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Playboy puts the spotlight on two new DC bars

22 Aug

It’s not just about bunnies. Playboy is in the process of naming its pick for the top new bar in the U.S.

Every year we search the U.S. for the top new places to get a good drink: the best spots where they take making a good drink seriously, but don’t take themselves too seriously.

Playboy’s recently released its list of the top 50 finalists includes two D.C. bars: Columbia Room and Left Door. Here is what it had to say:

Columbia Room: When Derek Brown first opened Columbia Room, it was in back of neighborhood hangout the Passenger. Its second incarnation in Blagden Alley is far grander, with a striking Italian mosaic mural behind the curved burl wood bar in the Tasting Room.

Our head bartender @jpfethers and the Decaf Cowboy! #Repost @culinaryagents ・・・ #BeverageMonth Feature: "We love this drink for a couple of reasons, but one in particular. It highlights a couple of ingredients that we find really interesting and have flavor profiles that are less familiar to a wider swath of people; cachaça aged in Brazilian amburana wood casks and an extensively aged amontillado sherry." – @JPFethers, Bartender at the @columbiaroom in DC. Decaf Cowboy Recipe: 1 oz Avua Amburana Cachaça 0.5 oz Barbadillo Amontillado Sherry 0.75 oz Lime Juice 0.75 oz Café de Palo syrup 1 oz Egg White (or the white of one large egg) 3 drops Espresso or Coffee Bitters Shake with ice, then strain into another shake; shake vigorously a second time without ice, then pour into a large chilled coupe. Using a stencil, dust half of the surface of the egg white foam with corn dust.

A photo posted by Columbia Room (@columbiaroom) on

Left Door: Just off the restaurant-and bar-packed 14th Street Corridor is Left Door, the latest project from Tom Brown, proprietor of the beloved but now shuttered casual watering holes Hogo and Passenger. This lair is a little more serious, highlighting elevated Pimm’s Cups and Yellow Chartreuse Sours.

New cocktail: don't cross the streams!!

A photo posted by Mick Perrigo (@leftdoordc) on


Until August 31, you can cast your vote for which of these two bars (or one of the other 48) deserves to be named the country’s top new watering hole for 2016.

Dîner en Blanc returning to DC

18 Aug Deb Cover

On Saturday, August 27, Dîner en Blanc, the world’s largest secret dinner party returns to Washington, D.C.. The event was originally started in 1988 by François Pasquier in Paris and has quickly become a cultural phenomenon delighting curious spectators and entertaining the lucky attendees who are able to score an invitation to the exclusive event.


Now held in 70 cities worldwide, this will be the District’s third time hosting the event. Past locations have included the inaugural outing held adjacent to National Stadium in Yard’s Park  and last year’s location on the grounds of the Carnegie Library in Mount Vernon Square. This year’s dinner promises to be even more spectacular with early estimates indicating that over 3,500 people are slated to attend. Even with the increase in numbers, the pop up party sold out in minutes and there is still an extensive waiting list of people hoping to get in for 2017.


To attend the event, participants must wear white festive party attire, bring their own table and chairs, pack an elegant dinner and transport all of this to a secret location that is revealed minutes before the celebration is to start. There are several meeting spots throughout the Washington metropolitan area, which serve as initial gathering spots before hitting the official destination.


“One of the things I love most about the event is the expression of creativity through attire and table decor. The thought that goes into wardrobe selection and sourcing table decor is so impressive! That along with the preparation and excitement in the weeks leading up to the event is what really sets this event apart from a regular night out on the town,” said Bryer Davis, one of the event co-host.

DEB17 DEB18The theme of the event is truly about elegance and fun. Partygoers will be dressed to the nines in all white attire. (Click here to check out previous years’ fashions.) In addition they are expected to serve their meals on real china and silverware as well as create elaborate tablescapes for an opulent dining experience. And just like the strict white dress code, plastic plates and utensils are forbidden.


The dinner starts with the ceremonial waving of crisp white dinner napkins and culminates with all guests waiving sparklers for the start of the dance party. While the event is invitation only, there is typically an after party open to the public. Non-Dîner en Blanc attendees must still wear white to get in. For more information about Dîner en Blanc D.C., the after party or to join the waiting list for next year visit the organization’s website.


Men drink Rosé

27 Jul

A nice glass of Rosé might be the perfect cure to this summer heat.


Gentleman’s Night out (style, grooming, and whiskey)

10 Nov

Beer Events This Saturday – 11/8/2014

4 Nov

Beer lovers looking for a fun afternoon of beer tasting will want to check out the DC Beer Festival this Saturday afternoon, out on the field at Nationals Park.  The event includes unlimited tastings of  beer (focusing on craft beer and seasonals), food trucks, live music, DJs, at the outdoor festival.  Tickets are $40 for regular admission, or add an extra VIP hour of beer tasting for $20 more.

For those up for a real challenge, the DC Beerathon returns this Saturday with a bar crawl of 26 different bars each offering a 12 ounce beer (yes, that is a potential 26 beers to drink), as well as food specials and entertainment as you navigate the course which covers several neighborhoods in NW.  Tickets are $65 for 11+ hours of drinking, or get started an hour early for and extra $15.  Check in is either at Black Jack or James Hoban’s.

Hugh & Crye blazer sale

23 Oct

“Cranberry” color shown here, but many other colors and designs are available

Heard of Hugh & Crye? If not, then you must be new to the DC men’s game. They’re probably only the biggest menswear startup in the DC area. Check out their GQ love. They have a proprietary fitting scheme that takes into account your height PLUS your build. The notion has been competing quite well versus your old fashioned off-the-rack sizing. The idea is that you can get a near-custom fit, without shelling out for true bespoke.

This weekend (from October 25th at noon to October 26th at 6pm) only, they’re having a sale on all of their McComb blazers (normally priced at $245) for a steep discount of $99.

Register for free to RSVP at their Eventbrite page.

The sale will be held at Gallery plan b (1530 14th Street NW Washington, DC 20005).

Upcoming Event: Vinyasa to Vino

19 Aug
Take two things that people in DC love to do, and put them together. What do you get?

No, not a Ben’s Chili Bowl at the top of the Washington monument. You get a yoga class followed by a wine tasting.

Not sure how much of a downward facing dog you can be? No problem, DC yoga blog Grip The Mat‘s got you covered, all skill levels are welcome. Not too confident about your wine tasting abilities? Well unless you’re missing taste buds you shouldn’t be. Vino Lovers will be on call to hold your hand through it all and teach you a thing or two about reds and whites.

Here’s what the event organizers have to say:

Bringing to you the best of both worlds: alcohol and girls in yoga pants. But actually. This Thursday new DC yoga blog Grip The Mat is hosting Vinyasa to Vino – a yoga class followed by a wine tasting sponsored by Vino Lovers. Never done yoga before? No problem. The event is tailored to all levels and is perfect for anyone who hasn’t seen much success in the typically stuffy bar scene and would like to meet cool new interesting people who value fitness and health.

Still not sold? Research shows that practicing yoga reduces stress and cortisol levels, and what did Men’s Health magazine report…? Women are more attracted to men with lower stress and levels of cortisol. Additionally, regular yoga practice strengthens pelvic muscle control. Finally, polyphenols in wine is reported to improve circulation “down below.”

Yoga + wine = health and wellness jackpot. Not to mention Vinyasa to Vino offers a chance to meet like-minded active friends who are just down to have a good time.

Please RSVP via EventBrite

When: Thursday, August 21 7pm to 9pm
How much: $20 +  tax

DC Beer Week

18 Aug

This week is the 6th annual DC Beer Week!  This celebration of beer extends throughout the DC area, with tastings, tap takeovers, beer dinners, seminars, and other events featuring lots of good beer.


Plan your week of beer by checking out the full list of events on the DC Beer Week website, or go with some of our picks:

DC Brau’s Crab Fest at Quarterdeck has the ultimate pairing of all you can eat steamed crabs and $1 drafts / $5 pitchers of craft beer.

Blind and Bitter at Scion has participants taking part in a blind taste test of 24 extra hoppy IPAs competing for a permanent line at Scion.

Devil’s Backbone Total Tap Takeover at Meridian Pint will feature 20 Devil’s Backbone drafts including the release of Pumpkin Hunter Pumpkin Ale.

Breweries on the Block at Union Market gives you a chance to discuss beer with experts from local breweries in DC with more local craft beer and great food.

August 16th is National Rum Day

14 Aug

Image courtesy of

I love how there’s days for everything now. Commercialization at its best? Yes. An excuse to learn about rum? Definitely. Here’s all you need to know about National Rum Day.


First a little intro on Rum (content from

Rum lovers around the world owe a great debt to a simple plant: sugar cane. Hundreds of years ago, there was a sugar craze in Europe, and colonies were established around the Caribbean to make the sweet commodity. But the production of sugar creates a lot of byproduct—namely, molasses. There wasn’t much use for the thick, sticky, sweet substance until it was discovered that molasses could be fermented and then distilled. The alcohol quickly became popular with pirates, sailors and America’s founders.

Rum also became a key element in the infamous “slavery triangle.” The Brits shipped molasses to New England, where it was transformed into rum, proceeds from the sales of which purchased slaves in West Africa, who were subsequently taken to the sugar cane plantations in the Caribbean and South America.

While the rules for rum production vary greatly from country to country, there are two main types: light and dark. The color of the spirit is primarily determined by the amount of time it has spent aging in oak barrels. The longer it’s been aged, the more color and flavor it picks up from the wood. Some experts say that the Caribbean’s high heat and humidity help speed up the alcohol’s maturation. No matter the color, most rum is still made from molasses, but some brands do use fresh sugar cane juice.

National Rum Day 2014 in DC (Originally reported by DrinkDC)

Here are the best places to go on Saturday in honor of one of the first liquors most of us are introduced to in our lives:

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar: It’s no surprise that a dedicated rum bar would want to make the most of the holiday, so Cuba Libre is running specials all throughout the month of August. Mojitos and rum flights are specially priced all month long, and look for special events like the Mojito, Ceviche and Rum tasting class. And, on August 15 and 16, all of their 90+ rums will be half off between 5–7 PM. (801 9th St. NW; 202-408-1600)

The Observatory at The Graham Georgetown Hotel: Kick off your weekend of rum on August 14 at the trendy rooftop at the Graham Hotel, which will be hosting an evening of rum flights and signature aged rum cocktails from 6–9 PM. Georgetown Tobacco will also be on hand to provide complimentary cigars—life is good. (1075 Thomas Jefferson St. NW; 855-341-1292)

Jack Rose Dining Saloon: From 1 PM – 5 PM on the big day, you can enjoy BBQ from an open pit fire at this Adam’s Morgan cocktail bar, which will be featuring signature rum cocktails and special rum punches to celebrate. Try the 18th Street Twizzle (Gosling’s Dark Rum, lime, simple syrup, angostura, mint) or cool down your spicy BBQ with the Cold-Lada (Bacardi Rum, lime, hibiscus syrup, coconut creme). (2007 18th St. NW; 202-588-7388)

Cork Wine Bar: Yes, it’s a wine bar, but Cork knows quality liquor and will help you celebrate Rum Day with true class. They offer two 15-year rums, aged to perfection: the rich and toasty Ron Matusalem from the Dominican Republic and Rhum Barbancourt from Haiti. (1720 14th St. NW; 202-265-2675)

Patty Boom Boom: This U St. reggae hall offers up three different tasty rum punches that are crazy strong but only $8. The Wild Ting (Ting Jamaican grapefruit soda and light rum), and classic Dark and Stormy (Gosling’s dark rum, ginger beer, and lime) will keep you dancing into the wee hours. (1359 U St. NW; 202-629-1712)

Zengo: Hit up this Latin fusion joint in Chinatown to try three different takes on the classic mojito: the Mojito Cuzco is a refreshing blend of Bacardi Castillo rum, melon, cucumber, mint, lime and soda; the Mojito Oro uses Patron Pyrat rum and plenty of brown sugar, or go fruity with the Mango Mojito, a tropical mix of Parrot Bay mango rum, mango puree, mint and soda. (781 7th St. NW; 202-393-2929)

The Rum Runner Bus Tour: If rum is your drink of choice, why not go all out? Hop on the Rum Runner Bus to enjoy special Rum Day DC Punch and hit bars like Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, Lincoln, and Smith Public Trust, each featuring their own specialty rum cocktails and appetizers. The Rum Bus journeys from 5:30–10:30 PM on August 15.


Guess what opened on Connecticut Ave yesterday! (Hint: H&M)

8 Aug


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