A Wise Choice: The Owl Bar and Boards

By Allie Spletter

Frisco is quickly becoming well-known for having “the best,” “the most,” and “the greatest” of everything, and when The Owl Bar and Boards flew into town this past summer, it got the memo. Boasting the largest selection of liquor and spirits in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, The Owl is tucked back just off the southwest corner of Dallas Parkway and Stonebrook and is ready to show patrons a good time. The Owl is a hybrid of sorts, which lends to its uniqueness and charm…think neighborhood sports bar meets elevated cocktail lounge. With a modern, sophisticated vibe blended with an old Chicago style, Owner Alexander Nguyen and General Manager Pete Mendoza’s 50 combined years of experience in the bar/restaurant industry are evident as they’ve created a neighborhood bar where locals can experience sports and entertainment on their massive 8K video walls and HD sound system. An impressive and extensive alcohol selection, great food, and an atmosphere full of character make this newcomer an excellent spot to catch the game, have an impromptu Happy Hour, a date night, or a late-night drink. 

 Having heard many great things about The Owl, my husband, Zach, and I decided to visit on a weeknight date night to catch the start of the NFL football season. Upon entering, we were enveloped into a charming open space and followed the “please seat yourself” sign’s directions. We chose a high-top table on the perimeter of the dining space with great views of the many TVs and two large video screens. Large arched windows and exposed brick walls inside the space gave it both great natural light combined with warmth and comfortability with nods to owls throughout the space.
 What caught our attention and interest most when we walked in, though, was the magnificent, glowing wall of shelves above the bar that is home to hundreds of brands of liquors and spirits. The Bar area is impressive, with large leather barstools and an eclectic yet elevated mix of patterns and textures that complement each other well, and the shelves that house the spirits only add to its character and splendor. Those shelves house over 650 types of liquor and spirits, including 219 types of bourbon/whisky, 212 types of tequila, 71 types of vodka, 52 variations of gin, and the list literally goes on. It’s truly hard not to catch yourself staring at the shelves of bottles in awe of just how many there are. While many bars and restaurants tend to put “top shelf” liquors and spirits on the top shelf, Nguyen grouped/arranged the liquors and spirits on the shelves by type but not by top or lower shelf. 

 When we were finally able to stop staring at the bar’s shelves in awe, we turned our attention to the menu! Our server, Jared, was quick to answer our questions and help with suggestions when needed, and choosing just one drink with such an expansive selection of possibilities was hard, to say the least. The Owl Bar and Board’s drink menu is helpful as it has a signature drink list, daily specials, and various types of suggested classic cocktails (Think Margarita or Mule with suggested flavors/types of tequila or vodka). I opted for one of their signature drinks, the HALO, which was light, crisp, and subtly sweet, but not too much so as the crafted combination of Wahaka Mezcal, strawberry puree, triple sec, lime juice, and agave created a great balance. The presentation was my favorite part of the drink as it comes with three watermelon gummy candies skewered kabob-style, laid across the top of the glass. Other cleverly named and specially crafted drinks on the signature menu include the Mona Lisa, a grapefruit-flavored gin drink, and a signature drink flight featuring a few of the signature drinks. Zach opted for a tried-and-true Mule from the cocktail list and chose Texas’ own Tito’s Handmade Vodka to make it a Moscow Mule.

 The Owl has the “Bar” aspect of its name down cold, which was no surprise, and we were excited to check out the food menu, which is where the “Boards” part of its name came from, as pizza and pretzel boards are part of their menu. The Owl Bar and Board’s menu has a range of pizzas, flatbreads, pretzels, and desserts to satiate any appetite. There are two types of pretzels to choose from on the menu, a Bavarian pretzel and a Sourdough pretzel, each served with an array of mustard choices. We couldn’t decide between the two pretzels, so the menu came in clutch with a Pretzel Combo that allowed us to try both! The Bavarian pretzel had a bit more of a crust, though it was soft and warm inside and was complimented perfectly by the mustard choices. In contrast, the Sourdough pretzel was soft and wonderfully chewy in the middle and golden brown on the outside. The pretzels were each adorned with copious amounts of course salt and were served with a trio of mustard types: siracha, honey, and yellow. It’s a great option that allows diners to try both, and we weren’t disappointed. 

 The pizza/flatbreads section of the menu is comprised of a vast array of both classic and unique pizzas, complete with owl-themed names, and served on pizza boards. Pizzas are around 10-12 inches, or about the size of a typical medium pizza, though we felt ours was on the large side of a medium (not a bad thing!). Options include the “Hoot,” a classic Margherita-style pizza; the “Whoodini,” complete with red sauce, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, mozzarella, cheddar, and a Mike’s Hot Honey drizzle; the “Owl Capone,” a white pizza with alfredo sauce, bacon, mushrooms, red onion, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese, and the “Owl Pacino,” pizza comprised of fig jam, prosciutto, goat cheese, arugula, and a balsamic drizzle, to name a few.
 While we love trying new flavor combinations and interesting takes on classics, we’re old-school when it comes to pizza. We decided to split the “Fat Owlbert,” a meat lover’s pizza with red sauce, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, pork sausage, bacon crumbles, and mozzarella. It was fantastic and the perfect amount of food for two people. The meat selections were both plentiful and flavorful, and the mozzarella was perfectly melted. The best part? We had leftovers to enjoy all over again the next day.

Though we were delightedly stuffed with pretzels and pizza, there was no way we could pass up one of our favorite classic and interactive desserts we noticed on the menu – S’Mores! Many will say they’re for campfires only, but more and more restaurants are serving up this classic and interactive treat, and we knew we had to have it when we saw it on the menu. Diners can choose between a S’Mores Board with eight servings or a S’Mores Half Board with four servings. We ordered the S’Mores Half Board, which was presented on a board with compartments for each of the respective ingredients. We enjoyed the nostalgia of roasting the marshmallows over our personal tabletop flame.
 The modern yet comfortable atmosphere, creative cocktails, and satiating food were all that we had hoped for in visiting one of Frisco’s newest bar/restaurants that is quickly making a name for itself. Its character, charm, uniqueness, and its largest liquor and spirits selection in DFW solidify its place here in Frisco as it’s brought yet another “only in Frisco” aspect to our sweet city. No matter the occasion, The Owl is a great place to land.
Allie Spletter is the Managing Editor of Frisco STYLE Magazine.
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