The recent makeover of Hotel Madera’s Firefly lounge extended its bar, and there’s a new face behind it. Jonathan Harris, late of the Gibson, is breathing life into a moribund cocktail program, and even better, he’s whipping up classic cocktails for a song every weekday after work.
From 4 to 7 p.m., the $5 menu includes a full-bodied (and full-size) Negroni and a potent Old-Fashioned. The Moscow Mule arrives in a frosted metal mug. These aren’t rail-booze specials, either: The classic martini is made with Plymouth gin, Dolin vermouth and orange bitters; the John Collins pairs Bols Genever with lemon and a splash of soda. Remember to ask about the punch of the day, which could be a old-school concoction or a chance for Harris to show off his creative side.
Paired with a selection of $5 appetizers, including deviled eggs, house-made pickles or a cone of truffle fries, this is a classy and affordable happy hour — not the sort that’s readily found within a few blocks of Dupont Circle.
-- Fritz Hahn (Nov. 16, 2012)