Monthly Archives: April 2012

Russia House & Bourbon

I know, I know! I’m running about a week and a half behind on my reviews/catching everyone up on my seemingly exciting (not really) life, haha.  Last Saturday, I was invited out with some friends to Russia House.  Prior to this time, I had only been there once and that was for an after party to a friend’s company party.  Me and my gentleman guest showed up to the gathering slightly late to find my friend gathered on the third floor (the piano bar floor).  To review the general aesthetic and floor plans of Russia House, you proceed up an outside staircase at this north Dupont location and enter a very dimly lit foyer.  Upon a quick inspection of the place, you can see that there are many nooks and crannies to gather with friends or get a bit cozier.  There are four floors in Russia House, each offering a slightly different feeling (although I’m not quite certain I feel comfortable speaking as to all the levels).  My time at Russia House has been spent predominantly on the third floor.  This floor is the piano bar level. It has a more open feeling and seems more about mingling than the other levels.  The other levels contain more table space and appear to be more about seated gatherings. Approaching the bar, I had to order a vodka drink.  Going for my typical vodka tonic, it did taste much smoother than other locations (caveat – I have no clue what type of vodka they used nor the corresponding price thanks to the gentleman accompanying me).  I would assume that a location called Russia House though would limit the types of crappy vodka it carries, haha.

The length of time we spent at Russia House was limited.  High drinks prices discouraged my friends.  We left after one drinking and some socializing.  I was slightly surprised that there weren’t more people there given it was a Saturday night, even if it was slightly early (11pm).  Russia House is definitely a classy location.  It can accommodate large groups of people – actually would be my preference for attending.  All references I have heard to Russia House is typically in a swanky connotation and would tend to agree, but not overtly snobby.  If I haven’t made it clear, I love locations with multiple floors and places to get lost/explore.  Russia House does fit that mold very well.  You could think of it almost as a more sophisticated (read expensive) and low-key Local 16.

After Russia House, we trekked over to Adams Morgan to attend Bourbon.  The heels might have been a poor decision, haha.  I had never been to this location of Bourbon before.  Almost a year ago I went on a date at the location in Glover Park.  At the time (seemingly eons before starting this blog), the food was delicious and my custom cocktail was a little bit too adventurous (super herby….like drinking a garden – very fresh).  I now am more acquainted with my personal preferences.  This most recent visitation of Bourbon was quite the different experience.  We entered the Adams Morgan location to find a wait to get upstairs for dancing.  In the meantime, decided to grab a drink on the first level.  Sorry, that gentleman insisted on buying this drink too so I am uncertain of the price, but I would guess average price for this neighborhood (not more than $8 for the vodka tonic with rail liquor).

Yes, Bourbon may be located in Adams Morgan, but this is not the stereotypical AdMo bar.  The upstairs and first floor had very different atmospheres. The first level was relaxed, but still upbeat – definitely a good balance.  After a short wait and some amusing banter with the bouncer to get upstairs, we were finally able to get our dance on ;-).  Upstairs was crowded, but not obnoxious.  I was definitely much appreciative that they did take such care in counting people upstairs.  There was also a bar upstairs, but it was definitely much easier to get served downstairs.  The DJ mixed top 40s while IFC was projected onto the wall…at the time it was somewhere between soft and hard-core porn showing #notcomplaining.  Overall, Bourbon was a pretty awesome place that I definitely look forward to coming back to because of the amazing balance of space (chill and dancing in one venue).  It worked well for my small-medium group of friends, but could also see this being an interesting place to meet people.

Things to look forward to readers:  This weekend marks my one year drink anniversary.  Oh look at all we can learn about ourselves in just a year.  Thank you for your votes on my poll; it looks like I’ll be strolling around U Street on Saturday :-).  Still uncertain of the exact lineup of bars, but I’m hoping to start early (around dinner time) and working my way around the neighborhood – making sure to hit some standard/favorite locations of mine, but also trying some new along the way.  Promise to do my best to keep coherent memories and take pictures for the post-celebration review!

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Boundary Road

One of my goals for the spring and summer is to explore H Street more.  Admittedly, I have only been out on H Street a handful of times.  This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to venture to the neighborhood with a gentleman.  We walked into this quaint restaurant/bar and he was greeted by name.  Despite not having a reservation, we were able to steal a table right in the middle of the place.  In this small place you can either sit at the brief bar space or a table, either way it all has a very open feeling (aided by the high ceiling and view directly into the kitchen).  Initially, I will say I was quite impressed with said gentleman because he was a local at this charming establishment and seemingly knew the entire staff almost as if they were family.  Don’t worry though for those of you concerned, that positive impression of the guy faded as quickly as the awesome qualities of Boundary Road jumped out at me.  After initial conversation died down, we ordered some drinks.  I had to go with the aptly named drink “I’m thinking about getting a Vespa” and the “gentleman” ordered a five & dime.  My drink was quite summery/refreshing and his tasted like an adult root beer – absolutely delicious.  I would definitely get the five & dime at my next visit.  Everything appetizer/plate we ordered was mouth-watering…the meats, the cheese, and the steak finale – yum!

I will say our bill was on the hefty side…the “gentleman” thought it was quite important to brag about his significant increase in salary and how well-off he was, but come time for the check he was very eager to split the bill. Yes, yes I’m a feminist, but my general rule of thumb is a first date should be about treating the lady (assuming the lady was not the one handing out the invitation). Another public service announcement for the men out there reading this and in need of dating advice…arrogance trumps all in terms of the lasting impression.  Little chivalrous acts like walking someone to the metro is not excusable for being generally full of oneself. 🙂

All in all, we ordered a full plate of pierogis ($16), two meats & one cheese ($15), and the grilled hanger steak ($22).  Unfortunately, my receipt is not itemized and I am uncertain as to the exact prices of both of the drinks (probably around $7-8).  I can say that our total bill was $71 including tax.  This was definitely more than I would plan on dropping normally on a Thursday, but at least I got to try some place new and had some…interesting…company, haha.  Overall, I would definitely recommend Boundary Road for its relaxed atmosphere and delicious albeit slightly expensive menu.  Because this place is tiny I would not recommend it for groups larger than four, but is a good date location (despite my failings, haha).

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Third Edition

*PSA*

Just because a song lyric instructs you to do so, does not mean you should carry this out on the dance floor and/or use it as a pickup line.  For example, if a song tells a male to grab a certain piece of his anatomy with one hand and a explicative describing a female with the other…do not grab a girl dancing and expect her to dance up on you with the explanation “I’m just doing what the song told me to do.”  Stay classy, DC, haha.  Now on to the real reason you’re here, the review of Third Edition.


I will warn, I decided to take the night off from drinking last night so this review might be slightly different from others (perhaps more detailed oriented, haha).  Last night was an acquaintance’s birthday party and it was decided the after party would take us to Georgetown for some dancing.  Arriving around or just after midnight, this establishment was filled, but definitely not packed like the last time I came there mid-summer. There was no line to get in, but there was a $5 cover and some slight door drama when a drunken floozy tried to skip the cover.  The first floor was fairly lit and had a DJ spinning top 40 hits.  There was some dancing, but a little too light downstairs and not enough people really dancing to feel very comfortable. The upstairs dance floor had a more technically skilled DJ (read: played more than just top 40, with some hits and misses) if that is of importance to you.  Overall the downstairs area seemed more like a regular bar containing some booths, a long bar, and open space in between for people to intermingle. In terms of music, my personal preference would have been downstairs, but we ventured upstairs.  Upstairs definitely has more of a typical club feeling.  It’s dark, but not in a terribly creepy sense.  The first area is more relaxed.  There were few people dancing there and there is a relatively calm bar.  Following this staging area comes in this order: a dance floor, another room to chill/mingle, and then the outside tiki bar.  Each of these areas has it’s own bar to make drink accessibility very high.  When I first attended back in the summer, we probably waited 15 minutes to get served at a packed downstairs bar.  Upon learning that there are a total of 5 bars at Third Edition, it seems quite silly to not find one with a quicker turn around.

Last night was spent mostly on the dance floor, but I did enjoy scoping out the other areas.  I was slightly disappointed that they were restricting people from entering the tiki bar by 1 AM, but still enjoyed people watching throughout this place (#notacreeper).

As I was not drinking last night I can’t comment specifically on drink prices.  I did notice a sign indicating a $20 drink tab minimum and it is Georgetown, so expect drinks to be on the expensive side.  Last time I was here with a date and I believe he mentioned drinks (my vodka tonics anyway) being about $10.

The clientele here is …interesting.  It’s definitely not my normal crowd of people (Georgetown, if you couldn’t tell is not my normal stomping grounds).  Third Edition is really a pretty decent place if you come here with a group of friends (either for mingling, dancing, or some combination of the two).  For females, this is not the type of place I’d recommend for legitimately trying to meet someone (I think you know what I mean by that, haha).  For males, you might have better luck with the females given the typical number of girls in short dresses in Georgetown, haha.

As I say about many bars/clubs, Third Edition definitely has a purpose.  It is fairly good for handling large groups of people; has dancing, but also places to chill; and contains plenty of bars inside.  Overall, I enjoyed Third Edition for its diversity in atmosphere amongst the different spaces and being able to bust a move on the dance floor with my friends.

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