Tag Archives: uptown

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!

| 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

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.

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.

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

The Standard Pour raised the standard … again.  Oh Hey Dallas and I were lucky enough to be invited into TSP to indulge in some of the craft cocktail den’s new menu items and cocktails.  Long story very short … we’ll be back.

I arrived a little late (sorry, OHD!) and plopped down after an insane day at work in dire need of strong drink.  We had a table by the windows to the patio (which is delightful with the huge awning and fire wall), which gave me a nice view of the generously-stocked bar, complete with infused liquors, flavored bitters, and any (high-end) alcohol that you could want.  

Our chatty waitress went over the options for the night, then beckoned the barkeep who got the run-down of our likes and dislikes.  As some of you may know from past reviews, I do NOT enjoy the tequila.  Upon hearing my dislike for the spirit, the barkeep’s eye twinkled a bit, he turned on his heels, and scurried back to the bar (which made me nervous).  I should mention that, on this very special night, Eddie “Lucky” Campbell was guest bartending (a lucky night to venture in).

Our first drink was an “amuse” drink (I suppose an amuse bouche cocktail-style … but as I mentioned, I was late so I missed the run-down on this one).  The small sipper was a delicate mix of cranberry cider and mulled wine—not too overpowering and very festive. I will say that I love the idea of legitimate before—dinner drinks and I may now consider aperitifs more often.

My first proper cocktail was right up my alley, The Derby (Maker’s Mark, Cointreau, sweet vermouth, lime juice).  I LOVED this cocktail and had to be careful not to drink too much for fear of passing out on the walk home from all the deliciousness (read many many drinks).  Not drinking too much of this beauty was a struggle as it was stinkin’ delicious.

My second drink was a tequila drink which I got because, and I quote, “the bartender likes a challenge.”  Dubbed the Jalisco Cocktail, I actual drank a good portion of this one.  I was amazed (seriously) … it was delicious (Siembra Azul Reposado, Curacao, almond raisin syrup, lemon, and angostura).  The cocktail had just enough tequila to give it an exotic feel, but it was very mild.

After my eye-opening tequila experience, OHD was served the Bitter Gin Mule (Lucky’s random creation of the evening), which was incredibly smooth for a bourbon drink.  (Non-southern) ladies averse to whiskey could drink this and enjoy it.  I may or may not have stolen this drink to finish myself.

Another delight was the Garden and Gun (Sapphire Gin, pepper puree, celery shrub, chili syrup), a unique version of the bloody Mary with a kick.  The celery shrubº gave a lightness to the drink where it could have been heavy with the puree and chili syrup.  Speaking of the syrup, the pepper puree was deliciously spicy.

My last (but certainly not least) drink was the Sazerac Swiss something-or-other which was a cocktail that isoff-menu, but the simple Sazerac contains Sazerac Rye, simple syrup, perchauds, Absinthe, and lemon peel.  The Sazerac is a classic prohibition-style cocktail with balanced yet bold flavors that will knock you on your hiney*.  The bitters and rosemary in this drink really were a great combination that made it very easy to drink, and noticeably pooooo-tent.

I’d had drinks at TSP before my recent visit, but never food.  I quickly learned what I was missing out on by not having eaten here yet.  We had risotto croquettes (omg), one of the five best cheese plates I’ve ever had the joy of feasting on, the Airline Chicken Breast, Ahi Tuna Sausage, chicken strips (heck* to the yes), and another kind of ahi tuna.  Our waitress wouldn’t let us leave the table without trying the eggnog bread pudding … and I’m so glad she did!  Any dessert that involves booze is my jam, and this one had a delightful amount of egg nog soaked in the bread.  

To get more detail about the food, check out OHD’s post about our visit.

BOTTOM LINE: I feel like an idiot for living in walking distance of TSP and not eating there more often.  I’ll be in for their chicken fingers on a regular basis … along with one (or four) of their amazing cocktails.

The Standard Pour
2900 McKinney Avenue (Uptown) | 214-935-1370
www.tspdallas.com | Facebook | @TheStandardPour

* My new year’s resolution is to curse less.  This’ll be interesting.
º “…a shrub is an acidulated beverage made of fruit juice, sugar, and other ingredients. Where things get complicated is that the acid varies by recipe; it can be either fruit juice or vinegar. Additionally, some shrub recipes are prepared using alcohol that steeps with the fruit, acid, and sugar …  In any case, the sugar, acid, and optional alcohol preserve the fruit juice, and in fact that was one original purpose of the shrub. Prior to the invention of refrigeration, a shrub syrup was a means of preserving fruit long past its picking. Shrubs were popular in Colonial America, mixed with cool water to provide a pick-me-up on hot summer days.” – seriouseats.com


If you’re anything like me, the mere mention of “rooftop” anything piques your interest.  I present to you: Revive, a rooftop ”club” with a full bar, waitresses in bikinis à la Vegas, food options, cabanas (complete with private mini-fridges and 42” flat screen TVs), frozen grapes, and a pool.  The “club” by Greg See (of Miami-based Opium Group) and Taylor Nguyen (of The Ronin Group) is located above Glass (a more conventional club) in Uptown and was opened April 15, 2012.

My visit to Revive was quite surprising.  The biggest surprise had to have been that their pool is only 2 feet deep.  No one ventured in while I was there, but that could also have been due to the fact that I was there during a private party and people were in, well, suits.  It seems more of a place to lounge in your Vilebrequin swim trunks and flex your muscles (at least for the dudes) — ladies, just stand there and look pretty with a frozen drink in your hand in your Tory Burch kaftan.

The drinks at Revive were good once they finally got to our table — they are in the process of redesigning their cocktail menu right now, so an update should be soon to follow this review.  If you get tired of waiting for the scantily-clad wait staff, reach into YOUR (I repeat, your) cabana’s fridge which has water, energy drinks, chilled towels, and even sunscreen (make sure you warm it up before slathering it on your party-going pals) — just like at a hotel, they’ll take inventory and charge you at the end.

Definitely try the Cocojito (a frozen coconut mojito) or any of the frozen drinks (currently featured: watermelon margarita, Red Bull and vodka, peach bellini, and the Cocojito).  As for their mixed drinks, I greatly enjoyed the Cucumber Lemonade Chiller; if you order it, make sure you ask that they strain it.  The Transatlantic sounds like a winner, but they were out of Hendricks Gin the night I was there — try it for me when you go!  All frozen drinks and specialty cocktails are offered by the glass, carafe, and pitcher.

The best offering at Revive?  Well of course, it’s the booze-sicles.  Different colors, flavors, and liquors are offered and you should try, well, all of them.  Greg See himself created them and he’s apparently no popsicle-making slouch.

The menu is by no other than Samir Dhurandhar (of Nick & Sam’s and Coal Vines fame) and includes crispy flatbreads (I recommend the buffalo chicken), skewers, sandwiches, bacon-wrapped jalapeno goodness, and more.  To end the meal, ask if your waitress can scam you some frozen fruit — it really hits the spot in the humid Dallas afternoons.

Things to know:

  • Don’t even try to find a parking space, just valet — $6
  • No running or horseplay
  • Entry is $20 and each of the 12 cabanas has a $750 minimum and requires reservations (each seats about 8 people)
  • It’s 21+ … duh
  • No diving
  • Revive is open Thursday/Friday from 4pm and Saturday/Sunday starting at noon
  • Towels and pool toys are provided

Revive Uptown
1899 McKinney Ave
(214) 740-1899


You’ve all heard about the “bright” new face on McKinney, Private|Social.  The food, good.  The service, fantastic.  The drinks, BLOW MY MIND AMAZING.  Rocco Milano (formerly of The Mansion) has, once again, showed up behind the bar and made a damn good cocktail.  When I learned of Rocco’s departure from the Mansion, I knew there was something good in store for Dallas’s bar scene.

I grabbed a small table on the porch on a crowded (inside) night and Eugene greeted me and made SURE I knew that happy hour was on but not for much longer – I love a water who looks after my (best?) interest.  When you get to Private|Social, find out where Eugene is serving and refuse to sit unless he’s your server.  Yes, he’s that good (he even offered to split the check without us having to say a word).

The scene is very Uptown and if you plan to go, plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to get a table/spot at the bar and don’t rush the experience (mostly because you can’t).

The drinks at PS were incredibly strong and had a character all their own.  I started with a Moscow Mule (I usually try to start with an old standard to test the drink strength).  The mule definitely was a treat, but wasn’t as good as the Mule at Cedars Social – but it’d be hard to beat the CS Mule.

Skinny Bubbles – not worth it.  It was too sweet and I decided not to waste my calories on it (though I’m not a huge champagne fan to begin with).

Vesper – I. DIE.  The Vesper was delicious even though it wasn’t James Bond’s Vesper.  The Vesper had more than taste … it had a kick to it.  I felt like I had been kicked with a steel-toed boot by the time I got to the bottom of the glass.

Italian Old Fashion – the classic, with a twist — it was another of their drinks that one would have to drink SLOWWWWLY (because, well, it’s pretty damn strong, too).  Luckily, the brilliance that is Rocco is clever enough to use the correct ice for a scotch/whisk(e)y/bourbon-based drink, a giant ice ball which keeps the drink from getting watered down.

Things That Make You Go HUM – this was quite a treat.  It’s on the menu now, but when Rocco let us try it, it had only been thought up a mere 36 hours before.  A hint of licorice (absinthe), Hum Botanical, Strega, and bit of lemon, egg white, and syrup came together and have been added to my list of favorite drinks in Dallas currently.  This is a MUST TRY at Private|Social.

Somewhere in Between – Another new Rocco creation (now on the menu) that we got to preview and another winner.  Rum, lemon juice, and (Angostura) bitters make this drink that was passed around the table and became a quick favorite of all.  It’s another PS drink not to be missed.

Enjoy your time here (with the wonderful Eugene) – if you want to meet me, just offer to buy me a drink here and I’m all over it.  🙂

privatesocial.com | @privatesocial
3232 MCKINNEY AVE. | 214.754.4744

Def Frisco’s Grille

We’ve all heard of Del Frisco’s Steak House and now we have the luck to have the new offshoot, Del Frisco Grille, in business in Uptown Dallas.  The reputation of the DFG owners proceeds the new restaurant, and DFG exceeds the high expectations that come with the name.  The first DF Grille opened in Rockafeller Center up in the Big Apple and we’re lucky enough to have gotten the second.

The staff is helpful, friendly, and ready to get you whatever you may need.  What you’ll need: drinks, delicious food, drinks, Nutella bread pudding, drinks … oh yeah, and more of their delicious food.  Our table had the cheesesteak eggrolls, wedge salad, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and the lamb burger.  The cheesesteak eggrolls were very good but a bit heavy (which was expected) and the lamb burger was possibly the best thing I’ve taken a bite out of in the last month due to the Tzatziki sauce.  

After our meal, Sabrina, the delightful general manager, wouldn’t allow us to leave until we took a bite of their to-die-for Nutella bread pudding (sounds awful, eh?).  I did my best to exercise a bit of self-control, but all was lost with the first bite.  I thanked my lucky stars for that girl for making me try it!  

DFG offers a full bar complete with specialty cocktails, (only one) champagne, about five or so whites and reds including some Del Frisco’s “Reserve” bottles, and shots (yup, shots).  I was tempted to try the Honey Badger (again, yup, the honey badger) which was Tuaca, fresh sweet & sour, and pineapple juice.  

Needless to say, like the restaurant, DFG prides itself on the creativity of its drinks and the freshness of their ingredients.  Their drinks have dashes of Tabasco or balsamic vinegar and sometimes even a jalapeno tossed in just for kicks.  I tried the Kilt-lifter comprised of Hendrick’s, St-Germain, Tabasco, and lemon.  I’ll just say of it that it was an experience – not too strong but it sure was delicious.

Now, have you ever had a skinny drink that was actually good?  Yeah, me neither (though if anyone has suggestions I’d be glad to hear them) until I tried the Skinny Cosmo at DFG — everyone in the group (including the guys) enjoyed it.  I’ve gone on a nutty diet and I can’t have many drinks, so their potent-yet-delicious skinny drinks are just what I need.

The decor of DFG is modern with a retro twist and plenty of art adorns the walls.  The second floor patio is absolutely awesome and they have some cutting-edge pillar heaters to keep you from catching a chill.  With bars both upstairs and downstairs, you won’t have trouble getting a drink (well, you might have a little less than some but only because so many people love DFG already).  Also, go into your visit with a dose of patience as the valets do a great job with the limited space they have. 

All in all, DFG is off to a great start.  Head in for delicious handcrafted drinks, steaks, and seafood.  They’ll make absolutely sure you enjoy your time there!

Del Frisco’s Grille
www.delfriscosgrille.com | @dfgrille
3232 McKinney Ave (at Hall St.)

The Crescent Club

The Crescent Club is one of the old-school mainstays in Dallas housed in the 17th floor of the Rosewood Crescent Hotel’s office tower.  Open only to hotel guests and members, Restaurant Week allows us common folk the chance to experience this dark wood-paneled restaurant that’s reminiscent of your grandparent’s country club.  The bar has a rich feel and amazing views of the city facing the Arts District and Downtown out of its bay windows.

Before a restaurant week dinner, my mom, sister, and I met in the dark bar for a quick drink before our dinner.  I valeted my car and then rode up the 17 floors to the club level, took a right out of the elevator, and walked into the bar with a slight greeting from the gentlemen in the front hall that appeared to be the host.  I found my party and began to take in my surroundings.

The drink menu features 11 cocktails along with wines by the bottle and glass including dessert wines.  Their full bar serves up mostly classic cocktails with slight twists.  I ordered the Grand Pomegranate Cosmopolitan from our waitress; it was slightly tart and not too sweet.  Their pours are generous, so much so that my mother and I only needed one drink before our dinner.

I recommend all Dallasites try to fit in a visit to this gentlemen’s gentlemen’s-type bar to experience the luxury and views.

Quick info: they’ll validate parking, serve snacks (just simple nut mixes, one sweet and one spicy)

The Crescent Club
200 Crescent Ct, Ste 1700 | (214) 871-8555
Crescent Club Web Page

Bar hours:
Monday – Thursday | 5-10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday | 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Membership info: (214)953-4387