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!
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