Got Plans?: Martin Luther King Jr. events, romantic activities in winter and bars near the Verizon Center

The Going Out Gurus
of The Washington Post's Going Out Guide
Thursday, January 14, 2010; 1:00 PM

The Going Out Guide staff dished about hot wings, Martin Luther King Jr. Day events, romantic activities and bars near the Verizon Center on Thursday, Jan. 14, at 1 p.m. ET.

____________________ Hi there. Just a reminder that you get a double shot of Gurus today: Not only will all of us be chatting with you for the next hour+ about galleries, concerts, restaurants, bars, kid-friendly events and whatever else you'd like, but we're hosting a happy hour at Eyebar tonight with discounted drinks ($3 beers, $4 wines and mixed drinks, etc.) from 6 to 8. We'll have tickets for Taste of the Nation and the International Food and Wine Festival to give away, too.Okay, enough from me. Let's get this chat underway.


Montgomery Village, Md.: Gurus, This may be counter to the purpose of the chat, but with a three-day weekend coming, what if everyone took what they would spend on just ONE of those days and donated it a legitimate charity helping the folks in Haiti. We'll have LOTS of other opportunities to spend money "going out." Folks down there don't. Just a thought.

Julia Beizer: An excellent suggestion. Heartbreaking story down there.


Alexandria, Va.: Hi, GOGs! Any suggestions for a good bar/restaurant in VA for some cold-weather drinks, like hot toddies or hot buttered rum?

Fritz Hahn: You know, Julia and I have been on the lookout for warm drinks lately, and we just haven't found any in NoVa that struck our respective fancies. The mulled wine at Eventide was nice, but a little boring. The Irish Coffee at Murphy's in Old Town was nice, but that's about it. And I was kind of surprised not to see any hot drinks on the menus at Eve or Jackson 20 my last time through.

But if any chatters want to clue us in on possible above-and-beyond toddy destinations, I'm all ears.


Washington, D.C.: So how are these drinks for charity at the Gibson? Any good?

Fritz Hahn: My experience with the Gibson's Sazarac (rye whiskey, absinthe, bitters, lemon) has always been pleasant. Can't recall ever having an Old Fashioned there, but if I know my $8-$10 is going to support the Red Cross in Haiti, I'm sure it's worth giving it a shot.


Laurel, Md.: Going to a Caps game tomorrow night for my first game since the Cap Center. Any recommendations for a restaurant before the game and/or a bar after? Thinking about Rosa Mexicano for the restaurant, but would love any other suggestions.

Julia Beizer: Rosa Mex is fine, but I think you can do much better in the area. (Most of my D.C. faves are there!) Oyamel offers a more interesting (in my opinion) take on Mexican food. Matchbox is another good pre-game bet. (Everyone else thinks so too, so, go early.) You're going pre-Caps, so I'm assuming you want something sort of casual. If you want something nicer, holla.

My bar of choice post-Caps is Rocket Bar.


Woodley Park: Hello Gurus!

A friend and I want to take a day trip to Charlottesville. We've never been and were wondering what all there is to do? Is there a main street with shops and food? Is it easy to navigate? Is it as adorable as people say it is?

Thank you for any help!

Stephanie Merry: I'm always an advocate for heading to Charlottesville (though Fritz might disagree, but I think that's just part of the GOG's Maryland-Virginia rivalry). There are a couple of central areas to check out: Head to the Corner, which is essentially a couple of blocks along University Ave. not far from the Rotunda. Get lunch at Take It Away (order anything with the house dressing). You will not be disappointed! There's also a pedestrian Mall in downtown C-ville with more shops and restaurants, and way fewer students. And between those two areas lies the spot where you should get dinner: Continental Divide, which offers a mean margarita.


Washington, D.C.: Where to take a first date after dinner. Age 40s.

Julia: Where's the date? I think wine bars are a good option for an after-dinner drink. Veritas and Proof come to mind.


Falls Church, Va.: Do you know of any area sports bars where New Orleans Saints fans plan to meet up and cheer on the Saints against the Cardinals this weekend? Thanks!

Fritz Hahn: I've heard about 18th Amendment having a pretty good Saints contingent, and the guys at Crystal City Sports Pub mentioned that they get N.O. fans when I was writing my "where to watch your team" story last fall.

Anywhere else?


Bethesda, Md.: Thanks for your continuing advice and education about all things social. Here is my current dilemma: would like to head to a bar to watch the Saints game this weekend, but don't want to go to a traditional, packed sports bar (since there are some people in the group that won't really be watching). As an example, last week we went to Churchkey at 4:15 p.m. (crowded, yes, but not a sports bar). Other places that you think are likely to have the game on more than one small TV? I would like somewhere in NW, preferably not further in than Dupont. One thought was Bourbon in Glover Park, but it looks like they only have 1 TV per floor. Thanks for any thoughts you might have.

Fritz Hahn: I've watched a few football games at ChurchKey this year. Far less crazy than on a Friday or Saturday.

Bourbon in Adams Morgan has a bunch of screens scattered around -- definitely more than the Glover Park branch. I don't consider the Big Hunt a sports bar, per se, but they have plenty of TVs and a good beer list. Same goes for the Black Squirrel, CommonWealth, 51st State or Tonic.

And for a sports bar without the usual sports bar atmosphere, try Public Bar in Dupont Circle -- more upscale and better design for game-watching than most. Could please you and the non-Saints fans.


Ballston, Va.: We were at a restaurant/bar in Ballston mall last Saturday night. A customer behind us at the bar ordered a Coors Light. Bartender says they are out. Guy throws a tantrum, gets all flustered, and asks to speak to manager.

Manager comes over to calm guy down. He is still pissed off that they ran out of his choice of water and fermented hops.

He wants to be comped for the evening. He goes on and on and continues to embarrass himself.

Have you ever seen this happen before? I could give the guy some slack if they ran out of something else but Coors Light?

Julia Beizer: Mwhahaha, the fact that this was over Coors Light amuses me. I haven't personally come across too many customer meltdowns, but all of the bar and restaurant owners I speak with report them to me with shocking regularity. The thing that I find most interesting these days is how Web-driven it is. I've heard reports of quid pro quo-type complaints. Like, "Comp my meal to make up for the Coors Light shortage or else I'm going straight to Yelp with a complaint." It puts everyone in a bad position, and ultimately, weakens the credibility of user-reviews on sites like ours and on Yelp. And the whole purpose of those is to help consumers get their money's worth. This is an insane tangent, but it happens to be something I think about ALL THE TIME.


Alexandria, Va.: Hey Fritz, I've heard mixed reviews about the Bilbo Baggins' place in Old Town. But the one thing I heard was that it has a good beer selection. Is it worth checking out just for the beers? Thanks!

Fritz Hahn: Man, I have not been there in *years*, so I hesitate to give an answer. Chatters?


Silver Spring, Md.: Is Johnny Marr playing with the Cribs at the 9:30 next week?

Alex Baldinger: He sure is. The former Smiths and sometimes Modest Mouse guitarist is a full-time Crib and was on-stage with the band last night in Chicago. That jangly style of his really worked well on "Ignore the Ignorant" no? Tickets are still available for Tuesday's show, if anyone's curious.


Washington, D.C.: Hi gurus! I am a matron of honor in a wedding this June and the rehearsal dinner is going to be held at the Old Ebbitt in the evening. What is appropriate dress for me and my husband for a rehearsal dinner at the Old Ebbitt? It has been a while since I have been there and I feel like it is a little more casual now than I remember. Thanks for your guidance!

Julia: It is, but given the occasion, I think you should wear a dress and your husband should wear a blazer. Maybe not like a full-on suit, but khakis and a blazer? Summer casual -- do people say that? You could wear jeans if you were just dining there, but I think I'd step it up a notch due to the occasion.


Parental Summit 2010: Greetings Gurus! I am totally in a jam and need your help. After many years of dating my SO, our parents are flying into town to meet each other. We booked the tickets in advance and accidentally set up this Parental Convention for Superbowl weekend. The first day, Saturday, should be ok -- we will do museums and dinner, but I need suggestions for things to do on Sunday for our non-sportsy families. I am looking for things that we can all do together in a big group or for stuff thats the moms and dads can do separately. Oh, and there could be a bit of a language barrier, so dialogue-heavy plays and shows are out. Thank you so much and please keep your fingers crossed - hope your team wins the Superbowl and hope the 'rents get along!

Stephanie Merry: My palms are sweating just thinking about it! Personally, this chocolate festival sounds like a little bit of heaven. It's definitely different, and everyone will be too busy eating to worry about language barriers. Ice skating would be fun if everyone is somewhat active. If not, there's always my old stand-by: The National Gallery. The Impressionism to Modernism show will be on display, and audio tours come in various languages. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!


Re: Bilbo Baggins: Bilbo usually has a solid beer selection and, as an Alexandria resident, I go there probably once every two months for beer. Generally they have 5-6 taps and at least 4 are always decent American microbrews. Their bottle list is decent, but tends not to change often. That being said, I am not a fan of their all. So, if the chatter is just looking for beer only, Bilbo is a solid choice, but if he or she may want to eat something, Rustico or Evening Star Cafe provide a better selection of beer and better food.

Fritz Hahn: Rustico is one of the best beer lineups around, period.

And the fact that they're showing a different WRESTLEMANIA every Sunday night, starting this week, makes me really, really happy. (Hulk Hogan tag-teaming with Mr. T! 8:30 p.m.! $2 off every draft beer!)


Tai Shan: Hey GOGs, did you know Tai Shan is leaving end of month? We're going to visit him tom and bid farewell, any places around the zoo for good dinner, affordable and won't be crazy because of RW? Also, how do you get to the parking at the zoo? Thanks so much!

Julia: We did know. So sad. Nearby, I'd head to Cleveland Park. There will certainly be Restaurant Week diners in the area, but I think you'd be fine at Spices or Sorriso or Alero. Also, here's info on parking near the zoo.


Best Bets: No Best Wings? It would cool to know the Guru's picks and what each Guru loves about his or her faves.

Julia: Thanks for the tip! We actually looked into doing a taste test of sorts with our boy Ivan Carter from Washington Post Live on Comcast, but it fell through. The trouble I've always had with Best Wings is that a lot of what you get is so similar. Maybe Fritz and I could get this together in advance of March Madness. . . . For what it's worth, my faves are at Cleveland Park Bar and Grill. So spicy.


Gainesville, Va.: Do you know of any dance performances going on in the area this weekend?

Alex Baldinger: Sure do, Gainesville. Dance Place hosts KanKouran West African Dance Company Saturday and Sunday. It's high-energy stuff, led by Senegalese artistic director Assane Konte. It's timely, too: these performances honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

And if you can wait until Tuesday, Shen Yun Performing Arts comes to the Kennedy Center. They do Classical Chinese dance and music with lots of wonderfully-choreographed movements.


Falls Church, Va.: GOGs, what's there to do in Falls Church, other than the Legwarmers at State Theatre once a month. I just moved to the area and I'm looking for fun things to do and places to go to. Anything I should know about?

Fritz Hahn: Well, in a few months, you'll have one of the region's most anticipated brewpubs on your doorstep: Bill Madden's Mad Fox is opening on West Broad St. in the next few months. I talked to Bill for a while about his plans at Oktoberfest and it sounds like it's going to be fantastic.

There's the Dogfish Head Alehouse at Seven Corners, which has amazing beer plus live music on Saturday nights, the Dogwood Tavern, which is a cool little neighborhood spot for getting together with friends, Bangkok Blues for local/regional live blues music and great Thai food, pub quizzes and Irish tunes at Ireland's Four Provinces,


Re: Bilbo Baggins: My husband loves the place - good beer and huge portions of food. I like it somewhat, definitely not as much as he does. I feel the food is too heavy (too much butter in a lot of the dishes) but have never had a bad meal there (and yes, beer selection is decent tho not as good as Rustico). I think it's worth a try.

Fritz Hahn: Okay, Alexandria. The people are recommending Bilbo Baggins. Sounds like you (and I) should give the place a chance, even if the idea of going to a bar named after a Tolkien character sounds exceedingly nerdy.


Glover Park: Hello Gurus!

So bit of quandary, I have an out of town guest coming in this weekend, who hates football. But, the Ravens are playing Saturday night, which I really can't miss. So, any thoughts on a bar we can go to, preferably with some food, where I can watch the game, and she can enjoy the atmosphere apart from that? Thanks!

Julia Beizer: Depends on how much you want sports to intrude upon her night. I was thinking of suggesting Town Hall in your hood, because they have TVs and they have good food. So it might be a nice way for you guys to enjoy dinner in the bar area and watch the game. I also love the burger at Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, but she may feel just overly sports-bar'd out there.

I think a place like Bedrock Billiards might be your best bet. You guys can play pool and other games while keeping tabs on the game.

Cowboy Cafe, in North Arlington, is a divey spot that I just like. Not sure if she's into Cheers-like country bars, but if so, this could be a nice place for you guys to get some grub, watch the game and talk to strangers. It's "atmosphere" -- just not sure if it's your kind. Call to make sure they'll show the game.


Dupont: I looked at the recent theater listings and the Last Cargo Cult caught my eye. I was a regular at plays last year but am sort of out of the loop now. Is this a favorite of what's out there now? Or is there something else playing that I should not miss?

Stephanie Merry: My two cents: Go to Last Cargo Cult. I saw Mike Daisey in "If You See Something Say Something" a couple years back, and the guy's a total genius. He has such a knack for storytelling and adds just the right amount of humor to his insights. If you're in the mood for more of a drama, then I'd say head to In the Red and Brown Water at Studio. The playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney is being touted as the Next Big Thing.


Capitol Hill, D.C.: Gurus,

So, my oldest brother called me up and wants to come into town for the holiday weekend. Great, right?! Only problem is, he's wheelchair bound and most of the places that I go to aren't exactly accessible. He likes beer....know any bars/brew pubs that are accessible? Any fun cultural things going on this weekend that are accessible?

Thanks. Matt in Capitol Hill

Fritz Hahn: R.F.D. is wheelchair accessible. So is the Birreria Paradiso in Dupont Circle. (He can use the door on the patio, not the front door, which has a step.

Fritz Hahn: As far as cultural events go, there are a lot going on that should be accessible, including MLK tributes at the Kennedy Center and the National Cathedral and comedian Brian Posehn at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse.


Washington, 20009: Hi, Gurus! First time submitting a question. I'm celebrating my 27th birthday next month, and was hoping to ring in my big entrance into my "late twenties" (yikes!) at a champagne brunch with a group of my friends. Since my birthday falls on a Sunday this year, I was thinking that a brunch might be a fun alternative to another night out at bars. I was also hoping to rally a group together for a winter hike, pre-brunch. Do you have any suggestions for someplace that might accommodate our needs (large enough for about 20 of us showing up in hiking attire, with fun/cheapy mimosas/bloody marys)? Thanks so much!

Julia Beizer: Front Page might be your best bet. They have an unlimited mimosa special at the D.C. location.


Adams Morgan: Is Uncle Q's living room still happening at Blue Room/Bourbon? If yes, what day and time does it start? I use to miss the days when DJ Dredd spun there every Thursday night.


Rhome Anderson: Quartermaine is going on tour as the DJ for Diamond District (best hip-hop album of 2009 hands down!) so Uncle Q's has been on hold. Hopefully he revives it when he returns at the end of March.

You can still catch him rocking at Bourbon on the weekends occasionally, rotating with Roddy Rod.


Speaking of Rocket Bar...: can anyone please explain why it smells like trash down there all the time? Is there no cleaning agent that can make it smell less like the inside of your apartment building dumpster and more like a bar? I would MUCH prefer if they allowed smoking down there to mask the scent. Blech.

Julia: That is a good point. I do remember being sort of grossed out by that. Polly's, a place I used to adore pre-smoking ban, suffers from a similarly smelly fate.

Rhome Anderson: Fly has had the same issue. And Julia, I haven't been to Polly's since the smoking ban because of the fonk [sic]. The clouds of smoke used to be HORRENDOUS in there, but the beer, burgers and friendly folk made it worth it.

I think it has something to do with plumbing issues for locations in the ground level or basements of buildings with other businesses above them. Fuddruckers has given Fly a hard way to go aroma wise.


Washington, D.C.: Gurus, can you direct me to a bar in central DC/NOVA that has Alaskan Amber on tap? My big brother who just returned from Afghanistan would thank you for it!

Fritz Hahn: I tried Alaskan Amber when I was out in Wyoming this summer, but sadly, it's not available east of Colorado. (I know, I looked.)


Alexandria, Va.: Looking for a fun dinner place on Friday night that won't break the bank but not on the cheap either for about six girlfriends coming into town. Recommendations please! Lot of places already booked up for restaurant week.

Julia Beizer: How about the Light Horse in Old Town? It's more like a bar upstairs, but the dining room's quite nice. I also like Fontaine. The Carlyle is a step up from these on the nice-restaurant scale. Not as cheap, but could be good for a girls' night.


Arlington, Va.: I'm looking for a suggestion for taking my 70 year old parents out. Dinner next Friday at Oyamel, and during the week they mostly need to entertain themselves. Mom likes plants/art, dad likes architecture/maps. I figured I'd send them off to the Botanical Gardens one day. Was thinking of a museum with music on Sunday night (National Gallery of Art or Phillips collection still doing that?). Any must see items that you can think of?

They have been here a few times before and been to many of the museums. They will have my car and spare metro cards, so they'll be able to get around.


Stephanie Merry: The National Gallery does indeed still do concerts, and you can find the schedule here. If maps are your dad's thing, then he MUST go to the Library of Congress to see the new display of the Matteo Ricci map. It's 400 years old, massive and this is the first time it's been on display in North America. I'm fairly certain it will knock his socks off. Note, though, that the LOC isn't open on Sundays.


For Laurel: another post-game suggestion is to walk down the Penn Quarter, near the Archives, where they have buy one get one beers, as well as free wings with your game ticket! Not nearly as crowded as the bars across from the VC, but still filled with lots of Caps fans.

Julia: I believe you mean Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, and yes, I totally agree. I do like that place. Neither Fritz and I had heard that about the Caps ticket, but just called to confirm. It's true! And an awesome deal!


Silver Spring, Md.: Rare date night tomorrow. Tired of the old dinner and a movie thing. Bowling? The H Street Country Club? Other good destinations with activities that can be paired with a few adult beverages? (Not so much looking for live music, theater, etc.) We're in Silver Spring, but DC or nearby VA would work fine too.


Fritz: Right in your backyard, duckpin bowling at White Oak Lanes (on New Hampshire just south of 29) would be something I'd love to do.

But I also enjoy the H Street Country Club Olympics (that's combining your relative scores in mini golf, Skee-Ball and shuffleboard in a bar-games triathalon). Or just chilling out and playing board games at Bedrock Billiards or the Red Derby -- makes Trivial Pursuit that much more fun when you've got a can of Oskar Blues' Ten Fidy or a pint of Brooklyn in front of you.


Dupont Circle: Hey gurus! Wondering if you had any suggestions for a pre-Gibson dinner. We have a reservation there at 8:30 on Saturday.

Fritz Hahn: I will say that Bar Pilar is the most underrated restaurant/gastropub in the 14th-and-U neighborhood these days. Everything coming out of the kitchen is so good -- I had housemade fried whiting the other night. Friends were devouring the chicken liver pate, the duck confit, etc.

Julia Beizer: Fritz is probably right about Pilar. I always forget about that place.

In the area, I'm most fond of Cork. You could check out the new Bistro La Bonne. I hadn't been wowed by the food at Eatonville, but I do love that decor!


For Woodley Park, asking about Charlottesville: If that chatter does decide to go to Continental Divide for dinner (and they should, because everything there is fabulous), they need to know that the restaurant doesn't have a sign! It's right next to L'Etoile, with a neon blurb in the window that says "Get In Here". Get there early, as the place is small and there's almost always a wait.

I have to wonder, though, if y'all have eaten lunch anywhere other than Take It Away, since it's seemingly the only sandwich place that I see mentioned whenever anyone here asks about Cville. I may be in the extreme minority here, but I much prefer Bodo's Bagels, or, just up the street still on the Corner, Littlejohn's. Just as tasty, maybe even cheaper, and not completely overrun with sorority girls... though, to be fair, you can't buy a bottle of wine with lunch at those two spots! (Speaking of spots, what about the White Spot for a Gusburger? Mmm...)

Stephanie Merry: Good point about the sign. My friend's mom thought "Get In Here" was the name of the restaurant. Oh, the hilarity. I'm going to toss your lunch options out to Woodley, though we're going to have to agree to disagree about Bodo's (as a former New Yorker, the bagels are sort of blah) and Little John's (pretty greasy for midday, though nothing says late-night snack like a Nuclear sub).


wings+Ivan=girl porn: YES! Please do a wing tasting with Ivan Carter. He is pure man candy!

Julia Beizer: Hahaha. Yeah, we love Ivan. Producer Manda, when are you going to get us back on that show? We miss you guys!


Cleveland Park: I tend to head out alone since my friends all moved to the suburbs and am looking for someplace to hang out. I like Cleveland Park B&G, but would like another place that I can go, alone, sit at the bar, not feel out of place and maybe strike up conversation with others. Some places are too busy or too quiet for that sort of thing. Ideas? If it makes a difference, I'm female, in my late 20s.

Fritz Hahn: Just down the road from you, the bar at New Heights (Calvert and Connecticut) was a go-to for me when I was solo. Great staff, fun cocktails, they know how to get you talking to other customers if you give off that vibe. Open City's a good bet. Murphy's, too, though they get a lot of tourists from the hotel.


Smelly Fly!: In all fairness to FLY Lounge and full disclosure, I am a cocktail waitress there; the smell is now finally gone!!! After replacing all the carpets and re-doing the leather on the couches in November the smell was still there. It turns out there is a curtain in the front and one in the back that was holding all that musty smell. We replaced those and no more smell! So definitely come check us out again!

Fritz Hahn: We'll take you at your word for now, and will send Rhome to investigate this weekend.


Hot Drinks!: I just went to Clydes on Tuesday and they had a HUGE menu of winter cocktails, many of which were hot! They all looked delicious, but i didn't get to try any.

Fritz Hahn: You know, I was at Clyde's recently and saw the drink menu... and wasn't tempted, honestly. They all sounded like they'd taste like Girl Scout cookies.


Alexandria, Va.: My husband and I are going to Georgia Brown's Friday night for dinner and were looking for a place to get drinks after. We were thinking of trying Tattoo. I see they have a happy hour, along with the drink specials does that mean no cover before 9?

Fritz Hahn: The cover charges at Tattoo generally don't start until 10 p.m. or so, once the crowds start arriving, unless there's a special event. Just watch out for their house cocktails -- they sneak up on you.


Dupont Circle: Thanks for the recommendations! You mentioned something about charity drinks at the Gibson - what is that all about? Will it still be going on Saturday?

Fritz Hahn: During happy hour last night, the Gibson posted a Facebook status update saying that all proceeds from sales of their Sazerac and Old Fashioned cocktails would be donated to the Red Cross to help relief efforts in Haiti. It's only going on last night and tonight, though.


Washington, D.C.: GOGs I need romance -- or more accurately, I need to provide romance for my girlfriend. We have dinner reservations for restaurant week Saturday night and she suggested doing something "romantic" afterward -- such as dancing (in the old-fashioned sense -- not "grinding at the club"). If it were summer, I could think of some good ideas -- moonlight walks, monument tours, etc. But it will be too cold (even with the heat wave) for that this weekend. Help -- where can I find romance on a Saturday night in D.C. or Northern Virginia?

Julia Beizer: I don't have great suggestions on this front. I know the Carlyle Club in Alexandria has dancing, but I've never been there.

Not sure if post-dinner drinks are what you're looking for... but I love lounging at the Tabard with a hot drink in hand.


Bloomingdale: I am working to help plan an event for a local non-profit organization and I was hoping that with all of your expertise you could recommend a location. The event will have 100-150 people, we would like to have a stage, be allowed to bring in our own buffet-style desserts, and be metro accessible within the District. As a non-profit, we would like to keep things cheaper, but are willing to spend a little more for the perfect location. Any suggestions?

Fritz Hahn: Places that might be worth calling (since I know they've done events with charities/non-profits before) and have a stage/area for bands include Wonderland, Solly's Tavern, Asylum, Madam's Organ and the Red and the Black.


Rockville, Md.: Hey gurus! Sooo excited to finally be going to the Restaurant Eve tasting room Saturday after a 4-week snow delay. Reservation is for 5:30, and when we went before (to the bistro) we didn't do anything in the area. Now I'm looking for something to extend the experience either before or after dinner -- something within walking distance, maybe shops or a spot for drinks after. Thoughts? Thank you!

Julia Beizer: I think the PX sounds like the natural choice. You should make a reservation at the PX and let them know you're dining at Eve -- they can help you figure out the right time.


Washington, D.C.: Romance: Ice skating at the sculpture garden. Twinkling lights, hot cocoa, beautiful view of the monuments and museums lit up at night...

Julia Beizer: An excellent suggestion! Depends on when their reservations are. If you show up too late for the beginning of the last two-hour period of skating, they don't let you in. Boo!


Sun night partying: Hey gurus,

Any word on anything special going on Sunday night -- since so many people are off of work on Monday and can thus be hung over? :)

Fritz Hahn: Not that I would encourage hangovers, but we had a bunch of suggestions in the Nightlife Agenda -- Prince party at Black Cat, Chuck Brown and co. at Zanzibar, a vintage soul/funk night at Little Miss Whiskey's, free electro/house/club/etc. dance party at Rock and Roll Hotel with Jackie O, Andrew Jaye, Sean Gone and a team of others.

Honestly, from what I hear from bar owners around town, they're gearing up for Sunday like it's another Friday night.


Downtown D.C.: Did the Rocket Bar owners open a new place recently?

Fritz: I think I just mentioned this on Metro Connection on NPR recently: The Iron Horse, a motorcycle-themed two-level bar, will be opening next to the District Chophouse by the end of the month.


Re: Penn Quarter Caps Deal: Is that deal only good for after the game, or could I take the ticket from tomorrow night's game in on Saturday afternoon for some free wings?

Julia: Pre- and post-game. But I think it's gotta be day of.


Hot drinks: Based on your or perhaps it was Sietsema's recommendation of the Hot Buttered Rum at Tabard some friends and I tried them last week. 4 thumbs up out of 4 from us, with second rounds. While there have been some changes in the 15 years I've been going there, I love that it is a reliably good place to meet for drinks.

Fritz Hahn: I recommend Tabard's Hot Buttered Rum all over the place. (The secret? Fresh spices *and* spiced Haitian rum.) These days, if friends are jonesing for cocktails, the Tabard is usually the first place I recommend.


Washington, D.C.: I am probably one of the few people around that has Monday off for MLK day AND I don't for the gov't. I am wondering what free/cheap cultural and artsy things are going on around town? I know a number of a museums are hosting MLK-events, but thought I would check in with you all for your suggestions for my day off!

Alex Baldinger: If you're looking for MLK-themed events on Monday, you won't want to miss tomorrow's Weekend section where we've got a whole list. One highlight: India.Arie's free performance at the Kennedy Center. Free tickets are required; you can grab up-to two tickets -- first come, first served -- starting Monday at 10 a.m. in front of the Concert Hall.


Arlington, Va.: Tonic on GW's campus has awesome wings, and they are cheap during happy hour!

Fritz: Fifty cents per wing is indeed a deal. Half dozen wings ($3) and a half-price Yuengling ($2.50) every weekday until 7? Sold. (But those BBQ wings is messy.)


VA to NYC: Late question...I'm headed to NYC this weekend. Since the weather looks shaky for part of the time is there anything indoors that we shouldn't miss?

Alex Baldinger: Generic NYC tourist advice in 3..2..1..

MoMa's never a bad idea if you don't mind crowds. The Tim Burton exhibit is getting lotsa buzz, though you need separate tickets for that in advance.

Also of interest (to me, at least): "Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present" at the Brooklyn Museum.

Good luck.

_______________________ Okay, we have to split so we can finish our work and get ready for Tonight's Big Happy Hour at Eyebar. (Remember: drink specials from 6 to 8. Do come by and say "Hi," and talk to some new people.See you later.


For Bloomingdale: I went to a charity event at RFD (in the back room) that included a live band...

Fritz Hahn: Okay, last answer, just to squeeze this in. No stage, but band-friendly and 10 taps for your charity.


The Going Out Gurus write about restaurants, bars, movies, the arts, special events and visitor attractions, and they're out every night to keep you on top of the D.C. entertainment scene. Check in with them throughout the week on the GOG Blog or join their live Q&A every Thursday at 1 p.m.

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