Tag Archives: Date Spot

Satellite Room

Someone gave me a cold…not pointing fingers, but I’m going to suspect it was Friday night in Dupont, because really, Sign of the Whale is kind of disgusting/people use the dance floor as a bedroom/people seem to be unaware of personal boundaries there.  Shame on me for venturing there again, haha.  Anyway, good thing IntoxiKatie is resilient and already feeling better.  Just my own PSA with the menacing flu season upon us: let’s all be a bit more considerate when we are at overcrowded bars and practice good personal hygiene.  Now, moving on to my real review…

 

“Katie, are you sure you know where you’re going?”

Despite initial fears that I was leading my friend to a back alley to kill her, last Saturday night we found our way past the throng of Delta Rae fans to Satellite Room.  Located conveniently behind 9:30 Club, this bar is especially perfect for those looking for a place to kill time before or after a show.  Arriving just after 8pm, we managed to grab a couple stools at the bar.  The wait for a table was estimated at 30 minutes.  It was pretty much decided upon entering that I loved this establishment.  Luckily, my expectations that I manifested purely from the aesthetic and feel of the bar proved themselves over the course of the evening (self-fulfilling prophecy? probably).

The first thing you see walking in is the large light-up sign above the bar, ‘Satellite.’  The inside bar accommodates about 15 people; just the right size.  While there are a handful of tables inside, there is a much larger outside patio/bar area for those just looking to drink and mingle.  We only stepped outside for a moment to investigate.  It was still kind of chilly that night and the outside atmosphere was different from inside.  While the volume level inside was just right for our group of three to engage in good conversation, outside required more effort to hear one another.  Wow, as I finished writing that sentence I saw myself age 30 years, haha.  Volume aside, the outside area did still leave a fun and jovial impression that would be good if coming here with a larger group of friends.  If you have a smaller group, my preference would definitely be inside.

Arriving early was a good choice, because it quickly got crowded.  Luckily, it didn’t take too long to get in our orders for food and drink.  So for those of you that are not aware, Satellite Room’s specialty drinks are milkshakes.  While you can virginize them, who doesn’t love a good boozy milkshake?!  Starting with the Vincent Vega (vanilla shake with bourbon) and progressing to the Sammy and Kim (black & white with vodka) these milkshakes are on the pricey side ($10), but worth it.  The Frank Costello (chocolate mint with whiskey) and Lucy Ricardo (chocolate with johnny walker) were hints with my friends.  Yes, all the milkshakes has great names like these.  Food here was also quite tasty and fairly priced ($11 tacos and $8 burger dinners).

Mmm, Vincent Vega

Having only attended Satellite Room once, I’m not sure how much the clientele here is dependent on the type of concert at 930 that night.  Either way, I will definitely be back to booze it up with some milkshakes.  Great for a small group, this could also be a fun date spot or a good place to start or end the night.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

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).

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Atomic Billiards – My First and Favorite Dive Bar in DC

*Warning: This review might be slightly sentimental, but keep reading for the nuggets of humor*

Let us flash back to July 2010.  I had just moved to the lovely neighborhood of Cleveland Park, graduated college in May, and was ready to start a master’s program at GWU.  Yes, it was a fresh beginning in a new city.  Ironically at the time, I had never had a drink in my life, nor had I intended to start drinking.  Despite not drinking, I still needed a place to hang out on the weekends. Those of you that know me and my killer pool skillz (yes, with a ‘z’), I can thank my time at Atomic Billiards and some fine teaching from a friend or two.  Atomic Billiards and Nanny O’Briens quickly became where I spent most of my original bar time in DC prior to drinking.

Dark, Crowded Interior on a Friday Night

My initial impression of Atomic Billiards was nothing too exciting.  You enter by going down a set of stairs like basically every other billiards place in DC.  It’s dark and basement like.  The interior has a retro 60s feel to it, very mod, topped off with the Jetsons painted on the bathroom doors.  There are 5 pool tables (which have been newly felted in blue!), two shuffleboard tables, 2 dart boards, various board games, and an AWESOME jukebox at your disposal.  The pool and shuffleboard rates do run on the higher side ($14/hour for 2 players during prime time and are slightly reduced at off times), but about the same as other places.  Atomic Billiards is also where I picked up my mean shuffleboard talent.  As if I weren’t cool enough playing pool, I also needed to learn how to have a decent showing at shuffleboard.

Having lived in Cleveland Park for almost a year and being in attendance at least once every two weeks, you can imagine I have a collection of stories.  Aside from my countless times of beating the boys at pool 😛 and a number of dates (have I mentioned on here before that I think pool is one of the best date ideas? Because it really is), Atomic Billiards will always be the place where I had my first alcoholic beverage.

I get this question all the time.  Why did you start drinking? To answer it here, in writing for everyone to see so maybe I don’t have to explain it as frequently as I do now, it was just time.  I had no responsibilities to an athletic team, everyone had finally stopped pressuring me to drink (my family and friends wised up), and I had gotten over my fear of my family’s history with alcohol. None of this really fazes me now and it’s almost funny to think that prior to drinking so much of what I considered to be apart of me was defined by ‘not drinking.’

My drink of choice that glorious night?  Fuzzy navels. Super classy, I know and no, I didn’t get drunk.  My first drunken experience would come the next night on U Street following a concert, haha #typical.

More recently, I was lucky enough to visit Atomic Billiards two weeks in a row.  The one week I crashed a boys’ night and the other was a mostly girls’ night out.  The first week, I stuck to my classic vodka tonics, which rang up at $4 a pop.  The girls’ night was a bit more adventurous with buttery nipple shots ($5 each, I believe).  Either way, I’m definitely a fan of the super affordable $4 rail drinks here.

The bartenders are cool and down-to-earth.  They are definitely willing to joke around with you, but during busy hours it can be slightly difficult to get that kind of personalized attention.  The bar is typically crowded Friday and Saturday nights and with the logistics of the pool tables you may have to wait a couple minutes for a drink, but nothing unbearable or obnoxious.  One thing that I am never quite good at predicting is the clientele that will be present here.  Sometimes you have a younger ‘hipster’ crowd or college aged students (especially on their way elsewhere for the night), other times you have a slightly older yuppie crowd, and then you never know when the table of old guys will be playing a game in midst of the younger folk.

Over many observations, I can proudly say that Atomic Billiards is my favorite dive bar in DC.  Is this somewhat biased and sentimental? Heck yes, but isn’t that what choosing a favorite dive bar is all about?  This establishment is really great for a lot of purposes (girls’ nights, guys’ nights, dates, relaxing).  From my first real neighborhood dive bar, to the time I almost punched a drunk girl for sitting on our pool table, to my first real drink, to the first time I could nostalgically bring other friends to Atomic Billiards and rave about it – these are the memories that I will not forget.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Gibson

The Gibson is without a doubt one of my favorite bars in DC.  If you’re not familiar with this establishment, you are certainly missing out.  First….you need to actually find the place though.  Designed as a speakeasy cocktail bar, there is no sign on the outside of the Gibson.  If you know the street address, there is a faint gray number posted above the door that is really only visible if you’re looking for it.  Entering through an unmarked door feels slightly strange the first time.  Once inside, you see a bouncer waiting in a dim hallway.  The Gibson prides itself on not overfilling or packing people in so it’s a more enjoyable and relaxed experience than fighting people for seats at other bars.  For this reason, there is often a wait on the weekend to get seats.  You can make reservations, which I would advise for a weekend night especially for larger groups and when you don’t want a wait.  I’ve been fortunate enough and haven’t ever been forced to do this.  On one occasion it was almost a problem with a group of five people, but we were allowed to just go to the upstairs bar.

On the weekends, they open the upstairs bar.  This is slightly more relaxed and more of a typical bar atmosphere (read first-come, first-serve seating).  The downstairs bar has a much different feeling though.  There is an inside bar area that is dimly light for an incredibly intimate feeling, in addition to an outside patio.  The downstairs bar has cozy booths, bar seating, and some tables scattered by the bar, as well as towards the back patio.  The patio at The Gibson has a similar feeling to other trending U Street bars that have instituted patio seating.  It’s quite lovely during the warmer months.

The one drawback about The Gibson is pricing.  I’ve had many friends complain about the expensive tabs here.  It is a cocktail bar after all.  This means that the ingredients are fresh, unique, and typically strong.  One cocktail from the menu here generally runs $10-16, but is well worth the treat (if you choose correctly).  Talk to the servers/bartenders and they can direct you towards a drink you will like.  I will admit that most of the time when I get a drink here I can’t identify all the ingredients, but if I stick to those ingredients that I do like and can identify, I’m rarely disappointed.  The best drinks I’ve had here were ‘Glittery Bitch’ and some kind of bubblegum pop drink.  Both were deliciously sweet and perfectly girly for my tastes.  My guy friends have had some of the stronger whiskey drinks and have been equally satisfied.  The menu itself is broken down into different categories based on what you are looking for – fizzy and sour are two of my favorite categories.  Ordering a drink with some fruit ingredient also typically means looking forward to a nice visual display, not just a healthy taste of booze.

Places like The Gibson really make bartending into an art that I highly respect.  I go here to treat myself and always find it well worth the venture.  I’d recommend The Gibson for small groups of people.  This is not the type of bar to go to solo.  It is a great date spot too (I just saw it listed on WaPo’s listing of DC locations to lock lips).  This classy establishment is not necessarily a place to spend an entire evening, considering the lack of food and prices, but is certainly a great place to start or end the night.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: