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Best Martini Dallas 2002 - Terilli's Restaurant and Bar

Readers' Choice: Martini Ranch, 2816 Fairmount St., 214-220-2116

Martinis are clearly an acquired taste: You can pretty much expect to pay $6 to $10 just to acquire one of them. Even then, you have to get past their somewhat medicinal flavor, which in a badly made martini is something akin to rubbing alcohol. But if done right, they can be a cheap high because they are so damn potent. And if done right, they can also add an air of sophistication (it's the olives and the presentation) to your bar persona. Terilli's clearly does them right, using the best ingredients and a block of ice to cool down the vodka, which makes it go down smoothly and, yes, sumptuously. We must give first runner-up to Del Frisco's, which gets downright creative by placing blue cheese in its olives. Also Houston's on Preston can't be left out of the mix, because its chilling procedure causes ice crystals to form in the vodka, which gives it that same Terilli's effect. We would like to give an honorable mention to this other bar, but after conducting our nightlong taste test, we can't remember its name and scarcely remember being there.

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