PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas September 2022

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Page 191 of 215

By Laurann Claridge. Photography Jonathan Zizzo. R estaurateur Greg Katz has vision. And a lot of it. Nearly four years ago, he saw past the once sketchy block of strip clubs and seedy bars dotted along Fitzhugh Avenue to envision Beverley's, a buzzy bistro in the former stead of BJ's gay bar and made it a stylish destination just off the Katy Trail. Pushing repeat, he's done it again, this time across the street in the spot that for decades was home to, ahem, the strip club Zippers. With the help of Liz Johnson and Danyce Bonebrake of Wallace Johnson Studio, Katz has reimagined the space as Clifton Club. Velvet drapes delineate the shotgun-style bar, which feels like a dining train car built during the golden age of travel. With nary a hard edge in sight, softly rounded archways frame doors and windows in this teal-painted space, while rose-hued channeled banquettes pull up to terrazzo-topped tables and 14 spinning stools span the length of the bar. The alliterative name is inspired by Clifton Beach in Cape Town, where the South African- born Katz spent his childhood until the age of 11, when his family put down roots in Dallas. "I wanted to create a highly designed space that feels like a New York hotel lobby bar or a London social club but is approachable with a come-as-you-are vibe," says Club Culture Katz, whose culinary career has taken him from Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Sassetta, and Wheelhouse in Dallas to the original Il Mulino and The Carlyle hotel in New York, where the famed Bemelmans Bar was, as one might expect, a source of inspiration. Outside, the decorative snowflake breeze block wall emblazoned with Clifton Club's crimson neon sign gives us retro Palm Beach vibes. Beyond that, a pocket patio adjoins an intimate, light-filled garden room with the club's most coveted seating. Open at 4:30 pm, the main room takes on a moody glow as the sun sets. Bartenders and staff dressed in denim shirts scurry to craft classic cocktails made modern ($16 to $18), such as the Summertime Spritz made with Aperol, blood orange juice, and Lillet Blanc topped with a splash of brut Rosé, and the Passionfruit Vodka Fizz — a bright yellow tincture spiked with Tito's vodka, passionfruit and pineapple juices and herbal liqueur. The Firing Squad is for fans of tequila (especially Casamigos) and arrives with a black-lava-salted edge, its contents tinged pink thanks to a blend of hibiscus, ginger, and lime. "Here, our bartenders are like bakers, because, like making bread, our drinks are recipe-driven," Katz says. "We use tools like jiggers and bar spoons to accurately measure and ingredients like fresh press juices to create and recreate drinks, so every time you visit, the taste is exactly like you remember." Martinis include the classic dirty, wet or dry, shaken or stirred, with Castelvetrano olives, pickled onions, or a lemon twist, as well as cosmopolitans and espresso martinis made with oat milk. Not to mention a tightly edited selection of wines by the glass ($12 to $18) and bottle ($44 to $96). The menu is a collaboration between Katz and Beverley's chef Sonia Mancillas. The fare ranges from light bites to tastings as you sip, such as marinated olives with harissa- spiced Marcona almonds and pistachios, and pickled vegetables ($13), to heartier plates like a trio of sliders made with Wagyu beef, melted sharp white cheddar smeared with horseradish and pickled pepper relish ($24) or a sliced hangar steak ($25). I swooned over the silky-smooth chicken liver and foie gras mousse gilded with strawberry jalapeño jam ($15). Order the shishito peppers then pick at the blistered pile tossed with a salsa verde and showered with crisp shallots to see who plucks the fiery one ($11). Live large and celebrate with Siberian baerri caviar with all the accouterments along with dill Inside restaurateur Greg Katz's latest creation, Clifton Club (Continued) 186

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