Craft Dallas is no more. As I’ve said before, I’ve cried approximately zero tears as a result of this loss. And from Craft’s ashes rises a new American gastropub: Cook Hall. Speaking of bird metaphors, my Food Bastard misheard me when I announced I would be attending a media dinner at the new restaurant Cook Hall. He thought I said “CACAW!” So now this is happening in my household:
Me: Mmmm, those deviled eggs I had at Cook Hall were awesome.
Food Bastard: CACAW!!
Me: Yeah. And they’ve got this fabulous cocktail kit where you can mix up your own drinks—
Food Bastard: CACAW!!
So as you can see, I’ve got a lot to tell you people, since he has stopped listening and has taken instead to incessant bird calling. I’m hoping you’ll be more mature about it. Or not, because I can’t hear y’all anyway, so I don’t really care. Shall we get to it?
Really BIG signage outside the W Hotel Dallas.
According to the team at Cook Hall, everything they do sort of spurs from their cocktails. Their menu is designed to complement the libations, and all the bitters, tinctures, etc. are created in-house. This gingery beer-based cocktail was a good start, but I was looking for the perfect mix.
I can’t even remember what Craft looked like anymore…oh well.
Cocktails a’shaking, with bottled concoctions, carafes, seltzer sprayers and more decorating the shelves and brand new bar…
Pretty sure I need this in my office. There’s an expertly curated collection of trinkets and curiosities in the Cook Hall space.
THIS. This is the real point of differntiation at Cook Hall. If you so desire to have a super fun night out with friends, you can purchase one of these cocktail kits for the table. They call it a liquid laboratory. For the price of a shot of spirit per person plus $3 each for the kit, you get a collection of mixers, herbs, citrus juices, tinctures, bitters and all the glasses with ice you require to mix up the perfect cocktail. Make something truly incredible and add it to the booklet included with the kit. Look for the foodbitch Fizz when you go.
Cocktails may come first at Cook Hall, but food is more important to this bitch, so let’s talk about the bites. The 5 at 5 is a happy hour menu wherein five menu items and five cocktails are just $5 during happy hour. Seen above are the Prince Edward Island oysters, served with lemon and a cucumber accompaniment.
These crab-loaded deviled eggs give Sissy’s variety a run for their money, especially price-wise. I could eat a plateful, easily. But, I would be willing to share…
As I said, I would be willing to share, if this – a plate of delicious radish toast – were also on the table. A dish I was not familiar with, this one really wowed me. Buttery, crunchy and soft toast drizzled with balsamic reduction and topped with tender chunks of radish. No joke, these are goooood.
Edamame come heavily tossed in a garlicky sauce and are pretty addictive.
Popcorn shrimp is playful. The shrimp are battered in popcorn breading, fried and drizzled with a house made ranch and topped with a few popcorn kernels. Major points for the ranch, but I have to mention I didn’t try the shrimp.
The cocktails the bar folks make are seriously impressive and adventurous. You can see how the staff is excited by the cocktail playground where they work. Evidence of this is the breakfast beer cocktail pictured above. It’s like a beer that you drink at Christmas, I would assume. All full of cinnamon and froth, it was really surprising.
This was the cocktail to end all cocktails, you guys. The Green Swizzle is made of rum, green apple puree, mint and chartreuse. Sounds simple enough, but the real fun is in the swizzle. A swizzle is a uniquely forked stir made from a single piece of tree. The crushed ice is swizzled as the ingredients are mixed. Then more ice is added in a mound on the top, and apple bitters are dropped onto the top of the sphere like a sno cone. How much fun is that?
All in all, I can’t wait to head back to Cook Hall with friends, order a Green Swizzle and a Liquid Laboratory to share. And most of all, I can’t wait to try more of the menu. This preview certainly got my attention. CACAW!
Cook Hall | inside the W Hotel Dallas | cookhalldallas.com
NOTE: As an invited member of the media, I experienced this preview of Cook Hall free of charge. I also went home with a bag of goodies: house made apple bitters, a slice of delicious flourless torte, some spicy Cook Hall hot sauce and (nerd alert) a neato thumb drive.