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Nat Geo Nights: Bird Nerds

Nat Geo Nights guests got a peek inside the mysterious and remarkable world of birds on Thursday night. Those who attended enjoyed food and drink, and National Geographic bird nerd speakers. Photos: Devin Overbey

 

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2018 District Wharf Mardi Gras Parade

DC came together for a Mardi Gras celebration at The Wharf on Fat Tuesday. Parade-goers enjoyed live music, decorated floats, and beer and wine at the bar on District Pier, and fireworks on the water. Photos: Mark Raker

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Mardi Gras Extravaganza 2018 at Union Market’s Dock 5

The second annual Mardi Gras Extravaganza DC was held at Union Market’s Dock 5 and featured unlimited food, drinks, live music, notorious chefs and more. Proceeds benefit nationally recognized DC Central KitchenPhotos: Mike Kim

Photo: Courtesy of Left Door
Photo: Courtesy of Left Door

Prestige Champagne Flight at Left Door

Come quickly; I am tasting the stars!” – Dom Pierre Pérignon

February 14 is a perfect occasion for champagne. In fact, I would argue that most every day (holiday or no) is a perfect occasion for champagne; Mick Perrigo, partner and bar manager at Left Door, agrees.

Well-known for its creative and delicious craft cocktails, this Logan Circle favorite also has an impressive prestige champagne flight on the menu. Whether you’re celebrating with friends, enjoying a romantic night out with your partner, or you’ve just had a long day, this flight of Ruinart Rosé, Krug Grande Cuvée 164th edition and Dom Pérignon 2006 will be a memorable (and surprisingly affordable) treat.

The flight is presented with a tasting mat full of fun facts about each of the wines; did you know there are approximately 49 million bubbles in a standard bottle? The flight is always available at Left Door, making the venue a perfect happy hour or late night spot for cocktail aficionados and oenophiles alike.

Make sure to keep an eye on Left Door for more innovative champagne features down the road there are rumors of real champagne cocktails and champagne sorbet.

Sparkling wine is experiencing a well-deserved renaissance in DC and beyond, and we can enjoy a wide variety of producers, styles and price points at many venues throughout the DMV. While excellent cavas, proseccos, crémants and pét-nats certainly abound, there’s no arguing that champagne is in a class all its own.

Treat yourself this coming Wednesday, either because it’s Valentine’s Day or simply because you’ve made it over the hump. Do you really need a reason?

Left Door: 1345 S St. NW, DC; 202-734-8576

Oyster with caviar, finger lime and almond milk // Photo: Courtesy of Captain Gregory's
Oyster with caviar, finger lime and almond milk // Photo: Courtesy of Captain Gregory's

Captain Gregory’s on the Rocks

While the exclusivity of some speakeasies can feel slightly intimidating, Captain Gregory’s cuts through the pretension with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The 25-seat room is laden with nautical décor – evidently, the Maine sea captain inspired more than just the name of this venue.

A picture of Captain Gregory himself can be spotted on the wall along with a brightly colored mural that serves as a fun focal point in the room. The relaxed, beachy vibes of this secret bar allow for guests to get comfortable and focus on what really matters – the expertly crafted cocktails and small plates.

The seasonally changing menus and over 300 cocktails in daily rotation are already enough to make the spot notable, but Captain Gregory’s goes one step further by offering creative theme nights and events. I was lucky enough to get to check out one of these exciting events this Thursday when Captain Gregory’s hosted the Salute to Divas Drag Dinner to kick off Mardi Gras.

The evening included cocktails, food and entertainment from Miss Shi-Queeta-Lee’s cast of music’s hottest divas. There aren’t many things that could avoid being overshadowed by performances as fabulous as the Salute to Divas, but each course and cocktail proved that it was able to hold its own.

For my first drink of the evening, I chose the pine-smoked Old Fashioned. Captain Gregory’s take on this classic featured Four Roses Bourbon, burnt sugar and angostura all poured into a glass, smoked with untreated pinewood and garnished with an orange peel.

The smoky flavor of the bourbon and pine was met with the sweet aromas of the burnt sugar syrup and orange to make tipping this one back a truly sensory experience.

Next, I was given my first small plate of the evening. I went with the oyster and caviar trio. These oysters were a welcome change from the traditional hot sauce and saltines, and were instead prepared with almond, caviar, cucumber and finger limes.

Each oyster was plated in a ceramic oyster shell, making for a clean and pleasing presentation. The salt flavor of each oyster was smoothed by the almond, and the finger limes delivered the perfect amount of tanginess.

My second cocktail choice was the Red Devil, prepared with ginger, lime, blueberry, crème de cassis and Thai basil. This cocktail had a bright red hue and a basil sprig garnish, and came with a stainless steel drinking straw – an environmentally friendly detail that I thought was a classy choice.

The medley of flavors in this cocktail were delightfully complex, and the drinkability was almost sinful.

For my final plate of the evening, I went with the scallops. These were cooked to perfection with fennel, shoyu, olive oil, yellow mustard seeds and garlic. The fennel and mustard seeds added dimension to the texture of this dish while the shoyu anchored the delicate sweetness of the scallops with the right amount of umami.

Throughout the evening, if guests weren’t being given their next unique course or cocktail, they were being wowed by the energy of the next dazzling diva. The timing of each detail of the night was carefully planned to keep patrons constantly engaged and presented with something new.

This concept was so fun and well-executed, that it is safe to assume that Captain Gregory’s is a place to watch for future events that continue to push the envelope.

Captain Gregory’s: 804 N Henry St. Alexandria, VA; 703-577-9023; www.captaingregorys.com

 

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The Pancakes & Booze Art Show 2018

Pancakes & Booze Art Show took place at Penn Social this year, featuring local artisans, unique musicians, live painting, pancakes and more. Photos: Mike Kim

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Port City Anniversary Beer Release

Port City Brewing turned seven this week, and with it came their annual Colossal anniversary beer release. The celebration kicked off with a release party at Union Street Public House’s Whiskey Bar, where they served up Colossal 7, a full-bodied Scotch ale with copper coloring, plenty of malt, and notes of raisin bread and caramel. Port City also brought along their Colossal 5 (2016) and Colossal 6 (2017) anniversary beers for the celebration; the former has a strong caramel maltiness and the latter has notes of coffee. To pair with Port City’s Colossal 7, Union Street pulled out their Laphroaig Scotch and offered samples of the 10-year, Select and Quarter Cask scotches. Only on tap until mid-March, you can get Colossal 7 at Port City’s tap room and at select locations like Union Street Public House. Photos and write-up: Natalia Kolenko

Photo: Kayla Marsh
Photo: Kayla Marsh

The G.O.A.T. Brings Winning Eats to Clarendon

While there’s plenty of places to grab a quick bite and watch sports in Clarendon, we’re blown away by the latest sports bar in A-town. On Tap visited The G.O.A.T., open since last October, to try out their new lunch menu and happy hour specials. The spacious venue features two floors, more than 50 HDTVs, three 12-foot TV walls and more than 10 arcade games. With 350 seats, there’s not a bad seat in the house, whether you’re there to socialize or get your game on.

By just looking around the monstrous bar, you’re able to appreciate the modern décor, including wall tributes to legendary sports stars and endless shelves of liquor options. The two levels differ in atmosphere, as the top level is home to retro arcade games; still, the upscale bar maintains a fun, high energy throughout. We aren’t too surprised by the wow factor of this new hot spot run by co-founders and partners Mike Cordero and Scott Parker, who are also behind A-Town Bar and Grill, Don Tito and Barley Mac.

The G.O.A.T.’s American comfort food menu features gourmet appetizers, wings, sandwiches/burgers, hefty salads, mains and shareable sides. It gets as diverse as bulgogi wonton tacos and as continental as a mushroom burger. The tasty tacos contain skirt steak with soy and apple ginger marinade nestled in a crispy wonton taco shell – crunchy and soft, and sweet and sour. The burgundy truffle mushroom burger is the perfect meal for mushroom and onion lovers out there; it’s topped with delectable, melted Swiss cheese and shitake and portabella mushrooms slow-cooked in truffle burgundy sauces overnight. This gives this burger a unique, savory flavor, and is complemented with a side of winder fries, which are honestly more than a sidekick – these twisty wedges could be an entree on their own.

Their drink menu lists six signature cocktails, 12 wine selections, two bubbly options, and a plethora of classic and craft beers on draft and in bottle. I dove into what sounded the most refreshing on a Tuesday afternoon, which is the 5 Minute Major, a unique mule-type cocktail with Absolut lime, Goslings ginger beer, house-made ginger cucumber syrup and bitters.

From Monday through Friday, enjoy $3 select pint night, $2 off draft beers and frozen cocktails, and $5 rails and wine by the glass. The G.O.A.T. is open until 2 a.m. daily, opening at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. on Friday, and for brunch from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The G.O.A.T.: 3028 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; 703-528-8888; www.thegoatva.com

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Rosé After Hours

Guests came out in their chic pink outfits for DC’s first festival exclusively dedicated to rosé. Rosé After Hours included more than 50 different rosés, champagnes, sparkling wines and sauternes from the best producers, plus fantastic food at amazing bars. Photos: Cristina O’Connell

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Brunch Fest 2018 at Dock 5

Brunch Fest at Dock 5 was a plethora of different local restaurants offering up their unique takes on fare between breakfast and lunch. Attendees enjoyed the Almost Famous Bloody Mary Bar and The Fresh Mimosa Bar during the all-you-can eat extravaganza. Photos: Ryan Hill