Friday, July 2, 2010

Art and Soul Happy Hour

Mark and I had an experience last night that is so rare, so hard to find, so illusive in Washington, DC that I just have to share it with you. This event would put Haley’s Comet to shame. We had a delicious, inexpensive, and FRIENDLY happy hour at a trendy eatery in the shadow of the Capitol. Working near Union Station leaves us little in the way of nearby happy hour gems, but Mark and I were so blown away by our meal at Art Smith’s restaurant in Chicago that we like to head over to Art and Soul from time to time for dinner. Mark caught wind of the “snow cone” drinks that they are now serving up at Art Bar while he was reading the Express and has been dying to try one.

Drinks: Delicious, amazing, fresh, inventive. Wow, wow, wow. The Laurel Park had booze soaked strawberries and cucumbers layered with crushed ice, Hendricks gin, elderflower liquor, and topped with a sparkling rose. I couldn’t drink mine fast enough. I was in love. The other drink we tried was a cacha├ža (Brazilian liquor that I am familiar with from the many Caipirinhas that Bob has lavished on us) concoction with soaked pineapples and mint. Both very delicious and were served by two warm, friendly bartenders (which is increasingly rare these days).

Bar Food: They start you out with a gratis basket of housemade potato chips, which is a nice touch. The Fried Green Tomatoes were lightly fried, crispy on the outside and bursting with flavor inside with fresh, tart tomatoes. They came with a lemony dip that complimented the fried goodness very nicely. They stole the show. The ham and cheese biscuit was gigantic and very flavorful. I hardly remember tasting it because I was shoveling it into my mouth so fast. The duck wings were juicy and had a nice teriyaki glaze (but there were only 3, so Mark and I had to have a showdown for the last one). The fries were satisfying and nicely spiced with a herb mixture.

Vibe: It was a funny mix of people. Some young professionals fresh from the office, but also some fanny-packing tourists in tie-dyed shirts who were staying at the hotel. There was a nice buzz of conversations and music around us, but not noisy to the point where you can't hear anything. The nicest part was that it was busy, but not packed to the hilt. We got a seat at the bar and didn't feel rushed or smushed by a crowd. A+

All in all, we got out of there with two artisan cocktails each and way too much food for only $50. We were so blown away by how awesome it had been that we couldn’t stop talking about it for at least 8 blocks. I can’t wait to go back…maybe tonight!

Check out the happy hour menu but leave room at the bar for us.

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