Capitol Riverfront neighborhood

Capitol Riverfront What’s New in the Neighborhood

Capitol Riverfront has quickly become a go-to DC destination with a slew of new restaurants, unique retailers and the fan favorite Washington Nationals. Check out our list of hot spots in the neighborhood that have opened since April 2015.

Bon Chon
Bon Chon’s perfectly crispy, double-fried chicken and cold draft beer are the South Korean version of burgers and fries, and the perfect pre-Nationals game meal. Located just across the street from the Nationals Park lots, Bon Chon is also the ideal place to wait out the post-game crowd and keep the party going. Grab their signature bone-in fried chicken with pickled daikon radish and a brew from their impressive selection. A new expanded menu comes out on MLB Opening Day. Bon Chon: 1015 Half St. SE, DC;

Buffalo Wild Wings
Located between the Navy Yard Metro stop and Nationals Park, Buffalo Wild Wings certainly has the convenience factor down. With tons of seating and televisions to keep tabs on sports, this is an easy and casual spot to meet a group ahead of the game. The wings are the obvious stars of the show, with traditional and boneless being the top two picks, plus a variety of sauces. Beer specials happen monthly and the food isn’t pricey, so this is definitely a good spot to get your grub and drink on. Buffalo Wild Wings: 1220 Half St. SE, DC;

Due South
Southern comfort comes to the Capitol Riverfront with Due South, where you can feast on heavenly BBQ, enjoy unique twists on Southern classics and sip delicious beverages. The gorgeous rustic chic bar area is the perfect location for a happy hour and bite, which with nice weather can be taken outside to the expansive patio. As you people-watch, get some plates for the table, like their bourbon chicken liver pate or Lowcountry pickled shrimp. The Sweet Tea Julep is definitely a go-to for sipping and will have you feeling like you’re down South in no time. Due South: 301 Water St. SE, DC;
Hugh & Crye
It only made sense for Hugh & Crye to open a location near Nationals Park given their focus clientele. Counting Nationals and D.C. United players among their customers, the menswear retailer uses their own sizing system based on height and build of guys’ torsos to give a better slim fit to blazers, and casual and dress shirts. With 90 percent of their sales online and a smaller location in Georgetown, Hugh & Crye is looking forward to their new, larger location with a grand opening event on April 7 with neighbor Bluejacket. Hugh & Crye: 300 Tingey St. SE, DC;

Il Parco
The 7,000- pound, Italian-made oven should be indication enough that this place means business with its pizza. Having taken over the space of the former Park Tavern, Il Parco brought in Italian chef Roshan Ashiq, formerly of Il Canale, to craft authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas, which he tops with his handcrafted mozzarella and other freshly prepared ingredients. Along with pizza, the restaurant boasts other Neapolitan specialties, along with an impressive Italian wine list and rare Italian craft beer menu. Grab a margarita pizza and Italian craft beer and sit on the patio before or after the game. Il Parco: 202 M St. SE, DC

Las Placitas
This Latin American restaurant is a low-cost and tasty option for a casual meal, and gaining quite the following. The menu has a mix of Salvadoran seafood and Mexican specialties, including signature dishes like salmon campeche and enchiladas de carne asada. I highly recommend ordering pitchers of their margaritas for the table. Las Placitas: 1100 8th St. SE, DC

Pacers Running
With runners all around, the Navy Yard location for Pacers Running is a natural fit. The beautiful new store location is a welcome addition to the burgeoning neighborhood community, with a friendly staff that can do a unique personalized assessment of your running footwear and gear needs. Standing apart from the restaurants and other retailers, Pacers looks to be part of the community in a different way, with its local fun runs and other organized athletic events. Pacers Navy Yard: 300 Tingey St. SE, DC;

Scarlet Oak
Named after the District’s official tree, Scarlet Oak is all about keeping it simple and made from scratch, with a focus on locally-sourced organic ingredients. The menu offers a variety of options, but the definite must-have is the homemade pasta or pizza, courtesy of the chef’s Italian background. Drinks go along with the simplistic theme, with few ingredients and a focus on the lead spirit, such as the restaurant’s bourbon cocktail with rosemary lemon and touch of maple syrup. Close to the park, Scarlet Oak is perfect for a pregame stop with a beautiful spacious bar area.   Scarlet Oak: 909 New Jersey Ave. SE, DC;
Hampton Inn & Suites Top of the Yard Rooftop Lounge
Without a doubt, the Hampton Inn has claimed the prize for drinks with a view. Set to open in time for the start of this baseball season, the rooftop lounge is definitely a bit more upscale than your other neighborhood options, but nonetheless somewhere you need to try, especially with gorgeous weather (pregame tan, anyone?) Several couch areas atop green grass give the space a backyard feel from high above, while the bar area and high top seating makes it a great location for a small group. Hampton Inn & Suites Top of the Yard Rooftop Lounge: 1265 First St. SE, DC;
Ziaafat Grill and Restaurant
Quickly gaining popularity among the work lunch crowd, Ziaafat Grill and Restaurant has carved their niche in the Eastern Market restaurant arena. The Indian and Pakistani restaurant prides itself on cooking fast, healthy and freshly made, with flavors and spices unlike anything you’ve tried in the neighborhood. Signature dishes include their meat stews that take several hours to make. All items are under $13 and come with naan and sides, so it’s perfect for an economic meal. Ziaafat Grill and Restaurant: 1102 8th St. SE, DC;
Capitol Riverfront Hospitality

Capitol Riverfront’s Burgeoning Hospitality

The number of hip food and drink options in Capitol Riverfront is rapidly expanding, with new restaurants, bars and breweries continuously popping up around the neighborhood. Part of the area’s charm is that it has universal appeal, drawing the game day crowd and locals as much as DC area foodies and hop heads looking to treat their palates. We caught up with five of the masterminds behind the Riverfront’s burgeoning hospitality scene, from chefs to bartenders, to tap into what makes their locations unique and why they chose the ‘hood to lay down professional roots.

Chef Rusty Holman of  Due South
On Tap: What inspired you to open Due South? 
Rusty Holman: I have always had an interest in Southern cuisine and BBQ. It’s the food I grew up eating in North Carolina. So when I decided to team up with the guys at Bayou to open a new place, everyone agreed that the natural direction to head was Due South.
OT: What sets Due South’s menu apart from Bayou’s?
RH: At Due South, we are highlighting regional Southern cuisine with an emphasis on smoked meats and fresh seafood. It’s more of tour of the South with flavors from the [South Carolina] Lowcountry, North Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Georgia and all of the [other] Southern states.
OT: Why did you bring the concept of larrupin’ to Due South?
RH: Larrupin’ is an expression my grandfather, who lived in Arkansas, used to frequently say if something was really tasty. So it’s always stuck with me as an expression meaning “exceedingly delicious.”
OT: Why does the Capitol Riverfront feel like home to Due South?
RH: I really like the energy that The Yards has. I think Due South’s down-home feel makes us a great addition to the neighborhood.
OT: Would you describe Due South as a neighborhood restaurant?
RH: We have that neighborhood restaurant feel while at the same time [drawing] crowds from all over the region. We have gotten a good response from folks in the Capitol Hill area, as well as people traveling to The Yards looking for some tasty, Southern-inspired cuisine.

Due South: 301 Water St. SE, DC; 

Bartende r Matt Benoit The Big Stick Restaurant & Sports Bar

On Tap: How does working at The Big Stick compare to past gigs?
Matt Benoit: I’ve never worked in a place where the conversations were so riveting and well-informed. We’ve also got the longest happy hour (3 to 7 p.m.) and best happy hour deals ($4 drafts, house wine and rail liquor) of any place I’ve worked, or seen, in DC.
OT: What’s the ambiance at the bar? 
MB: The underlying current of it is a constant, welcoming friendliness. It’s contagious, creating a sense of camaraderie that overcomes sports, political and any other rivalries.
OT: What kind of crowd do you guys attract?  
MB: We get a lot of people who appreciate trying new beers and enjoy eating seriously tasty foods.
OT: Name some unique craft beers on your menu. 
MB: The Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen is a bit of a rarity, especially as a Hefe with a banana-like finish. We also have Bell’s Hopslam, which is a tough beer to get and is only available for a few months a year, [and] Gose beers, which we use to make some signature hoptails.
OT: Any customer favorites? 
MB: Our most requested and intriguing item on the drink menu is the shotski, which is a stylized ski with four holes for shot glasses. If you hear the bartenders call out “Shotski,” you know it’s going to be a good night!
OT: What’s your preferred spot to hang in Capitol Riverfront?
MB: Lot38 [Espresso Bar DC] is my primary pre-work spot. They get me going in the morning before a long day shift.
The Big Stick: 20 M St. SE, DC;
Chef Leo Garcia of  Scarlet Oak
On Tap: What is your creative process for selecting each seasonal menu at Scarlet Oak?

Leo Garcia: I’m constantly looking for new and creative ideas for dishes. Often times, I’ll look at what our distributors have and see what I can come up with. This way everything is seasonal and super fresh.

OT: Can you give us a sneak peek of what will change on the menu in the next few months?
LG: Look for lots of bright items. We’ve got a great cavatelli pasta dish that features pancetta, asparagus, Fresno peppers and some basil. [It’s] a really nice introduction to spring.
OT: Are there any dishes currently offered at the restaurant that you’re particularly proud of?
LG: I am really proud of my ravioli dish. All of our pastas are made from scratch, and the ravioli is no exception. I braise beef brisket and stuff the ravioli, creating a rich and delicious flavor profile.
OT: When you’re not working, what are your favorite places to hang out in Capitol Riverfront?
LG: I really enjoy Yards Park. I try to take my kids there as often as possible.
OT: What upcoming events in the neighborhood are you looking forward to?   
LG: I love how the neighborhood is so great at hosting different events, because it drives business for all of the restaurants. I don’t get to partake in too many of the events, but maybe one day I can enjoy a concert at The Yards.

Scarlet Oak: 909 New Jersey Ave. SE, DC;

GM Ryan McCullough of  Bluejacket 
On Tap: Why did the Bluejacket team select the Boilermaker Shops as its home base?
Ryan McCullough: Because of its vast empty space, the possibilities for developing and building a boundary-pushing brewery were almost limitless. We were very excited to be at the forefront of the expansion of this now burgeoning community.
OT: What makes Bluejacket a brewery without boundaries? 
RM: We have an extremely talented brew team that is encouraged to always experiment and push the envelope when developing new beer recipes.
OT: What are the signature flavors of Bluejacket beers?
RM: The first is Forbidden Planet, which is a kölsch-style beer dry-hopped with an Australian varietal of hop called Galaxy. Lost Weekend has been dubbed as the best IPA in DC by many of its fans.  Last but certainly not least is a beer that has developed a cult following among the local DMV consumers – Mexican Radio, our sweet stout further spiced with cinnamon, ancho chiles, cacao nibs and vanilla beans.
OT: How does the fare served at Arsenal complement Bluejacket’s offerings?
RM: Chef Marcelle has developed a menu that draws from central European cooking, where historically the most prolific beer has been brewed. The backbone of the menu comes from all the locally and responsibly sourced ingredients available to us.

Bluejacket: 300 Tingey St. SE, DC;

Bartender Alexandra Hall of Gordon Biersch, Navy Yard

On Tap: Tell me a little bit about the onsite brewery and the craft beers you offer. 
Alexandra Hall: [Brewmaster] Travis [Tedrow] is awesome at everything he creates in our brewery. [He] takes his time and explains what he is doing for people that don’t have experience brewing. And [the brewery is] always incredibly clean and organized.
OT: What’s your drink of choice on the menu?
AH: Hefeweizen – refreshing beer for all seasons that is unfiltered and has a mild banana and clove aroma to it.
OT: What makes the experience at Gordon Biersch unique to visiting another restaurant or brewery in Capitol Riverfront?
AH: [We have] scratch beer and a scratch kitchen with good bar specials daily.
OT: Name your hands-down favorite thing to do in the neighborhood. 
AH: [Going] to see the Nats play, and the bar crawls in the area with all the new places.

Gordon Biersch: 100 M St. SE, DC;

Ice Cream Jubilee
Victoria Lai says the first time she saw Yards Park several years ago, she knew she had stumbled upon one of the best-kept secrets in DC. The former presidential appointee attorney turned ice cream maven was inspired to translate the flavors unearthed during her exploration in the local culinary and mixologist scene, as well as her childhood memories and international travels, into desserts she could share with others. From honey lemon lavender ice cream to caramel coconut cashew sorbet, Lai takes pride in presenting one-of-a-kind options to patrons. This summer, she’s looking forward to returning to Ice Cream Jubilee’s roots and rolling out her ice cream cart to all of the picnics in the neighborhood. Her favorite local event? “I love the summer concert series and all the energy [it brings] to the Capitol Riverfront.” Ice Cream Jubilee: 301 Water St. SE, DC;
beer cocktails

Brews for Brunch

When your Friday night’s faded into a blurry, PBR-soaked memory, sometimes a fruity mimosa or salad-like Bloody Mary just isn’t what the doctor ordered. Fight fire with fire: if beer is the dog that bit you and your head is aching for relief, sometimes it’s wise to avoid vodka and go straight back to your first love – hops.

Craft beer has swept across the DMV in recent years, but if you look a little deeper, there’s been another trend that’s made DC look a little more like NYC as of late: the beer cocktail. But sometimes for brunch, you don’t want something too fancy. Lucky for you, the region has a variety of brunch options for beer lovers of all stripes.

The Beer Mimosa

This may take you a second to get your head – or taste buds – around, but it exists: the beer mimosa. And you can find it at Scion Restaurant: 2100 P St. NW, DC or 1200 East-West Hwy. Silver Spring, MD; Scion used to offer the acidic beer concoction on their bottomless brunch menu, but now you can request their in-stock wheat beer with OJ by the glass. It’s hard being single, or maybe the Temperance Movement is having a comeback.

But it’s a pretty simple drink, so you can just try it at home in your own bottomless punch bowl: scoop a Hefeweizen – or six – and mix with orange juice (and add slices of fresh orange for sex appeal).

The Beer and Egg Cocktail

When you’re in the mood to drink your breakfast, do it the right way – with beer and egg all in one. Mixologists came up with a new take on the root beer float at Boundary Road: 414 H St. NE, DC; It’s called the Five and Dime cocktail, and it starts with some egg yolk that’s added in with maple syrup and root beer liqueur. The concoction is then mixed with a porter, giving it a frothy, root beer float-like feel and look. There’s one catch though: the Five and Dime is no longer on the menu, but they tell me they still have all the ingredients behind the bar. So just ask them to whip one up for you and tell ‘em I sent you!

The Michelada

If you wake up and need to pack in some food and a few inexpensive drinks before heading to a Nats game, check out Navy Yard’s Agua 301: 301 Water St. SE, DC; They offer a spicy take on the Latino specialty the michelada – a beer-infused variation of the Bloody Mary that’s relatively light and perfect for summer days. At Agua 301, this hangover cure is served with fresh lime juice, hot sauce, tomato juice and Worcestershire sauce.

But let’s face it – the michelada has been around since before Navy Yard got cool. Check out a local Latino dive in whatever neighborhood you live in. The chances of finding delicious food, friendly people and an authentic – if less spicy – michelada are strong.

The Shandy

If your taste buds are crying out for some refreshing citrus after checking out a museum or going for a stroll on the Mall, but you don’t want all the pulp and prosecco of a mimosa, you may be in the mood for a good, old-fashioned shandy – the original beer cocktail, one might say.

As the temperature starts to heat up, mosey on over to Eastern Market’s Boxcar Tavern: 224 7th St. SE, DC; It’s a quaint, little old-time pub that refreshingly – or annoyingly, depending on your mood – smells like a pub. In the summertime, they serve Curious Traveler Shandy, a Traveler Beer Company ale infused with lemony goodness that’s sure to perk you up after a night on the town.

The Beer Run

There are those Saturday and Sundays when you just want to curl up on your couch, but that doesn’t mean you can’t imbibe. If you need an excuse to crack a cold one, just tell yourself (or your partner) that you really want to try the growing trend of coffee stouts. A good place to scoop a variety of them up is at Red, White & Bleu: 127 S Washington St. Falls Church, VA;

They sell Brooklyn-based Sixpoint’s C.R.E.A.M., or Cash Rules Everything Around Me, for you non-Wu-Tang Clan aficionados out there. As they advertise, “You started with cream in your coffee, now have coffee in your cream ale.” ‘Nuff said.

Red, White & Bleu also sells a special craft beer for those days when you need to tackle some chores, but you really just want to drink a beer or two. Try the Cosmic Ristretto Black Lager by Green Flash in San Diego. It’s a black lager infused with cold-pressed espresso, hence the name Ristretto – a true coffee beer.

Sure, everyone’s raving about mimosas and Bloody Marys these days, but just remember to be you. There’s nothing classless about cracking a good, old-fashioned American craft beer while at brunch. But if you want to fancy your suds up a bit, remember the DMV has some great options that may even turn some heads when you’re out (or hanging some art at home) over the weekend.
best brunches dc

Best Bets for Brunch

Brunch in DC isn’t just a popular pastime – it’s a way of life. We take brunching seriously in the DMV, planning our weekends around the hottest spots to cure our hangovers with inventive comfort food and refreshing cocktails. On Tap’s favorite foodies put together their short list for some of the best brunches around town, divvied up by category to give 33 excellent locations a fair shake. From carnivorous to vegan, boozy to health-conscious, live music to drag show – we’ve got it covered. Read on for our top brunch picks in and around the District.

Bottomless Booze
The Pursuit Wine Bar
There are a lot of obvious bottomless destinations on DC’s brunch scene – but let’s take a look under the radar and spread the love to The Pursuit Wine Bar on H Street, where bottomless mimosas are $10, the wine list is thoughtful, the servers are friendly, and loaded French toast means Nutella and bananas. The Pursuit Wine Bar:1421 H St. NE, DC;
In Dupont, almost anything near Connecticut Avenue with a patio is a no-brainer. But head down P Street and look  for Urbana at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar. I have fond memories of trying to drink this place dry with one of my best friends on a semi-regular basis. The refillable (they’re classy) Bellinis are $16, and bloodies are $18. The best part? The cute little carafes of juices they bring so you can customize your Bellinis. Oh, and the food is reliably high-end hotel quality. Urbana: 2121 P St. NW, DC;

Live Music 
Take a trip to Louisiana without leaving DC at this Cajun-inspired live jazz brunch every Sunday. The music is the perfect backdrop to heavenly Southern fare, where $29 gets you a three-course menu featuring fried green tomatoes, seafood crepe gratin, French market beignets and more. Add on $10 to make your brunch bottomless with spicy Cajun Bloody Marys or blood orange mimosas. Acadiana: 901 New York Ave. NW, DC;

L’Enfant Café
At the request of the owners, I won’t share too much information, so as not to ruin the surprise for patrons. But if you have yet to go to “La Boum” at L’Enfant Café, you are missing out. Plan to make your reservations way in advance, especially if you have a large group, but it is well worth the wait. Once you are inside and your brunch time begins, the blinds are drawn, the champagne flows and the dance party really starts. Choose from a 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. seating on Saturdays and Sundays. The price is $29.50 per person, plus 20 percent gratuity. L’Enfant Café: 2000 18th St. NW, DC;

This Sunday brunch is the perfect way to unwind after a long weekend with some talented local musicians. The music level is loud enough to enjoy, but not so much that it overpowers your rehashing of Saturday night. A $13 all-you-can-eat waffle and omelet bar (with bacon, sausage and fruit) means you don’t have to tackle that epic first-world problem – eggs or waffles? Order a pitcher of mimosas or build your own Bloody Mary, and sit back and enjoy the tunes. Ragtime: 1345 N. Courthouse Rd. Arlington, VA;
International Fare

If you dream of exotic European destinations, go to Ambar and immerse yourself in the Balkans. The “endless selection” is $39 and includes all you could possibly eat or drink off the brunch menu. The Ambar mimosas are made with Balkan sparkling wine and peach and lavender puree, and the menu is a gloriously caloric list of crepes, meat pies, mezza and Nutella. Once you’ve eaten through the menu (it might take a few visits), get on a plane and indulge at its sister restaurant in Belgrade. Or just ogle their Instagram: @ambar_belgrade.  Ambar: 523 8th St. SE, DC;

China Garden
Brunch doesn’t always have to be about eggs benny and mimosas. Turn your Saturday morning into a destination brunch. Dim sum is my all-time favorite, and in DC there is nothing like China Garden – the fragrant chaos of the carts, the passive-aggressive struggle with the cart ladies trying to pawn off less popular dishes, the victory of scenting a cart laden with your favorite item (char shu bao!) and the thrill of discovering something new. Pro tip: Avoid anything that looks like regular Chinese restaurant food (e.g., trays of fried noodles) and focus on the dumplings. Note: This is not for your vegetarian friends (though a server here once insisted to me that chicken is a vegetable). This is for a large group of your favorite carnivores – the more the merrier, since that means more dumplings. China Garden: 1100 Wilson Blvd. (Mall Level), Rosslyn, VA;

TooSso Pakistani Kitchen
If East Asia is not your destination of choice, head to the family-owned TooSso (or stuff yourself) Pakistani Kitchen in Potomac Falls (a second location is coming soon to Rockville) for their halwa puri (traditional Pakistani breakfast) of fried bread, halwa and spicy cholay. On weekends, they also serve nihari, a rich beef shank stew (kind of like a Pakistani pho). It does get crowded, so get ready to count bottle caps to pass the time (there are over 22,000 of them affixed to the walls – but how many, exactly?) TooSso Pakistani Kitchen: 20921 Davenport Dr. Potomac Falls, VA;

On A Budget

Central Michel Richard
Central Michel Richard might seem like a strange choice for the “on a budget” category, but hear me out. This bottomless (mimosas or bloodies), three-course brunch at one of Washington’s great restaurants costs $42 (or $27 without bottomless) – the equivalent at Central for another meal will run far higher. So, this is budget lux brunch. Plus, I heart chocolate pancakes.  Central Michel Richard: 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC;

Medium Rare
At the rate that we brunch in DC, I’m surprised we’re not all broke. When the urge to save money conflicts with my need for brunch, I plunge into the festive din of Medium Rare and spend $25 for two courses and bottomless mimosas, bloodies and coffee. I drool in my sleep for their 24-hour soaked (then fried) French toast (sorry, TMI). You’ll find me at Capitol Hill, but check out their Cleveland Park location as well. Medium Rare: 515 8th St. SE, DC;

Alternatively, head to Rockville. Quench opened with a splash in 2012, serving a creative menu and holding fun cocktail classes. It changed owners in 2014, but it’s still serving the neighborhood – and their $9 bottomless mimosas are solid. Quench: 9712 Traville Gateway Dr. Rockville, MD;

Drag Shows
Perry’s Restaurant
The entertainment does not stop during a Sundays drag brunch at Perry’s Restaurant. Whether you are sitting in the bar or at a reserved table with your group, the queens come around and keep you on your toes. And if you are celebrating something special, definitely be sure to tell one of the queens! Perry’s offers two brunch seatings at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., each lasting two hours. The all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet and show are $25.95 (not including beverage/tax/gratuity), and include an array of delicious salads, eggs, fruit, baked goods and sushi. Brunch sells out quickly, so plan to make your reservations one to two weeks in advance. Perry’s Restaurant: 1811 Columbia Rd. NW, DC;

Nellie’s Sports Bar
No shortage of personalities at this brunch, with Shi-Queeta Lee and her divas giving the crowd everyone from Beyonce to Liza Minelli. A $39.85 ticket gets you an unlimited breakfast spread including roast pork, mini empanadas, homemade mini-Nellie cupcakes and more. All taxes and gratuity are included in the price, along with your first mimosa or Zing Zang Bloody Mary. Brunch happens Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite via Nellie’s website. Nellie’s Sports Bar: 900 U St. NW, DC;

Meat Lovers 
Kangaroo Boxing Club
Smoked brisket, pulled pork and heavenly BBQ are the main players at Kangaroo Boxing Club. The popular Columbia Heights eatery offers a cozy atmosphere for a lazy brunch, complete with a juke box and prime-time people-watching spot on the patio. Try the big house breakfast with smoked brisket, sunny-side-up egg, biscuit and pastrami smashed potatoes with sausage gravy. Or go for the addictive tater tot hash with chopped brisket or bacon, eggs and red pepper jam. The pineapple papaya mimosa is a welcome change to the classic beverage, so order up a carafe for the table. Prices range $8 to $14. Kangaroo Boxing Club: 3410 11th St. NW, DC;

The Partisan
The brunch menu is only a year old, but The Partisan has certainly gained a reputation for offering carnivores their ultimate weekend escape. The Penn Quarter restaurant serves as a meat showcase, if you will, for partner and neighbor Red Apron Butcher, which is all about sourcing local and humane meats. For the ultimate fix, try the triple stack burger, with two beef patties, a breakfast sausage patty, cheese, bacon, a fried egg and maple butter. And you cannot make it through a brunch without ordering a bacon plate and beef fat fries for the table. If your mouth is not watering yet, it should be. Entrees range from $10 to $22.  The Partisan: 709 D St. NW, DC;

The Pig
The name clearly gives away the premise, but a love of pork and utilizing the whole animal are the focus at popular restaurant The Pig, with brunch being no different. Start off your meal with a heavenly charcuterie and cheese platter (little pig for $23 or big pig for $37), and move on to one of their tasty sandwiches (highly recommend the pork cutlet) or entrees (try the pork hash or waffle with fried chicken thigh). The mac and cheese truffle crust is the perfect sidekick to any of the meat-focused dishes, and be sure to order bacon cinnamon buns for the table. Entrees range $15 to $18. The Pig: 1320 14th St. NW, DC;
Brunch & Work Out 
Indigo Landing
If you’ve run or biked far enough down the Mount Vernon Trail, you’ve passed the Washington Sailing Marina. What you probably haven’t noticed is the old-school restaurant overlooking the water. On weekends, Indigo Landing puts out an epic brunch buffet (including an omelet station) for $35/person. Try biking there and back – it’s the perfect break halfway through your workout. Indigo Landing: One Marina Dr. Alexandria, VA;
Kafe Leopold
If being out on the water is more your style, start at sunny Kafe Leopold in Georgetown for a light brunch of soft-boiled eggs with toast points and good coffee. Then walk to the Key Bridge Boathouse at the far end of K Street for an afternoon of canoeing or stand-up paddle boarding. Kafe Leopold: 3315 M St. NW, DC;

Brunch is all about indulgence – but sometimes you need to pay for your sins. Make a down payment with a hike up the dog-friendly Sugarloaf Mountain in Dickerson, Md. Then head to the 19th-century brownstone mansion that houses Volt from celeb chef Bryan Voltaggio in nearby Fredrick for their seasonal three- or five-course tasting brunch ($35 and $55, respectively).  Volt: 228 N Market St. Frederick, MD;
Brunch Cocktails
The Fainting Goat
A creative take on the classics and an inventive approach to ingredients makes The Fainting Goat a must-go for drinks, especially for brunch. The local hotspot prides itself on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, from its food to its beverages. Try Brucey’s Cocktail, inspired by the head bartender’s trip to the Amalfi Coast, with house-smoked lemon juice and vodka, and topped with an Averna-glazed and grilled lemon wheel. Brunch libations range from $7 to $11 each, with bottomless mimosas or Bloody Goats available for $17. The Fainting Goat: 1330 U St. NW, DC;

Old Town Pour House
Everyone claims to have the most creative and tasty Bloody Mary, but the Churchill Bloody Mary at Old Town Pour House takes the cake. Described as “bold and unwavering in character, like the British bulldog himself,” this $12 drink is a meal in and of itself. Served in a 21-ounce goblet, the Bloody Mary is crowned with a jumbo grilled shrimp and generously loaded skewer including steak medallions, cubed pepper jack cheese and cherry tomatoes. The drink is capped off with a Slim Jim resting on the seasoned rim. Old Town Pour House: 212 Ellington Blvd. Gaithersburg, MD;

Blue Duck Tavern
Can I have a picture of the pig you’re going to serve me? I want to gaze into his eyes before I tuck into brunch. Okay, not really – but who doesn’t want to know where their food grew up? Farm-to-table has moved from trend to staple, but some restaurants do it better than others. Blue Duck Tavern is the gold standard, listing the source of produce and meats for each dish on its menu. The staff is ready with further details about the living conditions of your late chicken. It’s also the gold standard for luxury brunching – it’s been six years since I swooned over a whitefish rillette there, and I still think about it. It tasted like it had lived a good life. Blue Duck Tavern: 1201 24th St. NW, DC;

Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm
If you want to feel like you’re at the farm table, head to Broadlands, Va., where you’ll find Willow Creek Farm, part of the Clyde’s group of restaurants. The beautifully reconstructed late 18th  century and early 19th century farmhouse buildings are practically a museum to American country life – a museum that also serves locally-grown produce and hormone-free beef. Brunch is officially only served on Sunday, but the Saturday lunch menu also features eggs benny and other brunchy foods.  Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm: 42920 Broadlands Blvd. Broadlands, VA;
The buzziest farm-to-table brunch in DC right now has to be at Ripple, home of the now-famous Marjorie Meek Bradley (you may have seen her on this season’s Top Chef). Ripple offers an affordable lux experience for brunch via a pastry, an entree and bottomless libations for $30. Farm sources are listed at the bottom of the menu.Ripple: 3417 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC;

Vegan & Vegetarian

If you want something less messy and with fewer hipsters, head to Equinox for Todd Grey’s market vegan brunch buffet. For $35, you can graze the soft taco station (tofu scramble!), granola-crusted French toast and a wide range of beautifully prepared, plant-based dishes. Equinox: 818 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC;
Smoke and Barrel
I could almost be a vegetarian if I could brunch every weekend at Smoke and Barrel. Their vegan spare ribs make carnivores happy, as do the vegan sweet potato donuts. The cocktails are under-the-radar amazing, but they love mimosa purists, too, with their 48-ounce pitcher for $20. Smoke and Barrel: 2471 18th St. NW, DC;

True Food Kitchen
If you find your vegetarian self in the Mosaic District, head to True Food Kitchen. I can get behind anyone who creates an “anti-inflammatory food pyramid” and puts chocolate at the top. Their extensive selection of vegetarian and vegan options (quinoa Johnny cakes!) are integrated across the menu, since this is where plant-based diets are a legitimate way of life. Me? I’m going for the cocktails. Those are plant-based, right? True Food Kitchen: 2910 District Ave. #170, Fairfax, VA;

All-Day Breakfast

Bob & Edith’s Diner
When the night is slipping into morning and I’m looking to wallow in some hot, greasy hash browns and icy cold milkshakes, I drift to Bob & Edith’s Diner on Columbia Pike. This is 24/7 old school, a classic – part of the American teenage dream that we all revisit at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday to reassure ourselves that we’re still young (or at least youngish). Bob & Edith’s has added two newer locations, but I’ll stick with the iconic original. Bob & Edith’s Diner: 2310 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA;

Olivia’s Diner 
Sometimes, brunch needs to happen for dinner. When those moments strike, I head to Olivia’s in Dupont Circle. Nothing complicated, just a diner with good pancakes and eggs, updated for the city – and open until 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Olivia’s Diner: 1120 19th St. NW, DC;

Of course, if you’re in Maryland when late-night omelet cravings strike, head to Silver. This is the modern, posh member of the Silver family of diners – so not just heart-healthy, gluten-free menu options and locally-sourced produce, but also a good list of cocktails and a slightly swank vibe. So go ahead – it’s 6 p.m., and you should totally order that vegetarian banana French toast. Silver: 7150 Woodmont Ave. Bethesda, MD;

Chef Geoff’s
Chef Geoff’s has always blended its classic American menu with a high level of health awareness – without sacrificing taste. Even bread-lovers will savor the full menu of gluten-free options (more big shrimp and very gouda grits, please!) Other menu items can be prepared without gluten as well. Chef Geoff’s: 8045 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA;

Pennsylvania 6
The quirkily beautiful Pennsylvania 6 offers a full gluten-free menu, including burgers served on Udi’s gluten-free buns. The celiac’s dream brunch: wild mushroom toastie (red onion jam, Grana Padano, fried egg and Udi gluten-free toast) with a bottle of Veuve. The champagne bar lets you play bartender and customize your bubbles with an array of juices and garnishes. Pennsylvania 6: 1350 I St. NW, DC;
Trummer’s on Main
The idyllically glam Trummer’s on Main has long been a romantic foodie destination, but it also has a very flexible kitchen, offering to accommodate any dietary request, and even going as far as to urge those with unique allergies to phone ahead so the kitchen can be prepared. We just might be on the all-mimosa diet. Trummer’s on Main: 7134 Main St. Clifton, VA;

Brunch Index of Advertisers
All listings are provided by the brunch venues.  

51st State
Enjoy Sunday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with great food, $5 Bloodies and $25 unlimited mimosas. 51st State: 2512 L St. NW, DC;

Agua 301
Agua 301 offers bottomless margaritas, sangria, Bloody Marys and mimosas for customers to enjoy while dining waterside. Enjoy Mexican specialties such as pozole verde, migas and chilaquiles as well as omelets, frittatas and tacos. Agua 301: 301 Water St. SE, DC;  

Enjoy Turkish breakfast specialties, flatbreads and meze during Ankara’s bottomless brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Patio seating available. Ankara: 1320 19th St. NW, DC;

We are not just another sports bar with brunch. We skillfully make scratch-made food every day, and recently re-launched our brunch menu to add some new flavors. Brunch specialties include our apple butter French toast and tex-mex Benedict.Champps: 1201 S Joyce St. Arlington, VA ;

Celtic House
Join us for unlimited helpings of your favorite breakfast plates, complete with both a carving and make-your-own omelet station. Enjoy a traditional Irish country breakfast platter, omelets, French toast, and your favorite Bloody Marys and mimosas. Celtic House: 2500 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA;

District ChopHouse
We are featuring a new brunch menu that includes a prime rib Benedict, chicken and waffles, a Benedict flight with three different styles, lemon ricotta Belgian waffles, and more. We also offer a selection of classics from our lunch and dinner menus like our signature pub burger. District ChopHouse: 509 7th St. NW, Washington, DC;

Earls Kitchen + Bar
Our brunch menu uses premium, homemade ingredients and is enhanced by our signature cocktail, a Canadian twist on a Bloody Mary, and our goat cheese frittata, a light mix of fluffy eggs, goat cheese, pesto and arugula that’s perfect for the patio.Earls Kitchen & Bar: 7902 Tysons One Pl. Tysons, VA;

Fado Irish Pub
Aside from our traditional Irish breakfast, we have an assortment of plated brunch items from a classic eggs Benedict to our hangover sandwich. Bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys are always a good start to the day, especially the morning after…well, what happens at Fado stays at Fado. Fado Irish Pub: 808 7th St. NW, Washington, DC:

The Fainting Goat
Bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas pair wonderfully with our seasonal menu, featuring fresh and local ingredients, and our menu is designed with sharing in mind.The Fainting Goat: 1330 U St. NW, DC;

Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant
We serve pancakes, omelets, eggs and more. Our Saturday and Sunday buffet opens at 10 a.m. Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant: 555 23rd St. S. Arlington, VA;

Howard Theatre
The Howard Theatre’s brunch is unique because of its range of amazing music performances, and its Southern-influenced cuisine will surely leave you with an experience not to be forgotten. We are excited to introduce our new apple pie a la mode with diced apples that are sugar-wrapped in a deep-fried pastry puff and topped with ice cream and house-made caramel sauce. Howard Theatre: 620 T St. NW, DC;

IOTA Club & Café
We offer excellent Ceremony drip coffee and espresso, and Revolution tea. We serve gourmet breakfast pastries and breakfast sandwiches, and delectable breakfast bread pudding. Ask for our 100 percent real maple syrup. IOTA Club & Café: 2832 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA  

Le Grenier
On Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., enjoy one appetizer and one entrée or one entrée and one dessert with a glass of champagne or a mimosa for $19.95. Le Grenier: 502 H St. NE, DC;

Mad Fox Brewing Company
The flavors of our award-winning craft beer are blended into our savory brunch specialties. Dig into crispy fried chicken and waffles smothered in Orange Whip IPA maple syrup, or kölsch -battered biscuits and gravy. Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 W Broad St. Falls Church, VA;

Mad Fox Taproom
We’re shaking up the traditional bottomless mimosas brunch scene with bottomless mead-mosas for just $15, featuring seasonal mead from Charm City Meadworks. Indulge even further with a colossal cinnabomb filled with a gooey brown sugar filling, and topped with a decadent Grand Marnier and cream cheese frosting. Mad Fox Taproom: 2218 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC;

Park Lane Tavern
Park Lane Tavern offers an array of fresh and original brunch options crafted to perfection. Combine this with our extensive gourmet Bloody Mary bar and flavored mimosas, and we make brunch not just a meal but a true experience. Park Lane Tavern: 3227 Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA ;

Sehkraft Brewing
We offer a large, eclectic buffet with a waffle bar, omelet and beer tasting stations, smoked micheladas, butcher shop fare, a traveling dim sum cart and more. Sehkraft Brewing: 925 N Garfield St. Arlington, VA;

STK Washington DC
Every Sunday you can indulge in our a la carte brunch menu, sip $20 bottomless brunch cocktails and dance the afternoon away to beats by our in-house DJ. We feature themed brunches including a drag brunch hosted by Birdie La Cage and fellow queens once a month. STK Washington DC: 250 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC;

Tortoise & Hare
We love to get creative with our menu. Whether it’s our Captain Crunch French toast or individual breakfast pizzas, you’ll love anything you choose at Tortoise & Hare.Tortoise & Hare: 567 23rd St. S. Arlington, VA;

Tunnicliff’s Tavern
Our brunch menu includes just about every item you can imagine – anything from pancakes, to corned beef hash, to an assortment of omelets, to four different takes on eggs Benedict. Tunnicliff’s Tavern: 222 7th St. SE, DC;  

Whitlow’s on Wilson
On both Saturday and Sunday, we offer the a la carte menu from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and our buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The buffet includes breakfast standards, an omelet station, crab legs, fried shrimp and plenty of comfort food classics. Drink specials include $14 make your own mimosas with a bottle of champagne, plus a Bloody Mary bar. Whitlow’s on Wilson: 2854 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA;

women bartenders dc

Meet DC’s Leading Mix Mavens

Get to know some of DC’s best and brightest mix mavens – the talented ladies behind some of the city’s most popular bars and dining destinations. Read on for their thoughts on everything from women in the DMV’s food and beverage scene, to hard-hitting topics like their choice of last drink on Earth.

Rose Previte
Age: 36
Gig: Owner, Compass Rose
From: Ada, Ohio
Lives on: 14th Street/U Street
On the female presence at Compass Rose: “I’m very proud of the girl power we have on display at Compass Rose. All the women running Compass Rose now just found their way to us. I got to know them and learned they wanted to make this industry their career, too. Now, I’ve got a team of badass women helping to make Compass Rose the special place it is.”
On her experience opening the restaurant: “It’s hard for any small business owner, but I definitely felt like being young and female made it even harder. I am really proud of what I’ve accomplished since then and felt like I gained so much confidence through the opening experience.”
On how that affected her: “It made me want to teach and mentor other women interested in the service industry as a career. I had a lot of people take a chance on me when I told them I wanted to open a restaurant. And now that I’m in a position to help others, that’s what I want to do. Anyone who wants the chance to learn and grow can get one with me.”
Interests beyond the world of food and drink: “Travel, trees, trains.”
Favorite drink on her menu: “The Compass Rose.”

Compass Rose: 1346 T St. NW, DC;

Janelle Whisenant
Age: 30
Gig: Bar Manager, Compass Rose
From: Easton, Pa.
Lives: “Uncomfortably close to Compass Rose. A very short commute – and they have keys to my apartment.”
On her dream job: “If I can make drinks and make art, I’d probably be the happiest person in the world, which is exactly what I’m doing!”
Janelle on Rose: “She’s definitely a bar owner that is present, [and] very positive. She’s just in it. She loves everyone and everything, and her spirit is so, so obvious.”
On the female presence at Compass Rose: “All of a sudden, there’s kind of this female power that’s growing in Compass Rose. Again, that wasn’t really intentional, it just kind of happened that way. We all kind of found each other, and found ways to build each other up, and help each other, and find our strengths.”
On having her art displayed at Compass Rose: “There’s some hanging in the restaurant. The paintings that I make have a little bit of this street art influence, and one of the concepts of Compass Rose is street food from around the world, so it fits that theme. It’s a good way for people to get to know me a little bit behind the bar and to connect with your guest, which is awesome.”
If you like her paintings, find more at, or strike up a conversation with her on your next visit.
Compass Rose: 1346 T St. NW, DC;

Amy Hosseinnian  
Age: 23
Gig: GM, Buffalo & Bergen
From: Rockville, Md.
Lives in: Rockville, Md.
On powerful female influences: “I was trained by two of the baddest in the city, [including Gina Chersevani], who also happen to be women, so I’ve been surrounded by amazing women both as mixologists and chefs in my career.”
On differing treatment from customers: “Not with cocktails, but I do notice customers are different when asking about beer. There seems to be this perception that young women in particular aren’t beer savvy.”
Her go-to drink: She asks bartenders for recommendations and enjoys trying new things, but: “A julep done right is my jam.”
Her last drink on Earth: “Depends on the cause of death. If we’re talking zombie apocalypse, Corpse Reviver #2, if only for the pun. If I’m dying of natural causes, please pour me a shot of 23-year Pappy Van Winkle [Family] Reserve, and bury me with the bottle.”
Buffalo & Bergen: Union Market, 1309 5th St. NE, DC;

Lucy Dunning
Age: 25
Gig: Bar Manager, 2 Birds 1 Stone
From: Adams Morgan
Lives in: Adams Morgan
On being indoctrinated into craft cocktails: “I wasn’t really introduced to craft cocktails until I was hired at 2 Birds. I give most of the credit to where I am today to Adam [Bernbach]. I feel very lucky to work with people who are devoted to what they do, and the well-being of their coworkers.”
On women in the DC scene: “One of the things I love about the food and beverage industry in DC is the number of women making a name for themselves as strong, creative people in their workplace. It’s always awesome when you meet just as many talented women thriving in their field as you do men.”
On staying sane behind the bar: “I learned a long time ago that letting things go is the key to keeping your sanity behind a bar. That being said, Adam once told me that when someone orders a vodka Sprite, it’s a sign that the night is going to be messy. Still have yet to disprove that one.”
2 Birds 1 Stone: 1800 14th St. NW, DC;

Chantal Tseng
Age: 37
Gig: Literary Cocktail Bartender, Reading Room at Petworth Citizen
Nickname: Sherry Ninja or Sherry Queen
From: Buffalo, N.Y.
Lives in: Adams Morgan
How she got her start: After working as a barista, she began reading up on cocktails, and then pursued wine training courses. She became bartender then bar manager at Dupont’s Tabard Inn, and stayed for nine years, launching their craft cocktail program. Then she left to open and run the bar program at Mockingbird Hill.
What she’s up to now: “Currently, I am passionate about reading and writing fiction and have set up a Friday and Saturday Literary Cocktail series where I design a menu based on books of a particular author I read during the week.”
About her events: The events take place in the Reading Room in the back of Petworth Citizen. She also hosts a roaming sherry pairing supper club with Redeye Menus ( Monthly events showcase sherry paired with Asian cuisine from chefs across the city.
On women getting more attention behind the bar: “I think that women, generally speaking, are often less likely to promote themselves, but that is changing with younger, newer bartenders getting in the profession. We also have a growing badass community of women organizing things like Speed Rack (, and also opening their own bars.”
Trends to watch for: Sherry, her “point of passion and pride.” But also Spanish vermouths, absinthe-forward drinks and: “better garnishes or #garnishgame gaining. Extra garnishes without a purpose have always been borderline annoying. But garnishes with purpose – and that purpose can be whimsy without identifying as Tiki – seem to be catching on.”
Go-to drinks: Fino sherry, or Green Chartreuse in hot cocoa when it’s cold: “Also, I adore getting a piña colada from Adam Bernbach at 2 Birds 1 Stone when he has it on the menu.”
Favorite DC bar: “2 Birds 1 Stone.”
Her last drink on Earth: “Really delicious, vintage, bottle-aged champagne on the drier side, on the top of a mountain overlooking the ocean. Ideally, I won’t be altitude sick or super cold, [and] either by myself or with wonderful friends.”
Petworth Citizen: 829 Upshur St. NW, DC;

Carlie Steiner
Age: 24
Gig: Co-founder, Stir Bartending
From: The 757
Lives in: Park View/Petworth
Liz Ball
Age: 28
Gig: Co-founder, Stir Bartending
From: Tennessee
Lives in: Shaw

How Stir Bartending came about:
Carlie: “After attending the Culinary Institute of America, I jumped immediately into the bartending scene here in DC at Minibar and Barmini by Jose Andres.”
Liz: “I met Carlie in early 2014 at Barmini after returning from traveling abroad. I previously worked in special events and project management in DC, and knew there was a need for craft cocktail catering.”
Carlie: “After months of deliberation to pursue our idea, I finally worked up the guts to leave what I thought was the most amazing job I would ever have, and Stir Bartending Co. was born!”
On the rise of female bartenders, especially in DC:
Carlie: “DC has a better scene than many other major cities, which could relate to being such a progressive place to live. That being said, women are still not always represented overall. Women are still getting put into a box of ‘best female bartender’ instead of ‘best DC bartender.’”
Most memorable nightmare story:
Carlie: “When we first got started, we did a charity event for a close friend and well…”
Liz: “I accidentally combined both punches into one super punch…”
Carlie: “…not super!”
Liz: “She has never let me live this down.”
Their last drinks on Earth:
Carlie: “Four shots of tequila and a dirty martini.”
Liz: “One bottle of George Dickel Rye.”
The DC area bartenders they want making their drinks for them:
Carlie: “Sarah Rosner, Chantal Tseng and Dan Searing.”
Liz: “Carlie!”
When they’re not making drinks, they’re:
Carlie: “Rock climbing, eating pickled things, singing karaoke, longboarding, being super gay, riding my scooter round town, yelling and screaming compliments from my scooter to strangers I pass by, and snowboarding.”
Liz: “Skiing, trollin’ around town, getting my National Park Passport stamped, hip-hop dance class and also being super gay.”
Stir Bartending Co.:

Celeste Hendrickson
Age: 27
Gig: Bartender, Hank’s on the Hill
From: Wakeman, Ohio
Lives in: Capitol Hill
How she started bartending: “This is my first bartending position. I have worked in the service industry off and on for 10 years, but always as a server. I began working at Hank’s almost two years ago. First, I was a daytime server and slowly worked my way up.”
Her go-to drink at home: “Scotch on the rocks.”
Favorite drink on her menu: “I previously had a cocktail on the menu called Nobody Leaves This Place Without Signing The Blues. It was made with dates, rye, lemon, sweet vermouth and bitters. I was proud of the way it turned out – balanced and not too sweet.”
Hardest lesson learned behind the bar: “Patience. I jumped into a very intense bar program, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything I don’t know. I have to be very patient with myself as I try to improve and learn every day.”
When she’s not bartending, she’s: “Hiking or enjoying a DC museum.”
Hank’s: 633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, DC;

Sarah  Rosner
Age: 33
Nickname: Rosner or Roz
Gig: Lead Bartender, Radiator
From: South Kona, Hawaii
Lives in: Dupont Circle
How she got started bartending: “My first bar shift was on my 21st birthday – it was the only way I wanted to celebrate. I had been eagerly waiting to be old enough for those shifts.”
On whether she’s been treated differently by employers: “Mostly, no. Though, I had a boss once say in a group bar training that women weren’t strong enough to shake cocktails. I thought to myself, ‘Old man, I am definitely stronger than you.’”
On competing in the DC Craft Bartenders Guild’s Cocktail Queen Competition: “I was worried the women would be catty. It was the complete opposite. All of us ladies were super friendly. We all helped each other and cheered each other on.”
Behind-the-bar tip: “Wear non-slip, comfortable shoes.”
Her last drink on Earth: “I hope I go as an old lady, so a perfectly stirred, 50/50 Dolin Blanc gin martini would be a classy choice.”
Radiator: 1430 Rhode Island Ave. NW, DC;

Jade Aldrighette
Age: 29
Gig: Bartender/GM, The Passenger (reopening soon)
From: Juneau, Alaska
Lives in: Mt. Pleasant
How she started bartending: After stints as a host, server and then bartender in Juneau, she moved to the DC area and began as a server at Busboys and Poets while working a government job. Then, she started at The Passenger, which “changed everything.” She quit the day job and was soon bartending full-time.
On whether customers care if there’s a male or female bartender: “I hope they don’t care. If people care whether their bartender is male or female, that kind of sucks. Even if it’s preferring a female over a male. Why?”
On representation of women in the industry: “Women are well-represented for sure. It would be cool if it didn’t have to be a category though – ‘best female bartender’ and that kind of thing.”
Favorite DC bar: “Looking Glass Lounge.”
Her go-to cocktail at home: For day drinking, Bloody Marias and micheladas. Otherwise: “Manhattan, or something with vermouth usually – stirred, brown spirit.”
Her last drink on Earth: “Brandy Old-Fashioned – my all-time favorite drink. Or a stinger, also brandy. It’s so good.”
When she’s not behind the bar, she’s: “Riding my bike, doing crossword puzzles, watching Trailer Park Boys [and] going to as many Nats games as possible.”
The Passenger: 1539 7th St. NW, DC;
New Dining April
Photo: Espita Mezcaleria’s sea scallop ceviche taken by Rey Lopez

New, Notable, No Longer: April 2016

On Tap keeps locals in the know about restaurants and bars opening around town this month, plus our top foodie picks.


Alta Strada
Michael Schlow (Tico DC, The Riggsby) has so many restaurants in DC, people are forgetting his origins in Boston. But his latest is based on his Alta Strada outposts in New England – is “sister restaurant” the trendy, posh pronunciation for “chain”? If so, we wish all chains could be like this urban Mediterranean dreamboat. Alta Strada: 475 K St. NW, DC;    

Burton’s Grill & Bar
Burton’s has all the normal American menu items: steaks, burgers, “street tacos” – but it is also a leader in allergen-awareness, fielding complete gluten-free and vegetarian menus and proactively asking diners if they have any (any!) food allergies. This will become a prime destination for large groups of picky foodies. Burton’s Grill & Bar: 6452A Beulah St. Alexandria, VA;  

Espita Mezcaleria
I went with eyes primed to roll at the “we fly our masa in from Oaxaca” schtick – but left a humble convert to the dense, flavorful corn tortillas. The delightful list of mezcal cocktails sealed the deal. This is where you’ll find me now: at the bar, drink in hand, demanding to know when the next flight from Oaxaca arrives. Espita Mezcaleria:1250 9th St. NW, DC;  

I remember when Tim Ma’s Maple Ave in Vienna burst on the scene – and I vividly recall the perfectly paired scallop risotto and ice cream I had there. I remember the delightful omelet with spam and kimchi at his next venture, Water and Wall, in Arlington. Closer and closer to DC – and now he lands in the heart of the trendy beast, in Shaw itself, with a cryptically named restaurant hung with panels taken from his uncle’s restaurant in China. Count to three and take the plunge. This will easily compete for best new restaurant of the year. Kyirisan: 1924 8th St. NW, DC;  

Formerly Napoleon Bistro, now the Afghan owners are stepping into the limelight with their personal family recipes. The cocktail menu has also been overhauled and now plays off the main menu’s subtle and sophisticated spices. We like the Negrita (cognac, espresso, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur and cardamom syrup). Lapis: 1847 Columbia Rd. NW, DC;  

Pineapples and Pearls
The masterminds behind Rose’s Luxury strike again, but this time with a space that occupies both ends of the dining spectrum: a coffee and pastry counter in the morning, and a $250-a-head, prix fixe “fine dining” destination in the evening. In fairness, the $250 includes seven to 10 courses, beverage pairings, tax and gratuity (and living wages for restaurant staff). Still – I’ll start with a latte. Pineapples and Pearls: 715 8th St. SE, DC; 

I’ve noticed lately that hardcore beer drinkers have gotten in the habit of making a secret handshake out of IPAs, uttering the letters to close a magic circle around themselves. While we all love to feel a part of something special, this is a bad habit, beer drinkers. Sovereign (from the folks behind ChurchKey) is helping everyone branch out with an entire bar dedicated to Belgian beer (including some Belgian-style beers brewed in America). But fear not, hopheads – even Belgium has dry-hopped beers. Go and explore. Sovereign: 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC;  

TAKODA (“friend to everyone”) takes the cake for best-looking new restaurant. Well done, Edit Lab at Streetsense (the latest in “craft” celebrities – not chefs, but restaurant designers). Though owners Ryan Seelbach and Eric Lund (The Huxley) have dubbed the top of their building a “beer garden,” I can think of nothing less like one. The partially-enclosed rooftop is all atrium-meets-whiskey-meets oh, I don’t know – maybe, my dream of how every happy hour should start? (But there are some taps, and some plants – so maybe it’s a beer garden if you really want it to be). Chef Damian Brown (Blue Duck Tavern, Stanton & Greene) is in charge of the poshed-up bar food menu (think rosemary parmesan tots), and the gorgeous second-floor dining room and bar boasts high ceilings and lots of light. This will be a choice destination for DC’s pretty young drinkers in nice weather. Downside? It will get crowded. Solution? Early happy hour. Done. TAKODA: 715 Florida Ave. NW, DC;

Un Je Ne Sais Quoi
The cupcake craze is over when the city’s heart of mainstreamed trendiness will no longer support a cupcake shop. In the place of Hello Cupcake, a couple of French expats bring us a pastry shop specializing in merveilleux (a.k.a. piles of meringue and cream). I’m ready for the new craze to begin (because French people can’t make other people fat either, right?) Un Je Ne Sais Quoi: 1361 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC;  


Cochon 555
This foodie event has become an institution, with DC’s brightest, sparkliest chefs (think Marjorie Meek-Bradley and Jonah Kim) cooking over 36 dishes prepared from whole, locally-raised heritage breed pigs. This year’s culinary competition is on April 17, with tickets starting at $130.95. Cochon 555: Loew’s Madison Hotel, 1177 15th St. NW, DC;

Drift on 7th
Fishnet was part of the old Shaw, but the old Shaw is gone. Long live hyper-competitive trendy foodie Shaw! Fishnet has evolved into Drift on 7th, but Chef Ferhat Yalcin retains his passion for sustainable, affordable seafood – this time with better cocktails. Drift on 7th: 1819 7th St. NW, DC;

No Longer
Bohemian Caverns
Pasta Mia
Republic Kitchen & Bar
Science Club
Scotch Bar at The Willard Hotel
Secret Chopsticks
Sophie’s Cuban

Photo: Espita Mezcaleria’s sea scallop ceviche taken by Rey Lopez

Beer & Yoga
Photo: Leah Cheston

Revive Your Chakras with Beer & Yoga

Late on a Sunday morning, a gathering of yoga enthusiasts sit with legs crossed and stretch their arms up, breathing deeply, the scent of hops and brewer’s yeast filling their lungs. That’s right. It’s time for Beer & Yoga at Right Proper Brewing Company in Northeast DC. Three times per week, the neighborhood spot opens up its immaculate brewing room, gleaming with stainless steel tanks, for an hour of gentle yoga followed by a pint of craft beer in its comfy, quirky tasting room.

“We have a huge, open space,” says Right Proper’s General Manager, Elizabeth Schnettler. “This is our fourth yoga event since we opened in December, and we’re usually full.”

Beth A. Wolfe, a certified yoga instructor who leads classes in breweries around town, including at Right Proper, says it’s a fun fit to have a yoga class in a non-traditional space. Wolfe caught on to the hot new trend early.

“The same people who are into yoga are also often into craft beer,” she says.

Beer & Yoga participant Laura Spencer had never tried yoga before.

“But Beth immediately made me feel really comfortable,” she says while sipping a fresh-brewed cold one at Right Proper.

Socially, it’s a great bet. After a relaxing class geared toward all levels of yoga ability, attendees easily meet to linger over their beers. Wolfe says even the guys like it: “Their girlfriends and wives want them to try yoga, but the beer is the thing that brings them here.”

“Yoga is for the willing,” she says. “It doesn’t matter how strong you are or if you’re flexible. In yoga, you’ll fall eight times, but you’ll get up nine.”
After all that hard work, you’ll deserve a toast to your efforts. Starting this month, Beer & Yoga will be held on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays for $15.

Right Proper Brewing Company: 920 Girard St. NE, DC; 202-526-5904;

Beer & Yoga Venues in the DMV

Sixty-minute yoga session the first Saturday of every month, plus a pint of beer, for $15 at Aslin Beer Company: 257 Sunset Park Dr. Herndon, VA;

Hatha yoga for $10-$15 at BadWolf Brewing Company: 9776 Center St. Manassas, VA;

Vinyasa yoga on the last Monday of each month for $15 at Capitol City Brewing Company: 4001 Campbell Ave. Arlington, VA;

Vinyasa yoga on April 10 for $15 at DC Brau: 3178 Bladensburg Rd. NE, DC;

“Detox 2 Retox” every third Thursday of the month for $25 at Hellbender Brewing Co.: 5788 2nd St. NE, DC;

Beer yoga every Tuesday for $15 at Port City Brewing: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA;

“DETOX-RETOX w/ Eat Yoga Drink” on the first Monday of each month for $15 atSehkraft Brewing: 925 N Garfield St. Arlington, VA;

Photo: Leah Cheston

sparkling wines

Bubbly in Our Backyard

What truly distinguishes a proper brunch from a hearty breakfast is certainly the beverage you’re sipping. Bloody Marys and other brunch cocktails will always have a place at the table, but bubbly is the staple of any worthy brunch. After all, it’s never too early to indulge in sparkling wine. Most winemaking regions produce some sparkling wine, including those that are right in our backyard. Enjoy spring and make a day trip to these Virginia and Maryland wineries to try some local bubbly. Forget the myth that sparkling wines are only for celebrations and pop open a bottle today!

Cobbler Mountain Cellars
Bubbly to try: 2009 Blanc de Blanc, $45/bottle
This 100 percent chardonnay sparkler showcases ripe tropical fruit, lush apple and pear, and a creamy, rich texture. It’s “semi brut,” meaning it has enough sweetness to be soft on the palate and crowd-pleasing, whether you’re enjoying it on its own or mixing it into a mimosa. Cobbler also produces a semi-sparkling vidal blanc ($32/bottle, $7/glass), which has a light effervescence and is perfect for any spritzers or cocktails. Though not sparkling wines, Cobbler Mountain’s sparkling ciders are also tasty options for your next brunch feast – definitely check out the seasonal Ginger Peach Cider. Cobbler Mountain Cellars: 5909 Long Fall Ln. Delaplane, VA;
Greenhill Winery & Vineyards
Bubbly to try: Blanc de Blancs 2013, $39/bottle
Chardonnay is the signature grape of many sparkling wines worldwide for a reason: it produces elegant, rich wines with delicate fruit flavors. Greenhill Winery’s Blanc de Blancs is no exception. This sparkling wine is creamy and fruity, with notes of ripe apples, pears and freshly baked bread. Pair this sparkling wine with a springtime picnic to enjoy on one of the winery’s several outdoor spaces. Greenhill Winery & Vineyards: 23595 Winery Ln. Middleburg, VA;
Paradise Springs Winery
Bubbly to try: Aprés Sparkling Viognier, $45/bottle
Made with 100 percent viognier – Virginia’s signature grape – and using the traditional champagne method, this sparkling is rich, luscious and aromatic, with fine bubbles and a dry finish. Visitors can also try another sparkling wine in the tasting room: a vintage-dated sparkling made from chardonnay and pinot noir that the winery acquired at an auction of a closed Virginia winery back in 2011. Fans of pink wine should also keep an eye out for a possible 2016 sparkling rosé. Paradise Springs Winery: 13219 Yates Ford Rd. Clifton, VA;
St. Michaels Winery
Bubbly to try: Sparkling Vidal Blanc, $35/bottle
This Maryland wine is made with early harvest vidal blanc grapes from Hemsley Fortune Vineyard in Queenstown, Md. Vidal blanc is a hybrid grape that was developed to combine the elegant flavors of European varietals with the hardiness of American varietals, and is grown throughout Virginia and Maryland.  This vintage is currently in production at the winery – make a trip to St. Michaels to be among the first to sample this year’s wine. St. Michaels Winery: 609 S. Talbot St. St. Michaels, MD;
Bubbly to try: Blanc de Chardonnay, $35/bottle on average
Claude Thibaut and Manuel Janisson have combined the champagne tradition with Virginia terroir with their flagship Blanc de Chardonnay, a sparkling made in the traditional champagne method with chardonnay grapes grown in Monticello. The wine is soft, delicate and fruity, perfect as an aperitif or paired with a variety of foods. You can contact the winery to schedule a private tour, or buy bottles at locations throughout the DMV, including DCanter Wine Boutique in Southeast DC, Glen’s Garden Market in Northwest and Del Ray’s Planet Wine. Thibaut-Janisson: Charlottesville, VA;
Trump Winery
Bubbly to try: 2009 Sparkling Rosé, $32/bottle
Trump Winery produces a variety of serious, vintage-dated sparkling wines made traditionally from estate-grown grapes. This sparkling rosé has won a number of awards, and was rated at 86 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Made from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes grown in the foothills of Carter’s Mountain in Monticello, this wine is a beautiful, salmon-pink color, with ripe flavors of strawberry and cherry and a creamy texture – it’s like summertime in a glass. Trump Winery:3550 Blenheim Rd. Charlottesville, VA;
Waredaca Brewing Company

Bierdo visits Waredaca Brewing Company

Spring has sprung, Bierdos! Craft breweries are springing up everywhere outside of the Beltway, particularly on farms and beautiful scenic properties, rather than the dank industrial warehouses and such we’ve been accustomed to here in the DC area. These unique farm breweries have become the new family-friendly weekend travel destinations to enjoy the sunshine, nature and a pint in a setting that’s more conducive to say, a country winery, than an industrial park nano-brewery – no sketchy vagrants to dodge or towing/scrap yards without parking. Simply put, the craft countryside is your new ambient beer oasis, and Waredaca Brewing Company is no exception. It’s absolutely beautiful.

What started as a Maryland-based camp for boys in 1932, Waredaca Farm in Laytonsville has transitioned into “one of the area’s best equestrian eventing barns and riding lesson facilities…and today, the descendants of Beecher and his family have continued this tradition of kids, horses and family.” And now, the land is home to an environmentally-friendly, self-sustainable farm brewery. All of their delicious beers include “something grown/produced on the farm, and the production schedule is directly related to harvest timing.”

You’ll still see the horses grazing as you enter the farm, and you’ll also notice the creative, farm-inspired beer names once you enter the cool, recycled-material, farm yard tasting room, which is open from 4-8 p.m. Thursday through Friday, 1-8 p.m. on Saturday and 1-6 p.m. on Sunday. But I’ll let them explain the farm intricacies – you’ll have to learn more about Waredaca when you try these beers in person.

  • Little Dam Honey Wheat Pale Ale, 5.3 percent: This little wheat ale sounds just like it tastes, and is the perfect beer for your visit. An Americanized version of a hefe, this brew is going to have more of a honey lager taste than the bananas or cloves you may be used to in the traditional wheat ale, but you’ll still enjoy the floury finish. It’s light, with a nice wheaty mouth feel and a slight honey brightness that I enjoyed so much, I ordered a second pint. And yes, the bees on the farm made the honey! Rating: Dam good little beer. Catch the buzz!
  • Reveille Coffee Stout, 7.5 percent: Decent stout with a roasted coffee/dark grains taste and some residual kick in the booze department. Enough said. You can drink these all day long since it’s not as thick and creamy as most stouts we’re used to.Rating: A stout to cheers to!
  • Maude Dubbel, 6.7 percent: Belgian-inspired malty ale with some spicy booziness to it on the end. This was my fave of their Belgian-style beers. Tasty and drinkable, this one rounded out my top three beers here. Made with Cascade Hop Farm hops, Maude Dubbel was yeasty with a dry finish. Rating: Great farm-style dubbel!
Waredaca Brewing Company: 4017 Damascus Rd. Laytonsville, MD; 301-774-2337;
Have a beer for the Bierdo to try? Drop him a line at
spiced rum cocktails

Sip Spiced Rum This Spring

Spring is here, the skies are blue, which means you can shed your own winter blues by filling up your cup and toasting to a new season of trying new things, like spiced rum in spring. Spiced rum, normally thought of as a liquor meant for fall or winter to warm you up, can actually be used to make a variety of great cocktails as the weather warms up.

To ease you in to this new mentality for spiced rum usage, let’s start with a transitional winter to spring drink—one that bodes well in snow but also great for colder, rainy days of spring. A Spiced Rum Old Fashioned will give you the warming effects during April showers, reminding you a bit of the bitter cold days, but also will propel you into bringing on the May flowers. To make, muddle cane sugar cubes and bitters in a shaker, then add the rum, cloves, stick of cinnamon and orange zest and shake it ‘til that winter weight starts falling off. Next, add ice to the shaker and stir, fill up a glass with large ice cubes and strain that bad boy over those rocks. Garnish with cinnamon and orange zest.

Now that you’re warmed up and ready to really play ball, it’s time to ride into spring with a Cable Car. This one’s just three ingredients–spiced rum, lemon sour mix and orange curacao served in a martini glass. Seems simple but it’ll be sure to get you buzzing like the bees.

With baseball season starting in full swing, there’s nothing better than a good tailgate. For the daytime game, the perfect day-drinking beer comes with rum in it and it’s called a Salty Pirate. Score some “radler style” beer and Captain Morgan Cannon Blast Spiced Rum from the liquor store across the stadium parking lot. Pour together into that red solo cup (which you should rim with kosher salt and cayenne powder to give it a kick) and squeeze in a lime. This particular rum has notes of citrus which will pair well with the citrusy radler you got there. As long as your sailor mouth doesn’t come out too salty before passing through ballpark security, you should be good to go and ready to trash talk the away team from the nosebleeders.

As the party people start to come out of winter hibernation, a nighttime drink filled with spiced rum will keep you going as you fist pump at the club. Ask the bartender for that Long Island Iced Tea. A classic, but dangerously fun because not only does it have spiced rum, it also has vodka, gin, tequila, triple sec and some cola to keep you awake all night long.

And as you round out the shift to spring, something refreshing like a Mojito will keep you hydrated as you plant those flowers on a nice sunny day. Drop a few mint leaves into the bottom a glass then add crushed ice, spiced rum, sugar and lime, and muddle. Top it off with soda water and finish where you started by topping with fresh mint leaves. Some may think of this as more of a summer drink, but there’s nothing wrong with getting ahead of the game and preparing for next season.

Spiced rum is about to take spring on by storm. With a whole slew of spiced rum cocktails to fit any day or occasion during this time of year, watching the flowers bloom and listening to the birds chirping is about to get even better with a spring drink in hand.