Great Bars 2013: Harold Black

When the owners of Acqua al 2 and Suna revealed news of their
speakeasy in a second-floor room above Acqua, the response was tepid.
Didn’t Washington have enough covert-bar concepts? But once you’re inside,
it’s hard not to fall in love. With a wall of booths upholstered in
handsome distressed leather and divided by to-the-ceiling bookshelves,
this gorgeous boîte is starkly modern but uncommonly welcoming—as if
you’ve crashed a party at the Stockholm loft of a famous sculptor who’s
ever so happy to have you. Settle in with an original drink such as the
Bon Chrétien, named for the pears that make up its eau-de-vie foundation,
or a glass of wine from the short but smart selection of European
varietals. Suna chef Johnny Spero does the snacks—think puffed pork skins
with veggies and a platter of pickles. Insider tip: Reservations can now
be made on, and eight seats are kept open for walk-in
customers. Open Tuesday through Saturday.