New Trinity Groves Spots a Perfect Reminder of Why Some Nights, You Just Have to Leave Suburbia
Written by Brian Bianco
When Susie first approached me with a sack full of cash and a bottle of whiskey asking me to write for her, her terms were clear–stay far north and leave Dallas to her. Luckily, her busy holiday schedule opened the door for me to not only venture into Dallas proper, but also check out Trinity Groves for the first time for a media preview dinner at Chino Chinatown. It not only gave me a chance to try some highly anticipated Latin-Asian fusion cuisine, but also sample a drink menu that look good on paper.
The hip-casual ambience is set by great tunes and decor that reflects the cuisine (e.g., rockabilly geisha art – so cool). A friendly and knowledgeable bar staff is also a welcomed change … though “friendly” could mean they where on their best behavior for the press … who knows.
I’ll save you my detailed thoughts on the food since there is plenty of buzz already out there from our food counterparts, but I will say the edamame and shishito pepper dish and the chicken lollipops were both outstanding small plates to well enjoy with a few cocktails.
My biggest regret was not having a few friends with me (or my former college tolerance) to try everything on the drink menu, but I was able to sample a good amount. CC’s bar program, like a growing number of others in Dallas, was designed by Jason Kosmos, and was reminiscent of nights spent with my lady friend at the no-longer-with-us Marquee Grill (may it rest in peace).
Chino Chinatown’s introductory press release led with the Mezerac (rye, mescal, cola, cacao bitters) and Tijuana Sling (Remy Martin V, maraca, lime, seltzer), which were both good, but the 47 Ronin* delivered on the fusion promise to give me something the likes of which I hadn’t ever tasted and was, without question, the star of the show. (The bartender who served it, Adrian Verdin, wanted to make clear is a tribute to the incredibly awesome samurai legend and not the recent Keanu Reeves motion picture. This is an important distinction, because the drink is awesome, and the movie … maybe not so much.)
The bevy of drinks I tried were the Beg, Steal or Borrow (bourbon-based), The Good, The Bad, The Weird (best described as a tequila drink for the non-tequila drinker, in the most positive possible way), Between the Sikhs (Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky), and the Snake Charmer (vodka and prickly pear that is easy to drink and available by the pitcher).
In short, if you want a night of good food and a chance to explore some complex drink options, there aren’t many better destinations right now in Dallas. (Just make sure you order the 47 Ronin and chicken lollipops.)
*A few disclaimers as I review their sake – I’ve never had Japanese whisky and my sake pallet is, uh, being seasoned. Verdin was very proud of the cocktail and was happy to walk me through it as I drank (which is only slightly embarrassing in retrospect, but felt right at the time). The drink is made from Yamakazi 12 Japanese whisky, goji berry groseille, yuzu, and sake, and is a nice mixture of tart and slightly sweet flavors before the whisky takes over and brings it home. If the night had been laid out differently, that would have been my choice drink for the night, and I would have had no regrets.
Drink Strength: 4