Where to Drink
Every girl needs one: a night out with female friends to take a mini-vacation from the stresses of real life. But for ladies looking for something a little more sophisticated than the local piano bar, a grown-up girls’ night out venue should meet important criteria: patrons can hear each other talk; there are cozy places to sit; the drinks are on point; and there are scrumptious dishes for sharing. Five of Fort Worth’s best are listed here.
Hotel Madrid at La Zona on Magnolia
First, let’s explain all the names here. La Zona is actually the name of the entire European plaza-inspired experience that’s composed of two buildings: Hotel Madrid and Saint Sofia. The latter is open for churros, coffee, and Italian soda. But the “hotel” is Magnolia Avenue’s newest destination for drinks, small plates, and pizzas — many with Spanish influence. Snag some seats at a high-top table or at the narrow bar (but note the place is tiny) and choose from gorgeous cocktailes, like the Buenas Noches shaken with pisco, egg whites, and angostura bitters; the La Maria made with mezcal, sherry, lime, and ginger beer; and the rosé sangria layered with berries, lemon juice, and fizzy soda.
Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar
Reminiscent of a hotel bar with its patterned banquette seating, a glass fireplace, pendant lighting, and a few faux floral arrangements, Twigs provides all the components needed for night out: girly-girl drinks and plenty of room to gab. The Washington State-based chain opened in December amid lots of competition in the Shops at Clearfork. Twigs entices patrons with a focus on martinis, mostly of the sweet variety. Think college-era favorites like the sugar-rimmed Sexy-Tini made with raspberry liqueur, the Ultimate Lemon Drop with citrus vodka and yet another sugared rim, and the Chocolate Kiss shaken with coffee liqueur and vanilla vodka, then garnished with chocolate shavings. Happy hour menu highlights include calamari, pork tacos, and fries with gorgonzola fondue. There’s also a menu of gluten-free pizzas.
Craft & Vine Taproom and Eatery
Nearly six months after opening, Craft & Vine is still Northeast Tarrant's hottest destination, just as much for dinner and drinks as for small talk and sunset views. It’s located in Old Town Roanoke on the third floor of a newly constructed commercial building. Walk in and find a mix of high and low tables, both communal and small-tops, along with a head-turning wall with more than 70 spigots for wine and craft beers on tap — each with its own interactive touch-screen for those who want to learn more. But it’s the covered outdoor balcony patio that draws girl groups for comfy seating (with super cute throw pillows) and an open air beach house vibe. There’s also a martini menu (those made with Deep Eddy vodka are $5 on Wednesdays) with stylish selections like the Day Spa, with cucumber, lime and agave nectar, and the Sweet Tart made with lemon juice and lavender. Pinkies up!
Kent & Co. Wines
The West Magnolia Avenue destination upped the wine bar game when it opened in 2014, providing not only a posh and spacious spot for wines by the glass, but a place to drop off your Cadillac for an oil change. (Owners are from the Frank Kent car dealership family.) Granted, the car service component of Kent & Co. is minimal. But what’s not is the bar’s enduring reputation as a be-seen spot for grapes and hops, with its industrial yet well-dressed feel. There are two sommeliers here, but every single staff person is knowledgeable and can provide guidance to wine experts and amateurs. The menu is perfect for light noshing. Gal pals can choose from cheese and charcuterie boards, a hummus sampler, and a couple pretty salads. There’s also a refreshing mocktail menu, so the D.D. or mom-to-be won’t feel left out.
Cru Food & Wine Bar
There’s something about the Shops at Clearfork at night. Every store sparkles when the Christmas light-wrapped sidewalk trees are lit and building exterior uplights glow. Cru — with its floor-to-ceiling windows, clean design lines, and indigo-lit signage — draws girlfriends looking to sit and stay awhile. There are more than three dozen wines by the glass and hundreds by the bottle. If the place looks familiar, it’s because there’s an outlet of the Dallas-based chain inside Terminal D at DFW Airport. Fort Worth’s location opened in November and offers ever-changing wine flights along with grown-up bar food like crab and asparagus bruschetta, goat cheese beignets, and fig and prosciutto stone-fired pizza. For those who merely want to fuel up before a shopping spree, the location is prime — Burberry, Kendra Scott, and Louis Vuitton are just steps away.