Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Where to Dine, Drink, and Date: Dirty Martini

Source: http://www.dirtymartini.com/
I've been to Dirty Martini more times that I can remember.  The most recent was a few weeks ago.  For a second date with a very charming and attractive man.  I had an event to attend earlier in the evening in Dupont, so he told me to "pick the place" and that he'd meet me there.  It took me all of two seconds to suggest Dirty Martini.

As we sat at the bar sipping on our dirty martinis (mine vodka, his gin) it occurred to me that I've never written a blog post about Dirty Martini.

So, without further ado-- below is the history of my love story with my favorite Dupont/ Midtown spot:

I first discovered Dirty Martini in January 2011.  I was working in Dupont at the time and my friend  suggested we meet up for dinner.  We each googled places, hoping to find a new spot.  Voila- Dirty Martini popped up.  It was new-- had just opened a few months before-- and close to my office and the Metro.  Perfect.

We made reservations, met at the Dupont Metro, and walked two blocks south on Connecticut Avenue to Dirty Martini.  As we approached the restaurant I said, "wait a minute...isn't this where the old MCCXXIII used to be?"  "Oh, god," my friend replied.  We spent the next few minutes reminiscing about all the bad decisions we made at MCCXXIII when we were 23 and 24 years old.  Some of you might remember that MCCXXIII used to have an all you can drink happy hour on Friday nights for $20.  Let's just say that we definitely got our moneys worth each time we went. 

But, back to classier subjects.
View of the bar from the second floor
Source: http://www.dirtymartini.com/
We entered Dirty Martini and I was immediately impressed.  What had once been dark and club like, was now classy and sophisticated.  Clean lines, modern designs, and unique architecture.  The first floor has a dramatic vaulted ceiling yet doesn't feel airy or cold.  Instead the dim lights, dark wood floors, and neutral colors invoke a feeling of coziness. 

A long bar runs the length of the left side of the restaurant.  A long community high top table runs parallel with the bar, and booths run along the other wall and are scattered throughout the first floor.  There is another bar and more seating on the second floor.

Now, I'm a bit embarrassed to say this, but the first time I went to Dirty Martini I did not order a martini (I know, even my bio says how much I like dirty martinis).  Sadly, my friend and I each only drank water that night because we both had to be at our respective gyms early the next morning. 

But the food?  The food was delicious.  Even though it was a year and a half ago, I still remember what we ordered.  We split a trio of dips--- hummus, bruscetta, and tapenade.  The dips were served with a variety of fresh bread and crackers.  And then we each ordered a salad.  I remember joking that we should have split a salad because they were ginormous.  But we left full and happy.

I went back a few weeks later for a friend's birthday dinner.  Then again with a couple girlfriends for drinks before a date one night.  Then I went there on a date.  Then again when my best friend came into town.  Every single time I loved it.  The cocktail list is expansive and creative.  The menu has everything from entree salads to burgers to fish dishes.  The food isn't gourmet but it's creative and better than other options in the area.  The prices are reasonable.

It was no surprise to any of my friends that when my parents said they wanted to throw me a birthday party in D.C. last summer that I called up Dirty Martini and reserved the upstairs bar.  The space is perfect for a small cocktail party.  The staff was extremely helpful in planning my party and I've always been impressed with the level of customer service.

So, there you have it.  Whether it's a girls night out, a romantic night with your significant other, or a small party-- Dirty Martini is a great venue for all.  And, as luck would have it, even for a second date.

1 comment:

  1. Dirty Martini sounds awesome and the menu looks yummy. Hopefully the second date went well too! Thanks for always sharing great spots.