When something you order at a restaurant arrives on a pushcart, it adds a thrilling element to the usual traffic pattern of servers and patrons.
“It’s an opportunity to get something extra-special at the table,” says Duane Sylvestre, the head bartender at Bourbon Steak. Patrons who order a high-end liquor there are likely to encounter the restaurant’s new custom-built spirits trolley.
“Your drink can show up in a glass, or it can show up on a chariot with someone who will explain your order,” Sylvestre says.
In addition to fancy whiskies, the mobile minibar holds a rotating selection of fine Scotches, rums and gins.
At Flight, owners Swati Bose and Kabir Amir recently acquired a midcentury brass and wood cart from eBay. They plan to roll it out next week whenever guests order off the Higher Altitude wine list, a selection of 10-plus rare labels priced from $70 to $200. These wines are most often served using a Coravin, a somewhat cumbersome gadget that allows you to pour a glass of wine without fully opening a bottle.
“Operationally, the cart makes things easier,” Bose says. “Plus I love them, so I’m excited to be able to use one.”
Food takes front seat at The Majestic, where a handsome wood cart shuttles the ingredients for a tossed Caesar salad ($11.50), which is assembled at your table.
Chef Shannon Overmiller says that tableside Caesar preparation is a throwback to how steakhouses commonly served the dish in the 1940s. Plus, when your food’s made right in front of you, you know it hasn’t been languishing in the kitchen.
“That freshness is really neat for people to see,” Overmiller says.
Bourbon Steak, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-944-2026, bourbonsteakdc.com.
Flight, 777 Sixth St. NW; 202-864-6445, flightdc.com. (Gallery Place)
The Majestic, 911 King St., Alexandria; 703-837-9117, majesticcafe.com.