Though it's only a few months old, the new NoDo nightspot M Bar has established quite a little flagship night with its Thursday-evening happening known as "Blush." This aptly named event features an all-female lineup of DJs hashing out some sonic grooves. "We're just keeping it real and bringing in a New York state of mind," says Rocky B, who mans the ground-floor turntables each week along with fellow music mistresses Lushus Brown and DJ Diva."Blush" not only gives the trio of lovely ladies the chance to show off their spinning skills, but it also revives Beauty Bar Houston, the short-lived weekend nightspot put together last year by the proprietors of Tifosi Beauty Salon & Day Spa (see "Snipping Away in Margaritaville," April 4, 2002). This time around, Tifosi's stylists can be found downstairs in the basement bar/unisex bathroom, providing complimentary hairstyling, makeup retouches and soothing massages.
Guys shouldn't be scared off by the event's girl power. In fact, it's a primo spot for any man venturing downtown. After all, it's where the ladies are. "Blush" goes down every Thursday at M Bar, 402 Main. Doors open at 9 p.m. For more information, call 832-283-4819 or visit www.PureHouston.com. $10 cover. -- Craig D. Lindsey
Journey's Lounge's Raspberry Gimlet
It all started when I missed my plane. I was stranded at Bush Intercontinental Airport, finding out the hard way that flying "standby" really means "not anytime soon." So I headed to the cocktail lounge. It was still early in the day, but my frustrations with the airline had caused an ache in my liver. The drink card at Journey's Lounge held the most colorful and tantalizing display of adult beverages I had ever seen. When I asked the barman for a raspberry gimlet, the first thing out of his mouth was "Half-shot extra for a dollar more." How could I refuse? Hell, I was still drunk from the night before, which is what caused me to miss my plane in the first place. It wasn't so bad, though. The best thing about airports is the people-watching: couples saying good-bye or hello, bright-eyed businesspeople rushing past haggard-looking travelers. The accents alone are worth the price of admission.
2 ounces Smirnoff Twisted Raspberry vodka
2 ounces Rose's lime juice
Splash of cranberry juice
Wedge of lime
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, measure out the vodka and juices. Shake gently as to not bruise the vodka. (It's all fun and games until the vodka gets a black eye!) Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with lime -- J.W. Crooker
Shake It Up
"Houston's Best Martini" will either delight or infuriate drinking enthusiasts. Mixology is no laughing matter when it comes to the cocktail made popular by movie stars and politicians. At one time, combining the drink's simple ingredients was considered an art in itself, but gin (or vodka), vermouth and olives aren't enough anymore. These days, if you strain a drink into a stemmed, tapered glass, then you're free to appropriate the M-word. For this competitive event, in which area bartenders shake their finest concoctions and guests try samples, awards will be handed out for best classic and best "creative" martini. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12. Museum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle Drive. For information, visit www.houstonsbestmartini.com. $40 to $70. -- Troy Schulze
Meat and Greet
The season of swim parties, baseball games and outdoor barbecuing has rolled around again. This year, folks with a passion for the grill can make sure they don't serve up embarrassingly under- or overcooked meat by taking cooking lessons at the Culinary Institute of Barbeque. Organizer Barry Cole is bringing in teachers who are serious about roasting flesh; several took part in this year's Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo cookoff. Students will learn how to select the perfect piece of meat, manage a fire and choose rubs and seasonings. And they'll get to eat their handiwork. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through May 3. 4747 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands. For information, call 713-805-4466. $80 to $150 for four sessions. -- Cathy Matusow