Yeah, there’s all that. But I still wanna bring back the Jet-Set Age, when the local international airport wasn’t a cleverly disguised torture chamber but a swingin’ hang-out, baby, and I’m starting by making weekly visits to M Lounge at D/FW Airport’s Grand Hyatt Hotel. The M (even the name has a cool James Bond ring to it) is the closest thing we have to a Pan Am Clipper Club (circa 1959), and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let it go un-Last Call’d.
Naturally, while the swank remains sort of the same, the details have changed. Gone are the cigarettes, pantyhose, and polyester; and “April in Paris,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” and “Girl From Ipanema”; and, for dinner, pork chops, apple sauce, and string beans. In their place: fresh breath, bare legs, and Lycra; and J.T., The White Stripes, and Beyoncé; and, next door at the Grand Met, food that can’t be found in a tv dinner.
Also, instead of Manhattans and ice-cream sandwiches, it’s pineapple- and strawberry-infused vodkas and caramelized banana crepes with coconut gelato.
The best part: A driver is provided. Well, kinda. The Trinity Railway Express makes frequent runs from downtown to the airport area and back for about a buck. The train doesn’t stop at the terminal but at a station close enough for a two-minute shuttle ride.
Last train home is at 9 p.m. Hopefully, though, you’ll play your cards right and have to get a room for the night – baby!
Italy, Next Door
After a night of terrorizing not infidels but the martini shaker (zing!), a little sustenance is called for. Here’s a recommendation, one that’s not too far from the TRE station downtown: Taverna Risotteria and Pizzeria. From 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, the restaurant/bar serves up $2 drafts (everything from Moretti to Paulaner and Guinness), house wine for $3 a glass, and half-price appetizers and pizzas. During weekend brunch, $5 bottomless mimosas and bellinis.
Be forewarned, however: A majority of the barkeeps are hunky Italian types who don’t say much (in English) but can send your stewardess scampering for an oxygen mask with the curl of a unibrow.
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