FLIGHTS OF FANCY: In restaurant-speak, a flight traditionally refers to several small tasting pours of wine (two to three ounces each) as opposed to a full pour (six ounces).
But a number of bars and restaurants have adapted the flight concept -- a tasting menu in miniature -- beyond the wineglass to sake cups, shot glasses, tumblers, even the dessert plate.
The decor at the Washington Plaza Hotel's International Bar may conjure visions of James Bond ordering a martini. But the drink to order is vodka. Select from 140 labels; two pours cost $15; three pours will set you back $20. Monday to Friday from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.; Thomas Circle NW at Massachusetts Avenue and 14th Street; call 202-842-1300.
Drawing on its stock of 74 tequilas, Rosa Mexicano offers three samplers of three shots each: the blanco (not aged and slightly fruity; $11); the reposado (aged six months, $14) and the anejo (aged one to six years; $17). 575 Seventh St. NW; 202-783-5522.
Or at Andale, sample any three tequilas of your choice -- perhaps one of each aging to compare -- for $16. 401 Seventh St. NW; 202-783-3133.
At Kaz Sushi Bistro there are two flights of sake. One flight spans three distinct styles ($6.95), while the other presents three different brands of one style, all daiginjo ($11.95). 1915 I St. NW; 202-530-5500.
The small-batch bourbon flight at 15 Ria ($18) could be construed by some as a last course. But there's also a dessert flight. Chef Jamie Leeds has created a flight -- currently consisting of chocolate ganache, brownie sundae, creme brulee and a cobbler -- that rotates seasonally ($2 each or $8 for three). 1515 Rhode Island Ave. NW; 202-742-0015.
The menu at Bardeo has long encouraged the pairing of wine with cheese. But the wine bar recently expanded its cheese flight offering from half a dozen to a baker's dozen. Choose a selection of two, three or four cheeses ($4.95 to $9.95). 3309 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-244-6550.
-- Renee Schettler
Tom Sietsema is on vacation. His Weekly Dish will return next week.