Bartending is at its most elevated level in history, making this the best time ever to immerse yourself in cocktail culture. The art of mixology — once looked down on by the stuffed shirts — is now regarded as a creative, well-paying, and highly respectable career. At its highest levels, it’s a dynamic gig that never gets dull.
This rise in cocktail-based enthusiasm means that there’s also a rise in cocktail-specific bars (or at least bars that are well-known for serving specific drinks). Over the past few weeks, we’ve tasked experts with chronicling the most important and exciting bars in the country (and, in some cases, the world). We’ve looked at whiskey, gin, and rum bars with the help of some of the most influential bar experts in the world.
This week, instead of spirit-centered bars, we asked Eric “ET” Tecosky, bartender at Jones Hollywood and founder of Dirty Sue Premium Olive Juice, to pick the most important martini bars in the US. From Scottsdale to Atlantic City, he selected the best martini bars in America (whether you like it dry, sweet, or straight up dirty). Even James Bond would be proud.
Mastro’s City Hall (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Mastro’s put the ‘more is better’ martini back on the map and there is no finer place to order one than the bar at their City Hall location. It’s a sight to behold. Always busy, always fun and you never know who you may meet there. In the world of the modern steakhouse, Mastro’s lives at the top of the food chain. Do yourself a favor and order your martini with extra blue cheese olives, a seafood tower and a bone-in ribeye.
As Floyd Lewis likes to say, “Don’t cheat yourself, treat yourself.”
Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge (New Orleans)
The next time you find yourself in New Orleans take a seat at the Carousel Bar. Great drinks & impeccable service – the kind you would expect at a fancy, historic hotel like The Monteleone. In case you’re looking for drinking street cred, some pretty impressive imbibers have enjoyed a cocktail at the bar over the years – including Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams. And if you want to feel like a regular, find Eddie the bartender and order a Cajun Martini. Or two. Just when you start to think that the bar is moving – don’t panic, it is. It’s a carousel, remember?
The Mansion Bar (Dallas)
One of the best bars for people watching and, even better, overhearing amazing conversations. On the weekends, this dark, cozy bar is packed with the who’s who of Dallas while a live band plays the hits –- old and new. This may not become your everyday spot, but it deserves to be in your rotation. You will also instinctively feel the need to have a martini in your hand. And good news, martinis occupy a whole section of the menu and the top-notch bar staff is ready and waiting to make that martini exactly the way you like it.