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.
Intermission Drink Experience began with a simple goal: to give people a break from the daily grind in any way possible. For guests of these events, that could mean solving brainteasers, painting a work of art under the guidance of a local artist, or answering questions about a best friend or significant other. As participants meet new pals and bond with old ones, themed cocktails dubbed “The Liquid Smoke Experience” or “The Warm Caramel Experience” complement each event and help liberate minds better than the riddles written on the back of the Declaration of Independence.
Standing beneath the German flags fluttering outside with the two-story timber structure of Biergarten Haus looming overhead, one might feel transported to the streets of a small Bavarian village. Inside, the head of an elk looks down at glasses full of more than 25 German lagers and weizens that draw from one of the largest selections of German beer in the area, while warm, doughy pretzels provide what the Washingtonian describes as an "excellent drinking snack" to pair with authentic German schnitzel, sausages, and potato pancakes. Old world meets new with 16 TVs airing sporting events inside the bar, which accommodates up to 400 patrons. Each day, wood burns within the large fireplace, warming visitors during the fall and winter. Climb the stairs to the rooftop beer garden?one of the largest German beer gardens in DC, and lauded as one of DC?s best by the Washington Post?where tables made of repurposed barrels cluster together underneath cool-water misters. Out back, a second beer garden populated by long, rustic tables is open for year-round Oktoberfest celebrations, and groups can clink glasses to celebrate birthdays or holidays.
Pho Bar and Grill’s kitchen staff transports taste buds on a culinary journey with its menu of Vietnamese dishes. For entrees, char-grilled slabs of lemongrass chicken, marinated pork, or marinated beef share plate-space with a bevy of veggies, and forkfuls of curry chicken haul spices and coconut milk mouthward, where eaters can store the flavors for winter. Behind the scenes, cooks carve slices of brisket, round eye, and flank steak to mix with the noodles of the Pho bar combination plate. Mixed drinks, Tsingtao beer, and house wine chase down meals like a lion pouncing on a galloping hamburger.
“A synthetic turf-covered love letter to Washington.” That’s what Fritz Hahn of the Washington Post had to say about H Street Country Club after visiting the nearly 7,000-square-foot bar at the heart of the Atlas District. Yet Hahn wasn’t talking about the eatery’s decadent food; he was commenting on the space's devilishly tricky indoor golf course. During each nine-hole outing—for adults 21+—putters encounter the Lincoln Theatre, Ben’s Chili Bowl, and the titanic grasping hands of a half-submerged Marion Barry. As if a trip to the links wasn’t enough to work up an appetite, the entire first floor of H Street tempts gamers with skee-ball, shuffleboard, and wall-vs-human staring contests—all within an arm’s reach of margaritas, mojitos, and other specialty drinks.
Upstairs, a glass panel filled with retired golf balls gazes out over artist and contributing decorator Lee T. Wheeler’s talents, which alight upon everything from the sculptures crafted from repurposed birdhouses to the bar’s cushy lounge seating. The design sets the stage for executive chef Pablo Cardoso’s upscale take on classic Mexican food, with tables welcoming grilled skirt steak splayed over "cowboy" beans, a half chicken paired with yuca, and fajitas stuffed with still-sizzling shrimp. For dessert, the chef stuffs crisp empanadas with sweet mangoes, topping the confection with creamy ice cream and a note to get out of gym class for a week.
The front doors of Skin Spa Austin Lounge open to a studio with an industrial yet comforting aesthetic, where sunlight spills in through the broad windows and warms the exposed-brick walls and bronze-colored floor. Within this space that both celebrates and seals out the savage urban jungle, aestheticians and massage therapists tend to guests with à la carte and packaged spa services that span facials, massage, waxing, and even LED teeth whitening. Skin Spa's staff prefers organic and pharmaceutical-grade products, stocking lines such as HydroPeptide that teem with active enzymes and botanical extracts.