1 Beautiful Bells
Adjacent to the Marine Corps War Memorial, the Netherlands Carillon (N. Marshall Dr. and N. Meade St.; 703-289-2500) is a bell tower that the Dutch gave to the US as a symbol of gratitude for help during and after World War II. The 50 bells hang in an open steel tower on a grassy park. Saturdays from 6 to 8, May through September, carilloners play free concerts—bring a picnic basket and enjoy the sweeping views of Washington.
2 Cutting-Edge ArtPhotograph courtesy of Artisphere.
Housed in the former site of the Newseum, Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd.; 703-875-1100) is one of the biggest performing-arts centers in Washington, with a 4,000-square-foot gallery, an equally large ballroom, and three theaters under its space-age dome. The center hosts eclectic visual-art and new-media exhibits as well as dance, theater, films, and music. Offerings skew toward a trendier crowd—the art shows in particular focus on contemporary work.
3 Untapped Hangout
With plenty of craft brews to wash down juicy sirloin skewers and killer mac and cheese, the quiet bar at movie-poster-lined Ray's to the Third (1650 Wilson Blvd.; 703-841-0001), the sister restaurant to nearby Ray's the Steaks, is an underused spot to catch a game. Don't miss owner Michael Landrum's booze-fueled milkshakes—we love the Shake and Bake Cordial, made with bourbon and topped with bacon bits.
4 Margarita Time
Regional Mexican cooking—you know, the kind blanketed in richly aromatic mole sauces, as opposed to a pound of Monterey Jack—is made with care at sunset-hued Guajillo (1727 Wilson Blvd.; 703-807-0840). To go with the tart margaritas and spicy lager-based micheladas, there are good braised-lamb tacos, warm tamales wrapped around chipotle chicken, and the crispy, orange-scented hunks of pork called carnitas. An oversize glass of tangy shrimp ceviche is a bright start to the meal and a nice way to counter heavier meat dishes.
5 Big Easy Decadence
Restraint is nearly impossible at pastry chef David Guas's NoLa-inspired Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Rd.; 703-243-2410). There are fabulous buttermilk biscuits served alongside a Mason jar of cream cheese and pepper jelly, Dat-O cookies, which taste like Oreos but better, and Zapp's chips with bacony blue-cheese dip. And that's before you get to the sandwiches—a cold-cut-stuffed muffuletta, a beer-boiled hot dog—which are draws in themselves. Our advice? Go, overindulge, and eat kale for the rest of the day in penance.
6 On the Big Screen
A major renovation to the AMC Courthouse Plaza 8 (2150 Clarendon Blvd.; 703-243-4950) has transformed this ordinary multiplex into one of the area's best places to see a movie. The plush red recliners can be reserved—no more scrambling to find four seats together at the last minute—and have footrests that pop out like a La-Z-Boy. On a recent visit, we saw a woman come into the theater in her slippers. How's that for moviegoing relaxation?
7 Pre-Loved and Lovely
The original location of Current Boutique (2529 Wilson Blvd.; 703-528-3079) resells gently worn castoffs, all displayed in a welcoming and well-organized space. A selective buying process ensures that the store is stocked with in-style finds from desirable brands. While this shop leans a bit more conservative than some of Current's other stores—the consignment mini-chain now has four locations—major scores are still up for grabs. Recent gems: a DVF black-and-white silk dress for $110, gold Tory Burch flats for $75, and a purple leather Rebecca Minkoff cross-body bag for just $64.99.
Best of Rosslyn and Court HouseBayou Bakery. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Comments () | Published June 6, 2013