Oak is my new favorite restaurant. It has the one of the coolest vibes, which made me feel all grown up and like a true-blue Dallasite. Let me begin by telling you that I am not typically a fan of sitting at bars, alone. Usually I am one of those annoying people who walk into a restaurant and head immediately for the booth in the back, the ideal table to most restaurant-goers. I take up the entire table with my good friends: laptop, notebook, purse, and work tote. We have a great time.
But at Oak, I was immediately drawn to the light, open, marble-top bar with smiling Ali Love behind it. I took a seat at the comfy stool and invited a few of my aforementioned “friends” to join me and was greeted by Abraham Bedell, creator of the entire drink menu and the bar program.
As I glanced over the Imbibe menu, Abraham, helping me in my indecision, informed me that the most popular drink was their signature, The Mighty Oak, and that it would probably be my favorite. I shook my head. I wanted to be different than “the crowd” so I asked for another suggestion. “The LOLita,” Abraham replied enthusiastically.
Again, I wanted something out of the norm and Abraham laughed at my refusal to take his suggestions. “How about the Distinguished District Man?” I asked, because the name caught my eye. “It’s good, it’s strong…” he looked me up and down…”do you usually drink scotch?” I guess I don’t look the type that would be able to handle the Johnny Walker Black Label, Cinzano Bianco, Clover Honey, and Bitters but I was determined to try it nonetheless. But kids, learn this lesson from me: Always trust a good bartender like Abraham. They have a sixth sense; they just know what you need. The Distinguished District Man is a play on a Scotch Old Fashioned. It is a strong, beautiful drink, and my brother would have been proud that I tried it, but it wasn’t for me (except for the incredible Luxardo Cherries they placed on top. That, I asked for seconds.)
So I caved and tried The Mighty Oak and man was I bummed at just how right Abraham was! I just hate being wrong, but when I am, I’ll woman up and admit it. The Mighty Oak, Eagle Rare Bourbon, mint, ginger lemon, and soda is wonderful and refreshing, and goes down so smoothly. “Too smoothly,” my next chair neighbor informed me. “You can have four or five easily without recognizing it and the WHAM, they hit you. It’s awesome.”
The mint is really nice and mixed with the candied ginger, is simply delightful.
At this point, with a few unfinished cocktails in front of me, I started sharing with my next chair neighbors. The Oak bar is the place to be on a Friday after work and made several new friends. Forget coffee houses and bistros. Oak is comfortable, has great food, drinks, lighting, and enough space to fit your iPad and cell phone and several cocktails next to a plate of Chef Jason Maddy’s delicious Diver Scallops or Foie Gras Torchon, just ask the guys sitting next to me.
Next time I feel like pretending to work on a Friday afternoon, I’m hitting the bar at Oak. And you should too, to try this week’s Drink of the Week: The Mighty Oak.