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You may or may not remember that a few weeks ago I went off on a tangent about the State of the Cocktail. I received a little mail from that tirade, and I'll be reporting on the results over the next few weeks--that is, at the slow pace of my margarita and martini consumption. First of all, St. Pete, whose insipid margarita inspired the tirade, called in a SWAT team to amend his drink. So when I slid onto a stool unannounced last week and told the bartender I'd heard this place had good margaritas, the bartender responded proudly, "The best in town." And then it arrived, shaken vigorously over ice, poured into a stemmed glass rimmed with coarse salt, with a tangy flavor aroused by the cold in your mouth, potency sleeved in subtlety, reality-bending--everything you'd want from tequila, or anything else. Plus--that cute blue marlin swizzle stick. I had a second, just to make sure. And you know, that bartender just might be right.

St. Pete's Dancing Marlin, 2730 Commerce St., 698-1511.

--Mary Brown Malouf


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