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Posted at 11:49 AM ET, 04/13/2006

Quick, While the Weather is Nice!

By Fritz Hahn

One of the city's best patios may finally -- finally -- be ready to live up to its potential.

Poste, in the historic Hotel Monaco, has a gem of a outdoor space: a private courtyard accessed through a long, covered passage from Eighth Street. The thick building means that you're isolated from the busy neighborhood's noise.

In the past, the restaurant simply put a few metal tables and chairs out onto a terrace in the courtyard and left it at that. For 2006, though, they've decided to reinvent the marble courtyard as a private living room, adding sofas, plush carpets, lighting and a soundtrack of downtempo electronica and acid jazz. (If you can, grab one of the seats that looks like an egg cup topped with a section of a fabric slinky.)

I spent some time at Poste earlier this week after work, enjoying the sun and the bar's excellent cocktails. No reservations are needed to grab a table outside, whether you're just in for drinks or want a full meal, but since I never saw servers coming outside, I wound up going back inside to the bar every time more drinks were needed.

Good thing I did, too. The chalkboard next to the bar has a couple of drinks that are perfect for the season: The Cool Cucumber is a bracing concoction with Hendricks, the cucumber-infused gin, topped with pickled bits of cucumber. Even more refreshing is the Cranberry Fizz, which combined cranberry-infused Ketel One vodka (made in-house) with vanilla and club soda for a sparkly effect. I was tempted by the Eye of the Storm -- a Dark and Stormy made with ginger-infused Cane 10 rum.

Happy hour, which runs from 4 to 7 during the week, includes $4 glasses of selected wines and $4 cones of the restaurant's awesome truffle fries. However, $4 for a bottle of Sam Adams doesn't seem like much of a special to me.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | April 13, 2006; 11:49 AM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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I stopped by the Poste after a long walk from a gorgeous opening day at RFK. It is a perfect setting -- a wide patio, a beautiful space, lots of seating (and as you say, very innovative, cool seats), and good martinis. I highly recommend the lemonade-martini, which is utterly refreshing. Service was pleasant and efficient, and there was little to no snobby factor. Why'd you give this great secret away?

Posted by: LFL | April 13, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Mmm, truffle fries. Those things are so addictive. Can't wait to see the spruced up space. It was pretty depressingly Spartan before.

Posted by: metrocurean | April 13, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Truffle fries are a steal at $4. So yummy and big enough for two.

But Poste...seriously...send some servers outside! Make it easier for us to spend money at your lovely establishment!

Posted by: Jennifer C | April 13, 2006 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Helix has an outstanding patio, too - enjoyed zesty guac and strong martinis just last night - a great combination.

Posted by: CF, DC | April 28, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

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