Friday Happy Hour: Chartreuse-Fernet


I am having a hard time imagining the origins of this drink. I think it would have to have gone something like this:

“Hey, what do bartenders like to drink? Chartreuse and Fernet? Okay then, pour both of those into a glass and add vermouth and bitters for good measure!”

Eventually everyone in the industry, bartenders and voracious cocktail drinkers of Hemingway-esque proportions alike, will find themselves in a rut. It’s at times like this that you find yourself doing strange and frightening things, like ordering vodka on the rocks, when what you really need is to go back to your roots and rediscover what you’re passionate about. There aren’t many things that will excite jaded bartenders, but Green Chartreuse and Fernet Branca are near the top of that list.

Look at respected institutions like Range on Wisconsin Avenue and Canon in Seattle, winner of Tales of the Cocktail World’s Best Drink Selection, and veteran haunts like Bar Pilar on 14th Street NW. Range and Canon have Green Chartreuse on tap and Bar Pilar has a Fernet Branca tap. Why on tap? Because why the heck not? They enjoy enough of it, they might as well reserve a tap line for ye olde “Bartender’s Handshake.” But this is not just a drink for bartenders. Somewhere between the equal parts of Green Chartreuse, Fernet Branca, Martini and Rosso sweet vermouth, and a few spirited dashes of aromatic bitters, everyone comes together and mellows each other out.

On the menu at Firefly on New Hampshire Ave NW, the flavor text reads “for the lion-hearted drinker,” but this drink is a big pussy cat. Don’t get me wrong, when I had the chance to get an early look at the new cocktail menu, this drink jumped right out at me and screamed “bartender porn.” Continue reading

Arlington, Food and Drink

Top Dog Half-Smoke Challenge

Photo courtesy of
‘Top Dog – Jackson 20 & The Grille’
courtesy of ‘Hans Bruesch-Olsen’

The half-smoke is a venerable DC institution, dating back to the 1930s when Briggs & Company Meatpackers combined equal mixtures of coarsely ground beef and pork. Locals and tourists alike flock to Ben’s Chili Bowl and various cart vendors around the Mall to experience this glorious bit of Washingtonian foodstuff.
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Eat Like Me, Food and Drink

Eat Like Me: September’s Best Dishes

Photo courtesy of
‘Al fresco’
courtesy of ‘c00lmarie’
This month was a strange one for me food-wise. I ate out of a food truck the same day I went to a five star wedding at 2941. It also marked my first ever trip to Taco Bell (not the same day). I tried poutine for the first time and introduced people on three separate occasions to the tasty barbecue at Capital Q. I tried to get in my last summery foods, the entree salads and the light meals, and now I’m ready for some stew and things with melted cheese on them. But until the weather officially changes, I’ll remember my September meals quite fondly…

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We Love Food

We Love Food: Firefly

Photo courtesy of Me

Firefly, courtesy of Me

Firefly‘s gotten a lot of mention around here but we’ve never done a comprehensive review. When I had to pick a place to meet an out-of-town friend who was staying off Scott Circle, Firefly seemed like a no-brainer selection. My darling wife and I met her and another dining companion on a Thursday night expecting a highly enjoyable experience.

We did not get exactly what we expected.

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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

Foodie Round-Up: Mother’s Day Brunch Edition

Photo courtesy of
‘Mother & Child’
courtesy of ‘nathangibbs’

I want to be my Mom. No, seriously. I do. You know when you read those things that are all like “Oh no! We are turning into our mothers!” – to that I say, YES! Can I please? This is because my Mother is phenomenal. She’s the wisest person I know, and she always knows just what to say to give me a new perspective on something, or make me feel better, and she and my Dad are the only people I can call about some problem in my life who will care as much as I do about it.  She is basically just is the best person to ever exist, period.

So I can’t put together a foodie round-up for Mother’s day and not get picky. I’ve been told about a lot of brunches, practically every restaurant in the city is doing something for Mother’s day brunch, I’m not joking. I’ve been inundated with menus, options and press releases. So instead of just listing them out for you like I did for Easter, I’m going to get more selective and only tell you about the brunches that I’d take my own rockin’ Mother to. So with that, a very subjective short list of brunches worthy of Katie’s Mother, in no particular order. Continue reading

Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Daily Feed

Foodie Round-Up (April 13-17)

Photo courtesy of
‘The Pour’
courtesy of ‘maxedaperture’

It’s a drink-focused round-up this week, but I think that’s because spring is in the air and all of us are practically clawing at our office doors to escape to grab a beer on the patio with friends. That said – Earth Day, jazz brunches, cocktails from the city’s best mixologists and a new team at Sonoma make up all the news that is fit to eat in the District this week. Continue reading