Chances are you’re well aware of Beaujolais Nouveau’s reputation as the Hallmark Holiday of the wine world.  It’s an immature French red whose best quality is its ability to motivate wine snobs and more serious drinkers alike to put aside their prejudices for one night and enjoy it.  That alone makes it worth celebrating.

Here in Washington, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to do just that.  Last year, we put together a list of Beaujolais Nouveau parties in the area and found ourselves wondering why Brasserie Les Halles hadn’t announced any plans.  A week later, we learned they were officially closed.

While Les Halles’ annual Beaujolais celebration will be sorely missed again this year, I’m pleased to report that several of the other reliable sources will be partying as usual when the clock strikes twelve and the wine starts flowing.  In most cases, the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely dinner and guarantee a seat at the local celebrations has passed…the early birds have already snapped up the escargots.  But we’ve got a few options for those of you who are just looking for a party:

BYT Presents a Breathless Beaujolais Party @ 1905: We really can’t do this one any greater justice than to reprint their writeup in its entirety.

“November 18th (Wednesday)
starts at 9pm
countdown and uncorking AND FREE WINE at midnight
wine, drink specials, french music (by DJ Jason Bond Pratt), merriment

10 bucks
come get Beaujolaid with us.


That’s right.  Ten bucks.  No RSVPs.  They’re also offering a $50 prix fixe menu at a 7PM seating that will guarantee you admission to what should be an amazing party.

1905 9th Street, NW
Washington, DC

Bistrot du Coin: This one is the Beaujolais Nouveau party you’ve always heard about – with good reason.  The restaurant’s dinner seatings are always fully booked weeks in advance, but as midnight approaches they pile up all the tables and chairs to make room for more guests.  If the weather stays nice, do yourself a favor and get there nice and early to camp out – you may just make it in when they start letting people in.  Inside, expect to be packed in with all of the other revelers.  When midnight arrives, bottles start opening as fast as the servers are able and they’re passed around to a grateful crowd.  It’s like Times Square on New Year’s Eve only smaller, darker and quite a bit warmer…definitely worth doing at least once while you’re in DC.

Bistrot du Coin
1738 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

Two ways to celebrate on Thursday evening after the jump. (more…)

img_7196When it comes to speakeasy-chic, it’s way too easy to cross the line and come off as trying too hard.  The best way to avoid that pitfall?  Don’t try – just be. 

Once you’ve walked up the dimly lit stairs and settled in to the cozy dining room and bar that make up 1905, it’s understandable to lose yourself in the fantasy that you’re in some secret hideaway known to a chosen few.  The walls are decked out with ornate metalwork and wall sconces that look like lotus blossoms.  The ceiling is pressed tin.  The furniture is distressed just-so.  But the door is cleary marked with the address, and a sign hanging outside the entrance clearly displays the skeleton key that is the restaurant’s symbol.  This place just feels exclusive…and that’s a good thing.

We had heard about this newcomer to a block of 9th Street that was previously best known for Ethiopian must-try Etete when it first opened, and we were definitely interested.  dakota1905benedictEven so, we hadn’t gotten around to visiting before Monday, when Alex at Brightest Young Things invited us to attend a tasting event in honor of their new brunch, which will debut this Sunday, March 15th. 

Over the course of the evening, we got to enjoy a few of the dishes that will appear on the inaugural brunch menu, as well as a few additions to the dinner menu and a killer dessert.

More tasty bites (and even tastier photos by Dakota Fine) after the jump. (more…)