Sometimes, happy hour can get a little déclassé and when that happens it’s time to go Parisian and enjoy their genteel version called l’apero. This week across the District, classy cocktails, Italian quake relief pastas, and rye whiskey drinks take hold of our attention and are sure to make the first week back from Labor Day a bit more tasty and top hat.
Bibiana Osteria Enoteca
We’re calling fans of all things Italian to “Mangia all'Italiana” to help raise funds for the Red Cross and their relief efforts for the quake victims in Italy. Make a beeline for Penn Quarter from September 1 through Sept. 30 because that’s when Bibiana Osteria Enoteca will serve spaghetti all’Amatriciana with tomato, guanciale, red onion, pepperoncini, Frascati, and pecorino for $24 per plate. For every plate sold, four dollars from the sale will be donated to the Croce Rossa, the Italian Red Cross to help the devastated victims in the aftermath of one of Italy’s worst natural disasters. The pasta dish is available during lunch and dinner service and is an easy way to show Washingtonians care about the people of Italy.
Vive l’apero et les gougères, or as we say in English, “Long live apéritives and delicious, little puffs of cheesy yumminess." For a truly Parisian tradition, head to Le Diplomate for its new L’Apero menu to unwind and stave off your appetite before supper. For French-themed cocktails, look for stunners like Maillot Jaune made with Lillet Rose, Suze d’Autrefois, Beefeater Gin, and Esprit d’June; Absinthe Spritz, which includes Kubler Absinthe, and Rosemary Sparkling Wine; and the Pamplemousse Presse made with Combier Pamplemousse sparkling wine. If you want to keep things simple, try a selection of red and white wines available by the glass or carafe, or consider ordering a demi of draft beer or a classic French Monaco, which is a French shandy wannabe.
Legal Sea Foods
If the sound of oysters being shucked and slurped makes your heart go pitty-pat, head to Legal Sea Foods for its eighth-annual Oyster Festival. Beginning Sept. 15 and running to Oct. 12, three Legal Sea Foods in the Washington area will offer raw, baked, and fried selections. There are more than nine types of oysters available on the half shell; three fried oyster dishes that come in trios of three oysters for $10; and baked oyster dishes, also sold in trios for $12, that include tasty options like the oysters baked with shrimp, garlic butter, and white wine. The festival wouldn’t be complete without a hearty drink to wash down the gifts of the sea, so ask for the deadrise cocktail made with Square One cucumber vodka, muddled cucumber, lime, and grapefruit bitters.
The Rye Bar at Rosewood Washington
Whiskey imbibers in search of some much needed whiskey R&R should head to the Rye Bar at Rosewood Washington, D.C. In addition to 30 premium whiskies, 19 bourbons, and 28 scotch whiskeys, it has a new fall lineup of six libations created by drink savvy bartenders Cecilio Silva and Ismael Barreto. Relax on the historic C&O Canal anytime between 11 a.m. and 2 a.m. and savor some bites prepared by James Beard Award-winning executive chef Frank Ruta that include fresh raw oysters, charcuterie, artisanal cheeses, and the chef’s signature Grill Room Burger. Try each dish with cool cocktails like the fortified maple made with barrel-aged maple syrup, port, and rye; smoked apple with rye whiskey, PX sherry, smoked apple syrup, lemon juice, orange bitters, and Angostura bitters; or the rye bar smoked coffee made with mezcal, redemption rye, a shot of espresso, Pedro Ximénez sherry, and brown sugar.
For more Washington DC dining and travel news, click here. Summer Whitford is the D.C. Editor and a food, drink and travel writer at The Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva and on Instagram at thefoodandwinediva. Read more of her stories here.