Food & Drink

What the hell is a cooked-to-order cocktail?! (Read on, you'll find out.)

Published On 06/18/2012 Published On 06/18/2012

After teaming with the Genghis Grill guy and the mixologist behind Uptown's Four Lounge, the owner of Sutra has transformed that resto into Pepper Smash: A Cocktail Kitchen, a place that defines both food-booze balance, and what happens when spices make Hulk sneeze. Soft-opening today, it boasts an open kitchen and a 40ft granite bar backed by wood & limestone walls, the better to put out

"Dallas's First Cooked-to-Order Cocktails": That's what libation consultant Keith LaBonte's calling a program where you'll literally watch them roast veggies for drinks like the Herb Martini (roasted cherry toms, oregano, thyme, red bell pepper, and jalapeno, all sauteed in tomato juice and celery syrup, then shaken with vodka), and the eponymous, chili-salt-rimmed Pepper Smash: Tito's shaken with grilled red bell pepper, basil, jalapeno, and a caramelized onion marinated in 100-proof vodka, giving it as many layers as Boris Yeltsin

Vijay Sadhu's Eats: The Sutra/Samar chef's "modern American flavors" run from roasted bone marrow w/ thyme, garlic, and piquillo pepper relish (served with a spring mix drizzled with orange fennel vinaigrette), to maple-bourbon-glazed pork belly with star anise-spiced apple puree -- so basically the food could turn you into a hulk, and the drinks could leave you a bit smashed, but there're vegetables involved, and that's all the balance you need.

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1. Pepper Smash 7200 Bishop Rd, Plano, TX 75024 (Plano)

This hip, wood-laden cocktail den is slinging an expert lineup of creative drinks -- from State Fair sweets like a Cotton Candy Martini to the bar's zestier namesake cocktail. Watching your waist or your probably morning hangover? You'll also find “skinny” and mocktail options on the menu. Not watching your waist? Nosh on bites like a smokey mac & cheese, chicken and waffle skewers, or the Whiskey Meltdown burger (grilled chicken, smoked whiskey glaze, grilled red onions, truffle fonduta, Texas toast).



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