Talk Nerdy to Me: The Media Grill + Bar Gets Techy Chic

The Hilton Anatole recently ditched the seedy, carpeted den that was the Crocodile Disco--the once notorious dance spot that had its heyday in the late 70's--and welcomes a truly state-of-the-art nightspot. Located near the hotel atrium's main entrance, the glitz of the Media Grill + Bar is sure to catch the eye of out-of-towners and locals alike.

The contemporary American bistro cuisine, prepared by executive chef Thomas Welther, is refined and delicious, and wasn't created to compete with the flashy $5 million atmosphere. What food could? Instead, the menu stands on its own and stays away from glitzy tricks and trends, offering tasty basics like a crab cake sandwich with green apple slaw, braised local short ribs with root vegetable puree and a white chocolate semi-fredo with poached fruits.

Even with the automated environment, the space is still inviting due to a muted color scheme. Earth tones and natural wood walls complement the contemporary furniture and offset the electronic elements, such as 26 HD displays and a 103-inch plasma screen. Maybe the space didn't totally let go of it's disco roots, as the interactive dance floor reacts to guests as they walk over it--a la Saturday Night Fever. Well, OK, maybe it's more interactive than that, but you can't forget where you came from.

The venue's "I-Bar," named for it's interactive technology, features touch-sensitive lighting effects, such as bubbles, flowers, or say, your company's logo, that swim over the bar top to provide an entertaining novelty or a dizzying distraction if you've had one too many. The bar houses a selection of 12 American draught beers, as well as specialty drinks and a kitchen open until 2 a.m. At 10:30 p.m., tables are moved to make room for a dance floor, and a DJ hits the wax. Kidding, it's a digital system, of course.

Still, the modernization doesn't benefit everybody. The Media Grill + Bar is one of five bars in the hotel, and it just may be the nail in the coffin for some of the other cocktail lounges--already struggling to keep a steady stream of clientele. But humility isn't a virtue of cutting edge technology--it's just here to make us geek out and, in this case, feel the newfangled funk.

Media Bar + Grill
Hilton Anatole
2201 Stemmons Freeway

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Nicole M. Holland