When contemplating going out for drinks with the girls, my friend Jasmine suggested Stardust. “It’s a martini bar full of girls and old people,” she said. Well put, Jasmine. Tucked away on a side street off of Washington Boulevard Street in Alexandria, Stardust is basically just as Jasmine describes, except with a little bit of an edge.
Booths dressed in leopard print and flanked by old avocado-green, art deco kitchen appliances gives Stardust a warm, whimsical feel. The yellow wooden stars hanging from the ceiling don’t add any street cred, either. It’s bonafide girlie, but that means I loved every minute.
The martini menus are hand-made with cloth and a glitter pen, and feature really adorable martini names. The drinks are broken into themes: Startinis, Breaking the Ice, Flirtinis, and You Can Quote Me, and the names range from things like “Is This Seat Taken” to “Malibu (it’s not just for Barbie anymore!)”.
I snagged a “Yoooooo Hoooo, Mister Man”, which was Kahlua, Vanilla Absolut, milk and Hershey’s Syrup. Shaken, not stirred. Tasted exactly like a spiked Yoo Hoo, really. My girlfriends got a “Diamonds are Forever” (Absolut ruby red vodka “bejeweled” with club soda and cranberry juice), a “Wanna See My Velvet Elvis?” (Sauza, Kahlua, Stoli vanil, dark creme de cacao), and a “Sully’s Italian Ice” (Absolut citron, Bacardi Limon, splashes of sour mix & sprite, shake and “fuggid aboudit”).
We sipped our fun martinis and looked around at the amazing amount of kitchy stuff they squeeze into the space. There were old school metallic toasters, glass blenders, antiquated popcorn poppers, and more. The Stardust web site explains that the knick-knacks that line the bar and restaurant are actually really popular for thieves, which I found highly entertaining. “Now, you gotta be thinking to yourself, “does any of this stuff get stolen?” You bet. At one time we had lots of funky salt and pepper shakers. (Pyramids, shoes, flying saucers, James Dean etc.) They were disappearing one by one. Finally, all the fun sets were confined behind the bar where we could keep an eye on them. A regular bar customer used to insist on seasoning his lunch with a pig set. He loved those pigs. You guessed it, one day the pig salt, the pig pepper and the customer disappeared forever. At one time, we displayed our wines by-the-glass menu in snow globes. (Now, the list is too large) Over 50 snow globes were stolen in a matter of months. The weirdest example of theft: One week, Ginger’s left hand was stolen, the next week, her right hand. Needless to say, she now wears gloves. Presently, the glittery martini menus that Jennifer makes are the largest targets of theft. ” So basically, keep your hands to yourselves, people. And leave all the fun things behind for others to enjoy.
So on to our second drink. I don’t think I’ve explained to the blogosphere that I quit drinking liquor (I make minor exceptions sometimes for Margs and for things like a chocolate martini), but I basically haven’t drank liquor for three years now. Which is good for my stomach. And those around me. So after my initail martini, I was interested in the beer menu and the wine menu. Both the wine and beer menus are VERY well done. The wine has a huge array, a lot of them from local wineries like Barboursville. And we know how much I like local wine. The beer menu has all kinds of creative beers and beers from credible breweries (bells, etc.). I tried a pomegranate wheat beer, which I just loved.
Stardust was a pleasure, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a low-key yet funky night out, with fun martinis to boot.
All photos in this post courtesy of flickr user Needlessspaces.