Because of a technical issue with today’s Got Plans? chat with the Going Out Gurus, we answered a number of questions that we were unable to publish for readers. So’ve taken the best of the remaining questions and rounded them up here. Be sure to join us again next Thursday at 1 p.m. when we’ll be back in our usual groove.
Weekend with Mom
Hi Gurus, My mom is visiting for the long holiday weekend. Any suggestions for places to go or things to see? We’ve done most of the basic tourist-y stuff. I’m thinking we’ll do Crafty Bastards on Saturday. Thanks!
Lavanya Ramanathan: You’re in luck - this weekend is full of fun things to do; it’s FotoWeek DC (which officially opens on Saturday at FotoWeek Central). You could hit the annual Parade of Trabants at the Spy Museum first, walk over to FotoWeek, then end the day at Jaleo or Hill Country. It might be also be fun to head to Union Market for Crafty Bastards (or to one of the other Christmas markets already in full swing). And though she’s seen the sights, she might want to see Lichtenstein at the National Gallery or Ai Weiwei at the Hirshhorn.
Mocktails and the like
Where can this pregnant, but not yet out to her friends, lady go that will serve me mocktails that look like cocktails? Actually, in general, where can I go that will serve me awesome mocktails, homemade sodas, non-alcoholic drinks, so that I won't be jealous of my husband when we go out?
Fritz Hahn: I'm a fan of the numerous non-alcoholic sodas showing up at local bars, especially the out-there flavors at El Chucho and the more classic and seasonal takes at Hank's on the Hill. (Hank's bartender Gina Chersevani is opening a soda fountain at Union Market that will serve both boozy and booze-free versions, and no one will be able to tell the difference.)
I wrote about the soda scene in this piece earlier in the summer; a more recent addition is the bar at Firefly, where the $5 “Zero Proof” menu includes $5 “gin and tonics” made with small-batch tonic syrup and a crisp “gin soda” with a snappy flavor but no alcohol.
Atlas Performing Arts Center
Have y’all seen any music at the Atlas Performing Arts Center? If so, what is it like? And is there a bar? I am thinking on blowing a rare free night out on seeing the William Parker Double Quartet....
LR: The Atlas is a great space, and this show sounds so so cool. There are a few things to know, including the parking situation (get to H Street NE early to give yourself plenty of time to park, since garages are non-existent). There is a small, simply stocked bar at the Atlas, and you can actually bring your drinks into the Sprenger Theater for the cabaret-style shows. The William Parker Double Quartet will perform in the Lang, where drinks aren’t allowed. May we suggest a quick classic cocktail before or after at the Atlas Room? That should fit the mood to a T.
My family has decided to come down here to DC for Thanksgiving and I do not cook, but I am good at making reservations. I am trying to decide between Art & Soul, Lincoln and Old Ebbit Grill. My family is into traditional Thankgiving and each of these seem to fit the bill, but I am not sure which one to pick, so any recommendations that you guys have would be greatly appreciated.
LR: Check out our list of Thanksgiving day options, which does include a few places with wonderful ideas for a take-home meal. If a classic meal out on the town is more your speed, consider Art and Soul a great option. The Capitol Hill restaurant is hosting a Southern-tinged buffet (with “housemade maple ham, roasted local turkey, prime rib, cornbread andouille sausage, scallion mashed potatoes, sweet potato-pecan casserole and pumpkin pie,” writes Justin Rude). It’s a bonus that the restaurant is seating folks from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., so you’ll have plenty of time to get there.
Holiday Happy Hours
Hello GOGs! Coworkers are getting together after a conference at the Reagan building for a holiday happy hour in early December (on a Monday). We should have a group of 10-15 people. Last year we went to the Willard and although we enjoyed the decor, there wasn’t really enough space. Any ideas in the downtown area? Off the Record?
FH: Off the Record would be my choice on a Monday night, especially because you could walk from the Reagan Building across the Ellipse and take in the National Christmas Tree on the way.
Hi Gurus! I need a place for drinks around 9 p.m. on Sunday night. Former DC-er returning for a visit after two years and staying near Navy Yard. I'd love someplace new, cool, and with a decent wine list, I'm just not as familiar with the neighborhood. Thanks!
FH: There's not a lot by the Navy Yard proper right now. (Wait 'til next year, though.) If you head a few blocks northeast, you'll be on Barracks Row. Chesapeake Room or Senart's have good wine and oysters, and Senart's has half-priced bottles of wine on Sundays.
Saturday night. Birthday dinner. U & 14 St. 10 ppl...
Do you wise gurus know of a restaurant (could be any cuisine, really) that either takes reservations (we were hoping for Bar Pilar, but alas, no reservations) or could accommodate a party of 10-12 descending upon it at 8pm? Friend’s turning the big 3-0 but the rest of us are mid-late-ish 20s...hitting Dodge City/American Ice afterwards. Thank you!!!
FH: U Street is a bit of a reservations desert: Cork, Pearl Dive, Bar Pilar and Saint-Ex, among others, are all first-come, first seated. You could try calling the French Bistro La Bonne (and, if you’re lucky, getting a group table in the balcony). Brixton allows for reservations, and while it’s lively, the food is less memorable.