Food & Drink

Your 12-Part Guide to Barrel-Aged Beer and Cocktails in DC

Published On 02/05/2015 Published On 02/05/2015
Laura Hayes/Thrillist
Laura Hayes/Thrillist
Laura Hayes/Thrillist
Three Stars Brewing Company
Laura Hayes/Thrillist
Laura Hayes/Thrillist
Laura Hayes/Thrillist
Laura Hayes/Thrillist
Dan Swartz
Laura Hayes/Thrillist
Laura Hayes/Thrillist
The Black Squirrel
Laura Hayes/Thrillist
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1. Casa Luca 1099 New York Avenue NW , Washington, DC 20001 (Downtown)

From Fiola's James Beard Award-winning Chef Fabio Trabocchi, Casa Luca is an osteria filled with hand-blown glass lamps that honors the cuisine of his upbringing in the Marche region of Italy.

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2. The Root Cellar 515 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

Located one floor below Pinea in the W Hotel, The Root Cellar is a whiskey bar serving up a mean barrel-aged Negroni and an impressive array of house-made charcuterie.

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3. The Fainting Goat 1330 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

The Fainting Goat has an impressive selection of craft brews on draft, along with a tiered food menu (Nibble, Graze, Chomp, and Feed) to make sure you don't resemble their namesake after too many beers.

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4. barmini 855 E St NW, Washington, DC 20004 (Penn Quarter)

Barmini is the cocktail test lab for visionary chef José Andrés' restaurants. Barmini overlooks restaurant minibar and operates under the M.O. to use culinary caliber talent to craft incomparable cocktails. With over 100 seasonally rotating cocktail concoctions served in 1930s vintage barware, if you don't find a drink, well we judge you. But you could try one of the innovative bar snacks, which also happen to rotate frequently as the chefs test out new flavor combos.

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5. The Rye Bar 1050 31st Street NW, Washington, 20007 (Georgetown)

Just because the C&O Canal isn't some major shipping lane doesn't mean it can't be a major sipping lane. So hit the Capella Hotel's legitimately beautiful Rye Bar, which serves up barrel-aged cocktails and rare rye whiskeys to patrons sitting at a marble topped honey onyx bar, or on large Chesterfield leather chairs next to floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the canal.

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6. Urbana 2121 P St NW , Washington, DC, DC 20037 (Dupont Circle)

With a swanky lounge vibe, Urbana offers a classic Italian menu from Chef Ethan McKee that features artisan pastas, fresh-caught seafood, and locally grown vegetables. You can't go wrong with the bucatini with jumbo lump crab or the diver scallops. The cocktail program as Urbana is just as classic and quality, brimming with Italian liqueurs and house-made ingredients, plus a happy hour that never disappoints.

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7. Graffiato 707 6th St, Washington, DC 20001 (Chinatown)

Opened by former "Top Chef" Mike Isabella, Graffiato is an innovative Italian eatery in Chinatown (yes, confusing). What's not confusing is the tastes or the fact that there is a ham bar where locally-cured meats are carved to perfection right in front of you. The open wooden bar-style kitchen allows you to converse with the chef as he kneads the dough for your personal wood-fired pie.

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8. Bluejacket 300 Tingey St SE, Washington, DC 20003 (Navy Yardnear Se)

With 20 beers on draught and another five cask beers, Bluejacket ought to be able to satisfy even the pickiest of your beer-drinking friends. Enjoy some snacks at the bar or save some room and wait until 5:30pm for short ribs or sweet potato gnocchi from Arsenal -- Bluejacket's in-house restaurant.

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9. The Black Squirrel 2427 18th St NW , Washington, DC, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

This massive, Adams Morgan beer hall pours 'em tall, dark, and handsome. Black Squirrel offers a plethora of domestic and imported draft and bottled beers in all ales and stripes. Feeling peckish? The in-house kitchen serves up some seriously insane burgers, and the topping list is just as varied as the beer menu-- goat cheese jalapenos on your bacon burger? Yes please.

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10. Barrel 613 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003 (Capitol Hill)

If you're in Capitol Hill and you like bourbon, this Southern bar is for you. The bar menu features two full pages of bourbon varieties, and if brown water is too strong for you, there are also 16 domestic beers on tap, and a few wines. The two-level space includes a downstairs hideaway called Elixir Bar, where you can scan shelf after shelf of the impressive whiskey collection. Though Barrel is definitely a drinking spot, the kitchen serves a menu of Southern comfort-inspired food like fried chicken, mac & cheese, and bacon fried rice.

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11. BOURBON STEAK DC 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, 20007 (Georgetown)

Bourbon Steak, located inside the Four Seasons Hotel, is a chic and modern restaurant brought to you by award winning Chef Michael Mina. It has a classy upscale hotel vibe, offering one of the most extensive selection of steaks, including dry-aged, grass-fed, corn-fed, and Japanese wagyu beef. However, it’s the kind of steakhouse where a trio of steak cuts can cost you up to three figures.