Great Bars 2013: Columbia Room and the Passenger
Comments () | Published March 18, 2013
75 Great Bars (2013)

Columbia Room
Address: 1021 Seventh St., NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-0336
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown
Cuisines: American
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 5 PM to 1:30 AM; Friday and Saturday 5 PM to 2:30 AM; Sunday 2 PM to midnight.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Mt. Vernon Square/7th St.-Convention Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown
Price Range: Moderate
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Classic gin martini.
Price Details: Three-cocktail tasting $64, including tax and gratuity.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Weekend Brunch, Good for Groups
Food Specials

With its dark-green vinyl booths and gritty gray interior, Tom Brown’s Passenger is that rare thing: a fuss-free neighborhood bar capable of turning out perfect drinks. We keep it simple with such classics as a Negroni, a Martinez, or a sidecar. In a tiny unmarked chamber behind the main bar, Brown’s brother Derek runs the Columbia Room, a reservations-only cocktail chapel offering a prix-fixe flight of three drinks and one small plate from chef Javier Duran. Visitors are greeted by a welcoming beverage—often an aromatic punch—then linger over a second libation of the bar’s devising. The final cocktail is a collaboration between bartender and guest, usually inspired by a favorite drink, spirit, or other ingredient. The calm pacing, the cozy, candlelit room, and the delicious, carefully crafted cocktails add up to a memorable evening that feels well worth the $69 price—you’ll leave as relaxed and invigorated as after a visit to the spa, and with a buzz to boot. Insider tip: Sign up for the Columbia Room’s newsletter to learn about upcoming classes—held on Saturdays and covering topics such as vermouth, using honey in cocktails, and bar basics. The Passenger open daily. Columbia Room open Tuesday through Saturday.

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Posted at 11:07 AM/ET, 03/18/2013 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Happy Hour Finder