No, we don’t know why the bar at the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas sounds like a dive that Quentin Tarantino would put in one of his flicks. What we do know is that the Rattlesnake Bar has some of the best people watching in the city. Look, that suit/dress that cost way too much has just been sitting in your closet, begging for a night out. Slip it on and rub elbows with a bevy of cougars looking for a sugar daddy and sugar daddies looking for the cougars’ daughters. Grab a drink that costs more than your typical dry cleaning bill, sit back and enjoy the show.
Do you know how to tie a bowtie? Actually, it doesn’t matter. If you’re at the T/X Bar (formerly Bolla) at the Luxe Stoneleigh Hotel, then you’re best off going with the “Oh, am I wearing a undone bowtie? Don’t even ask me about this tux, but, yeah, I just came from watching the girl I love get married” look. Grab a martini and maybe tousle your hair (not too much, mind you). Then buck up, kid, ’cause you’re at a swanky hotel bar on the edge of Uptown, and there are pretty people everywhere.
It’s not the mega-suite at Jerry World, but the Owner’s Box at the Omni Dallas hotel sure isn’t a bad back-up if you’re unable to wrangle up some tickets to the next Cowboys game. There are more TVs than any sports buff could ever want or need, but it ensures you can sit in the corner and still watch about 10 different games. And, unlike most bars on this list, you won’t have to go all “The Gift of the Magi” on your prized possession to buy a drink.
Look, nostalgia can be a tricky mistress. The memories we hold so dear may not stand up to strong scrutiny – especially the ones about ex-girlfriends. So a bar that mimics the watering holes of a bygone era may seem treacly and overly sentimental. Fortunately, the Library Bar at the Warwick Melrose avoids this pitfall. Here, class still means something, and LMFAO could die in a fire without your noticing (or caring). What we’re saying is the bar is relaxed and refined. Sip on an old fashioned as you listen to the sounds of the piano fill the room, and know that you, friend, are one suave individual.
Hotel ZaZa is where the movie stars stay when their press junkets brings them to Dallas. And for good reason: this place is pure swank. It epitomizes most of the Dallas stereotypes — snobby, overpriced, pretentious — but those words are tossed around by those who wish they could hang here. That said, Dragonfly deserves its swagger. The bar does signature cocktails such as peach jalapeno martini or Za Collins, served in seriously sexy surroundings. If you’re feeling a little sassy, try the Big Flirt.
Bear with us as we venture outside the confines of Uptown/Oak Lawn/downtown. The Belmont Hotel has better-than-a-postcard views of the Dallas skyline, and BarBelmont feels completely separated from the city. Grab a drink, relax on the patio and enjoy some live music as you take in the skyscrapers from a safe distance. Although all the places on this list are smart options for a little one-on-one time, this is the one that shows a little bit of drinking — er, thinking — outside the box, and that’s sure to go over well at the end of a date.
It’s kind of hard to overstate the luxury of the Mansion Bar, but we’ll try. Located at the Rosewood Mansion (duh) on Turtle Creek, this is the grandfather of Dallas hotel bars. Often imitated, but rarely duplicated, the place smells of rich mahogany and old money. Just act like you belong here as you hobnob and pretend, even if just for a happy hour, that the mansion is yours and you’re a modern-day Gatsby, unconcerned about boats or currents unless they’re in Turtle Creek.
The new restaurant at Hotel Lumen is billed as an “upscale diner,” and because it sits in the heart of University Park, there’s definitely an emphasis on “upscale.” The retro décor feels like the Jetsons’ world of 2062, if the 1960s view of 100 years into the future were adjusted for modern style. So, really, it’s retro and modern and future, with lots of brushed chrome, booths with plush leather seats, and light fixtures that would look futuristic to people in 1962 but look retro modern today. The bar has plenty of classics (think old fashioned and French 75)f, but the SMU Mustang Sally (lime vodka, house-made lime sorbet, Licor 43, fresh mint and fresh ginger with a garnish of grated nutmeg) is what we’re really interested in.