Guinness Gracious!

The parties are brewin' for St. Patrick's Day

THU 3/17

It's St. Patrick's Day, you fook! Time again to peel your ass away from the rosary just long enough to gulp down a few dozen pints of the green barley potion. And this year on Thursday, March 17, plenty o' spots around town will be more than happy to help you do it. Both Slainte Irish Pub (509 Main, www.slainteirishpub.com) and the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium (705 Main, www.beerknurd.com) allow you to start assaulting your poor liver early, opening their doors at 11 a.m. and handing out commemorative pint glasses to help you retrace your puke-stained steps.

On the other side of the 002, Six Degrees Lounge (911 Franklin, www.sixdl.com) will begin its "Irish for a day" party at 5 p.m., allowing would-be leprechauns the opportunity to mellow out to the smooth sounds of DJ Soul Tower 606. St. Pete's Dancing Marlin's (300 Main, www.dancingmarlin.com) four-leaf festivities could give Bono a boner: They're serving rattlesnake with "dipping sauces." Count us in.

Joe Rocco
Mia Bella Trattoria's caramel coconut martini
Troy Fields
Mia Bella Trattoria's caramel coconut martini
You Can Danse
Al Cameron
You Can Danse

While stumbling happily between venues, take in the two stages of live talent at the second annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration hosted by the Downtown Entertainment District Alliance. Check out www.deda.org for details. For a twist on the traditional, join Houston's Margarita Society at their Salerno (5901 Westheimer, www.houstonmargaritasociety.org) shindig for $3 liquor-spiked coffee and, you guessed it, margaritas!

Or squeeze in with the masses who pack McGonigel's Mucky Duck for its annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration (2425 Norfolk, www.mcgonigels.com) -- or any other bar whose name begins with "Mc," "O" or, for that matter, "Mick." -– Brian McManus

Mia Bella Trattoria's Caramel Coconut Martini

Dinner service clearly was over for the night at Mia Bella Trattoria (2006 Lexington, 713-523-2428), but the bar had only one remaining seat. Two suits to my right were having a heated discussion about computers, while everyone else looked like they worked at the place. Luie the bartender took a drag off a cigarette and then turned the ashtray around as if it belonged to someone else. He'd just finished whipping up a caramel coconut martini when a gal asked me about my accent. "I'm guessing you're from up north, but I can't place it. New York, maybe -- definitely not Boston." She held a drink in one hand and her cell phone in the other. I put on my best Joe Pesci voice and started spouting lines from Goodfellas. Then I ordered another drink. As I sipped it, I took a closer look at her. It was amazing: The more I drank, the better she looked.

3/4 ounce Godiva liqueur
3/4 ounce Skyy Vanilla vodka
3/4 ounce Baileys Irish Cream
3/4 ounce Bacardi Coco rum
Splash of half & half
Caramel sauce

Combine everything but the caramel sauce into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Using a tiny pastry bag filled with the caramel sauce (a condiment squeeze bottle works just as well), make a free-form swirl around the inside of a chilled martini glass (sauce will harden more quickly on a colder glass). Shake contents of shaker and strain into glass. Helps break the ice when meeting your girlfriend's mom for the first time. -- J.W. Crooker

You Can Danse

SAT 3/19

There are three key elements in getting people to dance in a crowded club on a Saturday night. First: danceable tunes -- whether it's synthesized '80s pop or hipster disco. Second: plenty of alcohol. Third: at least one leotard-, underwear- or hot-pants-wearing oddity who'll dance with anybody. This weekend, there will be plenty of good music, booze and freaks when the ladies of Danseparc -- Shoe, Allison and Jaime -- spin at Numbers. Save room for dollar-beer specials, dig out your best Jane Fonda garb, and leave all your insecurities at home. 9 p.m. Saturday, March 19. Numbers, 300 Westheimer. For information, call 713-526-6551 or visit www.synthlife.com/danseparc. $3; $5 after 10:30 p.m. -– Travis Ritter

Kickin' House Party

SAT 3/19

Back in high school, it felt awesome to roll into a high-school house party after curfew -- never mind that you had no idea that Tanqueray doesn't mix with Strawberry-Kiwi Snapple. Well, now you've got your mixing down, but that reckless, spontaneous, naughty feeling of the house party is long gone. Re-create it at "Release," a recurring party throwing down this weekend at Tha House. DJs C-los Medrano, Tony Powell and DaSoul will spin house, dance classics and soul -- and no one's mom will tell them to turn it down. Bring your own liquor (though beer and wine will be available). 10 p.m. Saturday, March 19. 428 Westheimer. For information, call 832-453-0520 or visit www.houseyobody.com. $5. –- Julia Ramey

 
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