“The best way to approach an evening here is to order something to drink and a couple of shared plates, hang out a while, then do it again,” advises Aaron Staudenmaier, the chef and managing partner of District, a new craft cocktail bar with equally smart cooking in Addison. Staudenmaier makes everything from scratch at this already popular interloper from San Francisco, but it’s his honey-lacquered crispy chicken sandwiches and battered squash blossoms oozing with melted goat cheese and Aleppo peppers, plus sommelier Ron Taylor’s adventurous wine list, that pull you back like a tractor beam.
Village on the Parkway, 5100 Belt Line Road, Addison, 972-239-9300, districtdallas.com
Ida Claire’s Southern spirits
Gin, amaro, a squeeze of lime and a dash of lavender bitters combine to make a fine summer cocktail over ice. The bartenders at Ida Claire then add thyme and a splash of CBD-infused green tea to enhance the chill factor. The High Tea Thyme is one of several new adult beverages on the Southern charmer’s new menu, which also includes a bourbon pecan pie (in case you get the munchies).
5001 Belt Line Road, Dallas, 214-377-8227, ida-claire.com
Weekend brunch at The Ranch
Prime steaks and double-cut pork chops fly out of the kitchen most nights at this hat tip to Texas cuisine. The Ranch at Las Colinas’ new weekend brunch is chef Skyler Gauthier’s chance to strut. Start with the mimosa flight (cranberry, orange, pineapple and grapefruit), slide into a stack of Texas pecan-brown butter pancakes drizzled with ancho-maple syrup, maybe add a plate of jalapeno-and-bacon biscuits for sharing, then tuck into whatever seasonal hand pies Gauthier and his pastry crew decided to fry up that day.
857 W. John Carpenter Freeway, Irving, 972-506-7262, theranchlc.com