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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Cocktail bar

Mon–Sat 5:00pm–2:00am
Sun 11:00am–2:00am

Features Date-friendly, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


1424 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX
(713) 523-1622
A bar where new and old legends are forged with skill and devotion

The cocktail has emerged from its Dark Age; an age in which corporate restaurant groups saturated neon -tinis with candy-sweet mixers for a quick buck. Bartenders’ names now appear on menus alongside those of chefs, and, no longer content to mix for the lowest common denominator, they seek out the best small-production spirits, make their own bitters, and muddle anything that grows, in search of new flavors and legacies.

Houston’s bar renaissance began at Anvil, which stands among the nationally revered few for its unflagging commitment to anything potable, for its attention to the finicky needs of each spirit—it knows when to gently stir and when to feverishly whip, when to use large, unmelting ice cubes and when to use crushed (or none at all). The list of cocktails changes somewhat seasonally, but on any given day, you can try a new concoction devised from rows of bitters, house-made beers, and obscure spirits from exotic lands: Oaxaca, Alsace, Tennessee. Confidently order, as well, the classics, whose resurrections go beyond the faithful to the enlightened.

Greenway coffee is treated with almost equal care, as is beer. In bottle, there are local micros and several Belgians, and a dozen ever-changing taps—check the chalkboard. The small array of foods to support your drinking is quite good: panini bursting with flavor, playful pizzas (including a brunchy version), and cheeses from Texas farms. Anvil continues to forge excellence, and inspires the city’s bar programs to follow suit.

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