A go-to East Dallas hangout known for its great beer selection and laid-back atmosphere (think dim lighting, red vinyl booths, pool tables and a jukebox), Bryan Street Tavern is also recognized as having some of the best bar food in town. That’s particularly true of the thin and crispy-crusted pizza, offered with unusual toppings like buffalo chicken, blue cheese and celery or corned beef, sauerkraut and Thousand Island sauce. Beer-basted chicken wings are offered in a kaleidoscope of different flavors, ranging from mild to burn-your-face-off; other options include a Philly cheese steak topped with traditional Cheese Whiz, or a candied jalapeño-battered corn dog, all of which pair perfectly with one of the many local craft beers on tap. The dog-friendly patio’s picnic tables are packed when the weather permits.
Shellfish and butter-brushed steaks served in an elegant atmosphere permeated by live jazz.
While You’re Waiting
Steak oscar: steak topped with crab, asparagus, and hollandaise or béarnaise sauce.
Steak au poivre: steak seared in a crust of cracked peppercorns, leaving it rare to medium-rare inside.
Eddie "Lucky" Campbell is a sucker for details. That's why, for any given cocktail on his eleven-chapter menu, he doesn't just have to muddle and pour ingredients—he also has to choose from several types of ice. The ice could be cubed, molded, flavored, or chipped from a gigantic block on the bar, where the stations "[look] more like a science lab," according to Crave. The Chesterfield is in no way a science-fiction venue, though. It's an homage to the early 1900s, when cocktails had their heyday in bars and speakeasies. The beaded chandeliers and exposed brick recall such an era, as do, of course, the drinks themselves. Eddie has arranged his menu by cocktail styles, ranging from sours to smashes to seasonal house specialties. Some promise a memorable tang, like the Derby Cocktail—Maker's Mark 46, honey, and grapefruit—whereas others boast spiced, strong flavors. The Navy Grog, for example, combines three types of rum with citrus and soda water instead of the seawater and fermented shark's tears that sailors traditionally use.
You can pair your chosen libation with a meal from the dinner menu, as well. Small plates supply chorizo empanadas for snacking, but there are also larger helpings of pan-seared scallops and New York strip steak.
As a live DJ sends electronic beats skittering through Sushi Axiom's interior, a bartender skewers two lychee fruits for an exotic cocktail garnish. In the midst of the music and the colorful lights, Real Housewives of New York City alumna Kelly Bensimon and others have conducted meet and greets with hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. As the glamorous clientele mingles, chefs deftly slice sashimi and sample culinary traditions from across the world without finding passive-aggressive notes on the United Nations refrigerator. One recent fusion dish is the Asian jalapeño poppers, an appetizer that D magazine writer Jennifer Chininis praised for "the delicate crunch from the tempura, the heat from the sriracha, the coolness of the softened cheese.":
At Kismet Hookah Lounge, DJs’ beats pound out from the speakers, smoke pours out of hookah pipes, and the bottles of high-end vodka, cognac, and gin make their way from the backroom to tables. The twinkling ceiling lights and colorful hues set a festive tone inside for a night of smoking and socializing. Plush couches invite parties to plop down, pick from a variety of hookah flavors, and watch the vapors curl from their mouths and vanish into whatever dimension all smoke disappears to. Between breaths, customers can chow down grilled steak tacos and order full bottles of Belvedere, Johnny Walker Black, and Hennessy to toast a special occasion.
Back in 1998 when Stoney's Wine Lounge first opened, it was in the meager space of an old gas station, where they packed in their carefully curated selection of quality wines. And despite a strange location and the ultra-cozy nature of the space, word quickly spread. After two moves, they ended up in their current location, which is now a full-service lounge and storefront, where live jazz frequently fills the room, and the wine is always flowing. Alongside an impressive selection of wines, the kitchen serves up plates of cheese and charcuterie to complement sips and swirls.