Upscale Happy Hour


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
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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

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