Tag Archives: preston center

OCHO Kitchen + Cocktails is the new Southwest restaurant in Preston Center. I made it in last week to try some of their offerings with some other media folks (I felt fancy).  The vibe is somewhat unexpected.  The hostess didn’t seem interested in speaking to us when we walked in which put a bad taste in our mouths from the start.  Luckily, once we met the amazing Michael (our waiter for the evening), we felt a completely attended to in terms of service.  

There are two floors, the main floor is a more traditional dining area, and the second has a giant bar, gorgeous private room, sumptuous leather sofas, and expansive patio seating area overlooking Preston, dubbed 8-Bar.  Our only complaint about the second floor was the high noise level.  Odd art adorned the walls and the decor of the entire place was quite eclectic.

A variety of appetizers were paraded out to us, from lobster shooters to ancho roasted chicken flautas to shrimp ceviche.  Everything we tasted was delicious.  I had an edge over some of the other taste testers because my sister recently moved to Albuquerque, so I’ve tried and enjoyed many of the flavors that were showcased in Ocho’s food.

The drinks that our amazing waiter, Michael, kept on a’bringin’ were unique and potent.  I started with a jalapeño margarita (note: I hate margaritas, but love spicy drinks) and actually enjoyed it.  Some of the other guests said it wasn’t spicy enough, but I thought it had just enough bite.

Oh Hey Dallas joined me at the event, and ordered a Berry Woodie Smash (Woodford Reserve, simple syrup, blackberries, lemon, mint), and lucky me, didn’t realize it was bourbon based, so I got to drink it.  It was very good, but could have used a bit more sweetness since that’s what it’s trying to go for with the berries and syrup.

Another drink we tried was the Cosmo “Drank” (gin, peach liqueur, white peach cranberry juice, lemon juice) which was tasty, but nothing incredibly memorable.  The Skinny Cougar (vodka, watermelon juice, lime juice, grenadine, soda water) was a recommendation from our water, but I’d rather splurge on the other delicious normal-calorie drinks.

Overall, I enjoyed my time at Ocho (the company helped!) and am looking forward to visiting again soon to try the Hatch Chile Smoke Tequila Cocktail (tequila, lemon juice, agave nectar, green chile powder).


  • Specialty cocktails are around $10
  • Complimentary valet (make sure you’re going south on Preston to get in the parking lot)
  • Green chile is delicious
  • Ask for Michael
  • 8Bar opens at 3pm daily
  • They stock around 50 tequilas for your tasting pleasure

Ocho Kitchen + Cocktails
8411 Preston Road Suite 132 | (214) 217-0888
www.och8.com | facebook.com/likeocho | @ocho_dallas

research this

Incredibly hungover, I slung myself out of bed to vacate my house for a showing that was to arrive within the hour (p.s. shameless plug: if you’re looking for a townhouse in University Park – I have one for sale!).  Luckily, I had a brunch at R+D Cafe to occupy my mind and motivate me to get dressed despite my pounding headache (I had forgotten to take The Hangover Cure again … you’d think I’d learn).

Upon arrival, we had a reservation and actually had to wait (that’s a good sign – follow the crowd to the good food, right?).  Looking around, I was reminded of the incredible meals I’d had in this restaurant on previous occasions and my stomach grumbled, begging for the gastronomic orgasm that it knew was imminent.  Any restaurant by the developers of Houston’s is worth it’s weight (in drinks).

Sitting down, drinks were ordered to serve as the hair of the dog – we were delighted that there were drink specials for brunch.  I ordered a bloody mary and sat back in anticipation.  When the drinks came … well, to say the least it was an expectation hangover.  Their bloody mary tasted like cocktail sauce with a touch of clam and was pretty thin and had big chunks of peppercorn.  Usually, a little clam juice is fine, but this just wasn’t right.  The waitress told us that they make their own BM mix … and that answered my question.  I ordered a screwdriver and the waitress was nice enough to take the offending drink off the bill.

All of the other drinks we ordered were delightful and strong enough to make a difference.  The food was fantastic as was expected.  Definitely try some of their mango sushi and the dips – the meals are large so be prepared to roll yourself to your car after a meal.  Watch how much you order, it adds up quickly.

The atmosphere is very older Park Cities mixed with the more laid-back and obviously hungover young Dallasites.  The decore of Cafe R+D is delightful – modern and clean and has just the right amount of pretension.

Sadly there isn’t a happy hour here, but they are “researching” a new strategy: any alcoholic drink that comes in a regular glass is $8 and anything in a martini glass is $9.  I can’t decide how I feel about that but … it is what it is.

Drink strength: 3
Overall: 4

R+D Kitchen (or Cafe R+D)
8314 Preston Center Plaza Drive | 214-890-7900


ALL DAY EVERY DAY | $8 all drinks, $9 martinis
Saturday & Sunday | til 4 p.m. | $4 bloody mary, mimosa, greyhounds, and screwdrivers

Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen (closed)


We all know that Kent Rathbun can cook … little did we know the man who defeated Bobby Flay on “Iron Chef” is also a master of mixology behind the bar.

After sloshing through the rain, walking through the rotating doors into Blue Plate was like walking into a (classy) cabin – I almost expected to see a crackling fire and hear a triangle beckoning me for dinner.  The sidways rain outside begged a drink and our bartender, Autumn, served them up with a smile.

I had a Raspberrytini, Passionate Kiss, and the Rip Tide (Autumn’s creation).  All three were fantastic (and not only because of the price tag) and the various wines ordered around the table were enjoyed, nay, savored.  Special commendation should be offered for the Dirty Blue Martinis, a martini with bleu cheese stuffed olives (sadly, I am allergic to blue cheese so can’t give my personal opinion on this drink).

We ordered appetizers, chowed down on the bread basket, and sipped our cocktails without realizing 3-1/2 hours slipped by.  Nine o’clock on a Friday night cut our night short but we enjoyed every second in Kent Rathbun’s world … even though the plates weren’t blue.

Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen
6130 Luther Ln | (214) 890-1103
www.kentrathbun.com/blueplate/dallas | @chef911

11am – 6pm | half off $8 wine selections by the glass
11am – 6pm, 9pm – 11pm | specialty cocktails $5, traditional cocktails $4