Whenever Washingtonians find themselves apoplectic over some aspect of the nightlife scene, they're likely to exclaim "This isn't New York!" as if the Big Apple had the exclusive license to long lines, velvet ropes or black-clad bouncers with earpieces. (Note to gripers: You'll find similar setups in London, Los Angeles, Paris and Philadelphia, and I doubt any of those cities have the same inferiority complex about New York.)
As the number of trendy lounges and clubs continues to climb, so do drink prices -- and this is where we're really starting to compete with Manhattan.
Blue Gin set the bar around $10 for good drinks made with fresh ingredients like star fruit and muddled passion fruit. About half of IndeBleu's 46 martinis are $12, with a few special drinks rising to $14 or $16 (the latter includes champagne and 100-year-old Grand Marnier).
Now there's Oya, a gorgeous lounge with a cracking fireplace mounted high into the wall, long white-leather banquettes and vases full of cherry blossom branches. My friends and I enjoyed hanging out there after midnight on Saturday -- until we got the bill. I suppose we should have known something was up when we examined the drink menus and didn't notice a price next to any of the house cocktails. (For future reference: it's the tiny numeral at the bottom of the page.)
The first page of the list is devoted to the bar's specialty: cocktails made with specially infused rums. We ordered four, and they were fantastic; I especially enjoyed the Darker and Stormier, a take on the traditional Caribbean mix of rum, lime juice and ginger beer, punched up here with Coridander-infused rum. There are other cocktails, too; a friend's French Martini, while nothing out of the ordinary, was delicious and well-balanced. The bartenders and servers were friendly and prompt.
We were enjoying ourselves -- and then the check arrived. Those much-lauded rum drinks are $15 each. The French Martini was $13. I realize that when you buy a drink, you're paying for the atmosphere, but there has to be a limit. Oya's cocktails are out of the ordinary and above what most Washington bars churn out -- but at that price point, I wonder how often I'll be going back.
Posted by: Here's a Hint | April 22, 2005 3:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Penn's Envy | April 22, 2005 9:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Tom | April 23, 2005 6:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Ferhat | April 24, 2005 2:40 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Vanessa | April 24, 2005 10:24 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Jilly | April 25, 2005 12:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Old Town | April 26, 2005 9:32 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Al | April 26, 2005 10:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Beedot | April 29, 2005 10:51 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: brian | May 22, 2005 2:43 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.