Dallas' Six Best Cocktail Bars
With the emergence of Dallas' craft cocktail scene, bartenders -- OK, fine, mixologists -- have come to expect the city's notoriously conservative orderers utter those two magic words: "surprise me." It's an approach I've been taking more and more over the last year, and as a result I've been on some great cocktail adventures.
Mark Graham The Windmill's Charlie Papaceno, dean of the Dallas cocktail scene.
Here are my six favorites. Tell them City of Ate sent you, unless you're going to order vodka cran, in which case tell them Yelp sent you.
Catherine Downes The glass is empty. Our glass is full.
Next to a non-descript door on Travis Street, the words "Please buzz the call box" are inscribed on a small, white sign. The reservations-only bar Smyth feels like an old-school speakeasy, with dimly lit corner tables, a retro soundtrack and a tuxedoed maître d' welcoming every guest.
There are no menus; the bartenders simply ask for a liquor of choice and a flavor profile. (Do you like fruity drinks? Bitter? Herbal?) I told Josh the Barkeep: "Whiskey, more Manhattan than old-fashioned. Oh, and use a good whiskey." The experience is so great you'll want to order another, but don't forget what they say about stores without price tags: "if you have to ask, you can't afford it."
Kevin Todora A Manhattan club cocktail at Bolsa.
Over the years, Bolsa has earned accolades from us as the "Best Place to Take a Date" and "Best Patio." But what if you're looking for the best place to take a date, sit on a patio and sip a cocktail? Still Bolsa.
This Bishop Arts District staple serves up fresh ingredients in classic drinks like house-made ginger beer in the dark and stormy, alongside unique cocktails like Gin & Jam, which is made with the jam of the week. One of the especially delicious concoctions is the Jane Doe, which is the perfect mixture of tart and sweet with a crisp flavor from the strawberry and orange blossom water and a hint of bitters. The food ain't bad, either.
via Victor Tango's
Victor Tango's clearly believes in the importance of menu variety. The mixologists are always shaking up the scratch cocktail list, offering variations on classic drinks like Pimm's Cup 10 and inventing signature drinks including the namesake cucumber, tequila and lime mixture. The bar keeps recipes of old drinks on file too, which allows return visitors access to a secret menu of sorts. Want to feel like an insider? Order a Ginger Crush.