A Short Trip to the Coast

A few weeks ago, I asked my husband if he would make more of an effort to surprise me with planned out date-nights.

As you can imagine, being married to someone like me {a Type-A control freak who just happens to have good taste in just about everything} can make this task a little difficult. However, when you're married to your thoughtful best friend, and you make a request such as this, it has a wonderful way of turning out the way you'd imagined. Lucky for me, the surprises he's {um} surprised me with, have been awesome! The first surprise was a few weeks ago when he told me on Thursday night that the following night we'd be headed to Blue Owl Brewing for a tasting + terrarium building workshop.  So you mean we get to play with rocks, baby plants that require little-to-no-maintenance, and toy figurines to put in them like baby fishtanks? OH AND THERE'S BEER? Sign me up.  It was a blast - and with many grateful and appreciative kisses, my husband went on to plan the next thing.

This round, he took the time to find out when one of the most anticipated restaurant openings was happening, by way of Eater Austin, and hooked us up with a Friday night dinner reservation with two of our closest friends and neighbors at Coast Bar + Kitchen. Have a look at the photos - we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Coast, which has revived the former Mulberry space, has given it a new, beachy vibe and cool oasis feel to downtown. 

As a group, we collectively LOVE everything having to do with the coast, beach, ocean, travel, vacation...you name it. In fact, we used St. Patrick's day as a reason to make Piña Coladas and Jerk Chicken - don't worry, the Tiki cups we used for the Coladas were most definitely green, or some shade of it.  

I digress <getting back to Coast> the friendly staff greeted us with recommendations for cool and refreshing cocktails - something we were definitely in the mood for, thanks to the 100º F + weather outside. We started with the Cali Reef (it had me at St. Germaine) the Surfer Girl (Tequila + peach? YUM!) - and waited for our friends to arrive.  When they got there, we went straight for the kill: Broiled Oysters, Yellowfin Ceviche and the Snapper Crudo - all winners. 

Next for the main course - we each got our own dish. I had the special, the soft shell crab sandwich (wait until you see this thing, below), hubby had the burger - which was enticed by the couple sitting next to us, and our friends had the Red Fish (perfectly poached and delish), as well as the BBQ Prawns (which looked super yummy, but were a little too messy). 

Rather than stick around for dessert, we decided to head into the night and set off to "drink our dessert" at two new watering holes: Small Victory on East 7th and the new Kitty Cohen's on the East Side. Two very tasty, yet different experiences.  

Check out that snazzy hydrant+parking meter+rat damask wallpaper! Oh..and love this chick's hat.

Check out that snazzy hydrant+parking meter+rat damask wallpaper! Oh..and love this chick's hat.

Small Victory, which is in the old Mike's Pub location, is a narrow and intimate cocktail bar where not "everyone knows your name," but don't feel bad, after these potent and unique cocktails, you won't know your name either.  With their exotic ingredients, cleverly-named concoctions like the Dama De La Noche and low-alcohol drinks served in a giant punch bowl, you are guaranteed an evening where you'll never go thirsty and the laughter flows like honey. Or Tequila.

The Santiago and the Dama de la Noche

Good friends.

Next - we ventured a little further East - to the old Twenty-Two Eleven location.  This is where the new kitchy and retro bar, Kitty Cohen's, now lives.  With the balmy summer air and the excruciatingly long wait to get in (it was the grand opening after all), I was hopeful for a cool breeze and a stiff drink. Although the breeze wasn't anywhere to be found, this 1960's Palm Springs-esque bar with it's live surf-rock band and it's tight-shirted bartenders slinging Mai Tai's and Rum Runner's, felt like something out of a Gidget or Elvis Presley movie, and I was a-ok with it. The pivotal piece of decor in this joint? The shallow water pool, just deep enough to cool your tootsies in and the perch upon feeling bougie and fabulous. 

I think I enjoyed this surprise date night - mostly because it had all my favorite elements: beach vibes, seafood, funny-named fruity cocktails, flamingo murals in the bathrooms, and of course, good friends and my wonderful hub. 

When does Annette Funicello arrive to this beach party?

Bartenders clearly had opening-night jitters... it took forever to get a drink.

Oh, hey! It's Westin - formerly with the WGS, but always the snazzy DJ.&nbsp;

Oh, hey! It's Westin - formerly with the WGS, but always the snazzy DJ.