Friday night drinks: Ivy Room
The Ivy Room opened this week. It's a collaboration between Republic Restorative Distillery founders Rachel Gardener and Pia Carusone, as well as Vinoda Basnayake (David Strauss heads up the bar program). The venue makes cocktails with Civic Vodka, the in-house spirit for the distillery. A Moscow Mule with in-house ginger beer will be the perfect drink during the warm weather expected this weekend. Feeling more adventurous? Then check out some of the other new distilleries, breweries, and restaurants in the neighborhood.
Get there first: Bantam King
The new ramen spot from the team behind Daikaya opens tonight. They take chicken seriously here— there are two types of chicken ramen (the more delicate chintan and richer paitan broth) and one vegetarian. There’s also a riff on fast food-style fried chicken complete with sides like mac & cheese, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes. Located in a former Burger King space, the decor pays tribute to its predecessor with hard booths and pastel cafeteria trays lining the wall.
Crab cakes on the patio: Cafe du Parc
It’s that time of year. Relax on one of D.C.’s most pleasant patios with a view of Pennsylvania Avenue while eating crab cakes. Cafe du Parc’s version of the regional dish is served with pineapple relish and chipotle aioli. Or check out more crab cake options here.
Snack break while shopping: Simit + Smith
Shopping in itself can be draining of energy, but navigating the weekend Georgetown crowds makes it even more tiring. Give blood sugar a boost with a snack at this Turkish cafe baking a variety of pastries like baklava, bread roll-like pogaça with various fillings, simits (bread rings covered in sesame seeds), and sandwiches. The best item is, however, the layered and flaky burek. The cheese and spinach are both good, but the peppery meat filling is the best. Ask for it on a plate (instead of in wax paper) if you take it to the cafe upstairs.
Saturday night dinner: Rasika
It's time to revisit this classic D.C. restaurant. The upscale Indian eatery remains packed at both lunch and dinner for a reason, so try to make a reservation. About 35 percent of the menu is new following last year's renovation.