I hope all of your who celebrated had a wonderful Christmas! I certainly did. After all the stress I experienced leading up to it, I was so happy to kick back and finally enjoy time with family. I’m currently working on getting my blog stuff organized again but I’ll definitely write about all the fun we had soon.
In the meantime, I’d love to introduce a new installment to Bad Sentences! You guys know I like to write reviews of the restaurants I visit, but sometimes I go somewhere for just a drink or a snack and the experience doesn’t warrant a full post. But that doesn’t mean that the goodness deserves to be ignored!
If you’re wondering where to drink and snack in DC without committing to a full meal, these places are definitely for you.
Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar
Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar is a sophisticated spot on Capitol Hill with a killer happy hour deal.
When Tom and I feel like going out, but are short on cash, we like to capitalize on happy hour specials as a way to fill up for less. Sonoma may just be the best place in DC to do this. They have a large selection of discounted daily bar bites – three for $9, five for $14 or seven for $19. We chose the five bite option, with glasses of happy hour wine.
The happy hour wine was okay (they may rotate these as well, but I’d venture to guess you’d have better luck with the non-discounted wines) but the food was excellent. Our favorites were the crispy Brussels sprouts, Italian meatballs and thick, crusty grilled bread dipped in olive oil and vinegar.
The Italian Happy Hour at Sonoma is available in the upstairs lounge only, where you’ll dine on comfy couches and chairs with plenty of natural light and lovely views from the picture windows.
My one gripe? The steady-stream of ’80’s music and hair band hits. At least throw in some variety, guys!
Stanton and Greene
Located right down the street from Sonoma, Stanton and Greene boasts its own stellar happy hour. We actually stopped by this spot on accident, since the place we’d originally intended to go was closed.
It turned out to be a great find. You’d have to work hard to get full on the bar bites menu, but you can order to your heart’s content without breaking the bank. When I went, nothing on the happy hour food menu was over $2.
We went with the chef’s specialty tacos for $2 each, delicious but messy topped with barbecue chicken and a tangy slaw. We also couldn’t resist a trio of deviled eggs, a restaurant experience I still crave to this day.
I can’t wait to go back and have them again. I also had a glass of happy hour wine for $5 that didn’t taste like leftover swill or Barefoot and left a happy woman.
As I mentioned here, Ballston is on its way to becoming a hip drinking and dining destination. Pepita Cantina is part of the buzz, with its innovative cocktails and progressive happy hour, where drink specials change by the hour.
Tom and I met up with his brother and sister-in-law for drinks awhile ago and had a great time drinking at this colorful little restaurant.
Pepita gets some negative reviews for poor service and food quality, but when we visited we were served well and enjoyed the one food item we ordered – the nachitos with chicken verde. Because Tom and I work in the area, I’m sure we will be back.
One of the newer restaurants on the DC scene, I was excited to check out Pennsylvania 6 during a night out with my friend Lauren.
This place is super fashionable, with plenty of designer-suited patrons crowded around the bar. I loved the sleek look, and couldn’t wait to get my raw bar on.
Again, I was here for happy hour (I take my discounts seriously in this expensive city) so we obviously had to order $1 oysters.
The oysters were good, although two of them were a bit questionable so we skipped them. When you’re getting cheap, raw seafood it pays to be cautious.
We also ordered the crudo sampler, not on the happy hour menu and therefore not cheap, but definitely worth it.
This was an incredible dish. Each bite popped with explosive flavors, from the kona kampachi with gooseberries to the black kingfish with serrano pepper to the yellowfin tuna with yuzu-miso I was in heaven. I can be really picky about raw seafood, but could have eaten ten more of these. You must try this dish if you visit Pennsylvania 6.
Later that same night, we were at the Hamilton and felt like continuing the raw theme. Another friend joined us and we feasted on sushi, octopus and tuna tartar.
Although the Hamilton isn’t strictly a Japanese restaurant, their sushi bar is really top-notch. We enjoyed all of our items and two orders of delicious edamame.
The Hamilton is a great place to check out if you’re downtown doing touristy things, and they also have live music several nights a week. The restaurant is huge and so is the menu, so it’s also great for large groups of picky eaters.
I actually would have loved to have done a full review of Filomena, but with their basement location and serious mood lighting, food photos were a nightmare.
We went for our monthly girls’ night shortly before Christmas, and I loved the cozy decorated interior. Everything we ate was good, but my favorite bites might have been a salad with passionfruit dressing and mandarin oysters I had to start. So fresh and delicious.
Filomena takes its dessert incredibly seriously, with one of the largest dessert menus I’ve ever seen. I tried to hold out but would up ordering the tres leches cake. It was melt-your-mouth perfection.
If you’re looking for a date night in Georgetown, Filomena should definitely be on your list. It’s not exactly a casual spot, but if you’re there during an off time I’d highly recommend stopping in just for dessert!