Blue Stem Martini LoungeNorth Center | Website
Come early to this no-frills neighborhood bar to watch the making of your martini, mixed with ample care and attention. Too-sweet appletinis and other faux-tinis aren't the specialty here. Instead, you can count on generously sized, significantly strong concoctions ranging in flavor from chocolate to peach to plum. Order off the flimsy photocopied menu, or better yet, speak up about what you like and ask for a recommendation. As the night rolls on, a bigger crowd means a longer wait for those labored-over cocktails.