It all depends upon your preference at Dirty Martini in Palm Beach Gardens. The George Clooney Martini is regular dirty. If you want to get really dirty, have the Charlie Sheen Martini. With more than 25 martinis to choose from, Dirty Martini is not fooling around. Just check out its Elite Dirty Martini for $400, featuring a take-home Swarovski crystal martini glass garnished with a one-10th-carat diamond martini pick.
Located at Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens, Dirty Martini, which opened earlier this year, is one of the coolest places around, on numerous levels. This well-designed space is clean and modern and features an air-conditioned outdoor patio lounge with a large rectangular bar, tables, couches and high-tops with views of the 14 46-inch televisions. The inside club has two bars on two levels and a large stage with lots of modern, pulsating neon lights.
Owner Cleve Mash — who also owns Dr. Feelgoods, Lost Weekend and Monarchy on Clematis Street — is no stranger to the business and has hit a home run with his new martini lounge/club.
On a recent Thursday night, I joined a friend for some drinks and snacks, starting at around 7 p.m. for “dirty” hour, with two-for-one drink specials and half-priced appetizers from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The outdoor patio was hopping.
While sipping on well-prepared and tasty George Clooney and Marilyn Monroe martinis, we checked out the menu, which offers more than 20 choices described as “sharing plates,” ranging from $10 to $18. We ordered the meatballs and cheese fondue, smoked salmon, pan-seared sirloin and a mushroom, walnut, pesto and parmesan flatbread. Our bartenders, Crystal and Drew, were pleasant and efficient.
The flatbread was layered with razor-thin slices of mushrooms, and its unique ingredients of walnuts and pesto were surprisingly tasty. The sliced steak, served on a bed of baby greens, was delicious and tender. The smoked salmon was fresh and tastefully done, with dill cream, capers and topped off mini-quail-egg slices with a sprinkle of caviar. Unfortunately, the meatballs were disappointing and went almost untouched.
The early-evening crowd was a combination of all ages, and the vibe was relaxed and fun. The place was still going strong when we left at about 9:30 p.m.
As the night progresses, Dirty Martini evolves into one of the area’s hottest clubs, with a capacity of more than 600 people. It features live top-40 bands Wednesdays through Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., with a DJ taking over until the place closes at 3 a.m. Don’t be surprised if you have to stand in line to get in later at night on weekends.
Good drinks, tasty food, pulsating music and a groovy atmosphere, topped off with outdoor air-conditioning and a George Clooney Martini – served dirty, chilled and straight up. What’s not to like?
Dirty Martini: 11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave.; 561-799-1115
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