Now that the sun has emerged from hiding and the cold weather has eased, we have our eyes peeled for the next great rooftop bar in DC. Fortunately, our search began a few weeks ago when we hit up Bar Deco in Penn Quarter for a random Wednesday Date Night. We have been to Penn Quarter dozens of times in the past, but our evening at Bar Deco solidified another reason to return soon.
The newest gem in the Penn Quarter area, Bar Deco opened it’s doors last fall with an impressive 3 floors: 1st floor show kitchen, 2nd floor dining room, 3rd floor bar, and a rooftop patio to boot! From the same owners responsible for Landini Bros and The Fish Market in Old Town, Bar Deco is all about marrying traditional American flavors and atmosphere from the industrial Art Deco period, and situating the experience firmly in the hustle and bustle of modern DC.
We started with cocktails, and were please to sample a new drink which will be featured throughout the spring – the Singapore Sling. Fresh, tropical, and easy to imagine sipping with friends on the rooftop in the coming months. We also tried the Kingslayer, and the All American but who can say no to a bacon infused beverage with bacon to garnish??
Though it’s not officially on the menu, word got around that I live for guacamole, so Executive Chef Shane Henderson had us indulge in his version of the green stuff, which we have implored they add to the appetizer menu this spring. I’m a tough critic, and this guac, though not table-side, is one of the better bowls we’ve had in DC. Must have been all that time Chef Shane spent in California – land of avocados.
We also tried the Crispy Mix (fried medley of calamari, rock shrimp, artichoke hearts and caper berries) and the classic french fries. Next time we plan to go all in and order the Smoked Mac & Cheese and Pulled Pork Sliders. Stay tuned ;)
For dinner, Chef Shane delighted us with one of his newest menu additions, The 901 (Caramelized Onion Bread Pudding,Swiss Cheese & Fried Egg) – a handcrafted burger which tastes less like a burger and more like an experience. The plating was eye candy, and the bread pudding transformed the typical carb-heavy bun. Love it.
We also enjoyed – my favorite, actually – the Gouda Short Rib Sandwich (Braised Short Rib, Gouda Cheese, Scallions, Bourbon Maple Glaze & Crispy Onions) which absolutely melts in your mouth. Something about the bourbon glaze and brunch of the crispy onions made magic.
Dinner isn’t complete without dessert, and Scott and I shared the Chef Shane’s freshly made Tres Leches. We usually attack anything chocolate, so we don’t have a wide range of comparable tres leches with which to compare. All we can say is that we are now a HUGE fan.
While dinner was delightful and the ambiance could not have been better for a date night, we love that attention is paid to sourcing local food when possible, and smoking meat in-house. These details set Bar Deco apart from the competition, and will help make it a locals’ hangout in addition to a fabulous option for the Verizon Center crowd.
And remember, with warm weather comes the perfect excuse to head up and enjoy that fabulous rooftop bar. Who knows, you just might see us there!