Apothecary is a cocktail den with lots of surprises.
When you walk into Dallas cocktail den Apothecary — through the unmarked front door off of Greenville Avenue — the first glimpse inside is unremarkable. The tiny foyer is pitch black.
But peek behind the black velvet curtain, and inside is the most interesting cocktail lounge in Dallas right now. Apothecary is sexy and surprising, the kind of place where you could really impress a date.
And whatever’s happening outside of this windowless place? Doesn’t matter. Not when you’re drinking drinking a bright green tequila cocktail with an octopus tentacle climbing out of the top. Or trying to decide whether to go with the coconut milk and matcha mixed drink or the one with a smoked oyster and hollandaise-washed vodka.
I went for the cacio e pepe. I couldn’t pass up my first opportunity to slurp an Italian pasta dish up through a straw.
Now look, the mystery is part of the allure here, and you don’t need to know how they do everything. But the preparation of the cacio e pepe cocktail is a good glimpse into what’s happening inside the brilliantly weird brains at Apothecary: They infuse gin with Parmesan, pink peppercorns and black peppercorns. Then they sous vide it. Put it in a centrifuge. Pour it into a glass. Top it with a froth of cream and egg whites.
It has the texture of a “fluffy milkshake,” as CEO and co-owner Tanner Agar explains it. Yeah, a milkshake with booze. And cheese? Floral notes from the pink peppercorns. Sharp spice from the black.
It sounds strange, and it is. And yet its origin is not: The cocktail was created as a nod to its sister restaurant’s most popular dish, cacio e pepe. That restaurant, named Rye, originated in McKinney. A Dallas version of the restaurant is expected to open right next door to Apothecary on Greenville Avenue next month. So, imagine: You could eat cacio e pepe for dinner, then go next door and drink it for dessert. And you probably should.
I thought about that cacio e pepe cocktail every day for a week. Then I called Agar.
“We want to surprise you,” he says. “We want you to try to a new flavor, a new texture, a new technique. We want to give you something to talk about.”
It worked, and that’s why Apothecary will be a great date spot. There’ll always be something to talk about here.
As our bartender described it, Apothecary’s menu is broken down into three columns, with the most approachable cocktails on the far left and the most avant garde on the far right. But if you’re expecting to see a vodka soda anywhere on this menu, you’re in the wrong place. One of the most “normal” cocktails is the Suterberry 75, made mostly with brandy and bubbles. But it also comes with prickly ash, which has a zany party trick: It makes your mouth go numb.
“It’s been a major hit so far,” Agar says. (The numbness lingers for only about 15 minutes.)
You’re here to drink, but an evening at Apothecary should end with the one and only dessert, a $20 “candelabra” that comes lit, tableside.
I blew out the candles, and then our server gave me a polite command: Eat it.
Each of the three candles are edible. They’re dipped in white chocolate, and each candlestick is a different flavor. My favorite was malted chocolate with angostura bitters.
I’ll leave the others as a surprise. Secrets, secrets, they’re so fun.
Apothecary is at 1922 Greenville Ave., Dallas. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday. Reservations can be made online between 5 and 6:30 p.m. only. After that, it’s first come, first served until midnight.