Michael Martensen Reimagines Retro Cocktails and Invites Guests to Build Their Own Classic at Knife

DALLAS (May 29, 2014)Knife, the reinvented steakhouse from Chef John Tesar, now open at Hotel Palomar Dallas (5300 E. Mockingbird Lane), features signature seasonal cocktails, reimagined retro libations and an interactive “Build Your Own Classic” selection ranging from $11-14 from renowned local barman Michael Martensen.


Martensen and Tesar met in 2006 at The Mansion and bonded over their East Coast roots. Touted for bringing fresh juice cocktails to Dallas, Martensen’s creations have been featured in Dallas Observer, D Magazine and the Dallas Morning News. In 2013, he was a semifinalist for James Beard Best Bar Program.


“I wanted to create cocktails that are symbiotic with steakhouses and also present retro, kitschy drinks in ways that people haven’t seen before to match Knife’s reimagined food and design,” said Martensen. “We are elevating the cocktail experience not only by mixing fresh ingredients and quality spirits, but making drinks the right way – stirring when a cocktail is meant to be stirred and shaking when it’s meant to be shaken.”


“Build Your Own Classic” will allow guests to build their cocktails exactly the way they want them, from spirit to preparation to garnish. Martini lovers can choose vodka or gin; stirred, shaken or tossed; dry or wet; garnished with olive, onion, lemon or orange peel; served on the rocks or up. In the same manner, guests can order a Manhattan with bourbon, rye or vermouth; perfect or traditional; a Negroni stirred or shaken with a flamed orange peel or classic orange twist garnish; or a gin and tonic prepared American, English or Spanish-style.


Seasonal and signature cocktails:

  • Oaxcan Mule – a mixture of pear liqueur, lime juice and ginger beer with hints of stone and exotic fruit
  • Colonial Peach – inspired from the Sellbach cocktail from Louisville, Kentucky, with bourbon, housemade black tea cordial, grapefruit juice and sparkling wine
  • Able Apple – savory, slightly sweet and herbaceous with apple brandy accentuated by the botanicals of gin and balanced with lemon juice and cane syrup, topped with a flavor pop of celery
  • Wild Eyed Rose – styled from the whisky buck, this mixture of Irish whisky, house grenadine, lime juice and ginger ale is a refreshing drink
  • Bitter Mexican – athree ingredient, flavorful aperitif with tequila, Aperol (Italian Bitter) and Lillet Rouge (French fortified wine) with a twist of grapefruit
  • Pisco Punch- a social drink mixing unaged brandy from Peru, lime juice, house pineapple syrup and tiki bitters
  • Margarita Matadores – a simple, yet standout margarita with house ginger agave syrup and fresh lime syrup
  • OIM – Knife’s modern martini, made with olive oil infused gin vermouth, chartreuse and sea salt, stirred for a silky texture and garnished with a cucumber

Reimagined retro cocktails:

  • Amaretto Sour – elevating this from the usual cocktail made with sweet and sour mix, Knife uses  fresh lemon juice, amaretto, simple syrup and adding an egg white for texture and a dash of angostura for aromatics
  • Sex on the Beach – a very simple drink served tall with vodka, fresh orange juice, peach liqueur and housemade grenadine with hints of orange blossom, cardamom and cloves to bring this staple to the next level
  • Harvey Wallbanger – invented by a Southern California surfer, this simple cocktail is made with fresh orange juice and vodka with a modern spin of Galliano Foam on top
  • Long Island Iced Tea – known mainly for the amount of booze mixed to make the drink, this is Dallas’ first artisanal Long Island Iced Tea with rum, gin, vodka, triple sec, a touch of lemon juice and splash of Sugar Cane Cola
  • Melonball- changing out Midori for honeydew and cantaloupe house-infused mescal, fresh pineapple and lime juice and a pinch of sea salt
  • Planter’s Punch- First written about during the 1870’s. A Jamaican potion of rum, lemon juice, our housemade grenadine and bitters not to sweet yet tastes of the tropics.  Very boozy and the perfect drink to send you on your liquid vacation.
  • Alexander – dating back to the 1920s, this rich after-dinner drink is a must in any classic dining establishment, made with gin and brandy, then mixed with sweet cream and artisan crème de cacao
Knife is located adjacent to the Hotel Palomar Dallas on 5300 E. Mockingbird Lane and is open daily for breakfast 6:30-11 a.m., a bar menu 2-5 p.m. and dinner 5-11 p.m. Reservations are recommended by calling 214.443.9339. Keep up with Knife events and news on Facebook and Twitter.
Harvey Wallbanger






Planter’s Punch


Pisco Punch



Reinventing the steakhouse experience, Knife is the highly anticipated concept from regionally and nationally acclaimed, James Beard-nominated and Bravo’s “Top Chef” contestant Chef John Tesar. Offering high-quality, exceptional meats from Texan ranchers and farmers, Knife features dry-aged classic and prime cuts as well as specialty cuts such as chuck flap, outside skirt, culotte, beef cheeks, oxtail and Akuaushi beef. Knife’s extensive charcuterie program, grass-fed bison and lamb, specialty breeds of pork, chicken and seasonal game birds and raw bar selections as well as house made pasta, vegetarian and seafood dishes, takes it beyond the steakhouse. Chef de Cuisine Jeff Kent, a visionary in the culinary industry who has worked with Tesar on-and-off throughout the past 20 years, drives the kitchen. Master Pastry Chef David Collier, of the award-winning Spoon Bar & Kitchen, reinvents classic desserts while local mixologist Michael Martensen and advanced sommelier Scott Barber have created a unique bar program and wine list. Designed by Breckinridge/Taylor, the decor modernizes traditional steakhouse elements and complements Tesar’s culinary artistry with an equally artistic and appealing design featuring rustic chandeliers, rich fabrics and leather upholstery.  Knife is open daily for breakfast 6:30-11 a.m., a bar menu 2-5 p.m. and dinner 5-11 p.m. Visit knifedallas.com for more information and keep up with Knife events and news on Facebook and Twitter. For reservations, call 214.443.9339.