In 1985, Slick Rick—then MC Ricky D—made hip-hop history by coining the phrase "La-di Da-di, we likes to party" on a Doug E. Fresh track. That very smooth, cool sentiment is the whole concept behind (and name of) partners Michael Riojas and Adam Dorris's new bar, Lotti Dotti, in the defunct Brooklyn Athletic Club space. Located on 601 Richmond Ave. in Montrose, and freshly opened over the last few weeks, Lotti Dotti is a full-blown fun time with plenty of summery party space.
There are patios—out front is a wooden deck with picnic tables, plus a gargantuan back patio with tables under awnings. A shipping container-turned-bar is also out back, along with a stage that will be utilized for karaoke nights, chef pop-ups, and other events. Also outside, another covered seating area can accommodate about 35 people.
The cocktail menu is stacked with frozen drinks taking the headlines. Cheeky Houston references abound—Slime in the Ice Machine, Be Someone, and Pain Don’t Hurt are a few drink names. Draft cocktails are offered up as singles, in carafes, and even in bowls. And the house cocktails boast spirits like rye, gin, and apple brandy. The tap list includes Saint Arnold, Lone Pint, 8th Wonder, Brash, and more. Dorris has also devised a comprehensive wine program with rosé, white, reds and sparkling varieties.
Lotti Dotti's food menu includes bar snacks like rosemary-scented cashews, marinated olives, chicharrones, French fries, and chicken wings. You can also get crispy smoked potatoes, pressed cheese sandwiches, Prince Edward Island mussels, and a contender for the best and most reasonably priced cheeseburger in town. You can add cured, braised and fried pork belly, egg, and bacon to your burger.
But with all that, you might be most tempted by Lotti Dotti's charcuterie program that includes the salami schiacciata piccante, 'nduja (pork salumi), and the salami finocchiona. The meats are paired with Spanish-style cheeses like an aged cow, sheep, and goat blend from Los Cameros in La Rioja, Spain, and the semi-firm Manos de Dios from Revelation Artisan Cheese in Texas.
Is this the perfect summer hang? Possibly. In the end, Riojas wants to deliver a very Houstonian experience: patios, frozen drinks, and eclectic food offerings. (He had us at "patio.")
“For the past five years or so we’ve had a lot of transplants from out of city, out of state, just not from here. So I want to educate the general population on Houston culture such as Marvin Zindler, Hakeem the Dream, Patrick Swayze even,” says Riojas. “All these little touches that matter to Houston, and then apply that to a cocktail culture that is growing and thriving."