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The Gibson

The Gibson - It's a speakeasy style bar. No sign on the door, no info on the website. Do make a reservation if you can.

In our efforts to spread the love around DC a bit more, I headed to The Gibson with a couple of girlfriends for happy hour Friday night.  Of course, Art and I go into withdrawal if we don’t hit ChurchKey on an incredibly frequency — so he headed over there while I was off with the girls.  We didn’t have a reservation, but thankfully they had space in the outside area.

I’ve been to The Gibson once before.  It always seems like a place that I should be spending more time at, but Art’s not really into cocktails — which is why we don’t go there much.

I have to say the cocktails didn’t disappoint on my return visit.  They are still incredibly expensive, but totally worth it.  I will never understand why a bar can charge $15 for a vodka martini, which takes no effort to make.  At the Gibson, you know why your cocktail is costing $15.  They are complicated, use amazing ingredients, and flawless.  The favorite drink of the night was the Tidal Basin Picnic, which featured Creme de Violette and lemonade (and a bunch of other liquors).  I’ve been wanting to try Creme de Violette for a while, but haven’t a chance to.  I totally jumped at this one.

It was so good, that for our third, and final round — we all ordered it.

The only flaw with The Gibson, which I was hoping they’d remedied was the food — or lack there of.  We were there for 3 hours, drinking very, very, very strong drinks.  There’s just not enough food.  The menu said they had “small plates” and to ask the waitress for the plates o’the day, and I was happy to see that.  Sadly the waitress said the 3 things on the menu were it, and they mostly involved meats that I really don’t eat.  We did have the gnocchi, which was brilliant (I picked around the salami).

Meridian Pint: Beer is Proof that God Loves Us

Art and I have been fairly loyal customers of Churchkey and Birch and Barley since they opened.  Honestly, it’s the first place that we’ve wanted to go to on a regular basis (and frequently) in years.  The last time we had a “home” like that, we lived on the Hill and hung out at Hawk and Dove.  Our Hawk and Dove days are long behind us, and really no other bars or restaurants had that “third place” vibe for us until Churchkey came along.

We’re big craft beer people, and we love good food.  That’s the magic mix that Churchkey/Birch and Barley have.  The staff there is also awesome and super friendly, which really helps too.  These days a lot of the staff knows us on sight, and by name.  It makes it really fun to be there.  Personally, I love the overall vibe of the place too.  It just feels right.

But with all the great places popping up around DC,  we thought we’d venture out.  So last night, we hit the very recently opened Meridan Pint (good pics on Lagerheads Facebook Page).  The first thing we noticed was the staff.  It’s clearly staffed with Churchkey alumni, so the place felt kind of homey right away.  The beer menu was respectable (24ish taps) of good craft brew.  They focus on American craft beer, so it was kind of sad/disappointing to see Miller Light and PBR on the menu.  Guess they decided to cater to the groundlings a bit.  We had a few brews, my favorite being the Summer Solstice cream ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company.

The most impressive thing about the menu was the real selection of vegetarian food.  I’m not a vegetarian, but my relationship with meat is complicated and I very infrequently order it at a restaurant. Most places do a passing nod to vegetarian food, especially beer places.  That’s why I was so impressed with the menu.  Art had  the seasonal chilled pea soup, which was freaking awesome and I wish I had ordered it, and the grilled polenta with wilted arugula.  The polenta was also awesome, but the arugula was bit too old and bitter for him.  (no comments about the wife, please).

I had the fried tofu with chili sauce, which was amazing — but gave me this rapid fire sudden heartburn.  Seriously.  It was crazy.  I ordered the seitan kabobs for dinner, but the heartburn kind of killed my appetite.  The kabobs were good, but not great.  I’m not a huge seitan fan, and I think it was just a little too much for me.  The grilled tomatoes on the kabobs were good, but there were too few of them and too many onions.  A mushroom or two would have balanced it better.

We still had home made sour cherry pie at home, so we skipped dessert.   We did take a quick peek at the downstairs bar, which we’d heard about.  Yes — there are a couple of tables with taps built in.  It had a couple of pool tables and some cozy little seating areas.

All in all, a good meal with great service and great beer.  We’ll definitely be back.

Inauguration Day

Obama Cookie

Art and I made it down to the mall for the Inauguration of our 44th president today.  Art has been in DC for 16 year and I’ve been here for 12 and this is the first inauguration either of us felt compelled to attend.  We’ve attended various inaugural events in the past, but never seen the swearing in of a president in person before.  We met up with my sister Amy and headed down to the mall for our chance to see President Barack Hussein Obama sworn into office.

It did turn out that much of the published information about how to get around was wrong.  The parade route crossover at 12th street NW was never opened, so we had to trek down to 18th street.

I don’t think there will be another president in our lifetime that we feel the need to go to an inauguration, but you never know.  It was cold and there was an insane amount of people, but it was worth it.  I’ve never felt this good after an election, ever!  Tomorrow it’s back to work, but today was an amazing celebration of our country.

[tags]1.20.2009, obama, inauguration, i was there, washington dc[/tags]

Obama Apple Pie*

No pie for you if you vote McCain.  Art’s already voted because he’s working at the polls on Tuesday.  I’ve got my pencil sharpened and ready.  Hey — Barack — how about a vote in Congress for your loyal DC voters?  (knocking on wood…)

*contains no obamas

[tags]obama, election, apple pie, voting[/tags]

the crowd @ Crafty Bastards

Hey — That’s us! A friend caught us in a crowd shot at Crafty Bastards and didn’t even realize it until she got home and started processing the shots. We didn’t actually see each other there. We did meet some folks from Etsy, which is very exciting since Art and I both have Etsy shops!

So look on the left side of the photo in the foreground — that’s us!

p.s. don’t forget to check out Art’s new solo blog.

[tags]crafty bastards, etsy, festivals, washington dc[/tags]

Whirlwind Week

Art and I had quite the whirlwind of a week last week.

Tuesday: 03/06/07
Dogfish Head Beer Dinner at the Reef

The Reef is a bar and restaurant in Adams Morgan that my sister used to practically live at. We actually found out about the beer dinner through the Dogfish Head mailing list. The evening began with hors de ouvres served with pints of India Brown Ale. As Art and I were drinking and snacking, we ran into a former co-worker of mine and his girlfriend. That turned out to be a great thing, because we ended up chatting with them off and on all night.

When the main event began the owner of the reef and the owner of Dogfish Head Brewery came out to give us the low-down on the evening. Among the highlights of what I learned from their introductions is that the Reef has a bit of an eco-mission (*yeah*) and tries to serves eco-responsible food and drink. For example, they only serve beer on tap, because there is a lot less waste without the bottles. An amusing connection I learned that night about the owner of Dogfish Head Brewery is that he went to the same prep-school as my grandfather: Mnt. Hermon. He got kicked out — my grandfather worked in the kitchen as a scholarship student. Oh — and of course it was about 60 years difference in time — but still.

The food for the evening was decent and the beer was fabulous. The pairings of beer and food were actually slightly better than the actual food. Everyone there agreed that the beet dish with both golden beets and crispy red beets was the best. Most people had never really eaten beats before, so it was a new thing for them.

Needless to say the evening reinforced our love of all things Dogfish Head.

Wednesday: 3/7/07
Hamlet in Hebrew
On Wednesday night we went to Signature Theatre to see an Israeli theatre company’s production of Hamlet. It had been translated into modern Hebrew with supertitles of the Shakespearean English. It was really interesting, the parts in Hebrew I could actually understand showed a great use of the language and poetry in the translation.

Beyond the Hebrew, the production itself was really interesting. The audience was seated in swivel chairs and the play moved all around us. It was very simple production wise, with minimal sets and costumes. The acting was great and some of the staging choices made left us with lots of things to talk about.

Saturday: 3/10/07
Philly Flower Show
To finish off the week, Art and I drove to Philly to meet up with Dad and Susan. We all trekked to the flower show and then through the flower show. Damn, that flower show is just huge. Dad bought us a funky carnivorous pitcher plant! Then we all ended up at Fogo de Chao for dinner. We had to hike a good distance from the convention center for a place that didn’t have an hour wait. Fogo de Chao is a Brazilian meat palace chain where the meat comes fast and furious. The salad bar alone is worth the visit, but the meats were really good too.

[tags]dogfish head, beer, reef, gourmet, hamlet, shakespeare, cameri, israeli, hebrew, flower show, philly, fogo de chao[/tags]

It’s Fall Already?

How did that happen? It’s October? Okay then — Here’s what’s been happening since the last update in August.

When we last left you, Art and Carly had just come home from a lovely summer vacation in the Adirondacks.

For my birthday we repainted (yeah!) and re-organized the front room of the house! It’s the first time we’ve painted downstairs since we moved in 5 years ago! It’s now “Vanilla Scone” and the trim is a dark purple.

Rearranged Living Room       Re-arranged living room       Re-arranged Living Room

Art of course then had a couple of shows. The first was in Alexandria, and then back to Solomon for Annmarie Gardens and then down to Crozet, just this past weekend.

The Booth at Alexandria Arts Festival       Art's New Live Edge Shelves       Photo0045.jpg

Of course, being us we’ve been hitting the farmers’ markets and other local farms in search of seasonal local goodies.

Pick a Peck!       Hmmmm...squash       Goat

Then of course it was time for Holly’s wedding, so we were off to Philly! Not only did we get to enjoy being back in Philadelphia, but also getting to see the whole Drauglis clan in one place — including our young nieces. You can see lots of pictures from our adventures in Philly at Flickr.

Basset's Ice Cream       Art and his cheesetake       Self Portrait

Riley       Lucy       Philly Mural

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