Best Martini - 2004
Readers' Choice: Pin-Up Bowl
The King of Beers, or maybe just beer in general, definitely has a frosty-mug handle on this city. But when St. Louisans need to escape the hops-and-barley chains and break out of the easy-to-hold-glass mold, where should they turn? We say try the pioneering Pin-Up Bowl, proudly situated on Delmar just east of Skinker in the Loop. The '50s kitsch-style bar/bowling alley serves up all manner of drinks (don't worry, beer included), but the real specialty here are the cocktails served up in martini glasses. Fine, a real martini isn't green with Midori and does not involve milk (like the Key Lime Pie drink, one of ten signature cocktails). That doesn't mean alcoholic concoctions that taste like pie aren't delicious. Nor is the Stiletto Martini a lesser drink because it's made with Teton Glacier potato vodka, white Lillet and a dash of olive brine -- that's one hell of a variation on the classic dirty martini. If you're a traditionalist, plain ol' gin and vodka martinis are on the menu too. But the best part is that all of these shaken-not-stirred delights (that's the way we like 'em anyhow -- you could order yours either way) make the worst part of bowling (ahem, wearing communal shoes) that much more bearable. And isn't that what's important?