Night Watch is a regular feature about bars and clubs by nightlife columnist Tara Nieuwesteeg.
Trina Restaurant and Lounge
601 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Trina, the Atlantic Hotel's classy oceanfront bar, is decorated with abstract art, dark wood furniture, small round tables, retro-chrome chairs, and plush outdoor patio seating. On the evening of my visit, carefully arranged liquor bottles were on display behind the bar; a giant gold wreath hung festively over a large wall-mirror; and sleek, pretty waitresses bustled around.
Me and my friends, Beard and Fancy, took a seat at one of the classy tables. Fancy was wearing stylish dress pants and shoes; Beard had even bothered to take off his ever present Yankees cap.
I contemplated the delicious-sounding Pomarosa, a pomegranate-and-tequila concoction, even though I usually recommend the I Love, a jalapeno-infused martini concoction that's spicy but still manages to be peach-sweet. It's a little much after awhile, but it's fantastically novel at first. (Yes, we'd been here before. We like to, on occasion, wear shoes without holes in them and pretend we're rich yachties instead of destitute writers, OK?)
Fancy was impressed with the venue, because "for martini snobs, this is
one of the few places around with Miller's gin," Fancy said. "They
don't have it at the Ritz or the W."
"Would you take a date here?" I asked the boys.
"Sure," said Beard.
"Maybe a fourth or fifth date. Take 'em out by the ocean, buy 'em a few drinks and they'll be obligated to--"
I raised an eyebrow.
"--Have coffee with you later," Beard finished.
I gave him the evil eye and walked to the bar. The bartender was
dark-haired, slim, exotic, and called me "sweetie" the way a
chain-smoking diner waitress might--except in an adorably saccharine
"What's your best drink?" I asked.
"The Cubeltini is popular--made of cucumbers, mint, sugarcane, syrup,
lime and vodka," she said. "It was created by a bartender here. It
actually won first place in a recent Food and Wine competition."
By the time I got back to my table, a slew of our buddies had arrived,
and we had fun people-watching and providing running commentary. As if
to distract us from the other customers, the bartender brought over
some Cubeltini samples, which we grabbed and gulped.
"Oh, god, it's like liquefied cucumber," Fancy recoiled.
Not my thing," agreed Beard, who was moments away from ordering a plain old beer.
The youngest of our group, baby-faced and freshly 21 years old, had gulped an entire sample.
"I liked it," he said pointedly.
Next thing we knew, he'd ordered a full glass from the bar and swigged it just as fast.
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"Things are going to get interesting," muttered his boyfriend.
Well, Trina's certainly a ritzy place to get trashed, but I wasn't
gonna stop him. Me, if I'm gonna get slammed, it's going to involve
3-for-1 drinks ...