At Quench, Chef Ed Hardy and barman Matt Allred aim to live up to the hype stemming from the Favorite New Restaurant and Best Cocktail Program awards they earned from the Restaurant Association of Maryland. They, along with their team of chefs, go beyond simply making food and mixing drinks?they prepare artful dinner specialties and unique, out-of-the-box cocktails. Though their meal creations arise out of seemingly simple ingredients?local produce, house-ground meats?the team crafts wildly creative send-ups of typical pub fare in addition to traditional comfort foods. Short ribs are braised for days, bacon is cured in-house, and fresh ground lamb meatballs fill out the seasonal risotto with fresh local ramps. Quench also plates healthy fare such as edamame hummus served with local cucumbers and apples and a fresh and locally caught fish of the day, all complemented by inventive cocktails. The seasonal dessert menu of house-made ice cream sandwiches and rhubarb cobbler round out the dining experience.
The drinks, with clever names such as Sex in the Burbs and Django Juice, draw on a palette of blood-orange juice, house-made foams, and uniquely infused spirits. Mixology classes prepare students to delight party guests, and Quench also hosts events such as Saturday and Sunday brunches scored by live music and scratch-made weekday lunches.
Though devoutly British in name, Union Jack's British Pub is actually a transatlantic blend of both English and American conventions. Inside the expansive space, stone walls and a fireplace bear a distinctly European feel, though HD plasma TVs and projection screens broadcast games of hockey and American football. The food menu retains a similar dichotomy, offering up options such as Maryland crab cakes, fish and chips, and Caribbean jerk chicken sandwiches. The two nations fully unite at the handsome wooden bar, where guests can sip on one of 16 drafts, ranging from Fuller's London Porter to state-sourced Samuel Adams. Should cultural clashes persist, patrons can retire to the billiards room after their meal to settle disputes over the proper pronunciation of "aluminum."
At the The Royal Mile Pub, servers and regulars alike greet guests with a hearty "Cead mile failte!" It's Gaelic for "a hundred thousand welcomes," and the sentiment permeates every brew, stew, and show. Juxtaposing the local with the far-flung, Royal Mile cultivates a communal mood while maintaining a Scottish identity. To wit, the menu spotlights haggis, Orkney Scotch eggs, and traditional British-style breakfasts.
Spotlighting Scotland is a trend that also permeates the eatery's decor. Colorful tartans hang from the rafters, some of which match the kilts of live performers. The pub even takes its name from the region: Between Scotland's Edinburgh Castle and Palace of Holyroodhouse, there's a 1-mile series of streets traditionally traveled by Scottish royalty. The Royal Mile Pub is named for this thoroughfare, and its staff has welcomed its guests as it would kings and queens since it opened in 1981.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary season, Wolf Trap regales lovers of the arts with masterful performances, innovative education, and swinging social events at the Filene Center and The Barns. Wolf Trap's young-professional organization, Club 66, gathers emerging leaders and former infants, primarily aged 21–39, for networking, socializing, and special events united by the leitmotif of furthering arts enrichment. Members clear their calendars and cleanse their opera glasses before partaking in benefits that include opportunities to buy tickets for Filene Center events before they are released to the general public, a new group of friends to discuss conspiracy theories about Les Misérables, and a subscription to the member newsletter, "The Wolf Trap Experience." Club members enjoy discounts on pre- and post-performance events, gift-shop discounts, a special rate for the Annual Bash, and invitations to interludes, networking parties, and other members-only events.
At Fairouz Cafe, waiters ameliorate appetites with a menu of classic Middle Eastern dishes. Hummus bel-shawarma ($9.95) jump-starts eating engines with a serving of hummus topped by slices of beef and lamb, created by cracking a meat piñata over the plate. The chicken kebab platter unites marinated, boneless chicken cubes with rice ($11.95), and the falafel sandwich corrals fried chickpea patties into bellies ($5.95). Combo appetizer plates such as the yogurt salad with diced cucumbers ($3.50) or the shakshouky, an eggplant salad with diced tomatoes and pomegranate extract ($5.95), juxtapose simple ingredients to accentuate their flavor, much like PB&J sandwiches or barbershop quartets with one rapper. Escort meals to hunger-vanquishing glory on a cascade of nonalcoholic beverages such as juices and smoothies ($4.50) or a toasty pot of Turkish coffee ($3.95). During meals, diners can enjoy the smoky flavors of a hookah (not included with this Groupon), soak in live or DJed music, observe the sensual stylings of a belly dancer, or keep up with sports on wall-mounted televisions.