On Saturday, Whaley's — the seafood-oriented restaurant at Navy Yard — debuts its new Rosé Garden, a pink patio devoted to the very-in-right-now pink wine. It is scheduled to run through October.
“Rosé's a great wine,” Whaley's co-owner Nick Wiseman said, and not just a cheap throwaway cooler. There are serious winemakers around the world creating rosés with “big red wine grapes,” he said.
The opening menu at the garden, located across from Whaley's and adjacent to the pedestrian bridge at Yards Park, features 11 wines. They come from such countries as Italy, France, Lebanon and Greece, plus domestic examples from Virginia and California. (Vinoteca and the Ritz-Carlton D.C. are also launching rosé-themed promotions next month.)
The menu includes a couple of beers and two variations on the highball. There will also be two frozen drinks — and, for better or worse, neither is the drink of last summer, frosé. Instead, you'll be able to cool down with a piña colada ($14) and a Corpse Reviver No. 2 ($14) with gin, Cocchi Americano, orange liqueur, absinthe and lemon.
The food from chef Daniel Perron consists of light snacks designed to pair with wine. Think oysters on the half shell, Maryland crab toast ($20) and harissa-marinated asparagus ($11).
And, yes, the space, which seats 30, is very pink. Designed in conjunction with the team at Edit Lab at Streetsense, the garden is decked out in pink-and-white candy stripe umbrellas and pink glasses. Even the menus are pink. There's plenty of lush greenery, too, specially imported from Florida.
Wiseman wants diners at the Rosé Garden to forget they're even in Washington. “The idea,” he said, “is to be transformative.”
Whaley's, 301 Water St. SE. Rosé Garden opens Saturday; hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. weekends.