Food & Drink

Overachieving chef raises his bar's bar

Published On 09/21/2010 Published On 09/21/2010

The truly creative won't constrain themselves to the field they were trained for -- Mick Jagger wasn't like "Freejack? I'm a singer, not an actor!", and Sir Anthony Hopkins wasn't like "Freejack? I'm an actor, not Michael Caine!". For a chef taking a stab at spirits, check out the new cocktail menu at Smoke

Smoke's just-unveiled libations list is the Southern-fried work of its ex-Mansion/Stephen Pyles chef, whose ultimate goal is to craft all mixers, additives, etc, in-house, including infused syrups, juices, sodas, and jams, changing up the standard house jam, "The Boys are Back in Town". The 20+ liquid assets are broken into three categories

Infused Spirits: Cocktails that use house-infused liquor (kept right on the bar in giant jugs, it's also sipping-friendly), such as the "Woodshed Margarita", with fresh lime, agave nectar, Paula's Texas Orange, and tequila soaked in cedar planks, literally taking your liver to the woodshed

House Drinks: Beer-based quenchers like a Lone Star michelada w/ pickle relish, bbq spices, and roasted-tomato bloody mix, plus commercial spirit-anchored inventions like the vodka "BlueBonnet" w/ lime juice, soda, and a blueberry/Mexican-cinnamon syrup that tastes like Red Hots, a nostalgic way to kick off a boozing Spree

Late Night: So-named because of digestif properties and deep-evening potency, they're led by the "Two By Four" with Macallan 12, Drambuie, whiskey barrel-aged bitters, and sorghum molasses -- used as a Civil War ration for its Red Bull-like energy, amping guys up to get whiskey poured on what's left of their legs

Wrapping things up, the 140-buck crown jewel is "The Closer": a bottle of Prosecco and the best-available room at the neighboring Belmont Hotel, where ideally you'll bring a date, though of course you're Free to just Jack.

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1. Smoke 901 Fort Worth Ave, Dallas, TX 75208 (Oak Cliff)

Smoke, as you might have guessed, is a restaurant that takes its barbecue very seriously. Locally sourced ingredients and traditional recipes are part of what has won Smoke the various awards it's garnered in the past, so why not stop by and see for yourself?



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