Upscale Happy Hour


The evening started out rough when we went to Hudson and no one waited on my friend and me.  We were both dressed business casual (coming straight from the office) yet NO ONE WAITED ON US.  We sat there for 15 minutes and nothing.  And in case you’re thinking, “Well, they were busy/short-staffed.”  No, there were about 5-9 employees who stood/sat there and only about 10 total people in the entire restaurant.  Wow. 

So then we decided to go to M Street Bar & Grill

The food was uninspired, yet we ordered a lot of it! We tried the prosciutto crisps, Angus sliders, bacon-wrapped shrimp and grits, mini pulled pork sandwiches, and handcut fries.  The winner out of the bunch was definitely the pulled pork because there was a little heat and balanced well with the sweetness from the BBQ sauce.  The burgers were dry and flavorless (and too much bun to meat ratio).  The fries were soggy.  There are too many problems to mention with the prosciutto crisps.

But the reason I’m writing about this place is because they have a pretty good happy hour.  It’s $19 for a pitcher of house mojitos or margaritas from 5-8 PM.  Now that’s a good deal! They also have beer and house wine on special.  On Wednesday nights, they have 1/2 priced wine with dinner.  Thursdays are live jazz nights from 6-9 PM. 

This is a good place to go for a few drinks with friends because you can talk (and hear) each other.  Although there were points throughout our evening where we realized the music was too loud, which we wouldn’t have noticed as much except they have a bad stereo system so it was rather annoying.

Details:

  • Hours: Breakfast – Monday – Friday: 6:30am – 10:30am, Saturday & Sunday: 7:30am – 10:30am; Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am – 3:00pm; Lunch: Daily: 11:30am – 2:30pm; Dinner: Sunday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm; 21 M lounge: Open For Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM Cocktails Mon-Sat 5 PM- Closing
  • Address: 2033 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: (202) 530-3621

I know, I know — Morton’s is a chain, but unlike some other chains (ahem, none to be mentioned here but take a look at the list of “Restaurants I’ve Been”), they’ve managed to still be pretty good.

  • Food: First, let’s talk about their enormous (freshly baked?) onion bread they plop in front of you.  It’s the size of a half of a soccer ball and the top has onion flakes.  It’s really yummy.  Then to be healthy,  I ordered the salmon salad which was pretty good.  I wanted to order a steak, but for a mid-day meal it seemed too much!  Then we ordered a slice of the S&S Cheesecake, which we were told gets FedEx’ed to Morton’s on a daily basis from the Brooklyn store.  It was absolutely amazing — creamy, rich, moist, and perfect.   We also ordered Morton’s Legendary Chocolate Cake which was thick, dark, and also amazing. 
  • Service: We had a very nice server who knew exactly when to approach the table — a tough task but one he did very well!
  • Atmosphere: In earlier times when you’d see or hear about those smoke-filled rooms, this is one of the places I feel they’re talking about — with the dark interior and huge booths — you can tell this was (and is?) a place politicians, lobbyists, and business people go to talk shop. 
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall:  Unlike other chains, Morton’s has still managed to churn out good food.  Their offerings and service remind you that this was a place for “movers and shakers” to make deals.  While I would never come here on my own, I’d have no problem taking clients.   

Happy Hour: Monday-Fridays from 4:30-6:30 and 9:30pm to 11pm, they offer “Bar Bites” for $5 per plate.

Details:

  • Reservations recommended/needed.
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 11:30am to 11pm; Saturday 5:30pm to 11pm; Sunday 5pm to 10pm
  • Address: 1050 Connecticut Ave NW # 2, Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: (202) 955-5997

I know I said I’d only blog about the really good restaurants, but sometimes there are good concepts that don’t go quite as I think the chefs meant.  I think that’s what happened with Left Bank breakfasts. 

Before I get to the food, I wanted to bring up that the chairs (not the booths) are just slightly too high for the tables.  So it makes eating just slightly awkward.

Anyway, I went with a friend for breakfast one morning and ordered the Eggs Norwegian.  I chose the poached eggs (am into that style right now) and it was sitting on top of a toasted English muffin, smoked salmon, spinach, and chive hollandaise.  Sounds really yummy right?  All really tasty components and healthy (minus the hollandaise)!  Good concept!

Now I’m not much of a hollandaise fan but my friend that I went with, she knows hollandaise.  So I ordered it on the side so she could tell me how it rated.

Apparently, it was just so-so.  And that’s how I’d explain my breakfast.  There was perhaps 3 TBSP of potatoes on the side — it was a bit of a sad looking plate.  Plus, one of the eggs was not poached, but hard (the yolk never broke).  Everything was also cold. 

Interior is fun though and would be a great spot to grab drinks with friends, just not breakfast (especially since there are so many other great places in the area!).  It’s a wide open bar/restaurant and would be a spectacular spot on a beautiful weather day when their floor-to-ceiling windows are open. 

BTW, they also have some good happy hour offerings.  Daily happy hours until 7 PM with $4 beers and $5 rails.  Mondays are half-priced red and white wines; Tues & Wed are Smirnoff & Flavors night with mixed drinks going for $5 and martinis for $6; Thursdays are martini madness with half-priced Left Bank specialty drinks until 8 PM.  Sat and Sun starting at 10 are $9 Moet Chandon Mimosas.   

Details:

  • Hours: Brunch Sat 10 AM-4 PM & Sun 10 AM-4:30 PM; Dinner Sun-Thurs 5-11 PM & Fri-Sat 5-12 AM; Sushi Sun-Thurs 5-11:30 PM, Fri-Sat 5-1AM
  • Address: 2424 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: (202) 464-2100

I don’t know why, but the Beacon is always viewed as a good place for HH (happy hour) and food.  Personally, I disagree.  Instead, I prefer to tell people about Nage.

  • Food:While their menu can seem somewhat limited (it’s seasonal), their chalkboard offers another 10 various options — and from that menu, you can have a pre-fixe meal (3 courses for $35).  I’ve been a few times and have had some good meals.  The mac and cheese is more creamy than cheesy, so it’s definitely not 15ria.  Their Chesapeake oysters with spinach, fennel, mushrooms, and Asiago cheese are good.  Most recently, I ordered the Prime Rib burger which was cooked perfectly, though I didn’t care for their fries (they were a mixture of potatoes — including a few sweet potatoes, but not worth the calories since they weren’t crispy…you know how I love my fries crispy!).  As far as dessert, their best offering is the Bananas Foster Bread Pudding.  I’m not a huge bread pudding fan, but this was insanely good! 
  • Service: They’ve always been courteous and efficient without being annoying.  In other words, good service.
  • Atmosphere: Strange as it might sound, this restaurant is in the Marriott Courtyard, down the block from Beacon.  But don’t let that scare you away!  They offer way better options for wine and beer and much better food.  Their restaurant is small and only has about 20 tables with a few bar tables and seats.  They also have a flat screen TV which always runs various sports games.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$ if you order off their bistro menu; $$$ if you order an app and main entree
  • Overall:  Next time you want to go to Beacon, try out Nage instead.  As a friend said when she went, “It’s not the best meal ever, but it’s pretty good.  I mean, it’s better than Beacon.”  Although the $$$ may make you pause from making it your new weekly hangout.   But their apps are reasonably priced so you could definitely go after work without spending an arm and a leg.

Happy Hour: I’ll have to let you know — I forgot to take a look but I know they have 1/2 priced wine (I think it’s on Mondays).

Details:

  • Reservations are suggested, but to be honest, I’ve never needed them.
  • Hours: Breakfast Daily 7-10:30 am; Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30 pm; Daily Dinner 5 pm – 9:30 pm
  • Address:1600 Rhodes Island Avenue, NW; Washington, D.C. 20036
  • Ph:  (202) 448-8005

I’m one of those.  I like to read reviews about places before I go so I know what to expect.  And the review I read about Vinoteca and their food was, to put it nicely, dismal.  So what do I do when my friend, who was going with me, asked about this place?  I say,  “Yeah, the wine list is supposed to be pretty good but the food supposedly sucks.”  Ha ha, nothing like setting everyone’s expectations!  

  • Food:After reading the horrible reviews about this place, my expectations were incredibly low.  While our server provided water right away, we didn’t get any bread until we ordered our food.  So we started off with a trio of charcuterie.  The bread was interesting that they provided — it was dark with black olives perhaps?  Not quite sure what kind of bread it was, but it was a bit dry.  I preferred the second type of bread that they gave us (after we asked for more) which was softer than a baguette, but had a good flavor.  Then we ordered their $12 mussels.  When you compare their mussels with the $8.25 from Les Halles, there’s no comparison.  Les Halles rules.  
  • Service: Our server didn’t seem happy about working when we were there.  She never smiled and seemed annoyed when we needed a couple of minutes to review the menu.
  • Atmosphere: They offer some great photos on their Web site here.  Inside it’s a comfortable (yet very loud) bar.  The dining area is small, but seems like a good spot for large groups. 
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: I’d go again for their happy hour to try their sliders, but to go pay full-priced considering the service and their mussels, I’d skip it. 

Happy Hour— Sunday-Thursday from 5-7 PM, they offer 10 wines by the glass; 3 sliders for $6; and 1/2 panini and fall squash soup for $5.55.

Details:

  • Hours: Sun 4:30 PM-2 AM; Mon closed; Tues-Thurs 4:30 PM-2 AM; Fri & Sat 4:30 PM-3 AM; Brunch Sat & Sun 10 AM-3 PM
  • Address: 1940 11th Street NW; Washington, DC 20001
  • Ph: 202-332-WINE

Two+ years ago, I went to Ceiba for Restaurant Week.  I don’t remember what I ordered, but since I haven’t been since then…well, you know.

Anyway, I do remember the inside of the restaurant was nice and when I was researching Restaurant Week, I stumbled (no pun intended) upon their happy hour information.

Here it is!  I’ll have to go back sometime and do a review on the food. 

Monday-Friday from 2:30-10:30 PM $5 cocktails (throughout the restaurant) and complimentary bocaditos (appetizers) from 4-7 PM in the bar-area only.  

  • Monday — Drink special: Mojito/bocaditos: mini pressed Cuban sandwiches
  • Tuesday — Drink special: Caipirinha/bocadito: grilled Chorizo and a Chimichurri sauce
  • Wednesday — Drink special: Pisco Sour/bocadito: ceviche & crisp flour tortillas
  • Thursday — Drink special: Sangria/bocadito: assorted Tapas
  • Friday — Drink special: Margarita/bocadito: guacamole, blistered tomato salsa, crisp corn tortillas

Details:

  • Address: 701 14th Street, N.W., Washington DC 20005
  • Ph: (202) 393-3983

Recently, I went to Panache with a few business associates for lunch. 

  • Food:I usually only go for a quick happy hour and an order of the fried calamari.  The calamari is good, but it’s the aioli that makes it really good.  When I went for lunch, I ordered the rockfish special which was tasty.  It’s been a couple of months since I went so I forgot what the sides were.  I also ordered the Tiramisu for dessert.  I thought it was really good because it was incredibly light. 
  • Service: Good — even for happy hour.
  • Atmosphere: The restaurant is borderline casual and business casual.  They have these huge half-circular booths on the side and then their bar is on the right — just hope you don’t sit immediately by the door on a cold or wet day.  Their bar gets packed for happy hour though.  
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall:I like their happy hours.  The lunch was good, but it wasn’t $$$ good.  Their HH isn’t super upscale, but it’s comfortable (without being like a college happy hour).  It’s a nice middle ground location. I’ve never been at night, but apparently, the atmosphere changes with live music on Thursdays and DJs on Fridays through Sundays.

Happy Hour: Their weekday happy hour is from 4-7 PM and their HH menu has Panache shots for $6 and signature cocktails for $9.  I go for their $4 glasses of wine and calamari appetizer. 

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: M-F lunch 11 AM-4 PM; M-F Dinner 4 PM-10:30 PM; Saturday 5:30 PM-10:30 PM.
  • Address:1725 Desales St. NW, Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-293-7760

I’ve been to Vidalia for lunch and I remember really enjoying the meal.  I haven’t been there for happy hour, but I think that’s going to have to change soon. 

Check it out: Monday-Friday from 5:30-6:30 PM, they have a wine tasting with a new theme and three wines for each day of the week.  Vidalia also offers free apps (their Web site lists: House Made Charcuterie, Patés, Rillettes and Sausages Paté of the South (Pimento Cheese) with Onion Crackers; Vidalia Onion Dip with Sweet Potato Chips; Miniature BLT’s; Stuffed Fingerling Potatoes; and Jeff’s Pepper Jelly with Crackers) that changes daily with a few discounted cocktails and beers. 

During 5:30-6:30 PM, they also offer a happy hour dinner menu (appetizer, entrée and dessert) for $39.90 or can be paired with wine for $49.90. 

Details:

  • Address: 1990 M Street NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-659-1990

When I heard Mandu, a Korean restaurant was coming into Dupont, I was excited.   Mostly because I am on a Bibim Bap kick.  Yum.

  • Food:I went with a colleague for lunch and we were hungry.  So we ordered “mandu” pan-fried appetizers, two veggie, two shrimp, and two beef & pork.  The table favorite was shrimp.  Since it was lunch, we only received 4 banchan — including kimchi.  I remember one of the banchan was potato and green beans which really lacked any flavor.  Then I think it was Sigeumchi-namul and Oi sobak-i — both were good.  I ordered *surprise* Bibim Bap in the stone bowl, but I wasn’t happy that it was an extra $2 (why?).  Whatever, I was going to spend it.  When the bowl came, the egg was partially cooked on the top instead of being raw (again, why?).  Despite the partially cooked egg, the rice managed to be a bit crispy (yay!). 
  • Service: Nice server who left us alone to have a conversation while still refilling our tea and water glasses.
  • Atmosphere: It’s a small restaurant on the main floor.  Upstairs, where the bathrooms are, is a nice sized room that can seat a 20+ group.  For those who want to BBQ at the table, you can forget it here because it’s not an option.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:It’s a good place to go if you need a “quick fix” Korean and you can’t get out to Virginia.  When a friend asked where she could get Korean in the area, I said that this was the only place I knew.  She has a much more extensive Korean dining resume than I do and when she returned from her experience, she said, “It’s very American-ized flavors.  But it was fine.” 

Happy Hour:Daily from 4-7 PM offering $4.00 Sojutinis; $4.00 Rail drinks; $2.00 Beers and $3.00 Mandu.

Details:

  • Reservations accepted (and recommended if you’re going during “peak hours” — you know, weekends and weeknights between 6-9 PM).
  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 AM-10 PM; Fri & Sat 11:30 AM-11 PM; Sunday 11:30 AM-9 PM
  • Address: 1805 18th Street NW; Washington, DC
  • Ph: 202-588-1540

**Update 7/1/08 – I went again and it will seriously be the last time.  My friend, who doesn’t live here anymore, wanted to go.  So I relented.  I ordered the Cheesesteak Sliders and they were underseasoned and underinspired.  The beef was dry and overcooked.  Did they lose their chef?  Too bad.  I really liked them.** 

Hudson Cheesesteak Sliders

From left to right, it’s pepper and onion, Italian, and Philly style cheesesteaks. 

**Update 6/25/08 – I went back to Hudson’s.  Check out my experience.**

I don’t know why, but I seem to be starved a lot.  I think I need to fix that.  Thankfully, a friend of mine was also starving and so we decided to try Hudson’s (which used to be David Greggory’s) for lunch. 

Oddly enough, my friend and I had gone to David Greggory’s before for lunch so it was full circle.  We didn’t think DG was great — it was just fine. 

  • Food: As soon as we sat down, we ordered two sides.  An order of their Truffle mac ‘n cheese and hand cut french fries.  Both were fine, but nothing really special.  The 15ria mac ‘n cheese is still the best.  They also gave us a couple of rolls with a little bit of jalapeno spice (but it wasn’t spicy).  They were warm and good.  I ordered the Cheesesteak Sliders — a trio of Philly style, Italian, and pepper and onions.   First of all, calling them “sliders” is wrong — each sandwich is like 5″ long.  To me, sliders mean 2-3 bites; these were huge!  Oh but were they good.  My favorite was the pepper and onions because the flavors were fantastic.  The Italian had fresh tomato sauce and a slice of provolone cheese which made it tasty.  The Philly was also a perfect ratio of cheese and meat.  My friend ordered the ‘Shrooms brick oven pizza with Portobello, Shitake, white mushrooms, garlic confit, Brie, and white truffle oil.  When I picked up a slice of the very thin pizza, there was a bit of water so I thought it was going to be soggy (because of the mushrooms).  In reality, it was still crispy and tasted so fresh.  There was a perfect ratio of cheese, mushrooms, and tomato sauce. 
  • Service: Our server started off strong and then seemed to be completely overwhelmed by the volume of people who were in the restaurant (even though the restaurant wasn’t anywhere near capacity).   
  • Atmosphere: With almost floor to ceiling windows, it’s a great place to dine with all the natural lighting.  The restaurant has a modern flair but comfortable. 
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:I can’t wait to go back!  Their menu have so many other yummy looking things such as their Santa Fe Hot pizza; Jumbo Crabcakes; etc. 

Happy Hour: Check out their calendar to see what their Mon-Fri liquor features are — specials have included discounts on wine, beer, and special drinks.  They do have an long wine list.  In addition, they offer 1/2 glasses anytime for around $4-$6 and have a generous pour, allowing you and your friends an opportunity to sample. 

Details:

  • Reservations needed.
  • Hours: Lunch: Monday through Friday 11:00am – 3:00pm; Afternoon: 3:00pm – 5:00pm; Dinner: Sunday through Thursday 5pm – 10:30pm and Friday and Saturday 5pm – 11pm; Brunch: Sunday 10am until 4pm; Late Night Menu: Sunday through Thursday 10:30pm – 1am and Friday and Saturday 11pm – 2am
  • Address: 2030 M Street NW; Washington, DC 20036
  • Ph: 202-872-8700

Went to 15ria with a couple of friends who love food more than I do. So when we get together, watch out! Ha ha, just kidding. But it is always fun to go out for food with them. 

Here’s something else — you can bring your own wines (corkage fee applies). 

  • Food: For the table, we ordered the $3.50 sides of Lobster Mashed Potatoes and Mac and Cheese.  Two of us ordered the Grilled Steak and Arugula Salad (Balsamic Apples, Chevre cheese, crispy onions, port vinaigrette) and the other ordered Smoked Beef Brisket (Ciabatta bread, Fontina Cheese, caramelized red onions, roasted tomato mayonnaise).  I liked the steak salad — it was light and I felt like it was healthy.  We all tried the brisket sandwich was good and very creamy.  I agreed with the friend who said it needed salt.  It was cooked well though.  The Lobster potatoes were very good, but the star of the meal was the mac and cheese.  So creamy, bacony, and smokey — YUM!  I would definitely order that mac and cheese again!  And I can see craving it too!

Steak Salad   Brisket  Lobster Mashed Potatoes  Mac & Cheese

  • Service: Good, but our server was way too attentative.  We were trying to catch up and he kept trying to clear plates that we were clearly working on.  Then when we said we were working on it, he asked about dessert. 
  • Atmosphere:  It was casual and they definitely offer the comfort food. 
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: Their mac and cheese is quite possibly one of the most fantastic items I’ve ever tasted.  The rest of the food was decent, but there’s no doubt I’ll be coming back for the mac and cheese.

Happy Hour: Daily 5-7:30 PM; $1 off all beer, wine, liquor

Details:

  • Reservations recommended.
  • Hours: Breakfast M-F 6:30 AM-11 AM; Sat & Sun 7-11 AM; Lunch M-F 11:30 AM-2 PM; Dinner 5:30-10 PM daiy; Sunday Brunch 11:30 AM-3 PM
  • Address: 1515 Rhode Island Ave, NW Washington DC, 20005 (It’s in the Doubletree Hotel)
  • Ph: 202/742-0015 

If you’re a wine fan, I think you’ll like Veritas Wine Bar.  I enjoyed it!  They only serve cheese and charcuterie so definitely not a place to go on an empty stomach! 

The interior is dark and comfortable.  It feels like you just stepped into a upscale cellar with a nice bar and stools.  There are also tables by the windows. 

Where the typical bar would have their liquor displayed, Veritas has their wall filled with wine refrigerators set at the perfect temperature so you can try one of their 64 different “wines by the glass.”  In addition, you have hundreds of different bottles of wine to choose from.

They also have 1/2 price wine on Mondays!  Now that’s a spectacular happy hour!

Details:

  • Reservations not accepted.  
  • Hours: Daily 5-close
  • Address: 2031 Florida Avenue NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202.265.6270

Located in Chinatown, Zengo is a great place to go with clients, parents, dates, friends — pretty much everyone!  Always serving great food, you can’t go wrong with this restaurant. 

I’ll write a restaurant review later, but for now — here’s the deal on happy hour.  It’s from 5-7 PM Monday-Thursday with a variety of discounts on their cocktails and appetizers.

When you walk in, you’re immediately on the ground floor bar (there’s another small bar on the 2nd floor).  The tables (and bathrooms) are on the 2nd floor.

Details:

  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday 5:00pm-10:00pm, Friday-Saturday 5:00pm-11:00pm; Bar/Lounge: Sunday – Monday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm, Tuesday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 11:30pm, Friday – Saturday: 5:00pm – 12:00am
  • Address:  781 Seventh Street NW; Washington, DC 20001
  • Ph: 202.393.2929

I’ve never eaten at Palette yet, but I’ve been to a couple of happy hours.  I love it. 

  • Happy Hour Hours: They have a three hour martini hour Monday-Friday from 4 – 7 PM.  
  • Specialities:  Offer discounts on their specialty martinis; wine by the glass; imported and domestic beer.  They also have some fantastic appetizers.  And every table gets these spiced variety of nuts.
  • Atmosphere: There are these huge booths by these even bigger windows.  With a modern and sleek look, it’s a great place for “upscale happy hour.” 

Details: 

  • Address: 1177 15th Street N.W.; Washington, D.C. 20005
  • Ph: 202.587.2700

**Update 6/24 — Restaurant K has closed.**

Restaurant K recently opened and I was excited.  I had heard a lot of great things about Alison Swope, so I had some high expectations.  From their Web site, they describe the restaurant as one that will “feature modern American cooking, a contemporary twist on traditional comfort foods utilizing local and regional ingredients.”

Since it’s K Street, it’ll come as no surprise that they had an impressive wine and liquor collection.

  • Food: While waiting for the others to arrive, we sat at the bar for happy hour.  We ordered the cheese fritters and wild mushroom baklava.  The cheese fritters were good, but there were only 5 or 6 on the plate.  It was too big of a plate for the few fritters — they should bring it out on a smaller plate.  The baklava was by far the best with the goat cheese, balsamic reduction and roasted sweet pepper puree.  You could taste and identify each one of the flavors and they worked together so well — I’d definitely order it again!  When we were ready for dinner, we were given an amuse bouche which was good.  I can’t remember exactly what it was, but it was a bit like bruschetta.  Then I ordered the leg of lamb steak with the goat cheese mashed potatoes.  I wasn’t paying attention when I ordered so I was surprised when this steak-looking piece of meat came out — instead of the chop.  It was good and cooked perfectly. Unfortunately, my friends’ food was not cooked properly.  One ordered the seared salmon and let me tell you, it was definitely not seared and was borderline overcooked.  She said it was fine.  The other friend ordered streak (I don’t remember which one), but she had ordered it medium well (don’t get me started, I know…why medium well?!).  Instead, it came medium rare.  Then a couple of friends ordered the chocolate cream pie and banana fritters.  Both said their desserts were tasty.
  • Service: Courteous and efficient. 
  • Atmosphere: It has a great interior.  The restaurant has a comfortable feel with the medium dark wood and big booths.  The bar has their liquor bottles lined up against the wall and their selection is impressive.
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall: I’d go back for the happy hour in a heartbeat.  There are a lot of other restaurants I want to try before I come back for dinner though.  I think they’re still fixing the kinks.  Some of the dishes were “hits” while the others would have been good if they were cooked properly.  In a few months, I’d be willing to go back to try dinner one more time with the hopes that their kitchen understands their menu a little bit better.

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri from 3-7 PM with appetizers half-off and discounts on drinks, wine, and beer.  Beverages range from $5-$7. 

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: Lunch: Monday through Friday 11:30-3; Closed for lunch Saturday and Sunday Dinner; Monday through Thursday 5-10; Friday and Saturday 5-11; Closed for dinner Sunday; Bar: Monday through Friday – open all day; Saturday 5-close
  • Address: 1700 K Street NW; Washington, DC 20006
  • Ph: (202) 974-6545

I went to LIMA with a group of friends a few weeks ago and had a fantastic time. 

  • Food: I had seen some mixed reviews, but I still wanted to try this Latin-infused cuisine.  We had decided to order some mojitos (which were good) and some appetizers.  Up first was the Ceviche Mixto, which was mixed seafood with lime, hot chilies, onions, and cilantro.  The fish was flavorful, fresh, and had a little bit of a kick.  We also ordered their Taste of Spanish Cured Meats which were also tasty.I had ordered the Grilled Chilean Sea Bass, which was perfectly cooked.  From their menu, it says, “sautéed in cashew-cilantro crust wild mushrooms and roasted root vegetables.” It had a nice crisp exterior with a rich flavor.  It might even be the best Chilean Sea Bass I’ve tasted.  My 3 other dining companions got the same dish – the Cuban Dinner with Chicken.  The menu said it was a roasted half a chicken “‘encebollado’ with lime braised red onions steamed aged basmati rice, black beans, and fried green plantains.”  I thought the chicken was really good, moist with excellent flavor. Even my friend who had a rotisserie (will tell that story in a later post) said it was one of the best chickens she’s ever had.  The downside of the meal?  The fried green plantains.  We concurred it was the worst part of the meal. 

  • Service: We had a very nice server who was very nice and offered great suggestions.

  • Atmosphere:We sat upstairs and right by the kitchen door.  It was a bit strange to seat us there since there weren’t a lot of others in the dining room.  Regardless, it wasn’t a bad table. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable upstairs

  • Attire: Business casual

  • Price: $$$

  • Overall: I’d definitely want to go back for dinner.  It seems like a place I’d want to avoid on weekends (unless you’re OK with standing in line to get into a bar).  I have a sense that the atmosphere on the weekends completely changes the audience/crowd too. 

It would be a great place to go for the first date.  In the summer, they have these huge sofas outside so it’s great to grab a drink before dinner.  They have a great wine and beverage list along with a beautiful upscale bar downstairs.                                                                               

The lounge has weekly DJs that play house and dance music.  Bottle service is also available.                            

Happy Hour: 5:00-7:00PM $5 Call Drinks; $4.50 House Wines; $4 Import Beers; $3 Domestic Beers; $4.50 Johnnie Walker Red, Absolut Vodka & Jack Daniels mix drinks; $5 Beef Empinadas

Details:

  • Reservations are accepted and recommended 

  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 5:30pm-10:30pm; Fri & Sat 5:30pm-11:30pm; Sun restaurant is closed but Lounge open 9 pm-2 am.

  • Address: 1401 K Street NW; Washington, DC 20005

  • Ph: (202) 789-2800