The handle on the front door of The Davenport [2115 Richmond Avenue, (713)520-1140] is shaped like a martini glass. It's an apt greeting to one of the city's serious centers of mixology. Tier upon tier of backlit bottles -- in all shapes, sizes and potencies -- shine with promise behind the bar. In an alcove furnished with couches (davenports?), a flickering light shines from the fireplace. Of course, this being late spring in Houston, the fire is actually a flickering video on a television set. We ask if the house has a special drink -- and we're handed a book of them.
The Davenport's Costa Rican martini: According to the drink menu, this cocktail won third place in the Texas Restaurant Association's 1999 Martini Competition. It's a sweet concoction that might be best served as an after-dinner drink. The combination of bananas, cinnamon and vanilla tastes a little like bananas Foster.
2 shots Stoli Vanil
1/2 shot Kahlúa
1/2 shot Frangelico
1/2 shot De Kuyper Créme de Banana
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Fill a shaker with ice. Pour the liqueurs over the ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the cinnamon stick. Makes one.