Restaurants / Openings

Bar Colette is a Unique Dallas Cocktail Lounge With Killer Chemistry

Led By A Michelin-Recognized Bartender, The European-Inspired Spot Is Offering Something Different in West Village

BY // 11.29.23

Bar Colette isn’t your ordinary Dallas craft cocktail bar. Opened by Namo owner Brandon Cohanim, the new sister spot sits next door to the popular West Village sushi spot and is serving some of the most unique drinks in the city in a European-inspired atmosphere.

Led by Michelin-recognized bar director Ruben Rolon, the ever-evolving cocktail menu at Colette is an experience in itself, not to be missed in a somewhat under-the-radar location in Dallas’ West Village.

Bar Colette Dallas
Bar Colette isn’t your ordinary Dallas craft cocktail bar.

A Little Background

Starting at a young age (20 years old to be exact), Cohanim opened his first dining concept, Pōk The Raw Bar, in the exact space that Bar Colette is in now. The SMU grad’s debut restaurant closed amid the pandemic, like so many others, but Cohanim managed to keep tabs on the prime spot next to his beloved sushi restaurant, Namo.

Opened in 2018, Namo began as a simple handroll bar and has transformed into a product-driven experience. On a recent first-time visit, I tried more kinds of fish than I had eaten in my entire life. Fish is flown in from Japan weekly and Executive Chef Kazuhito Mabuchi goes to pick it up himself at the airport. The attention to detail is no different at Bar Colette.

The Design

All design elements at Colette were handpicked by Cohanim. Earth-tone terrazzo floors, wood-adorned walls, custom butterscotch velvet booths, gilded tables, high-top blush pink chairs, and warm backlit lighting behind the bar, create an inviting atmosphere with a touch of French glamour.

Cohanim also commissioned local artists in Japan (and various other countries) to create unique glassware. Each cocktail is served in a specific handmade glass. A welcome cocktail (which changes each night) is served in a tiny shot-sized glass while food is also presented on plates sourced from around the world — Cohanim believes in creating a unique experience.

Introducing Pêche

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Bar Colette Ruben Rolon
Bar Colette’s Bar Director Ruben Rolon is crafting the Provence.

Bar Colette’s Award-Winning Bartender

Cohanim first met Argentinian-born Ruben Rolon at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, where the inaugural Michelin Guide Miami awarded him the 2022 Florida Exceptional Cocktails Award. After ordering a drink Rolon made with clarified milk punch, the two got to talking and Cohanim asked him to move to Dallas and lead Colette’s bar program.

When you ask Rolon how he learned to create cocktails, he explains that he reads a lot. “I really dive into things I am interested in,” he says.

We got the chance to visit Bar Colette and get a behind-the-scenes look (and taste) of Rolon’s process. Like a scene out of the new Apple TV+ series Lessons in Chemistry, Rolon showed us the actual lab equipment that he uses to concoct his incredible cocktails.

“I’m here a lot,” he laughs. The bar doesn’t up until 5 pm, but Rolon gets there early in the morning to start working. We watched as a machine (otherwise used in a university or hospital lab) was creating components of a matcha martini — coming to the menu soon.

Bar Colette
The Carrot Cake cocktail at Bar Colette is one of the sweeter drinks on the menu.

The Cocktails

When you order a drink at the bar, you’ll often get a pour of a pre-made mixture that looks simple but has gone through an entire process in the back kitchen. Some favorites that we tried included the Fresh Quince of Bel Air made with tequila, quince, and espelette pepper, a clarified milk punch creation with Eau de Vie de Rasin and rosé poached pear called the Provence, and the Carrot Cake with bonded rye, cream sherry, malt, spiced carrots, and egg.

And if you’re just looking for a taste without the commitment of a full drink, a Two Sip menu features options with one ounce of liquor. We got to try a new mezcal-based two-sipper with pineapple and it was delicious. Each of these is $15 as the regular cocktail menu ranges from $21 to $23 per drink. The menu will also continuously change based on the season. Just yesterday, Rolon was adding more to the current selection.

Bar Colette Dallas
The food menu at Bar Colette features caviar waffles, duck, steak, and more.

The Fancy Food

Speaking of food, the menu of bites and entrees is not to be missed. We particularly enjoyed the French onion dip with housemade kettle chips, steak tartare, and dry-aged duck. Bar Colette also offers an oyster appetizer with yuzu mignonette, caviar waffle, steak au poivre, and a couple of desserts.

Cohanim has created an extensive wine list for the bar as well. “I am very passionate about wine,” he says. Primarily sourced from Burgundy, France, the list includes hard-to-find wines for up to $6,500. But if you’re not looking to splurge, don’t worry. There are several options available by the glass and bottles in the $60 to $100 range.

Bar Colette is taking reservations for certain times but is also open to walk-ins, especially later in the evening. The bar is open until midnight on Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, and until 2 am on Friday and Saturday.

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