They take their cocktails very seriously at the just-opened Sidebar--and after a visit there last night, I do too. Assuming the Downtown space vacated by the old Brownstone, this Dayton import makes some of its own bitters, squeezes its own fresh juices and uses fine hooches to produce excellent alcoholic quaffs.

Since Sidebar sounds so much like Sidecar, we figured we oughta order one of those classic libations, and that was a righteous decision--check out the lagniappe carafe on the side. Other terrific sips we tried were a Manhattan made with Wild Turkey Rye and a Negroni made with superior Carpano Antico vermouth. Apart from great drinks, Sidebar offers a nice, dark and jazzy ambiance plus lusty, Latin-tinged vittles like...

...a bright and citrusy quinoa (a super-healthy South American grain) salad lavished with brochettas of spork-tender grilled beef and...

...crusty, golden brown croquettes of mashed potato punctuated with chicken bits plus...

...a heap of succulent and silky lamb shank that, with its spectacular tomato, wine and mirepoix-powered flavors and its Risotto Milanese-like accompaniment, was a delicious riff on osso buco. Expect an Alive review soon