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This week: La Poire at O'Bricks Irish Pub and Martini Bar

The drink: Pear vodka, elderflower liqueur, a splash of champagne. Pronouncedly pear-flavored. A little sweet for my tastes, though I don't know that that would be true for everyone, and the fizzy champagne helps cut into the sweetness a little. (Again with the fizziness. Variations on a theme.)

The bar: Seats are often at a premium along the long, brick-walled bar opposite a wall of high tops, a classic narrow space that somehow manages to capture the theme "Irish martini bar." Definitely a go-to for happy-hour professionals and pretty much anyone else who hangs out in downtown Bradenton. (O'Bricks also has an adjacent dining room.)

Food: Standout flatbreads and an extensive list of American starters (in addition to comfort-food entrees).

Other notable potables: The suitably lengthy martini menu hits all the fruity notes and then some, with some dessert cocktail options, too. But I'm also pleased to see a handful of variations on the traditional martini--ie chilled vodka or gin, with or without dry vermouth, with or without a twist or olive garnish. (Memo to myself: Learn to enjoy olives.)

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