Photo by Bret Redman.

Bar Review

Keeping Tabs: HIDE

Step inside this Deep Ellum cocktail den.

A stranger high-fived me on my way into HIDE. I took that as a good omen for my first experience in Deep Ellum’s newest cocktail den.

Atmosphere: The décor is sparse and muted, with neutral-colored walls and gold fabric-wrapped overhead lights. The bar is the room’s centerpiece, with bright lights, shelves of booze at its center, and a healthy crowd around it. Groups enjoyed snacks and drinks at the tables (all of which were full) around the bar, and upbeat pop music thrummed through the joint.

What to Order: HIDE’s tagline is “cocktails clarified,” and they make an effort to serve up a nice variety of super-crafty, multi-ingredient drinks. If you’re a traditionalist, there’s a whole page of classics for you, from margaritas to mai tais. Other drinks fall under the following categories: “Shaken,” “Carbonated,” “Rocks,” and “Stirred.” Under “Rocks,” you’ll find things like the Champion, which is cognac, shitakes, and apricot; under “Stirred” is the Wild Hare, a mix of milk-washed carrot gin, ruby port, cinnamon, ginger, and cumin tincture. Ever had steel-cut oat bourbon? Try the Turbo Quaker. What about habanero gin? Try the All Tame No Flame—just be careful, it’s listed under the “Experimental” category.

Who’s There: On a Saturday night, HIDE brought in a high-energy, mostly casual crowd. There was at least one guy in a Hawaiian shirt; I glimpsed a pretty woman in a pink tiara with the number “30” on it. At the bar, ladies sipping from foamy martini glasses laughed as they watched a video on someone’s iPhone. Big groups had claimed the dining tables, ordering appetizers along with colorful cocktails. At the bar, a ponytailed bartender tried to explain what absinthe was to two guys who were probably just flirting with her. (“It’s made from trees,” she told them.)

What I Didn’t Like: On a busy night, it might take a few minutes before the bartenders even have the time to make eye contact with you.

What I Did Like: These cocktails are impressive.

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