I’ll be the first person to admit that the area around the White House isn’t exactly where I spend my free time. The first time I have to shove a tourist in to a crosswalk when there’s less than twenty seconds left in the little countdown, I lose my mind and hop the Metro for greener pastures. That being said, I feel like I know the area pretty well, so when I headed to J&G Steakhouse the other night, I was shocked to find myself in a bar that I never even knew existed.
I was there to check out their new bar bites (more on that later), but ended up pleasantly surprised by the wine bar. With a subterranean entrance right off the W Hotel patio on Pennsylvania Ave., I must have walked by this tiny 40-ish person bar a handful of times and never even noticed it. With the cool vibe the W has been pushing since they opened, but slightly toned down and butched up with a long wooden table running the length of the restaurant, this secret spot will definitely be a new go-to for only the coolest of my out-of-towner friends.
But the food, of course, is divine. As one would expect from dishes coming out of the J&G kitchen, the small bites are inventive and binge-worthy. Select one dish for $8 or three for $20, and you’ll get oysters, a signature slider, crispy calamari, or my personal favorite — the crab cake. All bites are expertly paired with wine in a way that does this girl and her drinking habits proud. Though the dishes are derived from the upstairs menu, they are nowhere near the size. Be forewarned that this will not be the happy hour to fill up on free nuts or pass appetizers, but it is a great way to get a delicious bite in a cool setting.
The Sips & Bites menu is available in the Wine Bar only, Monday through Friday, from 5pm-7pm.