$6.95 and up for premium ($5 + at happy hour)
1096 Grand Ave., St. Paul
I hear many a gripe about bars who call anything and everything poured into a martini glass a martini. At the Lexington, they have been calling icy cold, straight up vermouth and gin, garnished with an olive its given name since 1935.
The Lexington has every quality a great bar needs: It's dark, you get a bowl of pretzels, nuts, and little garlicky crackers with your drink, the room is beautifully appointed with all of its proper vintage features intact, and the bar staff is friendly. Best of all, your drink comes perfectly prepared---dry, cold, the olive fresh, all of which combine to sooth your weary soul. With a cool mix of patrons--decades-long regulars comingling with the kids learning how to be first-class the old-school way, there is no disputing that the Lex is the mayor of Martini-ville.