Washington, DC (May 2, 2013) – In Washington, it seems as if we have skipped spring and jumped right into summer. With that, DC’s finest hotels are beginning to offer their outdoor patios as new places to enjoy a great cocktail and a delicious bite. Included are a few favorite hotel outdoor offerings with key recommendations on summer drinks and eats, an interesting fact or two about the hotel, and who made their spaces so comfortable and welcoming. Enjoy and cheers to the summer!
Hotel: Park Hyatt
Location: 24th and M St NW
Restaurant: Blue Duck Tavern
Seated Bar: Yes, lounge area
Outdoor seating: Yes, Blue Duck Tavern
Summer Selection: Garden Mojito 10 Cane Rum, Campari, Fresh Thyme, Soda Water ($14). Citrus Mule Vodka, House Citrus Reduction, Bitters, Ginger Beer ($14). Baby Carrots Salad with Fennel, Orange and Olive Oil Croutons ($11), House Smoked Trout with Potato Salad, Ramps and Spiced Pecans ($14).
What’s Interesting: The Lounge boasts 4 glass-enclosed “Capitol Hill” booths named after leaders on the dollar bills. The booths are designed to be seen but not heard. The terrace is home to a 12-seat communal table created from one large piece of wood, derived from the heart of a 50,000 year-old slab of an ancient Kauri tree. The terrace is bordered by their chefs’ herb garden.
Interior Designer: Tony Chi & Associates
Hotel: Willard InterContinental Washington
Location: 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW (between 14 and 15th Streets)
Restaurant: Café du Parc
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Summer Selection: French 75 Sparkling wine, Beefeater Gin, sugar, lemon juice ($15). Hibiscus Champagne Piper Heidsieck Champagne, and wild hibiscus flower essence($15). Assiette de Légumes (pictured) local farm vegetables with beet gelée and pea purée ($14). Tarte Flambé au Champignon Wild Mushroom Tarte with Fromage Blanc (white cheese) and Truffle Oil ($14).
What’s Interesting: Café du Parc is under the consultancy of celebrated French 3-Michelin-star chef, Antoine Westermann. Born in Wissembourg, Alsace, Westermann had a strong desire to cook from a young age. His parents, however, did not wish for their son to be a chef.
Hotel: Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square
Location: 15th and H St NW (if you want exact address: 806 15th Street, NW)
Restaurant: iCi Urban Bistro
Seated Bar: Yes, Le Bar
Outdoor seating: Yes, patio on both the restaurant and bar side and is currently open.
Summer Selection: Bogart Hendrick’s, Fresh Lime and Cilantro Syrup ($15). Sparkling Lychee Roederer Estate Sparkling Brut and fresh Lychee ($16). Ahi Tuna Tartine tomato confit and tapenade ($14). Lobster Lettuce Rolls exclusively from a De-Light Menu, low calorie without sacrificing the flavor ($17).
What’s Interesting: In the early 1800’s, the 15th Street NW site was originally a townhouse where President Andrew Johnson resided.
Hotel Interior Designer: Paris designer Pierre-Yves Rochon
Hotel: Capella Washington, DC
Location: 31st and Waters Alley NW
Restaurant: The Grill Room
Seated Bar: Yes, The Rye Bar
Outdoor seating: Yes, outdoor seating on a canal-front patio
Summer Selection: Barrel Aged Manhattan Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, Byrhh Quinquina ($22). Ward Eight Filibuster, Fresh Orange & Lemon Juice, Pomegranate ($16).
What’s Interesting: Rye Bar features a full wall of stunning white onyx. There is unique barrel aged cocktail program in which guests barrel age their own cocktails. A new, 15 gallon barrel is put into the cellar every two weeks.
Interior Designer: Peter Sillings
Hotel: Hotel Helix, a Kimpton Hotel
Location: 14th and Rhode Island NW (1430 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Restaurant: Helix Lounge
Seated Bar: Yes
Outdoor seating: Yes
Summer Selection: Material Girl Absolut Citron vodka, black raspberry liqueur, fresh lemon, champagne float ($10). The Curious Bee Hendricks gin, Saint Germaine elderflower liqueur, fresh lemon, a touch of honey, served up with a twist ($10). Angus Beef Sliders Grass-fed Angus certified beef, topped with bacon jam, blue cheese, fresh arugula, horseradish aioli ($12). Ceviche Chef’s personal Salvadorian recipe with fresh shrimp, cold water scallops, green & red bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, mango, served on thinly-sliced, deep fried yucca root ($12).
What’s Interesting: Leaning against the building’s entrance, an over-scaled eight-by-twelve-foot framed painting pays homage to the surrealist, Magritte. It depicts a version of the iconic man in the suit, tie, and bowler hat, his face superimposed with a green apple. In the Helix version, the man’s tie and coat are blowing off in the wind and he’s stepping away, into a relaxed state of mind, leaving cares and his briefcase behind.
Interior Designer: Hollywood-based designer Mike Moore
Hotel: Fairmont Washington, DC Georgetown
Location: 2401 M Street, NW
Restaurant: Juniper Restaurant
Seated Bar: Loggia Lounge
Outdoor seating: Yes, for both
Summer Selection: The BeeTini ($12). Singapore Sling ($14). Angus Beef sliders – 3 for ($15). Crab cake Sandwich ($16).
What’s Interesting: There are four rooftop honeybee hives, and they use the honey in signature dishes and cocktails like the BeeTini. There is also a new Sunday Night Supper Club in Juniper from 6:30 to 8:00 pm 3 for $30, including a choice of one appetizer, entrée and cocktail.
Interior Designer: New York-based BBG-BBGM
Hotel: The Jefferson Hotel
Location: 1200 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Seated Bar: Yes, Quill
Outdoor seating: Yes, Quill
Summer Selection: Zodiac Zinger A cocktail that reflects and rotates with the change of the zodiac signs ($15). Gila Monster Jalapeno Infused Tequila, Fresh Berries, Lime Juice ($15). Serrano & Burrata with Olive Oil and Micro Arugula ($22). BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with Smoked Cheffar ($14).
What’s Interesting: In Quill, there is a one-of-a-kind illuminated glass bar (the only one in the United States) that exudes a modern orange glow. The Quill’s cigar collection offers guests a dip into the humidor for some of the best cigars offered in the city which they can enjoy on the Quill patio! In 1923, Washington, DC welcomed The Jefferson Apartment, and in 1955, it became The Jefferson Hotel.
Interior Designer: Forrest Perkins