Food & Wine Doesn't Like Dallas' Bars

Categories: Whimsy

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Make it a strong one... Dallas got no love
Food & Wine anointed the country's 50 best bars in its latest issue. The list, featuring swanky cocktail dens that pour upscale drinks, leans heavily on New York City, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington D.C.. Texas received mention for only one bar, the Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston. Dallas didn't make the list.

Why was Dallas snubbed? Perhaps Food & Wine doesn't have much presence in this corner of Texas. National glossies frequently rely on freelance writers in various locations to keep the publication up to speed on what's happening. These stringers often feed these large, nationally driven lists.

Jonathon's Oak Cliff was recently mentioned for its beer-and-cheddar soup, though we found out that the restaurant was discovered through Yelp. But Bubba's Cooks Country was also mentioned in a national fried chicken list. And Fearing's, Local, and Arcodora & Pomodoro have been mentioned in the magazine in the past. Clearly Dallas is on the Food and Wine radar -- even if it's just a tiny green blip in the southwest corner of the scope.

The other possible explanation is that Dallas doesn't have any bars that are good enough to make a national top 50 list. Considering some of our most locally celebrated bars, that's a bitter drink to choke down.

So why weren't they included?

The Black Swan is a fine bar, with good, consistent mixology. But the space is quirky compared to others in the top 50. Most of the bars in the list have a real presence about them; the space is as polished as the drinks. While I'm almost certain Gabe Sanchez could hang on a national scale measured on his bar skills alone, the Black Swan as a bar would likely come up short. The Windmill Lounge seems it would be precluded for the same reason: great drinks, divey space.

The Marquee Grill and Cedars Social measure up when it comes to interior design. Both offer large, clean, interesting drinking spaces that grab your attention when you walk through the door. Here, though, consistency is an issue. When the Bar manager is shaking your shaker (Jason Kosmas at Marquee and Trina Nishimura at Cedars) the drinks are top-notch. Supporting bartenders, however, need to hone their consistency.

Private Social is another bar that strikes me as a national contender. Rocco Milano has the chops, and the Social side of the restaurant is plenty impressive. Glossies tend to write with a significant lead time, though, and Private Social only recently opened. It's likely the restaurant lacked enough of a presence when the story was written.

Best Of lists often receive scorn from readers. They validate the people who are included as our finest and leave those left out grumbling like the kid picked last for the kickball team. With Food & Wine's 50 Best Bars in America, though, we're all in the same boat as Dallasites. Seems like a good excuse to go get tanked.

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33 comments
ObserverFan
ObserverFan

Why is Dallas always trying to be considered a "cool" city? We have no identity because we're always following whatever trend is coming from [insert better city here]. We're like the knock off Chinese version of [insert better city here].

Jim
Jim

The best bar is the one you are in at the moment.

Whitney
Whitney

Pretty lame that we got snubbed altogether... In addition to the places you listed, I think  Four Lounge deserves some recognition on the basis of creativity and originality.

Paul S
Paul S

Dallas really just needs to stop worrying about what everywhere else thinks and get on with being Dallas.  To paraphrase what my kids have said, stop trying to be everywhere else 'cause everywhere else is already taken.

Steve
Steve

Upon further investigation, I really cannot allow myself to order a drink from this guy, or any incarnation of this guy:

http://dmagazine.com/Nightlife...

I prefer a man whose only tattoos were administered during a war predating my birth, the green-black anchor, etc., he's gotta have grown kids who disappoint him, he must have heard it all before, and he makes the drink the way a Mexican changes a tire at one of those used tire shops.

Matt
Matt

flawed list.  No Bourbon and Branch or Rickhouse in San Fran.  No east side toy company in NY.  I wouldnt worry too much about it 

Xuco1
Xuco1

I like Cedars Social, Neighborhood Services, and The Library, they should be considered. That list didn't include Matchbox in Chicago, great cocktails. 

MattL1
MattL1

After going through the whole Top 50 list, I can say that I've been to exactly one of them, and I'm sure not a single one has a shuffleboard table.  

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Dallas is known for a few things:

-Sh+tkickers-$30,000. millionaires-A city that hates-Cowboys-Southfork (did you know it was in Parker County?)-A dying core-A central government that couldn't hold up a third world country, because it smacks of elitism, cronyism, laziness, the good ole boy network, etc.-People who wear there hats backwards-Housefrau's that shop, because they have no hobbies. 

Steve
Steve

NH just doesn't have the beer or liquor selection for me.  They serve PBR - - fine, be all ironic, I mean they are in matching sweaters.   The service and food kick ass.   I'd like to see more bar SPACE at NH (by the TOT):  if you manage to commandeer one of the dozen stools, you're constantly getting the reacharound from patrons behind you, who are getting bumped into by lobby traffic.

I need to try that new Library.   Hope they use Luxardo cherries.

LearnHowToSpellSkateboardBoy
LearnHowToSpellSkateboardBoy

... people who don't know the difference between "there" and "their"... people who make nouns plural by adding an apostrophe followed by the letter "s"

Jim
Jim

Maybe, look over your shoulder.

Guest
Guest

What is NH?  You mean Neighborhood Services?  NS?

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

The whole list neglects beer bars. Weird considering their increased popularity. But maybe that's the next list they want to throw up.

Larry in Laredo
Larry in Laredo

hey f+ckhead,   when the Star trek convention?  Double Die w/ the Mayor of Coppell? 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

...assholes that correct grammar, spelling, etc. when your tryin' to type before the boss comes by.....people that only correct you, like that kid you used to beat the shit out of every day, because he corrected you.

thanks f+ckstick!  Die?  POW.

Kergo-1Asshole-1/2 a point for trying....now, the geek and book blog is two doors down.  

BTW, yer wife has a dick-jus' sayin'. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

...people who have no comeback or intelligent thing to say so they bust on spelling and grammar

Xuco1
Xuco1

I like most forms of alcoholic beverage but beer is still my favorite. I personally like Ginger Man the most even though Flying Saucer has a larger selection, plus I can walk to Ginger Man easily. 

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

full goose Bozo?  Yet another reason I laugh at pretty much all of  Big D...your retort was S.G. and if'n twinwillow is a fan of yours, you should know you're doing it all kinds of wrong.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

And let's get full gone Bozo, and irritate people with backward hat, tat wearin', fucking lazy, shit ass comments that come with livin' 21 years!  Diaper change f+cker>

Guest
Guest

... and let's be full goose Bozo and say shit just to annoy the fuck out of people because we are 80 years old and have all the time in the world at the retirement village.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Larry,    You didn't capitalize Trek. 

-Kergo

ps-Let's all correct all sorts of shit in here.  AND let's be REAL lonely.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Yeah, but I'm bangin' yer mom Tim!  POW F+cker.  Besides, I may work at the city dump;  but you are in Prison-man lovin'? 

KergoFanClub
KergoFanClub

Silly goose, you don't have a boss. Or a job. Or a life. Or a thought worth repeating. 

cp
cp

Perhaps the wine issue is due to the fact that it's difficult to store wine at proper temps in Dallas. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

very nice, I do like Jorge's, had many a work lunches there, but never had a chance to gove the bartender a shot at mixing some drinks since I haven't made it in there for a happy hour

Steve
Steve

While it's tough to find a spot in Dallas that serves red wine at proper temp (Veritas and Truluck's are the only ones I can think of), Dallas is a much improved locale, especially the downtown/Arts District.  

Open a bodega deli/convenience store that doubles as a coffee/wine spot, across from the Winspear on the downtown side, and suddenly those residences explode, legitimizing the Jorge's/Fedora/Tesar mausoleums and, along with the deck park, connecting the dots from up to downtown.

But seriously, outside of the places I mentioned, I'm hard-pressed to think of a space that offers reds by the glass at close to proper temp.  It boggles my mind.  That's a significant component of concept and vision (to me) wherein Dallas fails miserably.

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