 veterans of the Battle of San Jacinto. The individual granite markers are adorned with copper laurel wreaths, signifying victory, eternity and immortality. Once the copper penetrates the granite as it does over time, shades and dimensions form on each of the markers and the stones take on an almost human-like image. While it is likely that one of the notable residents of the yard are haunting the grounds, perhaps it is the people with no names that come out at night, hoping to grab your attention. When the cemetery was created, it was meant to hold 1,000 bodies. Because of the outbreak of yellow fever and cholera, many bodies were merely dumped in mass graves with no ceremony or marker to show their last place. John Kirby Allen could even be among the restless, as he died of malaria way before his time. founders memorial cemetery 1217 w. dallas • 713-865-4500

september/october • 2009



ashton villa


shton Villa, an historic mansion built in 1859, is not only known for its beautifully restored grandeur, but also as one of the most haunted buildings on Galveston Island. Dwayne Jones, executive director of the Galveston Historical Foundation, says that they don’t present Ashton Villa as a haunted house but that “the rumors which originated when the building opened to the public have escalated over the past 10 years and there’s been lots of energy on this topic lately. This is probably due to all the new ghost Web sites, shows and books.” Yes, there’s controversy as to the haunted aspect of the building, but the stories have a common theme. The star is Bettie Brown, daughter of wealthy banker and railroad president James Moreau Brown who built the home. “Miss Bettie” is said to appear from time to time on the second floor wearing a turquoise gown. Some have even heard the piano in the Gold Room played at night by unseen hands. Ceiling fans have been known to turn themselves on and one bed refuses to stay made no matter how many times a day the sheets are straightened. “Some tour visitors have reported a presence joining them on the tour, but this might just be visitors who have a predisposition to this kind of paranormal sixth sense,” explains Jones. Why so much attention on Miss Bettie? “In her day, she was the talk of Galveston because she was flamboyant, single and an international traveler who had a large presence socially and economically. Perhaps that is why believers think she came back,” says Jones. The staff due has debunked some of the rumors to lack of evidence. “For instance, Miss Bettie never played the piano when

living, so why would she play it now?” says Jones. “I’ve never seen or felt anything. But if you are a believer, I can see how you might have that experience on the island due to all the immigrants that have come through here and all the rich history.” Amazingly, the three-story villa survived the great storm of the 1900s without extensive damage except for flooding the first floor of the building. It has been said that the owners opened the front and back doors to let all the water flow through the building to avoid interior damage. Although Ashton Villa has reopened since Hurricane Ike, the storm’s foul surge left water-damaged antique furniture that had to be sent away for special repairs. Building repairs are still being attended to today. ashton villa 2328 broadway, galveston 409-762-3933

Haunted History

Channel your inner Venkman, Stantz or Spengler—the paranormal exterminators from the 1980s hit Ghostbusters—and see what scary tales await at these Houston and Galveston ghost tours. Discover Houston Tours

Led by Houston history expert Sandra Lord, this outfit offers ghost walks, cemetery and mausoleum visits, and tunnel and rail tours. For an paranormal experience that will get you up close and personal, sign up for Lord’s Broomstick Adventures, which allows tour participants to bring cameras and EMF meters to Houston’s most haunted “hot” spots. 713-222-9255 •

Ghost Tours of Galveston

Voted one of the best haunted ghost tours in America by Haunted America Tours, this company offers visitors a hairraising look at Galveston Island’s unique history. Tour guide Dash Beardsley reveals the stories behind such events as the Great Storm of 1900 and the Battle of Galveston, as well as the historic buildings along the Strand. 409-949-2027 •

september/october • 2009


live well


There is effective therapy for breast cancer. Survival for early stage disease is very optimistic and advanced disease is also quite treatable. Early detection may translate to cure, but advanced disease also warrants state of the art therapy. Discuss options with your oncologist as every situation is unique and deserves individual attention and planning. Annual screenings and mammograms are de rigueur for women over the age of 40. If Story | Sue Hauenstein detected in the earliest stages, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 100 percent. When it comes to technology, the new generation of brachytherapy applicators hen we were growing up, the most frightening health concern targets radiation directly to the tissue of concern. Newer technologies in breast cancer our parents’ generation faced, was the “Big C.” Back then, cancer was feared treatment include a procedure that involves a small balloon device surgically inserted into as a death sentence. the patient’s breast. Rather than irradiating We’ve come a long way, baby! the entire breast, this technology minimizes While many cancers are still life radiation close to healthy tissue. The patient threatening, diagnostic tools have evolved to such a degree that the majority of cancers can receives radiation treatment twice a day for five days decreasing the length of treatment by be treated successfully, if discovered in time. five or six weeks. The catheter While it should be noted that is surgically removed after the not all breast changes, such as treatment is completed. lumps, indicate cancer, variations Successful breast cancer in the breast should be reported treatment, however, isn’t to a doctor immediately. Should limited only to technology. you find yourself in the position Emotional and social support of having a positive diagnosis, put are crucial factors. on your sunglasses, the future’s “At our facility, emotional looking bright. support during the entire According to Dr. Nadya course of each patient’s Hasham-Jiwa, a Houstontreatment is stressed,” says Kyle based medical oncologist, early Price, administrative director at detection of breast cancer with Memorial Hermann-Southeast. screening mammograms allow for “Nutritionists and social a woman’s best chance for cure. workers support the physicians “Even more exciting is that and nurses, assisting patients state-of-the art therapy for early stage or locally advanced breast cancer is readily through recovery and healing.” Price also notes unique radiation treatment available in our community. At Memorial options, including Contura, which involves a Hermann Southeast, we have a team of five-day breast cancer treatment, as compared affiliated physicians who specialize in breast to six to seven weeks of treatment. cancer treatment. They can address all aspects “Believe it or not, we are finding women of its management, from surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, to hormonal therapy, nutrition all the time who don’t realize the importance and emotional support, to our ultimate goal of of yearly mammograms and self-exams. They think mammograms are too painful,” he says. a cure,” she says. “Despite all the education and awareness Breast cancer treatment around breast cancer and mammography, involves a multidisciplinary approach, there is still a lot of educating to do.” including collaboration between the oncologist, surgeon and radiation oncologist, Dr. Hasham-Jiwa adds. “The treatment plan is specifically tailored for each woman, who also plays an important Did You Know? role in finalizing her therapy. Therefore, your Although the disease is much less common among males, men are susceptible to understanding of the disease and therapies is crucial. Choose a cancer doctor you can relate breast cancer. In fact, nearly 2,000 men are diagnosed with the disease each year. to and trust.”

Know Your Genes



Show Your Support Second to lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in this country, statistics show that breast cancer will affect one of every eight American women in their lifetime. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, a number of fundraising efforts have been planned to benefit breast cancer research and education. From galas and golf tournaments to marathon walks and runs, get involved and do your part to help eradicate this disease. Sept. 13 Tour de Pink 2009 Benefiting the Pink Ribbons Project, this is the first bike ride in Texas solely benefiting breast cancer. Prairie View A&M University, 5th Street Ave. A L.W. Minor St. 7 a.m. Starting at $25. 713-5247465, Oct. 1 - 31 CRAVE Cupcakes’ Breast Cancer Awareness Month CRAVE will donate 100 percent of proceeds from their pink ribbon cupcakes to the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Six for $19.50. 1151 Uptown Park Blvd. $19.50. 7-13-622-7283, Oct. 3 2009 Komen Houston Race for the Cure More than 30,000 people are expected to participate in this certified USATF 5K (3.1-mile) course with running and walking events. Allen Parkway pedestrian bridge. 7:45 a.m. Starting at $35. 713-783-9188, Oct. 26 Fort Bend Pink Ladies Golf Tournament Held each year at the Sweetwater Country Club, golf lovers will hit the links and spend the day having fun, sipping champagne and swinging for a cure. 4400 Palm Royale Blvd., Sugar Land. Call for time and prices. 713-706-5635 Oct. 29 - 30 Breast Health Summit Presented by the Breast Health Collaborative of Texas, this two-day statewide summit is open to anyone with an interest in breast health. Registration required. United Way of Texas, 50 Waugh Drive. 4 p.m. 281-464-5117,

live well

Haute Wax


Fighting the Wrinkle War

courtesy StriVectin | Timothy Frederick


Story | Sally J. Clasen

et’s face it, we’re all trying to combat the signs of aging—and some of us are in more of a hurry than others to do war. In defense, the multibillion dollar skin care market is brimming with non-prescription anti-wrinkle creams that promise a youthful glow. Do they really work? Findings from a 2006 Consumer Report study suggest over-the-counter wrinkle cream, from the inexpensive to the priciest, can’t turn back time. Researchers tested products ranging from $38 to $335 and concluded the wrinkle creams only offered a slight improvement in the skin’s appearance, depending on length used and active ingredients, but no permanent age reversal. If there are cracks in the effectiveness of the anti-wrinkle market, it hasn’t stopped the demand for facelifts in a jar, particularly for luxury brands. Here are two high-end products aggressively marketed to buyers as weapons against aging: StriVectin-SD ($135 for 6 oz.) was first successfully sold to decrease scarring and

stretch marks but by accident as become a popular anti-aging treatment for wrinkles, fine lines and crow’s feet. The primary active ingredient found in the original StriVectin formula is a peptide complex called “Pal-KTTKS.” With its combination of skin firming agents, skin hydrators and elasticizers, the cream has been shown to increase collagen and reduce wrinkles by as much as 68 percent. In the Consumer Reports study, StriVectin-SD Intensive Concentrate earned an unattractive seventh place spot out of 10 but finished first in a blind study of anti-aging creams. Another choice, Prescriptive Intensive Rebuilding Moisturizer, was featured on Oprah as a wrinkle cure worth its upscale container. At $95 for 2 oz., the claim is that the cream’s “build and fill” technology works from the inside out to strengthen, firm and lift while rejuvenating the outer layer of the skin to decrease surface lines and wrinkles. The Hydrabuild complex helps stimulate natural glycosaminoglycans production to maximize abundance of hyaluronic acid and water in the skin, which promotes firmness.

This summer, European Wax Centers hosted “Skin,” a French-themed soiree to celebrate its first Houston location at the River Oaks Plaza. Close to 300 guests attended the evening, which was filled with glamour, style and, of course, lots of bare skin. In addition to French daiquiris, Mumm Champagne and delicious French bites from Café Natalie, guests were treated to a swimwear fashion show featuring Zingara designs modeled by Brazilian models and a tour of the center’s spa-like facilities. Ten percent of the evening’s sales and pre-paid services went to the Women’s Fund, whose mission is to educate Houston area women and girls to be advocates for their health. European Wax Center 1564 W. Gray 713-524-4949

Face Forward Because life is just too busy to be driving all over town for essential beauty treatments, Houston Skin Clinic recently opened a location inside TheOne Fitness, a high-end private gym at Voss and Woodway, near the Houston Country Club. Owner and aesthetician Susanna Schulz offers such services as photo facials, microdermabrasion and dermasound ultrasonic facials in a private and luxurious setting.

houston skin clinic 1305 s. voss 713-355-4300

september/october • 2009


diningguide Whether you’re craving a thick, juicy steak or a spicy little Latin number, Prime Living’s dining guide gives you everything you need to know (and then some) on Houston's wonderful array of dining options. Use our handy legend to find out each restaurant's amenities and features.

legend Date Night Friendly

Jacket Required

Allergy Free Foods

Reservation Required


HandLEs Private Parties

Valet Provided

separate bar area

AMERICAN Backstreet Cafe

Charming 1930s house-turned-bistro is Houston’s foremost al fresco restaurant. Features award-winning American bistro fare, full bar, winning wine list and live jazz at brunch. • 1103 s. shepherd. 713-521-2239,

Dessert Gallery Bakery & Cafe Houston’s sweet spot for decadent desserts, sandwiches, wraps and salads. Perfect for a quick sugar fix or leisurely lunch or dinner. Specialty dishes: Calypso Chicken Salad, Old-Fashioned Diner Cake. • 3600 kirby dr., 713-522-9999; 1616 post oak blvd., 713-622-0007; 2260 lone star dr., sugar land, 713-797-8000;

Foundation Room at House of Blues Houston A truly unique setting for dining and entertaining, this downtown hotspot offers a luxurious lounge featuring handembroidered Gujarat wall coverings. Enjoy fine dining, world-class hospitality and a private outdoor balcony for an unrivalled

experience. Specialty dish: Chicken Fried Lobster with Chimichurri. • 1204 caroline st., 888-402-5837, clubvenues/houston/ foundationroom

Gravitas Restaurant Featuring a sophisticated-yet-laidback interior by architect Ferenc Dreef and an eclectic American menu from executive chef Jason Gould, Gravitas—as the name implies—takes food seriously while keeping the atmosphere warm and comfortable. Specialty dish: Applewood smoked pork chop with apple slaw. • 807 taft st. 713-522-0995,

Laurier Cafe & Wine A New American neighborhood bistro whose focus is fresh, seasonal, highquality foods and dishes that let the ingredients shine. Award-winning wine list has moderately-priced niche wines from around the world. Specialty dishes: Crab Cake, Steak Frites, Soft Chocolate Cake. • 3139 richmond ave. 713-807-1632,

Masraff’s on Post Oak Lane A casually elegant restaurant with unique Euro/American cuisine and ambiance. Specializing in seafood, lamb, beef and fowl, Masraff’s is the recipient of numerous prestigious culinary awards. Specialty dishes: Chilean Sea Bass, Osso Bucco, Rack of Lamb. • 1025 s. post oak lane. 713-355-1975,

MAX’s Wine Dive Gourmet comfort food and wines from around the world rule at MAX’s Wine Dive. Enjoy award-winning food and wine lists in a relaxed and chic atmosphere filled with the sounds of a hip jukebox under wine-bottle chandeliers. Specialty dish: Fried Chicken and Champagne. • 4720 washington ave. 713-880-8737,

Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar The French and Italian rivieras meet Texas at Mockingbird Bistro, where Texas Provence cuisine is praised by media and diners alike. Casual and inviting, this bistro offers two private dining areas, a full bar and award-winning wine list. Specialty

dish: Steak Frites. • 1985 welch. 713-533-0200,

Ouisie’s Table Elouise Adams Jones, aka Ouisie, invented this restaurant of Southern food and eclectic tendencies decades ago and has been the darling of diners ever since. Elegant, imaginative, warm, always entertaining and daring only begin to describe this Houston icon. • 3939 san felipe. 713-528-2264,

Polo’s Signature Boasting a French-American fusion menu, the swanky Polo’s Signature is the namesake of restaurateur Polo Becerra. Live music, exquisite lighting and an inviting interior design complement Executive Chef Adam Puskorius’ imaginative fare brilliantly. • 3800 southwest freeway. 713-626-8100,

Post Oak Grill Uptown

dining community is owned by restaurateur Polo Becerra who once worked as a line cook in its kitchen. Business people fill it by day, romantics by night. • 1415 s. post oak lane. 713-993-9966,

Prime A casually elegant and relaxing waterfront showplace for the farm fresh, New American cuisine of award-winning Executive Head Chef Joseph Trevino. Prime indulges the senses with a menu and decor that are equally sophisticated. Specialty dish: Lamb chop and Cassoulet with Roast Baby Roots. • 600 la torretta blvd., 936-448-4400,

The Remington Restaurant Decidedly modern American with a definite dash of Texas. Busy executives can take advantage a special lunch menu that adheres to tight schedules without sacrificing culinary excellence. Specialty dish: Southwest Caesar Salad. • 1919 briar oaks lane. 713-403-2759,

Elegantly presented American fare with a Mexican accent, this veteran of the Houston

VOICE Hotel ICON is proud to present the awardwinning VOICE restaurant, where Executive Chef Michael Kramer pairs inspired modern American cuisine with one of the city’s most dazzling venues. Recognized as the No. 1 best new restaurant by Texas Monthly. Specialty dish: Mushroom Soup “Cappuccino.” • 220 main st., 832-667-4470, hotelicon. com

FRENCH Au Petit Paris

Considered one of Houston’s more unique spots, Au Petit Paris will remind you of Paris with its authentic French creations from Chef Eric Legros and Pastry Chef Dominique Bocquier. Specialty dish: Sautéed sea scallop, smoky bacon, and curry cauliflower puree with green asparagus. • 2048 colquitt st. 713-524-7070,

Chez Nous, Cuisine Francaise A small, quaint restaurant situated in a former Pentecostal church, Chez Nous specializes in the sturdy classical

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Exceptional lease and finance offers. $4,500 Eco Credit towards purchase of Advanced Diesel models No-cost maintenance for 4 years/50,000 miles The most fuel-efficient luxury fleet in America European models shown. © 2009 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW, model and logo are registered trademarks.

Southwest Freeway exit Bissonnet 713-CALL-BMW

ittle Sweeter! Sorority Rush Just Got a LSwee t Excess Since 1995 Celebrating

NEW Greek Cupcakes & Cookies from Dessert Gallery Greek Cupcakes are available in six popular flavors and can be decorated with sprinkles to match your sorority’s colors! Cupcakes are $3.25 / each (minimum 1 dozen). Create your own special cookie artwork using the Cookie Canvas feature on our web site. Cookie Canvas creations are $2.25/ each (minimum 1 dozen). Order online today!

Now you can find us on: Kirby 713 522 9999 Galleria 713 622 0007

diningguide French style of cooking. “The chef is the owner, as it should. The chef is in the kitchen, where she belongs.” Specialty dish: Dessert soufflés. • 209 s. ave g, humble. 281-446-6717,

INDIAN Kiran’s

Enjoy modern Indian cuisine in a fine-dining experience. Accolades include Zagat Rated Excellent and Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence. Specialty Dish: Kiran’s Chilean Sea Bass with Mango Chutney. • 4100 westheimer. 713-960-8472,

ITALIAN Arcodoro

This beautiful Galleria area restaurant reflects owner Efisio Farris’ Sardinian heritage, and the glamour and sophistication of the Costa Smeralda. The menu shines with a simple, rustic cuisine rich in flavor and texture. Specialty dish: Malloreddus a la Bottarga. • 5000 westheimer. 713-621-6858,

Arturo’s Uptown Italiano Savor a romantic slice of Tuscany while indulging in exquisite Italian dishes prepared by renowned Chef Arturo Boada. Enjoy your meal on the flowering patio or inside among warm hues of golds and reds. Complimented by excellent service and a great wine list. Specialty Dish: Crabmeat Raviola. • 1180-1 uptown park blvd. 713-410-8694,

Damian’s Cucina Italiana Known as Houston’s top Italian restaurateurs for more than 25 years, Damian’s owners Joseph Butera and Frankie B. Mandola provide diners with an extensive menu set in an elegant, old-world atmosphere. Specialty dish: Fedilini ai Buongustaio. • 3011 smith. 713-522-0439,

Grotto Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine in a warm, entertaining atmosphere that will transport you to the cozy setting of a trattoria in the Old Country. At Grotto, everything is homemade on-premise. Specialty dish: Shrimp Paillard. • 4715 westheimer. 713-622-3663,

legend Date Night Friendly

Valet Provided

Allergy Free Foods

Jacket Required


Reservation Required

HandLEs Private Parties separate bar area

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LaGriglia LaGriglia offers guests a delicious display of authentic Italian dining. Colorful Italian murals and busy mosaics provide a playful ambience while creative pastas, chicken, beef and fish tempt guests with an array of fabulous choices. Specialty dish: Shrimp and Crab Cheesecake. • 2002 w. grey. 713-526-4700,

Mezzanotte Italian Ristorante

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This modern Italian ristorante welcomes diners with dramatic and stylish decor, convivial bar area and a sophisticated atmosphere. The menu features Italian fare with modern accents including pasta, seafood, steaks, rack of lamb and more. Specialty dish: House made lobster ravioli, rack of lamb. • 13215 grants road, cypress. 832-717-7870,

Mingalone Italian Bar &Grill Reminiscent of the family’s trattoria in southern Italy, with an open kitchen and an elegant interior, Mingalone serves dishes such as Gnocchi al Zafferano (potato dumplings tossed with arugula, saffron and Parmesan cream sauce). Specialty dish: Vitello al Teatro. • 540 texas ave. 713-223-0088,

Prego This contemporary Rice Village trattoria has been a neighborhood favorite for more than 20 years. Menu features house made breads and pastas, and the freshest meats, seafood and produce. Attentive staff, award-winning wine list. Specialty dishes: Center-cut pork chops with prunes, Chianti essence, rapini and sweet potato gnocchi. • 2520 amherst. 713-529-2420,

9OU´RE )NVITED TO THE &ORT "END 2AINBOW 2OOM´S TH !NNUAL &LO "ERKMAN !WARD ,UNCHEON Join us as we recognize those volunteers and sponsors who have gone above and beyond to help abused and neglected children and adults. Also, hear Michael Saint John, President of Minute Maid Business Unit, Coca-Cola North America, discuss the importance of an organization’s investment in its community and how to make a difference. Thursday, September 10 at 11:30 a.m. Safari Texas Ranch 11627 FM 1464 Rd, Richmond, TX 77407 For additional information contact Tonya Lewis at 832-595-3029 or online at The Rainbow Room is a 501c3 non-proďŹ t organization which provides hope and dignity to abused and neglected children and families in Fort Bend County.

Trevisio Located in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, this stunning restaurant features two 64-foot exterior waterfalls, while a sixth floor perch affords diners incredible views. Considered one of Houston’s most attractive restaurant interiors. Specialty dish: Porcinicrusted beef tenderloin with wild mushrooms, pearl onions, roasted garlic and broccolini. • 6550 bertner, 713-649-0400,

JAPANESE Kata Robata

Kata Robata is a new, chef-driven Japanese grill and tapas concept built on the pillars of high quality, creative food and exceptional service. The menu from rising star Chef Horiuchi is a combination of traditional and modern Japanese cuisine. Specialty dish: Foie Gras Sushi. • 3600 kirby dr. 713-526-8858,

YOI Sushi Bar at La Torretta Del Lago Resort & Spa Located on the second level of La Torretta Del Lago Resort & Spa’s exquisite lobby, Yoi offers the finest in contemporary Japanese sushi. Freshly carved sashimi, carefully sculpted nigiri and meticulously wrapped rolls are offered daily. • 600 la torretta blvd., montgomery. 936-448-4400,


Americas Restaurant Americas offers an adventurous menu specializing in the foods of all the Americas: North, Central and South. Experience signature dishes including ceviche, churrasco steak and mouthwatering tres leches. Specialty dish: Churrasco steak. • 21 waterway ave., the woodlands. 281-367-1492,


Hugo’s celebrates the vibrant, diverse cuisines of Mexico with delicious dishes made fresh in-house: hand-formed tortillas, cheeses, chorizo and houseground chocolate. Enjoy the city’s best margaritas, hand-shaken with only fresh juices. Specialty dish: Ceviches and chiles rellenos. • 1600 westheimer. 713-524-7744,

Ninfa’s on Navigation There’s only one original Ninfa’s, and this is it. Ninfa’s on Navigation has set the standard for Tex-Mex dining in Houston,

legend Date Night Friendly


Jacket Required

Allergy Free Foods

Valet Provided

Reservation Required

HandLEs Private Parties separate bar area

diningguide featuring a menu of timeless favorites along with many new signature creations from Executive Chef Alex Padilla. Specialty dish: Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Tacos “Diablo.” • 2704 navigation blvd. 713-228-1175,


Willie G’s Seafood & Steakhouse Known for serving fresh seafood specialties and recognized nationally as one of the top upscale seafood restaurants, Willie G’s is in a class by itself. Specialty dishes: Truffle Crusted Chilean Sea Bass, Oyster Bar Trash. • 1605 post oak blvd. 713-840-7190,

Massa’s Seafood Grill

Serving fine seafood since 1944, familyowned Massa’s Seafood Grill is located across from The Four Seasons Hotel and is a favorite for corporate lunches, conventions, sporting and entertainment events. Specialty dish: Redfish Ponchartrain. • 1331 lamar, 713-655-9100; 1160 smith, 713-650-0837;

Pesce From the tasteful design and elegantly appointed dining room to the unparalleled cuisine, Pesce is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Renowned Chef Mark Holley has carefully crafted a seafood menu featuring a melting pot of flavors. Specialty dish: Seafood Martini. • 3029 kirby dr. 713-522-4858,

STEAKHOUSE Brenner’s On The Bayou

Situated in a picturesque retreat on Houston’s Buffalo Bayou, this rustic-yetelegant restaurant is surrounded by lush landscaping, a waterfall and gazebo. Brenner’s classic dishes include prime steaks and succulent seafood. Specialty dish: Steaks and German potatoes. • 1 birdsall. 713-868-4444,

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar The ultimate steakhouse destination for people seeking a stylish, lively and contemporary dining experience. Renowned for its superb prime beef, warm

and inviting ambiance, and gracious and knowledgeable yet unobtrusive service. • 2405 w. alabama. 713-520-5959; 788 w. sam houston pkwy. north, 713-827-1120; 1201 lake woodlands dr., the woodlands, 281-362-0103;

Strip House Known for prime signature cuts of beef charred to perfection, Strip House also serves up decadent side dishes include Black Truffle Cream Spinach and Goose Fat Potatoes. Part of the experience is the sumptuous, all red decor featuring vintage photographs. Specialty dish: New York strip steak. • 1200 mckinney st. 713-659-0000,

Sullivan’s Steakhouse Named after the champion bare knuckle boxer John L. Sullivan, who was nicknamed “the best of the best,” Sullivan’s has been a local Houston mainstay for the last 10 years. The 1940’s styled steakhouse features the finest steaks and seafood. • 4608 westheimer. 713-961-0333,

Tapas Capriccio Tapas

Capriccio brings Spanish flavors and fine dining to northwest Houston. Enjoy a menu of more than 30 tapas (literally “small plates”) to sample yourself or share among friends while enjoying fine wine and great conversation. Specialty dishes: Paella, extensive list of tapas. • 10865 jones road. 281-807-9442,

Tintos Spanish Restaurant & Wine Bar Tintos serves great traditional Spanish tapas, as well as modern style tapas. The menu also features tapas that have Cuban and South American influences. Signature dish: Paella. • 2015-j w. gray. 713-522-1330,


Prime Living Messina Hof Harvest • 8.2.09


Messina Hof Winery

Talk about the star-treatment! A select group of wine lovers were treated to a special event hosted by Prime Living and Messina Hof. After starting their morning with mimosas and pastries, a chauffeured luxury limousine transported guests from Houston to the Messina Hof Winery in Bryan, Texas for a day filled with wine tastings, grape picking and delicious eats. Guests also got the chance to act out that famous I Love Lucy scene (you know the one) by partaking in Messina Hof ’s own grape stomping. After guests rinsed off, they were treated to a wonderful harvest lunch, followed by a cookbook and bottle signing.


Photography | SRG Services Inc.





8 6


9 get on the list at



1 Joann Klein 2 Abby Butcher 3 Paul Bonarrigo, Gail Parker 4 Dianne Josephs, Brian Stavert 5 Cynthia Liska 6 Adam Armstrong, Cynthia Liska, Gay Austin 7 Randy Parker 8 Kathy Butcher 9 Brian Stavert, Paul Bonarrigo, Jennifer Dean 10 Bob and Dianne Josephs 11 Gail Parker


12th Annual Ambassadors’ Club Soiree • 7.31.09

Courtyard on St. James


The Ambassadors’ Club hosted its 12th Annual Soiree with a clothing drive to benefit Star of Hope Mission at the Courtyard on St. James. Club founder and chairman Riyad Abu-Taha and KPRC-TV Channel 2 anchor Lauren Freeman hosted more than 600 guests, many of whom were ladies dressed to the nines in hopes of becoming Soiree Queen 2009. A host of local celebrities known as the Fashion Patrol prowled the ballroom selecting the 10 best-dressed women to vie for the title. In the end, Nicole Alvarez won the top honor and took home the crown.


Story | Roseann Rogers Photography | Todd Parker


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/, :87@ %+5/ Academy Award -nomi actor Chazz Palmin nated teri returns to the stage in this celebrated play depicting a young boy’s childhood in the 1960s-era Bronx. Center for the Perform Hobby ing Arts, 800 Bagby. Call for and prices. 713-62 show times 9-3700, broadwayacrossamer

/, /+:< +55 #+BB5/ +BB5/ #/. Black-tie gala benefi tting the American Heart Association. Evening feature s cocktail reception, dinner , dancing and auction. Hilton Americas Hotel, 1600 Lamar. 7 p.m. Call for ticket prices. 713-61 0-5081, $8=<2/:7 :3/. +BB +7. 87-/: Enjoy the sounds < of this Dixieland Jazz band performs such favoritthat es as Is It True What Th ey Say Dixie, Sweet Georgi About When the Saints a Brown and Go Crighton Theatre, Marching In. St., Conroe. 7:30 234 N. Main p.m. $35. 936441-7469, crighto



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=738: /+1=/ 884; :=7-2 Texas authors John DeMers, Andrea White and Peter Roussel will be on discuss and sign hand to their latest works. Junior League of Houston, 1811 Briar Oaks Lane. 9:30 a.m. $75. 526-7983 or 713-6 713juniorleaguehousto 22-4191,


%2/ !5+37; 80 +:; =:89/+7 (+: !:37 <; First large-scale exhibition to survey the theme of peace in the early-m war and odern period. Includes works by DĂźrer, Annibale Albrecht Carracci and Francisco de Goya. May. 10. Museu Runs through m Houston, 1001 of Fine Arts, Bisson for hours. $7. 713-63 et St. Call 9-7300,


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martial arts, illusion of Chinese 8=;<87 +55/< + and acrobats. Jones Hall, 615 +173F -/7< +:3/55 8B+:<E; !3+78 Louisiana St. 2 and 7:30 p.m. $22 The Houston Ballet 87-/:<8 8 227-4772, spahou to $52. 713its annual black-t celebrates Supreme Mozar ie gala in t interpreter /, honor of Marie, Christian Zachar the ballet’s ias /, artistic rendition #8./8 &7-8 the orchestra while will lead of Marie Antoinette. the life of #8=7.=9 +7. /;< :4/. piano. Additional playing the 9/7 88: 3;;387 Wortham shows Feb. 28 3</; Theater Center 869/<3<387 and March 1. Jones 8=7.+<387 , 550 p.m. $1,000. 713-53Prairie. 7 Sample more than Louisiana St. Call Hall, 615 Kay Bailey Hutch +5+ 5-3276 125 for ison, wines , including all of $31 to $107. 713-22 show times. Republican senato the r from and Reserve Cham Champion houstonsymphony.o 4-7575, Texas, will serve as the keynote rg /,

from the Houst pion wines speaker at this annual on Livestock gala Show & Rodeo benefitting Open %23:. 77=+5 +::A /, ’s 2009 Door Mission. International Wine Hilton Americas 3/:4/: /5/,:3<A 88:/; $8-3/<A 7 Reliant Park, One Competition. Lamar. 6 p.m. Hotel, 1600 850 %8=:7+6/7< $300 to $1,500 377/: +7. 87-/ 7=+5 6:30 p.m. $100. Reliant Park. . 713-921-7520, Hit the links in 832-667-1080, Ext. Spend an evenin :< +5+ support of g opendoorhouston.o 218; enjoyin Literacy Advan g the melodic sounds ce of rg of at this five-person Houston School of Music the Moores “shamble.� /, students at this /, Golfers will enjoy annual fundraising a gala. Moores barbecue-style lunch,Texas 8=;<87 /:3<+1/ !+:4 8>/:;E Opera House, Univer =7-2/87 sity of contests and silent raffle, Antique expert 8: <2/ 8>/ 80 : +55 Houston. 6:30 s Leslie Keno auction. p.m. //7 Redstone Golf and Leigh Keno Enjoy cocktails, 743-3168, music. $300. 713Club, 5860 will share dinner and Wilson Road, Humb /opera/ their knowledge dancing while of helping suppo a.m. $625. 713-26 le. 8 American furnitu traditional rt the Friends of !374 %3/ +5 6-8777, re West literacyadvancehoust signature lunche at this Place Parks Fund. University An evening of luxury + on. River Oaks auction, Country Club, optional. Hotel Green tie delicious dinner 1600 ZaZa, 5701 and dancing to raise Blvd. Noon. $200. River Oaks Main St. 7 p.m. money for breast $200. 713cancer research and 1912, heritagesociet713-655446-3184, westup treatment in the PM 3:58:32 arks.o greater Houston rg 11/19/08 area. Omni Hotel, Four Riverway, 6:30 p.m. $350. 713.78 pinktie@komen-hou 3.9188,



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Prime Living’s Houston Restaurant Week Kick-Off • 7.31.09


Rainbow Lodge

Houston Restaurant Week received a formidable—and delicious— sendoff as Prime Living hosted a pre-event kick-off featuring fine food, drink and entertainment. Held at the iconic Rainbow Lodge, more than 150 invited guests enjoyed the ambiance of the 100-year-old lodge while sipping on specialty Maker’s Mark cocktails and viewing the work of contemporary, abstract artist John Palmer. Guests also enjoyed live entertainment and mouth-watering appetizers provided by the Lodge, who is also a participating restaurant in the annual event benefiting the Houston Food Bank. = Photography | Morris Malakoff




5 get on the list at




1 Kim Padgett, Holly Crawford 2 Lauren Clark, Sue Hauenstein, Alex Dean 3 Makers Mark Kentucky Lemonaide 4 Amy Ragan, Cleverley Stone, Karyn Dean 5 Gail Parker, Joy and Dennis Dowell, Kenneth Whitehead, Pam Jaramillo 6 Kathy and Greg Butcher, Cheryl Semands, Cynthia Liska


Black Ties & Baseball Caps • 8.6.09

Minute Maid Park

Twenty years ago, Houston Astros wives Patty Biggio and Nancy Caminiti joined forces to benefit the Houston community. After enlisting other wives, the group selected the Houston Area Women’s Center as their beneficiary and since then, has donated more than $3 million to help women and children whose lives have been touched by domestic abuse. In August, the group hosted Black Ties & Baseball Caps, which featured a cocktail reception, live and silent auctions, dinner and entertainment. Held at Minute Maid Park, the event raised more than $450,000, including $26,000 for a baseball signed by Babe Ruth.


Photography | Morris Malakoff







9 7


get on the list at

1 Robert Rosales, Gayle Rosales, John Leake 2 Marian Harper, Reginald Williams 3 Sonia Corrales, Rebecca White, Michelle Quintero, Pamela Michaels 4 Tony Sullivan, Rud Henderson, Mark Smith, Clay Smith, Scott Wessels 5 Milo Hamilton, Patty Biggio, Craig Biggio 6 Tim Byrdak, Stephen Love, Estelle Love 7 Jeff Keppinger, Morgan Keppinger 8 Brenda Cheney, Trudi Gonseaux, Peggy Tuck 9 Cristina Vandolzer

september/october • 2009



Oct. 6 Fund for Teachers Food for Thought Luncheon Debbie Phelps, teacher, principal and mother of Olympic icon Michael Phelps, will discuss her new memoir, A Mother for All Seasons, at this first annual event benefitting Fund for Teachers. Hotel ZaZa, 5701 Main St. Main Street Viaduct, Houston (1932, colored crayon, 10” x 13”), 11:30 a.m. $125. 713-296-6134, Collection of Frank and Pat Nelson, Hunt.

Through Sept. 30

Oct. 1

Miles and Miles of Texas: The Lone Star Through the Eyes of Buck Schiwetz The Heritage Society and CASETA collaborate to present a rare exhibition of the Texas works of E.M. “Buck” Schiwetz (18981984). The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby St. Call for hours. Free. 713-655-1912,

21st Annual Goodwill Golf Classic Benefiting Goodwill Industries of Houston, this tournament features an 18-hole, four-player team competition. Prizes will be awarded to the top two scoring teams. Cypress, Blackhorse Golf Club, 12205 Fry Road. 11 a.m. $325. 713-699-6338,

Sept. 10-11

Oct. 2

Bytes and Birdies Benefitting Tech Corps Texas, a Houston-based nonprofit that works to enhance education through technology, this two-day event features evening cocktails and dinner followed by a day of golf at the Wildcat Golf Club. Hotel ZaZa, 5701 Main St. 7 p.m. Call for prices. 713-895-3775,

25th Annual Caesar Salad Competition Members of the Cardini family—direct relatives of Alex and Caesar Cardini, inventors of the Caesar salad—will be a part of the festivities that benefit the Food & Beverage Manager’s Educational Endowment. Allen Center, 400 Dallas St. 5 p.m. $35. 713-609-5510,

Sept. 11 Houston PetSet’s Fierce & Fabulous Soiree Supporting Houston area animal welfare organizations, this petfriendly event will feature an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, music and a silent auction. Hotel ZaZa, 5701 Main St. 7 p.m. $125. 713-328-5151,

Oct. 3 2009 Tacos y Tacones Gala Enjoy an evening of Latin-style festivities and fun at this event that benefits the Association for the Advancement for Mexican Americans. InterContinental Hotel, 2222 W. Loop South. 7 p.m. $250. 713-967-6700,

Oct. 8 Houston Conservation Leadership Awards Luncheon Support the Nature Conservancy of Texas at this 17th annual event celebrating and honoring the spirit of conservation. Joel Sartore, long-time National Geographic staffer, will be the luncheon’s keynote speaker. Hyatt Regency-Downtown, 1200 Louisiana St. 11:30 a.m. $250. 713-524-6459,

Oct. 10 58th Consular Ball Honoring the Kingdom of Spain Mayor Bill White will host the evening’s festivities featuring honorary chair Eduardo Aguiree, retired U.S. ambassador to Spain. Proceeds from the event will benefit Endowed Scholarships at Rice University, University of Houston and St. Thomas University. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar St. 7 p.m. $300. 281-217-9235,

Oct. 17

Oct. 19 Women on the Move Luncheon Texas Executive Women will honor 10 women exceptional women at this annual luncheon. Honorees include Anna M. Babin of the United Way of Greater Houston and Shauna Johnson Clark of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP. InterContinental Hotel, 2222 W. Loop South. 11:30 a.m. $100. 713-473-3222,

Oct. 24 Country Ball 2009 In its second year, guests will enjoy an evening of live country music and entertainment, dinner and a silent auction at this western-themed event benefitting Houston’s Ronald McDonald House. Firehouse Saloon, 5930 Southwest Freeway. 7 p.m. $35 in advance. 713-795-3585,

Oct. 30 The Bash Support Houston’s most outrageous costume event benefiting United Cerebral Palsy. Enjoy free flowing spirits, tasty treats, music and a one-of-akind costume contest judged by local Houston celebrities. No costume, no admittance, no exceptions. Rice Hotel, 909 Texas St. 8 p.m. $100. 713-838-9050,

Oct. 29

Communities in Schools 30th Anniversary Gala Firebird Soiree Benefitting Communities in Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Ballet Russes and Dominic Schools, a nonprofit organization that works with at-risk students Walsh Dance Theater's world Sept. 22 in grades pre-K through 12, premiere of The Firebird with Oct. 4 Dancin’ with Duncan cocktails, a seated Russian supper this event will honor corporate This event benefits Memorial 2009 Houston Culinary Awards and music by The Gypsies. $250 honoree H-E-B and community Assistance Ministries, which Houston’s top chefs, restaurateurs, to $1,000. 7:30 p.m. performance. honoree Barrett Reasoner. Hilton addresses the needs of families and industry professionals and local Houston Post Oak, 2001 Post Hobby Center, 800 Bagby St. individuals who find themselves foodies will gather to honor Oak Blvd. 6:30 p.m. $150. 713-652-3938, in temporary crisis. Enjoy a winners of the 2008 Houston 713-654-1515, reception, dinner, recognition Culinary Awards. Benefits program, auction and dancing to Houston Food Bank’s Kid Cafe El Orbits. Hilton Post Oak, 2001 Program. Reef, 2600 Travis St. 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 Post Oak Blvd. 7 p.m. $150. 713- 6:30 p.m. $100. 713-529-5500, the Datebook, send complete event information to 574-7539,


The Heritage Society


the red vault .com Connecting discerning buyers with upscale Houston dealers and designers selling and designing unique, quality items for the home as well as commercial spaces.

Launch Party September 17, 2009 6:00pm - 9:00pm Wine & Hors D’Oeuvres

2707 Colquitt Street (Laura Rathe Fine Art Gallery)

RSVP: 713.259.9952

Sponsored by:


Faux Nouveau


Saba Jawda Fine Art

De La Torre Collection

Orchid Obsession Orchid Obsession


Orchid Obsession Sunday November 8, 2009



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Model Brad Reed gets caught up in the moment in between takes during our cover shoot. Must’ve been the price tag on the DeWitt 18-karat white gold watch he was wearing. At $24,600, we’d be smiling, too. Photographed on July 31, 2009 by Mark Peterman.

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