Editors' pick

Happy Hour at Cafe Soleil

Happy hour
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Editorial Review

Happy Hour of the Week: Cafe Soleil
By Fritz Hahn
Friday, November 9, 2012

A fall cold snap can prompt two responses when you’re at a cocktail bar:

A) “Finally! I’d love a warm drink -- especially something with whiskey in it.”

B) “Something sweet and summery, please.” (This is the seasonal equivalent of a child
with fingers in her ears shouting, “La-la-la, I can’t hear you.”)

Lately, I’ve taken the second approach, and a good place to find a taste of summer is Cafe Soleil.

The small Mediterranean restaurant in the Club Quarters hotel is a sister restaurant to Dewey Beach’s Starboard and Bethany Beach’s Mango’s, so it brings a few touches of the shore to 17th Street NW.

Those who’ve spent summers on the Delmarva Peninsula are familiar with the Orange Crush, a beachy concoction of orange vodka, triple sec, lemon-lime soda and fresh-squeezed orange juice. The last ingredient is why Cafe Soleil keeps an orange press behind the bar.

A pint glass of Soleil Crush goes for $6 at Soleil’s extended happy hour, which runs from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on weekdays. The menu has other highlights: $3 bottles of domestic beer, $6 martinis, a rotating choice of wines for $5 per glass or $20 per bottle. Flash-fried calamari and stacked nachos are on the menu of $6 to $8 appetizers.

But it’s that Crush -- one lingering memory of Labor Day weekend -- that I come back to.

Cafe Soleil, 839 17th St. NW. 202-974-4260. www.cafesoleildc.com .