Best margarita - 2000
Dixons Downtown Grill, Racines, Goodfriends
All three of the eponymously named joints owned variously by partners Lee Goodfriend, David Racine and Dixon Staples serve marvelous margs, elixirs that make it worth holding out until the end of the day. You'll start enjoying the night as you nip into a margarita, twelve ounces of a well-melded drink served in a martini glass with a shaker of the leftovers standing ready. Choose from the classics, such as the house, made from Sauza Gold blue agave tequila that's been hand-shaken with lime and triple sec, or the 1800 Grand, Cuervo 1800 with lime and Grand Marnier. But the unusual versions are worth checking out, too, because they're not the typical cutesy overkill. The jalape?o jelly version has a bite, and the ol' greyhound has its bark, too, courtesy of grapefruit juice. The drinks are ideal for pairing with Dixons savvy Southwestern fare, and at Goodfriends and Racines, there's no better way to pass some time at the bar than to sip a marg with a few friends.
Readers' choice: Rio Grande