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