Tag Archives: fancy_cocktails

The One Year Itch

Last year, when Sala closed, I was a little crushed because I only had two chances to enjoy the delightful drinks they offered. So I waited and waited … and waited some more to find out what would replace it. There was a glimmer of hope when construction activity started in the former Sala space. What arrived wasn’t worth the year of waiting, but I’d have waited six months.

My first venture to Cedars Social resulted in them turning my coworkers and me away for happy hour and asked to come back an hour later; we felt dejected (ok, we were pissed). When we finally made it inside a week later, we sat at five two-tops pushed together and commenced ordering. (If you can, avoid the booths because the cushions are deceptively fluffy and firmer padding is necessary to avoid feeling like a midget.) I started with one of the weekly specials, a Green with Ginvy; with only one exception, the rest of my nine coworkers ordered Moscow Mules. My first sip was so strong and flavorful that it sent me flying – literally. I put the drink down and did a crazy combination of a shimmy and whinny (yes, it was a bit embarrassing). After finishing my first drink, I jumped on the bandwagon and ordered the drink of the evening, the Moscow Mule … and it was incredible. The owner of our company, a savvy lady with a discerning palate, said (verbatim), “This is the best thing I’ve ever had in my entire life!” That’s quite a testimonial if I’ve ever heard one.

They claim to make only “classic” cocktails (more on that later), so if you want a list of liquid concoctions you’d never dream of trying, check out one of their menus that look straight out of a 1930s schoolhouse. You’ll find a list of delightful concoctions that are “tributes” to original cocktails and seasonal fresh fruit, “hand -crafted” cocktails to satiate even the most sophisticated booze hound’s palate. That being said, I’m a little peeved at them because they refused to make me a dirty martini (twice). Seriously? In my book, that’s as classic as a cocktail can get.

The drinks are great – I’ll give them that, but some weren’t of a portion that I’d call generous. The “pint” glasses seemed to be a bit smaller than a full pint and the cocktail glasses looked like they were made for smurfs (yes, it’s smurfs and not smurves; I looked it up).

Our waitress recommended cheese plates for the table which were a delight (go heavy on the cheese and light on the “salumi” – yes, C.S. serves “salumi” and not “salami”). Since my dad was joining me after my happy hour for dinner, I was eager to try the rest of their fare. After my dad arrived, my experience turned south.

If you’re looking to have conversation with someone, you’ll need to take chalkboards and a few sticks because the music is too loud to have a decent conversation … so it’s totally a great first date place (ha?). We even asked them to turn the music down a smidge – call me crazy, but somehow it almost seemed louder after.

The place as a whole has a warm feel and is anchored by a long bar, a small library for intimate groups, and a large, round fire pit. As a whole, the place has a decidedly 1960s bachelor pad vibe – I secretly wanted to clap to see if the lights would dim and a disco ball would drop from the ceiling. The patio has another fire pit that lights up a view of the Dallas skyline that is to die for – a definite must for the great Dallas spring weather we’re experiencing now.

So, I guess you’ll want to know about the food. I am not a food critic and I don’t fancy myself as one. The food, though, was bland. I had the chicken and waffles and the chicken was tasteless. I’ll go for the Victor Tango dish over C.S.’s take on it any day of the week. We also had meatloaf and potatoes, which unfortunately followed the chicken and waffle’s example. After conveying my indifference toward the food to friends, they said their experiences were much different. We realized that they all had eaten there on weekends and I ate there during the week. Call me crazy, but maybe the chef took a few days off. To read an opinion from someone who enjoyed their meal, check out this review from The Dallas Diva.

In short, this place is good for a couple drinks and a cheese plate, but don’t dedicate dinner to it unless you are sure the resident chef and not the sous chef is running the game.

Drink strength: 4.3
Overall: 3.4

The Cedars Social
www.thecedarssocial.com
1326 S Lamar St | South Lamar
(214) 928-7700

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!

prime hour

The buzz around Ocean Prime in Dallas was palpable when it first opened.  The people of Dallas raved about it, but some critics weren’t didn’t feel the same about the new perfectly-located seafood restaurant.  My opinion:  don’t listen to the critics (except for me, of course), and make you own decision on this resto – I personally enjoyed myself the last couple of visits, as did my friends.

After all of my friends and I finally located the spot (it’s tough to find), we sat back to enjoy the two hour “Prime Hour” which boasts food and drink specials – most are about $4 or so off the regular prices.  Cocktails are $8 and apps start at $5.  The food is “shi shi” but still fills you up; definitely try the goat cheese ravioli and the fondue!  Also, eat as much of the popcorn as you can; at first you wonder why they would bring such weak sauce to the table – and then you try it … kaBOOM … the truffle garlic butter takes over and you can’t stop eating it.

For cocktails, there aren’t many choices on the Prime Hour menu, but they edited them well and there are some nice choices: the cucumber gimlet, the blood orange negroni, and the pineapple Finlandia martini.  Definitely try the aforementioned cucumber gimlet; the men at the table were sold on it after the first sip and couldn’t get enough of them.

The atmosphere is lively and the outside bar gets a little loud.  Inside you can enjoy live music and rub elbows with the businessmen from the Crescent and the *ahem* mature women (read: cougars) of Dallas.

Random additional comments:  they have extra large Sonic ice, the wait staff is très  attractive and sassy (in a good way), the bread basket is a must, ask for water refills, allow time for your drink to be made,  the bathroom doors need work so take a friend to guard it for you, don’t go in scrubby clothes, sit back and enjoy.

Drink strength: 3 
Overall: 4.3

Ocean Prime
dallas.ocean-prime.com | @oceanprimecmr
2101 Cedar Springs Road, Uptown | (214) 965-0440

Specials:
Monday-Friday | 4-6 p.m. | $5-8 select appetizers, $8 selectwines by the glass, $8 select cocktails

holler for a … palmer? (CLOSED)

New to the Dallas happy hour scene, Charlie Palmer is a gem.  Like some of the other upscale restaurants around our fair city, Charlie Palmer offers to-die-for drinks and sumptuous food to snack on at a good price compared to the usual prices.

The hotel (The Joule) is intriguing with somewhat out-of-place decor that seems to still work – site: the large wheel in the lobby (their bathrooms are pretty interesting, too).  The restaurant has a nice ambiance if it is a little close to the Downtown traffic – but it is very chill and the patio is laid back with really interesting people watching.  Sit back in their comfy chairs and watch the beautiful people checking into the hotel and the businessmen and women hustling around after work – just keep your eyes open for the guy on the street that may try to sell you poetry when you’re waiting for your car at valet.

Speaking of valet, it’s $10.  Try to park in the parking garage across the street and it’s only about $5.

The drinks … let’s talk about the drinks … they.are.a.ma.zing.  They are incredibly creative and quite delicious.  You have your choice of six fancy cocktails for half off along with the Charlie Palmer private label ISC Pinot Noir or single malt scotch. Try the Perfect Pear which is perfectly sweet or the Thin Mintini which will take you back to your days in the Girl Scouts (or at least it did for me!).  If you want to feel that you’ve done your part to save the planet for the day, get the Treetini; Live it Green and VeeV will plant a tree for each one sold.

Get a little snack to go along with your drink.  I recommend the fries; while they come in a trough (which is somewhat troubling if you think about it) but the bearnaise sauce makes up for any discomfort about the serving plate.  Also try the lobster corn dogs … yum.  Enjoy a taste of the incredible restaurant’s small bites menu for 1/2 off during happy hour!

Try Charlie Palmer for its happy hour – at least so you can try their amazing fare and drink!  I know I’ll be back for more.

Charlie Palmer at The Joule
www.charliepalmer.com | @thejoule
1530 Main Street | (214) 261-4600

Specials:
Thursday and Friday | 4-7 p.m. | 1/2 price small bites menu and selected drinks