Cortez reopened on Tuesday after closing the dining room for repairs, and it's no coincidence that there's a renewed sense of innovation in the updated dining menu and excellent cocktail list. If you can't get into Bourbon and Branch for a drink, swing around the corner to Cortez because B&B's bar manager, Todd Smith, used to be the man at Cortez, and a lot of the drinks continue to reflect his creativity and good taste.

Pictured here were two lovely sips--the Cherry Hendricks (Hendrick's gin, sour cherry, lemon juice and orange bitters) and the Journalist (gin 209, Cointreau, red and white vermouth, lemon juice, bitters and a lemon twist). Both were excellent and went well with small plates like crudo, crab cakes and especially prawns a la plancha.