A guide to dining & drinking in our neighborhood GET UNPLUGGED In the corner of the dining room, a woman types on a laptop as her infant sleeps in a carrier nearby. It’s a common scene at Highlands Café: This is a place neighbors linger over their laptops or a cup of coffee. And it’s intended to be a community gathering place. Everything here is a reflection of Lake Highlands, down to the local art on the walls, and even some menu items — like the pasta salad, which was inspired by a Lake Highlands Women’s Club luncheon recipe. Keeping with that theme, the restaurant is celebrating its five-year anniversary by inviting neighbors to submit their own recipe ideas, one of which will become a daily dinner special in November. There’s also a community celebration in the works, so check the restaurant’s website beginning Oct. 1 for details. –MARLENA CHAVIRA MEDFORD Highland s Café AUDELIA & WALNUT 214. 349.2233 highland sca fe.com Pictured: Pork Tacos drink outside the box ROBERT HALL RHONE DE ROBLES 2006 ($20) CALIFORNIA> WITH YOUR WINE Chicken braised with bell peppers, onions and mushrooms This is an adaptation of various Frenchstyle braised chicken dishes. It’s almost impossible not to do well, and you really don’t have to brown the chicken if you don’t feel like it. Serves four (45-60 minutes) 1 chicken, cut into serving pieces 2 onions, sliced 2-3 bell peppers, sliced 12-16 oz. Mushooms, sliced 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tbsp olive oil ¼ tsp dried thyme Salt and pepper to taste season it with the salt and pepper. Brown in a non-stick skillet in the olive oil over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet. ring frequently. Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, and mix well. Add the chicken back to the skillet, surrounding it with the vegetables. is done, 30-40 minutes. The vegetables should be soft and almost melted, and there should be broth made by the chicken and vegetables. Serve over noodles, rice or couscous. Ask the WINEGUY? Q: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SYRAH AND SHIRAZ? A. Nothing, really. They’re the same grape, which is used to make red wine in France, Australia and California (and in other wine regions, including Texas, as well). The French call it syrah, and the Aussies call it shiraz. Winemakers here use both terms, usually depending on whether they make a French- or Australian- style of syrah. —JEFF SIEGEL
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