Dallas might have its differences with Austin, but in many ways we're a lot alike. Just kidding, all those people are pinko communists. But since at the very least both cities love drinking, both now have a J. Black's Feel Good Lounge
The just-opened brother to a West 6th Street standby, J's owned by a Big D-native attorney and a pair of Eddie V's vets, one of whom was also born in D Promised Land; though still aiming for laid-backness, instead of cloning the long-and-narrow original, they've gone for a more see-and-be-seen layout: a huge room anchored by a oval bar and surrounded by a triple-zone (lounge/bar/dining) patio, plus elaborate rear circular booths and, to the side, the semi-private Cork Room, which should really be...can you feel it coming?...popping. The shared-plate menu's blissfully meaty, from Niman Ranch pigs-in-a-blanket and Kobe sliders to NZ lollipop lamb chops (w/ horseradish créme fraiche dip); new-for-Dallas items include 3-pepper calamari w/ achiote-citrus cream sauce, and the fried-avocado'd Crab Louie tweak "Southern Louie", weird, because Louie Anderson was born in Minnesota, and religiously avoids fried foods. For pie guys, 12in artisan pizzas range from the shallot/truffle oil "Crab & Portobello" to the pepperoni, pepperoncini, sausage, 'shroom, salami, bacon, and feta "Omnivore"; for fat guys, there're gut-bombing sides like fried gouda-cheddar-asadero mac & cheese balls, and do-I-really-need-that desserts including house-made donuts w/ coffee ice cream, because how are you supposed to feel guilty if you're asleep?
Because you like drinking, the bar slings a dozen taps, nearly 60 wines ($23 Chateau St. Michelle riesling to $250 Perrier-Jouet Fleur), plus 16 cocktails, many of them tweaked classics like the club soda-topped Bacardi O/Cointreau/mint/citrus "Orange Mojito", and the Woodford-based, Cointreau Noir-abetted "Manhattan Night" -- which Dallasites know are filled with ladies who are the world's oldest capitalists.