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
214-748-1200

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nicole M. Holland