Look for the unexpected at Brentwood
The team behind Hudson House and Drake’s Hollywood has opened a sixth concept in its growing Vandelay Hospitality Group portfolio: Brentwood Restaurant & Bar, which tilts toward burgers, steaks and salads. The menu, touted as “an updated take on classic American dining,” offers solid options, but Brentwood really struts with unexpected dishes like chicken meatballs in yellow mole sauce and a salad with shaved Brussels sprouts, almonds and lemon vinaigrette. Tufted leathers and dark woods lend a clubby feel to the restaurant and its cocktail lounge. Brentwood’s 50/50 martinis are lazy afternoon catnip, constructed with equal parts gin and vodka, and shaken until they’re icy cold.
5318 Belt Line Road, Dallas, 214-217-0100, brentwood.restaurant
Get happy at Barcelona Wine Bar
This notable spot for Spanish tapas and paella in the Knox-Henderson neighborhood has added a weekday happy hour. In addition to half-off bottles of sparkling wine, you’ll find $7 martinis, a $4 Sacaback cocktail (sherry, brandy and guindilla pepper brine) and small plates beginning at $4.50 that could double as dinner. We stopped in for Iberico ham and housemade ricotta, but it’s Barcelona’s spicy pork rillettes and fresh churros with a dark chocolate dipping sauce that will draw us back. Get the specials from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
5016 Miller Ave., Dallas, 469-862-8500, barcelonawinebar.com
Chill out at Thirsty Lion Gastropub
The late summer menu and a new location in the gastropub chain make a visit to Thirsty Lion compelling. Grilled artichokes, shrimp ceviche, seafood paella and cedar plank-cooked salmon now share the menu with drinks that include a potent jalapeno Paloma margarita, blood orange ginger iced tea, hibiscus basil lemonade and a passion fruit and mango agua fresca. The new addition is at the northwest corner of Walnut Hill Lane and Central Expressway. A fifth Thirsty Lion is planned for Addison.
7859 Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas, 214-272-8252, thirstyliongastropub.com