So, turns out “Sex and the City 2” wasn’t the movie of the year. It wasn’t even a contender. But I still argue that wasn’t the point.

The truth of the matter is, “SATC” does something that no other television show/movie can. It creates a bond between women – and gay men – that evokes discussions on fashion, friends and of course, men.

And really, it doesn’t even matter if the movie itself is any good because we’re just looking for an excuse to get together, have a girl’s night out and stare at a movie that gives close-ups of shoes and a multitude of wardrobe changes. Which is exactly what a group of friends and I did on Friday.

The evening started with a lovely meal at Bradstreet, a place I’d been eager to go to since I heard about the mixology occurring in their cocktails. Plus, with “SATC 2” on the agenda – the night really needed to focus on great cocktails with a great group of ladies.

Bradstreet Crafthouse is located within the Graves 601 Hotel and is elegantly decorated with a mix of comfortable booths and dramatic draping. As you walk into the restaurant, a long bar with professional mixologists is located to the right – likely with a cocktail or two being mixed to perfection. There’s an Asian influence to the design of the place, but with a modern, contemporary twist.

Seated in a puzzle-piece booth, underneath a lantern-like chandelier, my friends and I went straight into the drink menu to see what kind of crazy concoctions they were serving. I’ll be honest, I don’t know very much about alcohol or mixed drinks beyond a “booze-plus-soda” mixture, so most of the menu was over my head.

The drinks are organized by the kind of liquor, then mixed and paired with an assortment of in-house pressed juices or homemade bitters. Feeling a tad overwhelmed, I asked our waitress to bring me her favorite, which turned out to be a true delight.

Called “Juliet & Romeo,” this drink had a base of gin (typically not my favorite, at all) with an infusion of mint, lime, cucumber and rose water. Definitely wasn’t something I’d pick out on my own but oh goodness, was it good. It was literally like a sip of freshness, wrapped with happiness. Another neat thing about Bradstreet is they offer an amuse-bouche for cocktails – basically a small sipping mixture to get the palate going. Ours featured mint, gin and a hint of grapefruit – and was delightful.

In an effort to ensure we’d actually see the film, we decided to each stick to one cocktail and share, in order to experience a number of flavors.

The Dark & Stormy – a rum concoction – certainly earned its name. The drink was made with lime, Cruzan black strap, matusalem and ginger syrup and was definitely a kick in the mouth. It was good, but a bit too pungent for my liking.

The La Paloma was a little taste of the islands, mixing tequila, lime and grapefruit – a perfect combination. And finally, the daiquiri tasted just like you’d expect a daiquiri to taste – if they turned the volume way up. The house-pressed juices made all the difference in every drink and also made up for the $10-a-drink price tag.

But if you know me at all, then you know I’m all about the food. So let’s move straight into the main course. Well, I guess there’s not really a “main course” at Bradstreet, per se – rather small plates intended for sharing. And really, what could be better for a girl’s night out.

We started off with an order of the-good-ol-standby edamame, plus the toast plate – featuring four kinds of tastings from apple and cheddar to caper and chevre. The apple-cheddar was by far my favorite. There’s just something so simple and so delicious about cheese and apples that always seems to hit the spot.

We also ordered the Mediterranean sampler, a mix of olives, roasted garlic hummus, feta cheese and bread. I’m not kidding when I say I easily could’ve bathed in that garlic hummus. It was quite possibly the best I’ve had. (And thankfully it was eaten before the movie – and before hummus was nearly ruined for me when Samantha eats it like soup. Although, I was nearly at that point at the restaurant.)

Finally, we ordered the spicy lamb sliders and shrimp sangria, which were both quite tasty. The tequila glaze on the shrimp was bold, yet subtle, while the cucumber tzatziki kicked the lamb sliders up a notch.

After we were pleasantly plump from our meal and still reeling about the flavors, we decided we had just enough time for a post-dinner cocktail. So we headed upstairs to Cosmos, a trendy bar located on the fourth floor of Graves.

Just our luck, the bar was featuring a “Sex and the City” menu – full of cocktails and martinis based off the characters. Perfect.

Half of us went for the “Charlotte” martini, which was a lighter drink with a touch of coconut, and half of us went for the “Carrie” martini, a classic cosmopolitan, of course.

After taking photos posed with our martinis (yes, we’re nerds) we were seriously pumped for the movie.

As we headed to the theater, we noticed we were not alone by any means. Groups of girls – in packs of four or five – headed into the theater, just as excited as we were. I’ve never seen so many people so dressed up for a movie. One girl was even wearing a dress similar to Carrie’s in the opening scene – how appropriate!

And that’s truly the thing about this foursome – whether good or bad, “SATC” has some serious influence. My friend made a great point that last year’s film featured giant flowers, gladiator heels and belts a plenty … and what are the trends right now? Giant flowers, gladiator heels and belts a plenty.

So while the movie may not have exceeded our expectations (OK, truth be told, it barely met expectations – fun side note: one of my friends actually fell asleep during the movie … it may have been the martinis and Bradstreet drinks, or it might have been some other stuff … ) but it really didn’t matter. Plot or no plot, we got to see the fashions, live vicariously in their shoes and enjoy a night embracing our inner girly-girls.

And who knows, maybe next year we’ll all be wearing Arabian head scarves and long elegant maxi dresses, perfect for camel riding.

Sara Boyd is a web producer and columnist at WCCO.COM.