Has the apple-martini age finally passed? It certainly has at Bourbon, which is both neighborhood joint and hot spot.
The small Glover Park bar, owned by Bill Thomas and Frank Jolley, the guys behind Adams Morgan's Blue Room, serves more than 50 bourbons--from Jim Beam to small-batch sippers from boutique distilleries like Virginia Gentleman. Prices range from $5 a glass for Early Times to $23 a glass for Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve. There are also ten beers on tap and ten wines by the glass.
The action is in the narrow, nicely lit downstairs bar manned by friendly bartenders. On weeknights, it's packed with twentysomethings, and in warm weather they spill onto the front patio. The upstairs dining room catches the overflow on weekends.
Food is pub fare--a flattened crabcake on toast, a meaty ostrichburger, delicious bourbon-baked beans--but service can be slow. The best bet is to snag a seat at the bar and order one of the blackboard specials--crabcakes with a pint of pale ale ($14) or strip steak with a glass of red wine ($23).
-This review appeared in the April, 2004 issue of The Washingtonian and refers to Bourbon's Glover Park location.