Skilled mixologists serve up complex drinks at Wisdom, a dark yet charming cocktail parlor where heavy draperies and ornate lights hang along exposed brick walls. Their drink menu runs the gamut from wine and imported beer to a vast selection of authentic absinthe. Bartenders also mix up non-alcoholic "mocktails," with flavor profiles that are as interesting as their alcoholic counterparts. Events such as trivia night pit martinis against memories, and yappy hours let dogs lounge on the patio and play poker while owners sip libations. Wisdom also dishes up tasty tidbits such as chocolate beer waffles doused in maple syrup or bacon waffles covered in bourbon and caramel apples.
Pulsing rhythms and potent cocktails energize the long, narrow space inside Bar 7, keeping crowds entertained until as late as 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. Surrounded by a sleek combination of brick walls and flat-screen TVs playing muted CSPAN coverage, DJs keep patrons' hips swaying and toes tapping with infectious dance beats. Meanwhile, bartenders stay busy by mixing complex cocktails such as the Lemon Skittle Sorbet and Diddy's Peach made with Cîroc peach. The kitchen crew then sates drink- and dance-fueled appetites with plates of hearty comfort food, including crab cakes with homemade rémoulade sauce and pan-seared shrimp with a jalapeño-spiked honey sauce.
Unencumbered by the usual cover charge or having to answer the bouncer's cryptic riddles, you and a dapperly dressed dance partner will be free to waltz into Josephine and enjoy your choice of beer, wine, and rail drinks (roughly $6–$10) inside this luxuriously legalized speakeasy. Chandeliers drip ornately from the ceiling to eavesdrop on classy, candlelit conversations around mirrored tables, which give you an opportunity to practice your most debonair-looking spit take. Brocaded pillars will help conceal you from the eyes of nosy neighbors and bounty hunters. In between bursts of booty-shaking to the house, hip-hop, and dance music booming from Josephine's sound system, take breaks to lounge languorously on the regally upholstered banquettes that surround the sunken-level dance floor.
Inside The Salsa Room, Latin artists such as Marc Anthony, Oscar D'León, and Gilberto Santa Rosa croon to diners pouring over a menu of steak and seafood dishes. Drawing on influences from Latin America and the Caribbean, the club's chefs construct a menu bursting with spicy, flavorful ingredients like a piñata full of jalapeños. Chorizo adds a splash of flavor to breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes, creating taste-bud-tempting fare such as the house specialty guiso de garbanzos con chorizo—a blend of chickpeas, beef, and spanish chorizo in a tomato-based creole sauce. On Wednesday at 8 p.m., salsa and bachata dance instructors take to the floor to lead patrons in the rhythmic steps and sly glances that compose Latin choreography.
When it first opened in March of 2001, Tsunami Sushi & Lounge was on the vanguard of local businesses and shops to settle and thrive in the 14th street corridor near Thomas Circle. Today, the ultramodern lounge relishes in its place as a nerve center for nightlife, treating guests to fresh maki and nigiri, as well as lip-smacking udon, steak, and tempura dishes. Strings of sparkling crystal globes form huge overhanging chandeliers that cast twinkling light upon brick walls, eggshell-white armchairs, and black leather benches. Guests follow a glass-lined staircase up to the restaurant's second story, gazing out upon the bustling streetscapes and poorly hidden bald spots on the sidewalk below.