What's Cookin'

Cook Hall at W Dallas

Karen Muncy
December 12, 2012

If chemistry class had been as fun as the Cocktail Kit at W Dallas’ new Cook Hall, our careers may have taken a different path. But even nonscientific types can order this wire basket full of tools — plus an armload of house-made shrubs, bitters and tinctures — then add a few drops of this, an ounce of that, plus the liquor of choice, and concoct a signature libation. On request, a jeans-and-Converse-clad server brings a bouquet of fresh herbs for muddling or garnishing; there’s also a little black book of (mostly legible) recipes handwritten by previous Kit mixologists. Of course, the bar pros are happy to do the work, too; a glass wall reveals the stock of craft beers available for specialty cocktails such as the Ginger Shandy (Pilsner Urquell, gin, lime) and Grapefruit Cooler (wheat beer, tequila and grapefruit juice with a paprika/sea salt rim). Cook Hall gives the American gastropub a New West edge, with clusters of Edison bulbs illuminating rugged trestle tables (big enough for your meal and your iPads), Reata-worthy tufted leather banquettes and black hair-hide wall panels that keep the acoustics conversation-friendly. Chef Rick Graff, a Craft veteran, guides a locally sourced menu that mixes the surprising (radish toast, kale Caesar salad, duck tacos with house-made tortillas) and the soothingly familiar (chicken soup, pimento mac and cheese, glazed baby-back ribs), plus tempting breakfast and brunch offerings. 2440 Victory Park Lane, 214.397.4111; cookhalldallas.com.