Here are some upcoming D.C. bar and restaurant happenings we think you should know about:
Drag dinner in Alexandria
D.C. is no stranger to drag brunch, but drag dinner is something a little different. If afternoon weekend meals aren't convenient, make a reservation at Captain Gregory's (804 N. Henry St., Alexandria) next Thursday, Feb. 8. The cocktail and dinner space will host two 45-minute drag shows, and each includes a two-course, two-drink meal. There will be seatings at 6:15 and 8:15. The cost is $85 per person, and reservations can be booked online.
Colada Shop's revamped menu
Cuban eatery Colada Shop (1405 T St. NW) has added some new menu items to its selection of sweet and savory snacks and cocktails. Additions include the Elena Ruth sandwich (roasted turkey, cream cheese, and strawberry jam); the avocado tostada with pickled onions; and the Cuban protein salad. The shop has also introduced smoothies and a couple of new cocktails. Try the Coki Beach, a twist on a classic daiquiri with Bacardi 8, all-spice dram, toasted coconut syrup and lime.
Enter the Tunnel of Love
Following a successful run last year, Iron Gate (1734 N St. NW) is relaunching its "Tunnel of Love" pop-up bar. This year's theme draws inspiration from works of Edgar Allen Poe, so expect a little darkness. Cocktail and food menus are separated into "heart" and "heartbreak" categories. Choose "heart" for the D.C. Tinder Negroni, with local Green Hat gin, Capitoline vermouth, and a Don Ciccio Figli Luna amaro jello heart. The "heartbreak" menu features the Cask of Amontillado, a black cocktail with Republic Restorative's apple brandy, mezcal, Amontillado sherry, Cocchi Americano, and activated charcoal. Snacks range from a beef short rib for two to a tasty squid ink gnoccheti with yellow fin tuna, chilis, and toasted breadcrumbs.
Super Sunday specials
The biggest NFL game of the year kicks off Sunday evening. Rather than list all the events here, check out this Eater DC roundup of some of the city's most interesting parties and menu deals. There are specials to be had around town, no matter what team you're cheering on.
Laoban Dumplings is opening a second location at Shop Made In D.C. (1330 19th St. NW) starting today. Hungry guests can order up dumplings (six for $8, eight for $10) in varieties like pork cilantro, ginger chicken, Lanzhou beef, and the Farmer's Fancy vegetarian mix. Options will rotate and include three meat and one vegetarian choice. Laoban will also sell dumpling soups ($12) and salads ($10).
The Bloomingdale neighborhood has a new destination for Island-inspired barbecue and drinks. Spark at Engine Co. 12 features the cooking of chef Peter Prime, and his Trinidadian roots shine through with dishes like jerk chicken wings with mango mustard and whole crispy red snapper (ask for the hot sauce on the side). Follow that up with tri-tip Wagyu beef with black butter or chipotle and maple grilled oxtails. The bar stocks plenty of cocktail ingredients and local beers to pair with the food. The casual restasurant opens for dinner starting tomorrow, February 3.
Morris American Bar (1020 7th St. NW) is now pouring craft cocktails in its pastel-washed bar near the convention center. Beverage expert David Strauss aimed to create a space that went against the grain of cramped, low-lit bars. He's created a cheerful atmosphere where the focus is squarely on the drinks–and prices are reasonable for D.C. at $12 each. The menu is expected to change monthly, and bartenders are always happy to create something to satisfy your cravings–just name spirit and flavor profile and enjoy the result. There are only a few bar snacks here, so don't come expecting to have a meal.
(Lead photo: A tray of Spark's barbecued meats. Photo by Travis Mitchell.)
Travis moved to D.C. in 2007 has written about the city's diverse food scene for a number of outlets over the years, including Eater DC, Washington City Paper, Washingtonian and DCist, where he was formerly the food editor.