And we're not talking about 7-Up

Whereas there wasn't a cool spot to be found all Summer 2011, this year's temperatures were much more reasonable. Oh, and also, a bunch of world-class restaurants opened. Read on to hear which local heavyweights are raving about ramen, well-made cocktails, and dining off the downtown grid.drink.well. They make me a Manhattan concoction that I love and they are totally welcoming. Also, Tatsu-Ya. World-class ramen.- Rene Ortiz, La Condesa/SwayEl Pollo Regio. Their chicken and steak al carbon are amazing, and they have the best onions.Also, Archery Country (which has an indoor range). It's right in our neighborhood and good for practice of accuracy, form, and wrapping chashu.- Tatsu Aikawa, Ramen Tatsu-YaKome, Spin, Bartlett's, and Trento. Finally great food outside of downtown! - Tyson Cole, UchiI’m crazy about the sake- and wine-based punches at Elizabeth Street. Working within the limitations of beer and wine only, they’re making flavorful, interesting mixed drinks with creative and fresh ingredients that go great with their food. Lenoir is doing incredible food at a reasonable price. And I always have a great time at Swift’s Attic. - Bill Norris, Midnight CowboyNew to me is the Carillon. Also, Ramen Tatsu-Ya.- John Bates, Noble Pig SandwichesLenoir, Ramen Tatsu-Ya, and Spin.- Mat Clouser, Swift's AtticClark's, and Elizabeth St. Cafe.- James Newman, Service MenswearI tried my wife’s Sway leftovers and they were outstanding. So, I know it’s going to be incredible. - Jason Dodge, Cherry St/PecheElizabeth Street (especially their snail dish). drink well. And, of course Lenoir, who has been locally sourcing heaven.- Sonya Cote, Hillside FarmacyKomé and Ramen Tatsu-Ya. Until very recently you couldn't get a decent bowl of ramen to save your life. Now we have TWO and apparently more on the way in 2013.- Tim League, Alamo DrafthouseMockingbird, a new home furnishings shop on South Lamar, across from the original Birds. A great mix, and made locally.- Michael Portman, Birds Barbershop