Washington, DC New Menu Report: Inauguration Edition
This week all across the District, people will either be gleefully celebrating their candidate’s win and dining like it's 1999, or they will be drowning their sorrows in carbs, sweets, and booze. And on Saturday, the more proactive groups will be joining the Women’s March on Washington. We have a few dining options for them, too.
Here’s the thing: We’re a food and drink website so, either way, we’re focused on the food related to the events. D.C. finally has food scene worth writing about, and we’re surrounded by brewers, distillers, new food retailers, independent chefs, and local eateries just waiting to benefit from anyone, not just the winning side. There are discounts, Women’s March specials, and inauguration-themed foods and drinks. Let’s get real here. This is a town that changes its dance card every four years, and Washingtonians are used to transient living. Let’s deal with it the best way we know how: with a drink in one hand and a phone in the other so we can snag a reservation at our favorite eatery.
Here are some suggestions of where to go and what to eat and drink.
Alfa Pie House
This fun little Greek place on H Street has some specials for Inauguration Day that are super cheap. On Friday, Jan. 20, Alfa Pie House will be selling eight-ounce eye-opening servings of La Colombe coffee and just-baked mini phyllo pies for only $1.20, and at lunchtime, grab two small soups, two side salads, and two regular-sized phyllo pies for $20.17. Opa!
Art and Soul
Just two blocks from the Capitol, Art and Soul is tenting and heating its patio from Jan. 18 to 22, perfect if you brave the cold to watch the swearing-in ceremony or just want to commiserate with like-minded people. In addition to offering the regular menu, the pop-up lounge will be serving boozy hot chocolate selections (to stay, you booze hounds) and virgin hot chocolate to go. There will also be cozy cocktails like hot buttered rum, honeyed bourbon hot toddy, and hot spiced wine, along with some cute snacks and hand warmers.
This chic hotel bar believes in doing just a few things really well. For the arrival of the new administration and staff, Bar Dupont created a one-of-a-kind special welcome cocktail called “A District Welcome.” It’s available until Feb. 6, and made with District Distilling Co. Checkerbank gin, Capitoline rosé vermouth, Don Ciccio & Figli nocino, amaro Montenegro, and lemon. ($12)
Bar Pilar has chosen to accentuate the positive and ignore the negative for Inauguration Day by throwing a “Thanks, Obama” party on Jan. 20 starting at 11 a.m. The drinks specials play on the theme and include Hawaiian tiki cocktails and other drinks made with Malört, a wormwood spirit iconic in bars across Chicago. The kitchen will open up early and start serving snacks at 3:30 p.m. and then regular dinner hours begin at 5 p.m.
This week through Inauguration Day, Friday, Jan. 20, McClellan’s Retreat will open early at 1 p.m. and serve the Penicillin cocktail, a Civil War-era cocktail that you can bet will fix what ails you. It’s made with Pig’s Nose blended Scotch whisky, but if you prefer, choose from the complete list of beer, wine, and liquor. And if you get caught up in the tasting experiment, you can stay a bit longer on Friday; McClellan’s will be open until 2 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 3 a.m. on Friday.
Policy Restaurant & Lounge
Who says you can’t have happy hour on the weekend? Policy Restaurant & Lounge is offering a special happy hour on Saturday, Jan. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m., in honor of the Women's March on Washington. The special menu includes beer specials starting at just $4.50, wines at $5.50, and cocktails $6.50. If all that marching gave you an appetite, executive chef Lonnie Zoeller has created a few small bites including shrimp empanadas and pork belly chicharron.
Quarter + Glory
Not everyone needs an all-day cocktail bar, but when you do the place to go is Quarter + Glory, a classic American cocktail bar that oozes style. It’s serving cocktail specials beginning Friday, Jan. 20, and all weekend long. The plan is to usher in the 58th Inauguration Day with three new cocktails and then sell them for just $10, all day. Now that’s something to cheer about! You have your choice of smoky, spicy Believe Me made with Old Overholt rye, fresh lemon juice, and housemade ginger beer; the #NOT, a riff on sours made with vodka, Triple Sec, fresh lime, cranberry, and egg white; and Who’s Going to Pay for It, which includes tequila blanco, fresh lime, San Pellegrino pompelmo, and salt.
Tredici Enoteca at The St. Gregory Hotel
Here’s what we have to say about Tredici Enoteca: If you don’t go, you are insane because the food is terrific and fun to eat. It’s only been open a short time, and now’s your chance to try it out before it gets too popular and it’s impossible to get a seat. We all know breakfast is the most important part of the day, and if you are planning to join the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, Jan. 21, then make a reservation and head on over. Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 10 a.m. so you will have plenty of time to enjoy a hearty meal before heading over to Capitol Hill for the rally, which starts at 10 a.m.
Executive chef Carlos Aparicio has created an outstanding menu that includes an omelette with wild mushrooms, spinach, and goat cheese; eggs Benedict with a choice of Canadian bacon or smoked salmon; oatmeal with Vermont maple syrup and apples; fluffy ricotta pancakes with Nutella and mixed berries; whole wheat Belgian waffles with sliced bananas and whipped cream; and loads of fresh, hot coffee. Breakfast dishes range in price from $5 to $18. To keep you warm as you become a part of history, there are complimentary air-activated hand warmers (while supplies last) to fight the cold.