Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Where to Feel Cozy in the District

Do you have a favorite feeling? Like how it feels to sit in the sun and soak in the rays? Or how it feels when you cross that finish line after a race? Or what about how it feels when you try on your "skinny" jeans and they fit perfectly? Those are all damn good feelings, right?

Well, I have a feeling that tops them all. It can be summarized in one four-letter word: cozy.

I love feeling cozy. Safe and warm and comfortable and content all wrapped into one. 

Sure, summer is fun. Pool parties. Open bar weddings. Happy hours on the Georgetown waterfront. Tank tops. Outdoor concerts. Margaritas with salt. All good things.

But fall. Fall slows everything down a bit. And it's my favorite season because it just oozes coziness.

Crisp air. Fuzzy sweaters. Making chili. Baking apple pie. Shipyard Pumpkin Head beer. Colorful leaves falling from trees. I could go on and on and on.

Doesn't this picture just make you happy and want to pull out your favorite scarf and pair of boots?

And, as if I needed another reason to love fall, I get to watch these two dominate the field every Sunday:

While I happen to think that my living room is one of the coziest places to be in the fall (well, other than my parents' house in Maine), that doesn't do you all any good. But don't worry, dear reader, for I have compiled a list of some of my other favorite cozy D.C. spots.
2121 P St. NW

Urbana is attached to the trendy Polomar Hotel in Dupont Circle. While the hotel has retro rooms with modern furniture and leopard print bath robes, Urbana has that cozy, wine cellar feel that makes you want to snuggle up with your date, sip wine, and just be content. The restaurant is perfect for a warm, intimate dinner with friends, while the bar is one of my all time favorite spots to get after dinner drinks with a cute man.

Cork Wine Bar
1720 14th St. NW

Cork is another restaurant that I swear was designed for fall. The restaurant is really small, the wine list is really long, and the food oh so incredible. Additionally, the menu features small plates so you and your dinner companion can try all sorts of different delicious dishes. What's cozier that sharing a nice bottle of malbec and a bunch of different dishes in a warm and intimate neighborhood restaurant? 

1226 36th St. NW

I've only been to 1789 once and it was back in 2006 to celebrate a special birthday with someone, but it's a memory that will stick with me for a long time. 1789 is romantic but rustic, historic but fancy, all at the same time. In fact, its website describes it as "Refined, cozy (emphasis added) and eclectic in a two-story Federal townhouse with fireplace and gas-lit rooms." I'll warn you, it's pricey and a bit uppity. Meaning that they recommend that gents wear jackets. But they offer free valet parking, exquisite food and wine, and after you can walk down the street to The Tombs to bring you back to reality.

Rustico Restaurant
4075 Wilson Blvd., Ballston*

Sometimes I venture to Virginia. And by sometimes, I mean usually at least once a week (shhh don't tell anyone that NoVA has actually grown on me). Rustico is one of NoVA's restaurants that I always suggest. I discovered this spot thanks to a man I went out with last year. One night he recommended we meet in Ballston. I scoffed. And then realized he was serious, so I reluctantly agreed. But as soon as I walked up to the entrance, I knew I would like it. The interior is dimly lit with hardwood floors and small dining tables. The staff is friendly and the beer selection is impressive. Additionally, there is outdoor seating which is perfect for sweater weather and a giant glass of red wine. The menu is fairly extensive. Wood fire pizzas, salads, amazing hummus. Or you can go fancier with full entrees like Hickory Grilled Pork Chop. YUM.

*Rustico has a second location in Alexandria.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon
2007 18th St. NW

Jack Rose is at the tail end of Adams Morgan. It features over 1,400 bottles of scotches, bourbons and spirits. It has dark floor to ceiling wooden shelves that house all this delicious liquor. It mimics an old library, with the tall ladders strategically places around so that bartenders to can reach each and every bottle. The lighting is dim. The food, rich. And for those of you willing to brave the cool air at night, Jack Rose's has a kick ass rooftop. You can thank me later.

775 G St. NW

Ohhh Proof. I have so many wonderful memories from this place. Cozy meet-ups after work for glasses of wine and appetizers. Big group dinners. Late night dessert at the bar. I've been at all times of the year. But the best? Yep, you guessed it...fall. Something about the picture windows looking out onto the bustling Penn Quarter and the big wine glasses and the dimly lit bar and the rustic yet modern feel. All the perfect recipe for one hell of a cozy experience.

A few additional favorites include Lyon Hall in Arlington, Tabard Inn in Downtown, Screwtop in Arlington, Ardeo Bardeo in Cleveland Park, and Sonoma on Capitol Hill. 

There you have it. So many cozy spots in and around the District.  Now you just have to figure out where to go first!

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