Friday, April 27, 2012

Our Favorite Neighborhood Joints

As Gamma Girls, we love going out and exploring different parts of D.C. and the surrounding areas.  We can't wait to try that new restaurant.  Or revamped menu.  Or snag tickets to the latest play or show.

But there's something about the comfort of sticking close to home after a long week at work.  About strolling into your neighborhood joint and the bartender not only knowing your name but also pouring your favorite drink before you even have time to utter a quick hello.

Therefore, this post is dedicated to our favorite spots in each of our neighborhoods. And we hope that you'll share your favorite neighborhood spots in the comments section below!

Appealing Kate
Glover Park's Bourbon

I live right right between Georgetown and Glover Park.  As a result, I have the best of both worlds.  While I'm a short walk from all the Georgetown shopping and waterfront, I get to be part of the friendly Glover Park neighborhood.  Which I think is one of the best, cozy neighborhoods in all of Washington.

My favorite spot in Glover Park is Bourbon.  Bourbon is located on Wisconsin Avenue in the heart of Glover Park.  It is two levels with two long bars and booths and tables scattered throughout.

During the spring and summer months it has a small patio that provides for some serious people watching.  It also has full length glass doors that slide open. 
So it's cool and airy on a summer night, but in the winter the doors are closed, the lights are kept low, and the heat is cranked up.  Ohhhhh sooo perfectly cozy.

The menu is simple.  Salads. Burgers.  Lots of comfort food like tomato soup, mac and cheese, and meatloaf.  And did I mention the best waffle fries and tator tots in all the D.C. area?

From the name you probably assume that the bar is stocked with lots of Bourbon. 

Bourbon's outside patio
You'd be correct in that assumption.  In fact, there are well over 100 types of bourbon. 

Want to know how many I've tried?  None*.  But they do have beer on draft, including Allagash White.  And I am known to drink lots of their wine.  Especially on Wednesdays when it's half-price bottle of wine night. 

In fact, a bunch of Glover Park friends and I meet there almost every Wednesday for what we call "neighborhood friend night."  It's one of my favorite things to look forward to each week.

*okay, that's not totally true. One time I tried a guy friend's bourbon...but apparently it was pappy or something...which is supposed to be really amazing bourbon?
Thirsty Ivy
Georgetown's Martin Tavern

Thirsty Ivy tastefully toasting at one of her favorite neighborhood haunts:

Until Duffy's West opens (ahem, ahem ... Rasika did it!), I'm determined to make Martin's Tavern my home base. Why? 

1. It's in Georgetown, and I live in Georgetown. Let's face it, if I live within crawling distance of your establishment, we will meet. Location = Convenient

On the SW corner of Wisconsin Ave
and N Street NW

2. I love D.C., and it's a very Washingtonian place, rich with history and an efficient staff that look like they know secrets. Reputation = Authentic

3. The relaxed vibe allows me to show up in Sperrys or heels, and I'm a sucker for the cozy, dark booths in the nook beyond the bar -- aka, the "Dugout." Atmosphere = Comfortable
I made a pillbox hat
out of a cereal box!

4. The food is consistently flavorful and satisfying -- like homecooking without the cleanup -- and the drinks are solid and strong -- see above note about crawling-distance. Plus, they have a patio, and spying on tourists lugging their H&M purchases around the neighborhood is always entertaining -- dinner and a show! Food = Enjoyable

5. There are rumors that JFK proposed to Jackie at Martin's (and I channeled her for Halloween <--).  I've read reports to the contrary, but that's not really the point... the point is, LOVE happens at Martin's! (Even if they didn't get engaged in their marked booth, dozens of others have!) Aura = Lucky

Why Martin's? Why not? They're 5 for 5! Make a reservation and check it out for yourself ... but y'all better not all show up at once and take my bar-stool. I WILL pull it out from under you!

Capital Katie
H Street's Dangerously Delicious Pies

My portion of this post will be an ode.

It’s an “a la mode ode,” actually. Because my favorite spot in my H Street Northeast neighborhood has got to be the pie shop.

I started frequenting Dangerously Delicious Pies after going on two dates with a man who worked there back in April 2010. Things with the dude didn't last (his primary mode of transportation was a skateboard -- he might as well have shown up to the date with "DOA" stamped on his forehead), but my love affair with the pie shop did.


Ever since he let me sneak back into the kitchen to sample the decadent chocolate syrup used in the shop's various wares, I found a way to steer every date I went on in the neighborhood toward Dangerously Delicious' flourescent lights.

The pie shop is a wonderfully different dining experience from anything else in the city. They've got sweet and savory pies, depending on your mood, as well as a variety of quiches. My personal favorites as far as dinner pies go are the BBQ Pork pie and the S.M.O.G. pie (an acronym that stands for steak, mushroom, onion and gruyere cheese), and the Baltimore Bomb (crushed up shortbread cookies and chocolate) for dessert.

The place is casual and unpretentious, yet the service there is reasonably attentive, which is something that generally is lacking in other casual and unpretentious places.

The best part? Dangerously Delicious has a "date-night special," which is two slices of savory pie for dinner, two slices of sweet pie for dessert, and two drinks for $20. You leave more than satiated, and at a bargain to boot.

So next time you're carousing on H Street, stop into the pie shop. And say hi to me, because I'll probably be there.

Samantha Says
Woodley Park/ Adams Morgan's Napoleon Bistro & Lounge

I moved to this neighborhood because I wanted to be where the action is, and it certainly never disappoints me on that front. The place to go for the most action? Napoleon Bistro & Lounge.

When you first walk into Napoleon, it looks like just another bar. But that's not where you're going. You want to head downstairs, to Napoleon's dance lounge, where the fun truly begins.

The fact that it's underground makes it feel almost forbidden, like you're dancing the night away in a place you had to say a secret password to get in. The lounge is crowded, hot, sticky, sweaty, messy... just the way I like it. They play GREAT music -- the kind everyone knows every word to -- and the men there are always put together and good looking.

Every time I've gone to Napoleon, I've danced my heart out and left flushed, sweaty and totally happy... usually on the arm of a tall, dark and handsome gentleman. You should go to Napoleon and get yourself one, too.

Cleveland Park's Ardeo+Bardeo

Brunch in D.C. is a sacred ritual for many of us, particularly the ladies.  In fact, this weekend marks my fourth consecutive brunch-going Sunday, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

While my neighborhood has its charms, like beautiful homes and easy access to spots like Rock Creek Park and the Zoo, one thing it does not have is an abundance of brunch options.  Thankfully, we do have Ardeo+Bardeo, which is not only the best neighborhood brunch spot for miles, but one of the best brunches in the city, period.

Ardeo+Bardeo is classy enough that I can take my Mom there when she visits, but not so fancy that I can't roll out of bed, hungover and still sporting last night's glittery eyeshadow, and convene there for gossip and eggs with some friends.

Not only are the food and service phenomenal, a fact attested to by recent visits from Hillary Clinton and Sonia Sotomayor, the prices are very reasonable.  The bottomless champagne or mimosa brunch is an especially good deal- for $25, you get said beverages, a bread basket of treats like chocolate chip scones, and two courses of your choosing.  

Daydreaming about how I'm going to soon be inhaling banana-walnut french toast on the second floor deck of Ardeo+Bardeo has gotten me through many a slow Friday at work.  Thanks, Ardeo+Bardeo, for meeting and surpassing all of my brunch and time-wasting needs!

Red, White and Bourbon
Rosslyn's Outdoor Film Festival

So before you roll your eyes and skip my post thinking, ew, Virginia, I don't "DO" Virginia, just hold your horses and give me a chance to defend my neighborhood! While yes, I am not technically in "the district," don't be so quick to discredit my neck of the woods. In fact, if you hopped your lazy rear-end on the Orange/Blue line, you may even enjoy yourself. Why, you ask? Great question... now let me tell you about my favorite neighborhood gem, the Rosslyn Film Festival. (Yes, there is more to Rosslyn than Ray’s Hell Burger.)

You know how excited you get for Screen on the Green every year? Imagine if I told you Rosslyn hosts a film viewing every Friday night during the summer, beginning the first Friday in June. The biggest draw, it is free. All you have to bring is yourself, your dog (if you have one) and your own little picnic basket of snacks and blankets and you are good to go. It is a wonderful way to spend a low-key night once the weather gets warm.

Photo Source: 
Each year the festival is themed. Movies in years past focused on the 1990s, superheroes, and SNL in the theater. This year… *drum roll please*... all movies focus on ELECTIONS. So you guessed it movies include Election (with Reese Witherspoon), Primary Colors, and Man of the Year, to name a few. 

So, when we need a pretty relaxing Friday night, Lola and I regularly corral our (yes “our”) friends and head down to the Park to catch a movie and always have a great time.

So just because Rosslyn is on the other side of the Potomac that does not mean we don't have anything fun going on. Come visit, and I promise you'll have a good time... in fact, I triple dog dare ya!

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