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Coal Vines Uptown, Dallas, TX

After our first day of working in the bowl game hospitality room, I was pretty hungry, but didn’t have tons of time because I had to be at 6th Street Uptown that evening for our first “social hour”.  Bob and his parents had driven down to Dallas that afternoon, so we decided to meet for dinner first.  I had driven past Coal Vines Pizza Wine Bar a couple of times, and the concierge at the hotel said it was a good place, so that’s where we went.

Coal Vines is located in Uptown, just 2 blocks from 6th Street.  It was packed when I arrived, which is of course a great sign.  I’m honestly not sure how the fire marshall approved it, because you literally have to turn to walk past almost every table when there are people sitting there.  But its a great atmosphere, and looks like an authentic cafe in Italy. Bob and his parents were already at the table by the time I arrived, having the calamari as an appetizer.  They were almost done with it by the time I got there, but I did get a quick taste.  I really can’t give it a fair review because I didn’t taste it from the time it hit the table and so it was only room temperature, but Bob said it was very good.

Since it’s a wine bar, I of course had to get a glass of wine.  In college we drank a lot of white zinfandel.  Thankfully I grew out of that phase!  I was on a cabernet/merlot kick for a while, but in the last couple of years the tannins did really bad things to me so I had to find something different.  I don’t like super sweet wine, but I’m a huge fan of the red blends.  It combines everything that I like of the different types of reds, and it’s smooth and delicious.  I also really like white wines on the dry side.  So pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc, I’m in.  I went with a glass of the Santa Margherita pinot grigio, and it was delicious.

For my entree I decided to try the penne vodka.  My mom had it the night before at a different restaurant and it was absolutely excellent, so I wanted to give it a shot.  It didn’t come with any protein, but the server said we could add some, so I did meatballs.

Coal Vines, Dallas TX - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

It was really good! The sauce was light and very flavorful, and the meatballs were delicious. Had I realized how big they would be I would have gotten just one. But I still ate the whole thing.

I cook with wine quite a bit, but honestly never thought of cooking with vodka.  Now that I’ve had this dish twice and liked it, I’m going to have to find a recipe.  Ree Drummond made it on The Pioneer Woman a couple weeks ago…gotta look it up.

Will I go back?  Definitely!  The wine was delicious, I really liked the atmosphere, and I want to try something else on the menu.

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