Shaken or stirred, with olives or lemon twist, sweet or savory, martinis haven’t left the swanky drinking scene yet, and they may never. That doesn’t mean you have to keep it classic, although finding a bartender who can make a slightly dirty Kettle One martini with just enough olive juice and cold enough to have icebergs floating on the top is a feat in itself, as any martini drinker can attest to. But if you are looking to, ahem, shake things up in the martini department, there are several Dallas cocktail lounges that are a must-see. Cheers.
Downtown Dallas’ The Joule is not only a haute hotel and grade-A restaurant- the bar scene is pretty happening as well, whether you’re grabbing a drink upstairs at Charlie Palmer or down below at the PM Lounge, the swingin’ basement nightclub. Two of the best cocktails on the list: The Thin Mintini, with Godiva Liquers, Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka and creme de menthe; and The Treetini, comprised of Veev Acai Berry Liquer, peach puree and candied jalapenos. Why it’s great: Every time you down a Treetini, Veev and Live it Green will plant a tree. Yep, saving the environment, one drink at a time.
The Joule/Charlie Palmer, 1530 Main Street, 214.261.4600, www.charliepalmer.com
With their extensive cocktail list, folks at Ocean Prime could guarantee there is something on the menu that will suit your palette. However, if it’s stage performance you are looking for, you can’t go wrong here, what with their smoking Bubbles and Berries martini (the secret is dry ice) and their new Black Orchid martini that comes with a flower encased in a ball of ice that rests in the center of the glass as it melts (the flower is edible!)
Ocean Prime, 2101 Cedar Springs Rd, Dallas, 214.965.0440, www.oceanprimedallas.com
It couldn’t be a better time of year to hit up Oak Cliff’s Bolsa for some Happy Hour cocktails, since they have such a great indoor/outdoor bar and the temps are finally hitting below 90 degrees. Boasting one of the most eclectic cocktail lists in the city, a few ‘tinis on the menu include Tears of a Prophet Martini, with Texas Tito’s Vodka infused with fresh blueberry/blackberries or pineapple, and the Pear Martiini with Belle Brulee Pear Cognac.
Bolsa, 614 W Davis St, 214.367.9367, www.bolsadallas.com
Tei Tei Robata Bar
This Japanese Robata Bar may be known for their extensive sake list, but the martinis are out of this world as well. If you’re into the fruity side of ‘tini town, try the Pomegranate Martini, which could be the best version of the trendy drink anywhere, or the Plum Martini (my personal fave.) Warning: The groovy tunes spun by the nightly DJ coupled with these cocktails may cause you to forget you came there to have dinner.
Tei Tei Robata Bar, 2906 N Henderson Ave, 214.828.2400, www.teiteirobata.com
A notorious Henderson Ave hangout with a killer bar menu, VT’s also is known for their hand crafted cocktails, served up with incredibly fresh ingredients. Try the classic French 75, with champagne, gin and house made simple syrup, a great way to top off the evening. Looking for more spice, less sugar? Go for the Pepper Smash– red bell pepper, mint and Clover Honey Syrup.
Victor Tango’s, 3001 N Henderson Ave, 214.252.8595, www.victortangos.com