Located only a couple doors away from the Russia House in the Dupont Circle area, Joe Englert’s latest nightlife hotspot, Veritas (2031 Florida Ave., NW), opened its doors Monday night. Serving more than 60 different reds and whites, both by the glass and in flights, with tasty assortments of cheese and charcuterie, Veritas is off to a good start—any first day kinks were easily overlooked in favor of the charming titling of certain flights—a grouping of Italian, Austrian, and Spanish wines dubbed “The European Union,” for example—and an enthusiastic staff.
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.
Gargee, an economist, and Andy, a lawyer, both from Dupont Circle.
What they drank: The “Tour de France” flight, a combo of two- to three-year-old reds from Bordeaux, Rhone-Alps, and Burgundy.
What they thought: “The wines were not quite as great as I was hoping,” said Gargee. “But they opened up and turned out to be really nice.” Noticing less known vineyards on Veritas’s list, Andy was expecting to be pleasantly surprised, “but the wines turned out to be less impressive that what I had hoped.”
Atmosphere: “I thought it was a great place,” said Gargee. “It seems like the perfect place to come in out of the cold as fall starts. Also, the red walls are really cool and the brick is a great touch. Who wouldn’t want a cool neighborhood wine bar?”
Selection: “For not being able to recognize any of the wines, I was surprised at some of the prices. I think they’ll probably switch it around as they go along,” said Gargee. Andy agreed: “I thought the prices were a little bit higher than I expected for a neighborhood place, but they have a great selection of wines and new stuff to try.”
Rating: Gargee and Andy both gave Veritas a 7. “But it’s going to be a 10 in a short time,” said Andy.
Taylor, paralegal, Columbia Heights.
What he drank: Ash Hollow “Somanna” Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris blend.
What he thought: “It was really good. The wine had a strong, bold flavor with several sweet and tart fruit flavors combined. I think it would pair well with some soft cheeses.”
Atmosphere: “I think it’s a great place to go before a night out. I don’t think you’d want to come here for a crazy party, but it’s a great place to hang out with a couple of friends. It’s perfect for a classy evening.”
Selection: “Great selection in general. They pretty much covered everything and also had a good choice of blends.”
Jennifer, a bartender, and Rob, a police sergeant, both from Dupont Circle.
What they drank: Two different red flights: the California-centric “Adam’s Number Ones” and “Mick’s Picks.”
What they thought: “Both flights were really nice,” said Jennifer, “but I liked ‘Adam’s Number Ones’ the best. It was delicious.”
Atmosphere: “Elegant, but not to the point of discomfort,” said Jennifer. “I think Veritas will do well in this neighborhood.” Jennifer and Rob both said they would recommend the place to friends.
Rating: “Well, considering it’s opening night, I’m gonna go ahead and give it a 7,” said Jennifer. Rob gave Veritas an 8.
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