Tuesday, August 9
FILM: The Capital Irish Film Festival is hosting a free screening of The Secret of Kells at the Dupont Renaissance Hotel. The Oscar-nominated film follows a young boy's quest to complete a magical book filled with secret wisdom and power. You can check out the trailer here. Complimentary popcorn will be served. The film begins at 7 PM, but seats are limited, so get there early.
MUSIC: The Steve Miller Band are bringing their classic rock 'n' roll hits to the Wolf Trap tonight. Known for chart-toppers such as "The Joker" and "Fly Like an Eagle," the band's latest album, Let Your Hair Down, was nominated for the Blues Rock Album of the Year. You can listen to one of the new singles here. For tickets ($25 to $45), go to the event Web site. 8 PM.
Ordering a drink "on the rocks" at W Hotel's Point of View Lounge is not so simple. That's because the lounge serves ice five ways: cubed, shaved, chopped, speared and spherical. Each type of ice is designed to give specific drinks the optimal temperature and dilution level—no blenders here. In fact, POV has a walk-in freezer devoted almost entirely to ice, and "ice harvesting" is a scheduled part of their kitchen routine. The man behind the ice program is Sasha Petraske, owner of speakeasy Milk and Honey In New York. Though Petraske shied away from our camera, POV bartender Logan Skidmore stepped in to show us how to chisel away at a 25-pound block of ice and what to with the Japanese contraption they use to turn rugged chunks of ice into smooth spheres. Watch the video below.
A sleek canopy announcing the French lounge Le Bar invites the pre-dinner or pre-night-on-the-town crowd to veer toward its illuminated, tree-framed entrance. A further invitation: A doorman immediately swings open the double glass doors of the Sofitel Lafayette Square (806 15th St., NW; 202-730-8800), the hotel that houses the upscale, plush, and pricey bar.
The first sips of some unique, exciting-sounding cocktails aren’t as inviting—at least when it comes to the bar’s signature L’enfant (Grey Goose vodka, Chambord, Grand Marnier, and lemonade) and the Lychee-opolitan (vanilla vodka, lime, and lychee juice). The L’enfant—French for “child”—doesn’t have the smile-widening taste one might expect from its namesake or its lemonade-infused promise. The Lychee-opolitan, topped off with the bobbing, white Asian fruit it’s named for, offers less of a perfume-sweet lychee flavor and more of a strong, syrupy taste.
The decor combines an exposed brick wall with a burgundy and white palette; a metal wine cellar above the bar area, simple furniture, and minimal decoration create an air of sophistication without pretentiousness.
But are these elements enough for Veritas to win over the tough, sometimes jaded Dupont night crowd? This is how some patrons rated the wine bar on a scale of 1 to 10.
Retail giants aren’t the only ones opening shop in DC’s Columbia Heights/Petworth neighborhood. The area is attracting small, local businesses—such as the recently opened Red Rocks Pizzeria—which are drawing new crowds and familiar faces alike and helping revitalize the neighborhoods. The latest business to set up is The Red Derby (3718 14th Street), a cozy bar owned by Sasha Carter and David Leventry that has the unusual distinction of offering only can beers—33 different types in all.
The Red Derby opened its doors Tuesday night, and After Hours was there to document customers’ first impressions:
What she thought about the bar?: “I really like it. I live about three blocks away so it’s nice to have something in the neighborhood. We have another bar, Temperance Hall, over at Georgia Avenue. That’s about seven blocks away from us, so this is a little closer.”
Drink selection?: “The beer selection is great. Having them all in cans . . . I don’t know, that’s debatable—but the selection of beers was fantastic. They also have Van Gogh Espresso vodka, which is yummy!”
Atmosphere?: “Amazing. I don’t know if all these people live in this neighborhood or not—I recognized some faces—but the fact that this is opening night on a Tuesday and the place is packed is crazy. I think they’re going to do well.”