Darlene’s Vision Fun & Games Luncheon Benefitting Children In Need

By Jake Gaines Photography by Jenna Beth Lyde

THE SETTING: The San Antonio Country Club was recently the setting for the 3rd annual Darlene’s Vision Fun & Games luncheon benefitting children in need in the San Antonio community. Over 200 guests arrived at the festive event to play games such as the cakewalk, bean bag toss, and trivia, as well as to socialize among the floral décor accents of yellow roses and desert blooms.

THE STYLE: Darlene Dorsey was an adoring preschool educator, accomplished businesswoman, encouraging mother, loving grandmother, and adoring great grandmother. It was this preschool teacher’s immense love of children and helping those in need that founder, Carroll Dorsey Walker created a nonprofit entity to keep her mother’s legacy alive. The event’s raffle and silent auction items also helped fund the organization.

THE PURPOSE: The event’s proceeds help children with a toy drive throughout the year at the Women & Children’s Center, Easter egg hunts for children with disabilities, and funding for a special camp for children with cancer. The mission is to honor the memory of Darlene Dorsey by continuing the heartfelt kindness and generosity she showed to children. Dorsey believed our communities are strengthened when children’s lives are enriched in a safe, engaging environment. 



When you enter a new day spa, you almost always know what to expect. Except for EvolvE in Austin…where you will be amazed at the cutting-edge spa treatments that can have you feeling like a new person after only one visit.

By Lance Avery Morgan Photography courtesy of EvolvE

There’s something about a wellness venue that seems so full of light and promise…a far cry from the harried world we all live in now. Let’s face it: each of us wants to be pampered now and then. Consider EvolvE the newish go-to destination for wellness devotees. “At EvolvE, we are working with the body’s natural abilities through holistic therapies to accomplish a goal. Whether it be better sleep, reduced pain, more energy, or recovery. Holistic services work with our intrinsic healing powers,” shares the founder, Shannon Maddalena.
For years I have been well aware of EvolvE’s therapeutic benefits. In prior visits, I have enjoyed Cryotherapy, the sub-zero treatment to enhance one’s immunity system, which it does almost immediately. EvolvE is devoted to applying an integrative approach to overall health, pain management, recovery, and aesthetic enhancement that has set them apart in the Austin market. There are leg and arm compression sleeves, massages, and more. Recently I popped in to experience the Infrared Sauna and Regenerative Massage.

Then, drum roll please; there is the Liquid Facelift with a luxuriant formula that is the ultimate in anti-aging, brightening, and hydration. This is the facial of all facials. In fact, this treatment includes Bio Energy, Nanotechnology, and Stem Cell Treatment, which incorporates a combination of vitamin infusions and anti-aging properties that are simply unparalleled. The service incorporates more than 50 botanicals and over 100 vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, to properly nourish and hydrate. To say that after 80 minutes of the facial, I felt 10 pounds lighter and 10 years younger is an understatement. EvolvE uses only the finest and freshest botanically based skincare products.
According to EvolvE, green beauty takes a tremendous amount of time, attention, and awareness to create, but it reaps amazing rewards in terms of both results as well as our health. While products with these standards are slightly more expensive, so are quality ingredients to procure and produce, and they are well worth the investment.
“At EvolvE, every product is vetted thoroughly before making its way into our Austin’s state-of-the-art Wellness Center,” continues Maddalena. “We house a myriad of services for Austinites and travelers alike, since our core principles are focused around the whole health of the human. After all, we only have this one body. In order to thrive, we need to make great choices for ourselves, our families and our future.”

For those interested in future-thinking wellness, EvolvE also offers IV Therapy, which infuses essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids into the bloodstream with Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Lysine, Glutathione B Complex, Magnesium, Biotin, Taurine, and more.

It’s easy to see that there is something for everyone at EvolvE once you try it. For more information, visit EvolvEATX.com.



Artpace San Antonio Hosts Annual Artful Gala

By Jake Gaines       Photography by Francisco Cortes, courtesy of Artpace San Antonio

THE SETTING:  This year’s Artpace event, The Happening, was held at the Red Berry Estate. It began with a special cocktail reception in the mansion’s ballroom that featured a champagne bar sponsored by Neiman Marcus. Guests then proceeded to the lakeside ballroom for a stunning three course meal, highlighting real time, upscale cooking.

THE STYLE: After dinner, Riley Robinson, Director of Artpace San Antonio, introduced artist Teresita Fernández, one of the evening’s honorees. Fernández spoke of her artistic practice and the essential role Artpace’s International Artist-in-Residence program played in her career, and the 267 artists since. The program closed with the board chair, Patricia Ruiz-Healy, celebrating honoree Rick Liberto’s long standing leadership role at Artpace. The audience welcomed Liberto to the stage with a lengthy standing ovation.

The party then moved to a lakeside lounge, which featured Artpace 2017 Resident Artist, Robert Hodge, and DJing by OG IB (Ingrid Burley). Afterwards, the evening continued into the night at Red Berry’s famed casino. The RK Group provided the cuisine and Statue of Design created the floral décor. Blue House Design orchestrated the event’s production.

THE PURPOSE: Caroline Harte Staudt and Sarah Harte co-chaired the event. Artpace San Antonio is a nonprofit residency program, which supports Texas, national, and international artists in the creation of new art. As a catalyst for artistic expression, they engage local communities with global art practices and experiences. A successful annual gala is essential to sustain its free and dynamic programs. All proceeds benefit the organization’s residencies and public and educational programming.



With everyone back to loving the in-person dining experience, there are plenty of new, beautiful venues to try, as well as favorites to try again, according to our savvy eatery devotees, Rob Giardinelli (Austin, Houston, and San Antonio) and Cynthia Smoot (Dallas).


So Well Done Austin Salad


The team behind Austin’s popular restaurant Suerte has opened its latest concept at the site of the former Eastside Cafe. Este offers a delectable array of fresh seafood offerings through their close relationships with premier fishmongers, coastal Mexican cuisine, and charcoal cooking.

At EsteATX.com.

The Lolo Austin Texas wine bar


Second Bar + Kitchen has recently opened its latest location in the East Austin Hotel. With its delectable array of Modern American cuisine paired perfectly with the craft cocktail menu, the restaurant also features a patio perfect for a Texas-sized brunch al fresco.

At SecondBarKitchen.com

Rebel Cheese Austin Texas


San Francisco-based Marufuku Ramen has recently opened its second-ever Texas location. A highlight of the menu is the Hakata-style Tonkotsu ramen featuring milky and unami-rich broth and ultra-thin artisanal noodles that perfectly complement the broth and Cha-shu made from specially curated pork. Additionally, it features a variety of mini-sized rice bowls, izakaya-style appetizers, premium beer, and sake.

At MarufukuRamen.com.


pastry from La Tarte Tropézienne dallas texas


Known for its Chicago-inspired, classic American cuisine, D.L. Mack’s recently opened its second location in Preston Hollow. Mack’s blends the approachable, all-occasion feel of its sister concept, Hudson House, with its own distinctly unique Chicago-inspired backdrop. The menu features classic American cuisine by way of carefully sourced purveyors with an emphasis on house-made ingredients.

At DLMacks.com.

Georgie Dallas Restaurant


Dea, an upscale Italian spot serving steaks, fish, and homemade pasta is the latest concept from famed restaurateurs Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun. Dea translates to goddess in Italian and the food is indeed heavenly. Diners will experience a transformed space, which draws aesthetic inspiration from the Italian coast. Don’t miss the very Insta-worthy flower goddess mural outside painted by Dallas artist Alli K.

At Dea-Dallas.com.

Food from Rise & Thyme Dallas tTexas


When The Ivy Tavern opened, it quickly became a neighborhood staple for cocktails, craft beer, and tasty bar fare. It boasts one of the best patios in Dallas, dotted with gorgeous shade trees strung with lights, table and community bar seating, and a fireplace. With an elevated stage for live music and DJs, and a variety of entertaining games such as large Jenga blocks, Connect 4, pool, and darts, one can pick your pleasure.



Bottled Blonde Pizzeria + Bier Garden


Ciel, named after the French word for sky, is the latest creation of Executive Chef Joseph Geiskopf, whose résumé includes stints at iconic Napa Valley-based establishments, French Laundry and Vespertine. Located at the axis of Uptown and River Oaks, the creative, sustainable menu features a fusion of French and Japanese cuisines.

At CielHTx.com.

Chocolate Crepe Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café


Mexico City-based Ojo de Agua recently opened its first Texas location. The vibrant and holistic menu features scrumptious breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Must-try items include lobster grilled cheese, acai bowl, and avocado truffle toast. Pair it with one of Ojo de Agua’s wine-based fruit cocktails or a mimosa mixed with a variety of juice options.

At Facebook.com.

Adair Restaurant Houston


Combining the very best of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine, Pacha Nikkei recently opened its first Nikkei concept restaurant. The seafood-focused menu features multiple ceviche options including a delectable lobster ceviche, Pulop a la Parrilla. The menu also includes Nikkei sushi rolls, which add Peruvian and South American flavors to the Japanese classic. Pair with an array of Japanese and Peruvian spirits.

At PachaNikkei.com.


Salad from Jardin San Antonio


Ladino is a new Mediterranean restaurant located in the Pearl. They use a wood fire oven to make delectable Middle Eastern and Balkan dishes featuring freshly made pita, coal charred eggplant dip, Jerusalem mix, and meat dumplings in yogurt. They also offer a fresh take on Agristada, which is a Sephardic fish in a lemon and egg sauce.

At LadinoSATX.com.

Los Azulejos San Antonio


The Pearl’s newest pizza place is so hot it’s retro cool. A nod to the heyday of neighborhood pizza joints, WonderSlice pizza offers all the classics one seeks when enjoying the ultimate comfort food. The menu includes classic and specialty pizzas, homemade subs, salads, soft serve ice cream, and of course, pizza by the slice for those on the go.

At WonderSlicePizza.com.

Sandwich Best Quality Daughter San Antonio


Pharm Table in Southtown is an Apothecary Kitchen that features globally inspired locally sourced food, botanical cocktails, and a highly curated 27-bottle wine list. New to the menu is “Wine Wednesdays” a tasting that pairs small bites with approachable wines around a specific theme such as female winemakers, a varietal, or a specific region.

At PharmTable.com.



Houston Symphony Opening Night Concert And Gala’s Grand Style


By Jennifer Roosth      Photography by Priscilla Dickson and Daniel Ortiz

THE SETTING: Recently, over 300 guests, donning their finest black tie attire, attended the Houston Symphony’s Opening Night concert and gala. Upon arrival at Jones Hall, partygoers enjoyed champagne and hors d’oeuvres on the Mezzanine level before making their way into see concert. The evening featured Juraj Valčuha leading the orchestra and Houston Symphony Chorus, alongside soprano Ana María Martínez, mezzo-soprano Marina Prudenskaya, tenor Jonathan Tetelman, and bass Dmitry Belosselskiy. Following the performance, guests were transported to the Corinthian Houston for a spectacular seated dinner catered by Jackson and Company. Following dinner, guests enjoyed musical entertainment by the David Caceres Band.


THE STYLE: The Corinthian ballroom was donned with crystal chandeliers and greenery cascading across the balcony, all designed by The Events Company. The elegant tables that filled the room, covered in green linens, were topped with varying high and low-profile floral arrangements in shades of white and green.


Dinner began with an Italian butter lettuce salad with fresh herbs, gulf shrimp terrine, chives, and pickled mustard seed vinaigrette topped with a toasted chickpea crouton and three radish slaw. The main course included a gremolata and breadcrumb crusted black cod, with charred leek and artichoke white wine emulsion, alongside summer squash and white corn rösti, and Romano beans and button chanterelle sauté.  Accompanying the meal were wine pairings provided by Spec’s Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods. After dinner, the dessert was a trio that included coconut sorbet verrine, tiramisu profiteroles, and hazelnut macaroons.


THE PURPOSE: The annual Houston Symphony Opening Night concert and gala, chaired by Drs. Susan and Dennis Carlyle, celebrated the opening of the 2022–2023 season and the tenure of Juraj Valčuha as the Houston Symphony’s 16th music director and holder of the Roy and Lillie Cullen Chair. This year’s event raised more than $540,000 for the orchestra’s industry-leading Education and Community Engagement initiatives. ConocoPhillips served as the Concert Sponsor and Lead Gala Corporate Underwriter for the 36th year.   



San Antonio Botanical Garden Celebrates With 15th Annual Gala

By Jake Gaines Photography by Greg Harrison

THE SETTING: Recently, over 600 guests attended the 15th Annual Splendor in the Garden gala at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Guests were greeted with refreshments, including the signature cocktail, a classic Sazerac, and champagne en route to The Betty Kelso Center. Adorned in dreamy floral print frocks and garden cocktail attire, everyone then progressed through the west doors to view a lush landscape, themed after the roots of the venue in the community.

THE STYLE: After posing for photos with living wall backdrops, walking trees, and a Mother Earth stilt walker, guests enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres by Jason Dady Catering and Events and music by the Michael Alanis Band. As the sun set, guests made their way to Greehey Lawn for a decadent dinner. The vichyssoise was a refreshing first course, followed by welcoming remarks by the President of the Garden’s Board of Directors, Omar Akhil, and Mayor Ron Nirenberg. CEO Sabina Carr presented an extensive array of children’s programming available at the Garden. She introduced the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, Rick Shaw, who led an exciting flurry of fundraising with a paddle raise that quickly climbed to six figures in funding for the organization. Guests enjoyed dinner that featured an artfully plated red wine braised beef short rib and petite crab cake atop parsnip puree, blackberry bordelaise, and a duo of mushrooms and mustard frills that mimicked a forest floor. The sweet ending was Chef Dady’s Mississippi Mud Pie. The tunes of DJ Catwalk attracted guests back into The Betty Kelso Center for dancing and late-night tacos.

THE PURPOSE: Cally and Will Kothmann, with a dedicated steering committee, chaired this year’s gala. Proceeds from the event benefit children’s programming and operations at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Its mission is to enrich lives through plants and nature by offering over 600 programs and welcoming over 368,000 visitors annually. The Greehey Family Foundation and the Mays Family Foundation were recognized for their long-standing support, as well as the gala table sponsors, underwriters, contributors, and guests making this year’s 15th Annual Gala the most successful fundraising event in the organization’s 42-year history.