Michael Martensen

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2014

    Dallas' 10 Best Cocktail Bars

    It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more. We're square in the middle of a major shift in the way we think about booze. Syrupy appletinis and cosmopolitans have bee ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2014

    Proof Pantry's Michael Martensen Is Battling the "Pretentious Asshole Bartender" (Interview)

    It's Drinking Week at City of Ate, which means even more stories than usual about our favorite pastime. Check back for more stories about craft beer, killer bartenders and more. Even though it's been a relatively enduring trend in bars across the country for nearly a decade, Dallas has only recentl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2014

    Another Game of Dallas Chef Roulette, This Time with Driftwood, Lucia and Casa Rubia

    Sorry if this reads like One Hundred Years of Solitude. There are a lot of people and places involved. And even ice. Stick with me. Remember Chef Kyle McClelland? Our very own Lauren Drewes Daniels interviewed the chef when he took over the menu at Cedars Social back in 2011. Back then, he came ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 4, 2014

    Former Cedars Social Cocktail King Michael Martensen Will Open Proof Pantry in One Arts

    Michael Martensen has announced that he and partner Sal Jafar II, co-founder of Driftwood in Oak Cliff, have taken over the One Arts space that used to hold The Greek. The barman responsible in part for Smyth and Cedars Social (he's since parted with both bars) plans to open Proof Pantry this summ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 17, 2014

    Knife, John Tesar's Forthcoming Steakhouse, Is Taking Shape and Has a Cocktail King

    Knife Steakhouse is taking shape fast. John Tesar's American steakhouse, slated to take over the Central 214 restaurant space in the Hotel Palomar, was announced in December. But even though the switch required some renovation work, Tesar hoped to have his new steak house open by May. And it looks ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2014

    The Establishment, a New Oyster Bar in Uptown, Is (Finally) Open

    I think I mention the length of time it took a restaurant to open in about one of every three stories I write about a new place. It's tough getting the coveted certificate of occupancy from the city, and unexpected delays can pile up like tile dust on the floor. The Establishment, though, takes ope ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 18, 2013

    Dallas' Biggest Food Fights of 2013

    As 2013 comes to a close, we could focus on all of the peace and goodwill toward men that we wish for in the coming year. We could put aside our differences, invite some vegans to a barbecue and toast a gluten-free beer with our friends. Or we could look back on a few of the juiciest, richest Food ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2013

    Every Dallas Bartender You've Heard of Is About to Get You Drunk at Once

    Your poor liver. If the slew of holiday parties you've been guilted into attending have you desperately needing a night off, you should avert your eyes, close this window or otherwise prevent yourself from reading one more line in this post. This Sunday, bartenders from Dallas and Fort Worth bars ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2013

    What's Next for Cedars Social and Smyth after All Their Bartenders Walked Out?

    On Tuesday morning, news broke that employees from both Smyth and Cedars Social, two of Dallas' finer cocktail bars, had staged a walk out, temporarily shuttering both bars. The unnamed employees complained at an unnamed pub, according to the Central Track story, citing creative differences as the r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2013

    Smyth Has a New Weekly Cocktail Event, So You May Want to Start Hydrating

    Late last week, Michael Martensen announced a new weekly concept at Smyth, his Uptown ode to crafty cocktails. The bar will offer what he describes as "coarsed cocktails," a selection of drinks dreamed up by his team of bartenders to be enjoyed in concert for a fixed price. His first run kicks off ... More >>

  • Dining

    July 18, 2013

    Lonely Smyth

    Visit Uptown's most popular cocktail cave alone and you'll stay that way.

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2013

    Reviewing Bar Smyth and Looking Forward to The Establishment

    The Establishment was announced last fall when Michael Martensen, who co-owns and runs The Cedars Social, promised to bring an oyster bar to Uptown. Plans for the space have not been linear, shifting a few times in the past nine months. Last January, Martensen announced a nameless, reservations-only ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 13, 2013

    What Booze to Get Your Dad for Father's Day, From the Experts

    This Sunday is Father's Day, and it's hard to know what to buy that big old teddy bear to show your undying affection for teaching you what a man is. When lottery tickets and neckties have run their courses, a nice bottle of booze is always a good option. We asked a few experts around town, includ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 20, 2013

    The Time to Drink At Smyth Is Now

    Bloggers be bloggin' about Smyth, the new cocktail den in Uptown. Whitney Filloon over at Eater says a lack of signage and an unmarked door can make the new bar difficult to find, but hunting down Smyth a challenge worth taking on. Smyth is intended to be reservations-only, but for now according to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2013

    "Shake for Second Base" with Ladies Behind Bars at Sissy's on Sunday

    Trina Nishimura originally got into bartending for some extra cash during college. It was strictly a means to an end. Then, after graduating for the University of North Texas in Denton, Nishimura got a job doing cartoon voices -- primarily English dubs for Japanese animation. Still looking for that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2013

    New Uptown Cocktail Den Boasts 3,000-Year-Old Ice

    Yesterday on the Eats Blog, Leslie Brenner published a blog post about an yet-to-be named bar to be opened by Michael Martensen and Brian Williams, who own Cedars Social. The duo made news last October when they announced a new oyster bar, dubbed the Establishment, which was slated to open this past ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2012

    Dallas Is Getting An Oyster Bar from the Folks Behind Cedars Social

    The folks behind Cedars Social are coming to the north side of Dallas to open their next venture. Brian Williams and Michael Martensen have announced the pending opening of The Establishment, which will feature a similar cocktail-centric experience to their Lamar Street bar with one major difference ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2012

    Charlie Papaceno: The Cocktail Kingmaker

    In this week's Dallas Observer we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Mark Graham. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue here. If you packed up Charlie Papaceno and his many bottles of booze, carefully encased them in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2012

    Cedars Social is Serving All-You-Can-Eat Prime Rib Tonight. Will There Be Slot Machines?

    Well, this strikes me as odd. Today I got a news release from the folks at Cedars Social. The subject? The restaurant is offering all-you-can-eat Prime Rib on Monday. Huh. All-you-can-eat meat. My first reaction was that this deal sounded more in place at a Golden Corral than at a moderately up-sc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 20, 2012

    So You Think You're Drunker Than We Are: This Week In Dallas Food News

    Gloomy out there Dallas. Not just the clouds in the sky, either. Michael Martensen's tweet about Dallas' vapid drinks looms over Dallas' cocktail scene. Maybe the guy just needs another drink? I could use one. But let's take a look at the Dallas food news scene from this week before we kick off the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 6, 2012

    Hid In 2612: A Pop-Up Bar That's Hidden, Sure, But Not Quite Worth Seeking

    ​"This right here is the epitome of a hipster palace," my boyfriend so eloquently put it. We had just stepped through the front doors of Hid In 2612, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it pop-up bar located at 2612 Commerce in Deep Ellum for just four nights. The brainchild of bartenders -- excuse me, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 7, 2011

    The Cedars Social Lures Veteran New York Chef Kyle McClelland to Dallas

    Chef Kyle McClelland​Chef Kyle McClelland, a veteran of the Manhattan culinary scene, has moved to Dallas to take over the kitchen at The Cedars Social, the popular bar-restaurant near the Southside on Lamar complex, the restaurant announced today. The French Culinary Institute graduate grew up ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2011

    Bar 828 Popped Up in Oak Cliff Last Night, and Plenty of Drinkers Popped In

    The line forms at Bar 828​Last night in Oak Cliff, booze enthusiasts swarmed to Bar 828, the city's first ever pop up bar, to see some of the area's top mixologists at work.  The guerrilla bar, as it's known to Michael Martensen, the man behind the project, will take place in an empty space a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2011

    Is Dallas Finally Getting Into Guerrilla Dining?

    David Anthony Temple, fresh from the underground​Underground dining and pop-up restaurants aren't anything new. The seemingly exclusive events have been gaining popularity in cities all over the country for years now, and in some cities you could dine out seven days a week and never set foot i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2011

    Our Hungover Recap of Last Night's Beefeater 24 Mixology Competition at The Gin Mill

    ​For those in attendance at The Gin Mill last night for the Beefeater 24 Mixology competition, any memory of exactly what transpired is a little spotty. After all, 13 area mixologists turned up for the event with their own Beefeater 24 concoctions, in hopes of winning the $1,000 first prize, and C ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2011

    Local Boys Tell Their Tales of the Cocktail With Non-Local Alcohol

    At a private awards ceremony held at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting and sponsored by the neuroscience journal I edited several years ago, a doctor lifted his glass of malbec. "Better living through chemicals!" he toasted. ​That's exactly what Ann Tuennerman has in mind ... More >>

  • Dining

    April 28, 2011

    Cedars Social: Eat Light and Drink Heavy

    Chef John Tesar's menu takes second place to the cocktails.

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2011

    Brand New Dallas Cocktail Lounge Named Best Place to Drink in the South

    A Dallas cocktail bar that opened last month has already earned a spot on Imbibe magazine's list of 100 best places to drink in the South. ​The Cedars Social, a swanky South Dallas lounge featuring cocktails by Michael Martensen and an elaborate punch service program, was named to the "Best C ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2011

    Celebrity Barkeeps Michael Martensen and Eddie "Lucky" Campbell Plan Downtown Watering Hole

    Dallas' thriving craft cocktail scene will soon have a downtown outpost, courtesy of local celebrity barkeeps Michael Martensen and Eddie "Lucky" Campbell. The pair has begun renovations on the Main Street space previously occupied by Dr. Bell's BBQ in the 1400 block of Main Street. While the cockt ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2010

    Cocktails: So, You Think You Can Mix One Better Than Your Bartender?

    ​At many fine 19th-century restaurants, it wasn't unusual for diners to deviate significantly from the printed menu. Since it was assumed the chef stocked his larder with the same eggs, cheeses and vegetables that appeared in nearly every hoity-toity restaurant kitchen, eaters could reasonably ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 16, 2010

    Is Texas the Sleeping Giant
    Of the Cocktail World?

    ​Pity those drinkers who were in search of an expertly made cocktail last night: All of the state's best mixologists were gathered on the pool deck at the Joule, drinking daiquiris and cheering on participants in the North Texas Bartenders Guild's Legacy Cocktail Competition. Sponsor Bacardi ... More >>