Category Archives: Uptown/West Village

Ocean Prime(d)

Sometimes being me is tough (I know … wah wah wah … getting free alcohol is sooooo hard. But bear with me here).  Trying new places all the time is really nice, but it keeps you from revisiting some of the tried and true awesome places that you’ve always enjoyed.  Case in point: Ocean Prime.

They asked me to stop in and try some of their classics again and some new offerings.  Since they told me I was in for 11 full-size cocktails on this adventure (which I limited to nine), I took along a friend.  Here’s how it went …

We walked into the posh Uptown restaurant and the familiar smell of steak, liquor, and truffle wafted from the bar.  We were seated and immediately greeted by John, our server, and he was attentive and courteous all evening.  My kryponite, truffle butter popcorn, was delivered to the table (and the heavens opened up and angels sang), then the drinks started flowing.

  • CHERRY NEGRONI (Plymouth Gin, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, Cherry Heering, fresh orange, lemon juice) – I’m not the biggest fan of the traditional negroni (Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth), but even though the recipe it incredibly different than the traditional cocktail, it had a nod to the traditional cocktail with a smoother note thanks to the Cherry Heering and lemon juice.
  • PEACH BOURBON COOLER (recipe not available) – as a HUGE bourbon fan, this was my favorite drink of the evening.  It was really light and perfect for summer yet incredibly potent thanks to the bourbon (duhhh) and fresh peach liqueur
  • CARIBBEAN MULE (Bacardi 8 Rum, Domaine de Canton, house made sour, old fashioned bitters) – this fun (and entirely too easy to drink) take on the mule is light and perfectly balanced.  The old fashioned bitters and ginger liqueur were such a fun, fresh flavor when mixed.
  • CUCUMBER GIMLET (Bombay Sapphire Gin, muddled cucumber, lime) – another dangerously easy to drink cocktail, this was very strong, but refreshing thanks to the muddled cucumber.  I do love a cucumber cocktail, and this was delightful.
  • BERRIES & BUBBLES (Belvedere Cytrus Vodka, marinated blackberries, house made sour, Domaine Chandon Brut, dry ice) – this spectacle of a cocktail was a nice drink, but is more interesting thanks to the dry ice.  It’s pretty simple and a nice go-to, but I’d only order it again to watch it bubble!
  • WHISKEY CLOVER (Gentleman Jack Whiskey, Hennessy VS, honey water, lemon juice, orange juice) – the flavors of this delight really played well together.  The honey water is a perfect touch and makes this cocktail just the right amount of intriguing.
  • BLACK ORCHID (Belvedere Black Raspberry Vodka, St. Germaine, lemon juice, white cranberry juice) – this cocktail is an old friend.  It’s one of my favorites in Dallas because it’s just a perfect balance of light and doesn’t get old thanks to the black raspberry (because … yum) and looks as exquisite as it tastes thanks to the ice ball that has an actual orchid frozen inside.

All cocktails are $12-14, and have enough punch to make the price tag almost worth it.  (The truffle butter popcorn is what makes it more than worth it!)  All cocktails that are served over ice have either ice balls or giant Sonic ice (you know what I mean)–and that’s just awesome.  They have “Award-Winning” cocktails, but also have some dynamos behind the bar that will shake, stir, or muddle whatever your heart desires.

Since we were at Ocean Prime, we thought it’d be a sin not to eat since their food is pretty … pretty good.  Aside from the three bowls of truffle butter popcorn that I downed all by myself (don’t judge me), we tried a new happy hour offering, Salmon Rillette, which is a light and fluffy salmon rillette served with toast and spicy pickles (yummmm).  Meryl (my +1 for the night) ordered the Goat Cheese Ravioli … and I was kind of pissed I didn’t order it myself.  It.was.delicious.  I also couldn’t decide between the French Onion Soup and the Lobster Bisque, so John made it easier on me and brought a cup of each.  Best choice ever?  Perhaps.  The Lobster Bisque is kind of epic hanks to the chunks of lobster on top and its exquisite texture and crunchy corn.

Some other high points: I love their bathrooms (is that weird?), their bread is delicious and perfectly crusty, they have great live music in the bar, staff is attentive, and it’s mostly business people in the bar and they clear out around 8pm.

Stop into Ocean Prime and check out some of their new offerings … but don’t forget about their old favorites!

OCEAN PRIME
www.ocean-prime.com
Facebook
| Twitter: @oceanprimeCMR | Instagram: @OceanPrimeDallas
2101 Cedar Springs Road
(214) 965-0440

HAPPY HOUR (available in the lounge) | 4-7pm, Monday – Friday: Select discounted appetizers, $7 wines by the glass, $3-4 select beers, $7 select handcrafted cocktails

Sunday | 3-course menu for $39 (featuring crab-stuffed lobster)
Monday, 4-7pm | 1/2 price oysters
Tuesday | discounted select champagne on the terrace and lounge
Wednesday | half-priced select bottles of wine
Thursday-Saturday, 7pm | live music

Cliff’s Landing

It’s a sad day for Dallas … The Loon is closing after 22 years of incredibly successful business in Uptown.

The crowd today is huge, with Loon owner, Cliff’s, regulars to young’s with the goal of getting drunk and no idea why today is important. Cliff, of course, is holding court at his regular table.

I have the only remaining Loon gear sitting in front of me as some food items are sold out. Who thought we’d ever see the day?

Boxwood Tap (closed)

Dear John (err … TABC),

I’m sorry that things ended the way they did. I know we had something really great … but you had to go and ruin it.  Was it me?  Was I getting fat?  Did I nag you too much?  For whatever reason you decided to leave, good riddance.  I’ve met someone else, and he’s really sexy, gets me drunk, and never makes me wait on him.

Love,
Susie Drinks Dallas (and the rest of Dallas)

My new love is Boxwood Tap & Grill, one of Dallas’ newest bars in the beautifully remodeled 80-year-old TABC space.  With hardwood floors,  large area rugs, and soft lighting, you may feel as though you’re in your own living room noshing on snacks and sipping cocktails (but with an extremely loud party all around you and cocktails better than you could hope to make yourself).

The crowd it very Uptown, but skews older Uptown.  You’ll find plenty of dudes in suits after work and locals who schlepped the few blocks to the new neighborhood “hot spot”.

The menu by (the extremely pleasant) Chef Jason Wade is approachable, consists of sandwiches, salads, cheese plates, snacks, and entrees with some locally-sourced ingredients.  (The cheese plate comes with these pillows of herby goat cheese heaven that aren’t to be missed.)  Portion sizes seem pretty decent, but the “snacks” seem a bit small (though they’re pretty inexpensive, so they’ll still do … since they’re snacks and all).

The drink menu, while short, was created by Bar Manager Eddie Panozzo with a bit of help by cocktail master Jason Kosmas.  Here are my thoughts:

  • Nada Colada (roasted pineapple & cinnamon-infused rum, lime juice, coconut puree) | almost a non-frozen version of a pina colada, the cinnamon really comes out and give it a warmer taste
  • Peche 75 (gin, pureed peaches, lemon juice, prosecco) | the peach flavor is quite refreshing, but the prosecco seemed a bit like overkill.  I liked the touch of lemon juice to add a bit of complexity
  • Mule Thyme (vodka, thyme, lime juice, ginger beer) | BRING ME ANOTHER!  Zomg.  I do love a Moscow Mule, but the added herbiness made this a bit more exciting than the new staple
  • The Woods (rye whiskey, elderflower liqueur, Creole bitters, orange bitters) | Another drink that knocked it out of the park.  I wish I’d have had one all to myself, but my drinking buddy for the night had the extreme prowess to order it.  I wasn’t sure if the two different bitters flavors would fight too much, but they ended up blending beautifully and complimenting the whiskey.  GET THIS DRINK.

The beer menu offers a wide range of local, domestic, and import beers on tap and bottled.  Red and white wines along with a few sparkling wines.  I’d recommend the 90+ … because it’s awesome.  I didn’t have a chance to try the pitchers, but I plan to.

Once the weather cools down (which feels like it may never happen), this huge patio will be the place to be.  Large umbrellas, a full outdoor bar, plenty of seating, and some TVs make it … well, awesome.

Brunch will start soon, and I hope drink specials will follow.  Oh, and late night is a thing here.

Boxwood Tap 
www.boxwoodtg.com | @boxwoodtg
2901 Thomas Ave.
(214)220-2901

Monday – Sunday: 4PM – 2AM
Dinner Menu: 4PM – 11PM

Late Night Menu: 11PM – 1:30AM

Quarter Bar Popsicles

106°.  It was 106° in Dallas today.  That’s f**king hot.  Wanna know how to make it bearable (at least temporarily)?  Quarter Bar’s frozen deliciousness.  Frozen booze may not be the answer … but it’s a damn good guess.

Quarter’s master drinker, Seth, has created seven flavors of booze popsicles for just $6 a pop.  (The pun had to be made.)  Most booze-cicles have too strong a taste of alcohol, but these are perfect … a bit messy … but perfect.  (Make sure you have plenty of napkins and don’t wear white jeans).

Booze pop flavors include:

  • Filthy Monkey (Chocolate Banana): 360 Double Chocolate Vodka, Malibu Banana Rum, and chocolate milk.
  • Pirate Booty (Root Beer Float): Kahlua Coffee Liquor, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Abita Root Beer.
  • Berry Pucker (Strawberry Lemonade): Three Olives Berry Vodka, lemonade, and fresh strawberries.
  • Kokomo (Pineapple): Bacardi Pineapple infused Rum with pineapple juice and orange juice.
  • Laffy Taffy (Strawberry Banana): Three Olives Berry Vodka, Malibu Banana Rum, and pineapple juice.
  • The Dreamsicle (Think Orange Julius): Stoli Vanilla Vodka, Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka, and orange juice.
  • Blemonade (Blackberry Lemonade): Deep Eddy Vodka, lemonade, and fresh blackberries.

Booze pops aren’t the only new-ish thing hitting Dallas’s Big Easy-sque hangout.  Other new offerings from The Quarter Bar include seven new French Quarter-inspired cocktails, including a traditional Hurricane.  I enjoyed the French Quarter Float, and it’s quite sweet, but would be the perfect drink for the end of the night.  I’d dying to try the SoCo Sazerac … anyone wanna treat me?

  • VooDoo Queen: Vodka, Blue Curacao, Razz Berry, & Sweet and Sour
  • French Quarter Float: Coffee Liquor, Irish Cream, & Root Beer
  • Blue Bayou: Captain Morgan, Blue Curacao, & Pineapple Juice
  • Quarter Curse: Southern Comfort, Razz Berry, & Pineapple Juice
  • Hurricane: Light Rum, Meyers Dark Rum, Malibu, Pineapple & Orange Juice, & Cherry
  • Hand Grenade: Light Rum, Melon Liquor, & Pineapple Juice
  • Soco Sazerac: Made with Southern Comfort, Lemon, Sugar, & Bitters

Quarter gets it (pricewise) and have priced everything* I’ve mentioned at $6 … and that’s not even during happy hour!  Even better?  They offer half price food night on Wednesdays until midnight.  Make sure you try the wings and the bacon fries.

Stop in and sip on a Louisiana-style drink or lick on a booze pop, and let me know which was your favorite!

*the Hurricane is $8, all other cocktails and booze pops are $6

St. John’s Wood (Closed)

The newest bar on McKinney has a lot to offer – low prices, good food, and fantastic service.  I ventured in thanks to my hard-working friends over at UrbanDaddy and I’m very glad I did, and I have plans to head back in within a week.  Saint John’s Wood is a great place to dodge the usual McKinney crowd and have a chill drink – though you do have to share a valet line with the Aura-goers (not that there’s anything wrong with them at all … just a different mind-set).  The atmosphere is laid back and there is PLENTY of seating – both upstairs, downstairs, and on the I’m-stoked-for-the-weather-to-warm-up-so-I-can-sit-on-it patio.

Our waitress, Luisa, was attentive and very thorough.  I used a different straw in my first drink and, upon bringing my second, she brought the same straw – I like that attention to detail.  The whole staff was just as amenable; they chatted to the customers, changed the channel so everyone could watch their team, and were just darn friendly.

Now back to the prices – if you take a good look at the receipt to the right, you’ll see that we had a soda, 5 drinks, and a snack for just over $20.  Granted, this is happy hour, but it’s pretty impressive.  They also gave us a last call for happy hour drinks – a couple bucks won’t make much of a dent, but I still like that.  The title is actually a quote from the owner when talking about his drink prices; he wants to have the lowest prices on McKinney.

As for the food, we had sweet potato fries and they were de-lic.  I can’t wait to come back to try the burger, which they say is the best in Dallas (we’ll see about that).  If it tastes as good as it smells, I may have to agree with them.

****side note: since SJW just opened, their prices were still being adjusted

Drink strength: 3.5
Overall: 4.2

St. John’s Wood
2908 McKinney Ave | Dallas, TX 75204
214-880-1700

Specials:
Daily | 3-8 p.m. | $3.75 wells, $4.50 calls, $4.75 wine by the glass, $3 domestic drafts, $4 import drafts, $3.50 domestic bottles, $4.75 import bottles

Perry’s Steakhouse | Uptown Dallas

Let’s start with some education: the restaurant on Routh many Dallasites know of as Perry’s has changed its name to The Place at Perry’s.  Don’t be confused because they are both steakhouses – however, I am giving my thoughts only about the newly opened Perry’s on McKinney.  That being said, here we go!

My visit to Perry’s was one of the most enjoyable happy hours I’ve had in quite a while.  I have been back since my initial visit and loved it as much as I did the first time around – maybe even more actually.

Picture courtesy of Perry’s Steakhouse

From now on, you will be able to find me here most Fridays starting around 3:30 p.m. partaking in their Friday lunch special of Perry’s Famous Pork Chop served with whipped potatoes and homemade applesauce for only $13.95 before 4 p.m.  If a pork chop doesn’t tickle your fancy, take part in one (hell, two, three, or even four) of the Social Hour appetizer options.  My favorites were the fried asparagus with lump crab meat*, homemade Polish sausage, and the Kobe burger.  My friend Casey made the following comment after eating the Kobe burger: “THIS burger for is on happy hour?”*  Glances at girlfriend and says emphatically, “We’re comin’ back!”

After eating your fill, stay for a couple hours and enjoy the cocktail offerings they have for Bar 79 Social Hour.  There is a cocktail for everyone here.  If you can’t decide, try the flight of cocktails which includes three inventive concoctions in sippable sizes.  Their mojitos are the perfect drink for summer, hands down.  In addition they have a drink that is Perry’s take on a Manhattan that the men at the table thoroughly enjoyed (a few times over).  Their fruit is incredible and is prepared fresh daily; head chef Danny does fruit quality control daily to ensure it’s at its best.

Aside from the fantastic discounted food and drinks, the atmosphere is relaxing and inviting with live music to lighten the mood in the bar and entertain.  There is an air of sophisticated relaxation in the bar area and the patio boasts a giant inverted umbrella with plenty of seating.  If you want to catch a game without spending time at a dive bar, they have a TV behind the hand-etched glass bar (with hilarious quotes about drinking) so you can nosh on their brilliant food while watching.  If you can, try to get the middle table, though, you’ll feel like you’re in the VIP section!

The wait staff at Perry’s is unmatched; they offer VERY helpful suggestions, crack jokes, and are incredibly attentive.  Between Mark, Howard, Rich the bartender, Kennan, and Martin, our waiter, we were never in want for another drink or a even a napkin.

I’ll see all of you there on Friday!


Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille

www.perryssteakhouse.com
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
2000 McKinney Ave., Suite 100 | 214-855-5151

PERRY’S NOW HAS A LOCATION IN FRISCO, TX ALSO. CHECK OUT RACHEL’S REVIEW OF THE NEW SPOT!

Drink strength: 3.8
Overall: 4.4

Specials:

Social Hour | Monday-Friday, 4-6:30 p.m.
discounted seasonal cocktails, wines, and appetizers

Live Music | Monday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday | 6-11 p.m.

*Initial post written quite a while ago.  Pricing has been updated to reflect changes!

Coal Vines Uptown

Walking into my favorite pizza place in Dallas last week, it felt different … and I liked it.  The new menu items sound incredible and the extra seating made me hopeful that I’d never have to face another 45 minute wait for a table!

The pizza at Coal Vines is TO DIE.  My best friend from Austin orders a white pizza (not the white special) to take back with her each time she visits.  Yes, it’s that delicious.

The mimosa was just ok; they didn’t jump on the bottomless bandwagon as so many brunch destinations have so I don’t know if I’d come here just for their drink specials.  Their wine selection is good and they also sell  retail if you want to take it home to enjoy.

The people who dine at this establishment are the Uptown see-and-be-seen type.  They stop here and gobble a pie and guzzle a bottle before hitting the town.  The only problem with that is that every time I eat here, I leave so full that I can’t rally for a fun night out!

Stop in and grab a glass of wine and a pizza; don’t forget to be extra nice to their New York implant, Uncle John at the front door!  Everyone in Dallas should try this place once to know what good pizza tastes like.

Coal Vines Pizza
2404 Cedar Springs Rd | Dallas, TX 75201
(214)855-4999‎
www.coalvines.com

Specials:
Sunday | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | $4 mimosas, poinsettias, Pompelmos, and peach lemonade bellinis

TABC (Closed)

The leaves are about to turn and the weather is cooling down … and in Dallas these things mean that it’s the perfect weather to hang out on a proch, and the one porch you can always count on for a crowd is TABC.  NO NO NO, not Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission – that would just be silly, the Thomas Avenue Beverage Company.

The outside section is incredibly large and has quite a bit of seating.  The wait staff is somewhat slow and not incredibly reliable but what they actually bring to the table makes up for it.  The drinks are somewhat strong and not too expensive and even the smell of the pizza is delightful (served until 1:45 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays!).

Since it’s tucked in the heart of the State and Allen area, you WILL see a faces that you recognize and attractive people whose eyes you will want to catch.  This is a great place almost anytime and there are quite a few other bars within walking distance.

Thomas Avenue Beverage Company
www.tabcdallas.com
2901 Thomas Ave
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 979-0452

Specials:
Tuesday | $3 wells and domestics, $4 Cabernet and chardonney (4-7 p.m.), 1/2 price wine by the bottle after 7 p.m.
Wednesday-Friday | 4-7 p.m. | $3 wells and domestics, $4 Cabernet and chardonney
Sunday | bottomless mimosas $8