The Scene: The first of eight bars and taverns that nightlife impresario Joe Englert brought to H Street NE, the Argonaut is a no-frills neighborhood tavern that resembles an English pub with nautical decorations. With exposed brick walls, mismatched tables and large windows, this is a cozy place to relax with friends or neighbors, not to get crazy or cruise for a date. The jukebox spits out a steady stream of oldies, R&B and retro hits while the crowd watches sports on TV or catches up on the latest gossip.
In Your Glass: In keeping with the theme, rum is the beverage of choice -- there's a nice selection with Seafarer, Appleton, Plantation, Pyrat and Sailor Jerry -- and the cocktail list features fruity tropical drinks such as the Pacific Punch. Ask about the house-made infusions with seasonal fruits and spices. Happy hour, which runs until 7, brings discounted draft beer.
On Your Plate: Don't expect much more than pub fare -- burgers and Italian sausage -- though the catfish sandwich is very good. The sweet-potato fries are a must.
Need to Know: Street parking is available, but be careful of your surroundings. If you're taking public transportation, the D6 and X2 buses drop you off right across the street.
-- Fritz Hahn (February 2006)