Best Place for Cocktails - 2012
Blood and Sand
These days, when any bartender with a shaker and some exotic bitters can dub him or herself a "mixologist," it's vital to know ahead of time that an establishment's ambience will be as classy as its drinks. Members-only Blood & Sand guarantees a sophisticated experience from the get-go. Not only do members pay a fee ($10 or $15 per month), they also agree to a code of conduct that ranges from the common-sense (treat everyone kindly) to the technologically polite (leave the bar to take a call) to the downright progressive (ask the bartender's permission before making a move on that hottie who has caught your eye). None of this would matter if the drinks weren't top-flight, but you're in assured hands with TJ Vytlacil, who offers variations on the Scotch-based cocktail that gives the restaurant its name, beer cocktails and a menu of his own intriguing — and intriguingly named — creations, like the "The Secret is in the Telling," with rum, sweet-corn water, clove liquor and lime.