From 1986 to 2004, a restaurant called Beau Nash served upscale New American cuisine to moneyed socialites and hotel guests at the Crescent Hotel in Uptown. It closed in 2005 and was replaced by sushi spot Nobu and was reincarnated in 2007 as a short-lived restaurant called Beau.
Beau Nash is back again, but in a different form: a swanky Champagne bar in the Crescent's renovated lobby.
"Designed to reanimate remnants of its namesake restaurant, Beau Nash is the place to see and be seen by the elite of Dallas, where the energized and inviting atmosphere is enlivened by music, the buzz of conversation and the clinking of glasses in toasts until midnight, seven days a week," a press release about the new bar boasts. The bar officially opened to the public last week, and when Beau Nash claims its guests as elite, it's not hyperbole.
The menu of 30 Champagnes and sparkling wines — offered mostly by the bottle but with seven available by the glass — runs the gamut from $50 bottles of Domain Ste. Michelle to $170 bottles of Billecart-Salmon brut rose, and those looking to drop even more on a bottle of bubbly won't have a hard time doing so. On the cocktail menu, the cheapest drink you'll find is $15, with some as high as $18 and made with ingredients such as G.H. Mumm brut Champagne and smoke from applewood chips. From $420 one-ounce pours of Macallan to $150 servings of Tsar Nicoulai caviar and $20 fried chicken salads, Beau Nash is aimed squarely at those whose incomes afford them the opportunity to drop $100 on half an ounce of Louis XIII cognac.
But if you are in the mood to spend big, it's not a bad spot to do so, assuming you can navigate the confusing labyrinth of competing valet stands. If you're not sipping bubbly, the cocktail menu has fun touches like the Smoke and Rosemary ($16), a delightful, rosy-colored cocktail made with Avion silver tequila, Aperol and rosemary syrup. After the drink is mixed, it's placed inside a bar-top smoke box, where the bartender smokes it for 10 seconds in a haze of applewood fog. The resulting cocktail is a fun sip with just the right tinge of smoke.
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As can be expected from a swanky Champagne bar, sparkling wines get ample play on the cocktail menu. The Uptown '86 ($18), a play on the French 75, is made with Absolut Elyx Vodka, Grand Marnier, peach puree and a splash of G.H. Mumm, which goes for $20 by the glass or $85 for the bottle. The cocktails skewed a bit sweeter than we anticipated, which, considering the clientele, shouldn't have been surprising. Still, they're fun sips, especially for those who want to clink glasses while celebrating the kind of life events that call for a sparkling libation consumed in a marbled hotel lobby.
On the food menu, you'll find "American classics with a Texas twist, boasting both small and large plates as well as desserts, perfect for sharing or savoring alone," according to the release. Expect dishes such as truffled caviar eggs, tuna poke, pan-roasted Gulf snapper and braised short rib tagliatelle.
That said, we see Beau Nash as more of a see-and-be-seen cocktail bar where those who can afford the privilege will clink their coupes of Champagne together as they lounge in the Crescent's lobby, toasting all the things that people normally toast over a $118 bottle of Moet & Chandon. If that becomes this new bar's niche, it will fill that role quite adeptly.
Beau Nash at the Crescent, 400 Crescent Court (Uptown)