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Odd Bar at Eventide, Clarendon - Bar Manager Tim Irwin on Wilson Blvd. and N. Hudson St. - Closed


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We stopped by last night for happy hour and had a great time! We arrived shortly after 5 pm...it was quiet and we took 2 seats at the bar. The long bar is made of poured concrete, and has these uniquely rounded corners that make sitting at the bar with a group of 4 enjoyable. The ceilings are high, and the exposed original woodwork was quite impressive. By the time we left, around 730ish, the place was hopping (but not too noisy for us), standing room only...I was so happy to see this place doing well even on the 2nd night open.

We had the house-roasted olives ($5) and the cheese plate ($8 or maybe it was $10, I forget), along with a few glasses of wine. The olive assortment was served piping hot, in a 2x3 enameled casserole, and were roasted with sprigs of thyme, thin slices of lemon peel, and probably other goodies I didn't catch. They were a great bar snack. We also enjoyed the cheese plate (one a cheddar, one a blue, the other I forget it but was semi-firm like a gruyere, but less nutty). The only drawback was the toasts...there were only 2 on the plate, and they were overly toasty and fell apart. We asked for a few more and the bartender quickly brought some for us.

But here was our favorite part. After we ate, the bar manager, Steve, asked us how our experience had been thus far...I mentioned the toasts were too few, and too toasty, and he thanked me and said he'd tell the chef because that's exactly the kind of feedback they were looking for. A few minutes later, Steve came back out and said the Chef said thank you...as we were leaving, Dave - who greeted us on our way in - asked how everything was...I mentioned the toasts, and he had already heard!

This underscored how thoughtful the service was from start to finish. It was obvious to us that this group pays attention to the details.

We'll be back many times, I'm sure.

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We stopped by last night for happy hour and had a great time! We arrived shortly after 5 pm...it was quiet and we took 2 seats at the bar. The long bar is made of poured concrete, and has these uniquely rounded corners that make sitting at the bar with a group of 4 enjoyable. The ceilings are high, and the exposed original woodwork was quite impressive. By the time we left, around 730ish, the place was hopping (but not too noisy for us), standing room only...I was so happy to see this place doing well even on the 2nd night open.

We had the house-roasted olives ($5) and the cheese plate ($8 or maybe it was $10, I forget), along with a few glasses of wine. The olive assortment was served piping hot, in a 2x3 enameled casserole, and were roasted with sprigs of thyme, thin slices of lemon peel, and probably other goodies I didn't catch. They were a great bar snack. We also enjoyed the cheese plate (one a cheddar, one a blue, the other I forget it but was semi-firm like a gruyere, but less nutty). The only drawback was the toasts...there were only 2 on the plate, and they were overly toasty and fell apart. We asked for a few more and the bartender quickly brought some for us.

But here was our favorite part. After we ate, the bar manager, Steve, asked us how our experience had been thus far...I mentioned the toasts were too few, and too toasty, and he thanked me and said he'd tell the chef because that's exactly the kind of feedback they were looking for. A few minutes later, Steve came back out and said the Chef said thank you...as we were leaving, Dave - who greeted us on our way in - asked how everything was...I mentioned the toasts, and he had already heard!

This underscored how thoughtful the service was from start to finish. It was obvious to us that this group pays attention to the details.

We'll be back many times, I'm sure.

Cheese plates are now served with not 1, not 2, but 4 lightly grilled of bread...and we didn't even raise the price!! :P It was nice to meet you, stickmoon. Glad you had a good time.
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So my boyfriend and I went to Eventide for the second time since they opened last friday night. We sat at the bar (have not made it to the dining room yet) for some drinks and some eats. We were greeted by Steve at the bar, ordered some drinks and got an order of the fries. The fries were good, not too greasy and pretty crispy ( I am a fan of the crispy fries, not big thick ones) and the fondue that comes with it was not too overwhelming, I really like the truffle flavor. Then we got the olives which are super hot when they come out but once they cool down are scrumptious. After that and a few more drinks we both got mushroom burgers, which were super rich and meaty (and served on a croissant). As a vegetarian I find it hard to get a good veggie burger around the area, and this is easily the best! Perfect bar food, with a really nice salad. We will be back soon!

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After reading Tim's rave about Eventide this evening, it dawned on me that I've been remiss, so I drove to Clarendon, ignored the lack of valet parking, and found a spot a few blocks away.

I was disappointed, but also glad, that Eventide isn't serving the upstairs menu in the downstairs lounge. "If you want to fly first class, you have to buy a ticket," Cathal Armstrong once told me when I asked if anything from Eve's Tasting Room menu was served in the bar. I respected that then, and I respect it here, now.

Separate floor, separate kitchen, separate experience, [separate thread (refer also to Citronelle, Cityzen, Adour, and Redwood; Palena, Inox, 2941, Liberty Tavern, and Restaurant Eve Bistro get combined because they serve their full menus in the lounge)].

Although Eventide lists no vintages on the wines by the glass, I encourage everyone to try the $7 Torrontes - a fragrant, full-bodied version that will go with most anything on the bar menu. I happily drained my first glass - a generous pour in good stemware - and ordered a second.

The Housemade Charcuterie ($8) this evening was a surprisingly drab pork terrine, and diners might wish to bypass the Chicago-Influenced Beef Sandwich ($13) and pay the extra dollar for the Grilled Skirt Steak ($14), the latter ordered take-out, medium, and thoughtfully cooked on the rare side so it wouldn't overcook during reheating. Call it a lounge menu, call it pub grub, but don't assume that these dishes fairly represent the Culinary Eventide that awaits at the top of the stairs. This is not a criticism; it's an observation - this place is what it is: a big, bustling, busy bar that will undoubtedly siphon off hundreds-upon-hundreds of patrons from Liberty Tavern during the weekends.

Congratulations to the staff of Eventide for opening a great-looking, vibrant lounge that seems like it's going to be a can't-miss gathering place for Clarendon residents.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Unless something has changed I think that eventually the upstairs menu will be available in the lounge on the first floor -- Right, Dave?

[At which point I'll merge the threads (NB I'd be very surprised if Redwood isn't doing this by now.)] For now, Eventide is (correctly) trying to ensure the best possible dining experience for people upstairs; offering a full menu downstairs at this point would be risky.

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Initially, we wanted to offer all menu items from either kitchen to be available on either floor out of sheer willingness not to say "no" to our guests. This proved to be more of a headache to our guests and our staff. We still don't like saying "no" but we're getting better at it. :rolleyes:

We were trying (very hard) to coordinate food from two different kitchens to come out at the same time, but ultimately we had just had to draw the line and have the bar kitchen serve the bar and the dining room serve the dining room only. (I'd go into futher detail but I'm already getting bored typing about the minutia. Trust me--it was the right thing to do for all involved.)

Furthermore, when we open the rooftop patio, we'll offer a third menu. It will consist of only chilled and room temp items such as chilled soups, ceviches, carpaccio, charcuterie and the like. The drinks will also be separate from the rest of the place and only available on the roof. Light & refreshing cocktails, summer beers and a white-and-rose heavy wine selection will be offered as well.

Three floors. Three different experiences. We'll stick to our guns and hope enough people enjoy what we're offering in each space.

[Almost time to start thread #3...hoping for May 1 opening of the roof.]

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Eventide's rooftop lounge opens this Friday at 5 PM. I guarantee that by 6 PM, you won't have a prayer of getting a seat. Welcome in advance to what is sure to be a wildly popular place for drinks and snacks - I hope the staff is hunkering down to handle this weekend's crowds (and yes, I'm well aware that this post isn't going to help things, but I'm just calling it like I see it.) Best of luck this weekend to the staff at Eventide - just relax as best you can, and enjoy the stampede.

And wow, what a beautiful, mega-cool main dining room!

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Went up to the roof the night it opened last Wednesday (or was it Thursday?). It was sparsely populated --- probably the last time that will happen. As anticipated, once it gets going this will be one of the most popular spots in Clarendon. You can peer down into the rooftop bar at the Ballroom a couple of doors down, so strategically Eventide is one up on its sibling. Hope the management sticks to its guns about controlling the numbers of patrons at all levels to keep the experience civilized. A truly lovely spot.

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Alas, FunnyJohn, I think the word is out about the rooftop. My friends and I made the trek upstairs only to find it utterly packed at about 8:30 this evening. Perhaps on a weeknight it will still be manageable, but we headed back downstairs to the main bar area.

No loss there. There were a few open tables and plenty of hockey fans. The fries are wonderfully crispy and I enjoyed the Rose Jack (or was it the Jack Rose...hic!), with house-made grenadine. Unfortunately, this pleasantly crisp drink looks suspiciously like a Cosmo, which is probably why Johnny Clarendon felt the need to ask me if I was out with my lady friends "Carrie Bradshaw style." Raising my eyebrow, I said, "Oh, no. We're more like the Golden Girls."

Pouring one out for Bea Arthur...

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I've been to Eventide twice, both times on the roof.

The first time was for dinner on the roof. They didn't tell us until we sat down that there was no kitchen on the roof so everything would be served cold. I though that they might do some interesting things, but one bleh salad and a thoroughly disgusting cold glue-like potato soup later, we left.

The roof at night (after 10pm) is great for drinking though.

I tried Eventide a few weeks later with a friend. She loves brunch and rooftops, so I took a chance. I didn't think that the rooftop would be open to have food on since before I was told that the roof didn't have a kitchen and they didn't want to transfer food between floors. But, we did get hot, delicious food on the roof and it was a beautiful, sunny and warm day out.

Eventide is on my list again (after redeeming itself) to try for second-floor dining room. The decor is amazing and I hear the food is equally so. Hopefully I won't run into any of the service or noise problems that I've heard others have experienced.

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Poor Steve and those behind the bar were Swamped! tonight. Regardless of the business, the service was attentive and top-notch. I did not see one frowny face amongst the crowd for lack of service.

That whole corridor of Eventide-Liberty Tavern-Spider Kelly-Clarendon Ballroom could probably replace JDate, Chemistry.com, and eHarmony, given the way people were scoping and pairing. I was glad to be the wallflower, and even more glad to even find the teeniest of standing places to stay still for the rest of night there.

Autumn is definitely in the air, and the beer list in the lounge menu proved it. An excellent Penn Brewery Oktoberfest at $5 started the evening to a nice start. A hearty and solid brew, it had no bitter aftertaste or extra hoppyness that may turn one away from an Oktoberfest brew. Other competitors were Brooklyn Brewery, Starr, Flying Dog's "Dogtoberfest," if you were "Oktober"ing it. All were nicely priced between $5 to $7.

The highlight of my mini-"Oktoberfest" was the Pumpkin Bread Pudding. Sitting atop of a nice pool of not-overly-rich caramel sauce was the warmest, richest, pumpkin-milked flavor bread pudding I had in a long time. The pumpkin seed brittle accompaniment only made the dessert that much more enjoyable. The picture does not do the flavor justice, though. Blaming the cell phone cam (it looks much better if you don't enlarge it). This was very comforting after a rough week, but brought back very warm memories of the other time I had pumpkin bread pudding this week to cheer me up.

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Hm. Sounds like I'm the only going there...Anywho, the lounge menu has a solidly fried dish of Butternut Squash Risotto Balls ($10), which smelled fragrantly of sweet onions upon the first cut. Inside was barely a hint of butternut squash, which would a bit more would or might make it too rich. If you are in a butternut squash mood, then you can also order the Grilled cheese with butternut squash soup (but I have not tried this dish, so I cannot comment on it). Steve just came out with a new list of cocktails, some involving Apple Jack, which really warms up the soul on a night like this.

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Hm. Sounds like I'm the only going there...

Not the only one....I've been twice in the last 2 weeks to eat at the bar. Enjoyed some of those new Steve cocktails as well, especially his take on the Martinez. I see myself spending a lot more time here now that we are moving to the hood' next week...

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Hm. Sounds like I'm the only going there...

I've been to the lounge probably 15 times since Eventide opened. My favorite dish is the mushroom burger ($10). Rather than the standard grilled portobello cap, the chef uses a mix of chopped mushrooms to make a patty. It's always well-cooked and seasoned, and sandwiched by a grilled croissant with a schmear of arugula pesto. It's juicy, meaty, and rich. It comes with a mixed green side salad and together qualifies as a small meal. I also really like the house-made pretzels ($8). They come out of the kitchen fresh baked and piping hot, with a side of salty, smoky deviled ham and a peach mustard.

The french fries ($5) aren't bad, but I've had much better. Sometimes they're kinda limp or have a dry texture. I wish they would serve the upstairs dinner menu in the lounge, but I understand the kitchen is concerned about quality control.

The service is always friendly and professional, which is a big part of the reason we return to so often.

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I must have been to the bar/lounge on an off night. A few weeks back, when we were one of only two or three groups there, our waitress had to check with us three times to confirm a simple drink order (two glasses of the same wine and a gin gimlet), took our food order, only to return a few minutes later to confirm what we ordered (she had it wrong, so I'm glad she did), never refilled our water, even after several requests and charged us for food we never ordered or received and an extra glass of wine. I'd go back, because I've heard such good things, but I wasn't impressed on my visit.

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EMPTY last night. Is that common on Halloween, or just here?

Nope, it was here too, except that all the lounge patrons had first-class entertainment of watching all the costumes go by of those wanting to get a glimpse of the happening place inside Clarendon Ballroom. There was literally a block and a half long line to get in, and people didn't mind waiting in the rain. That's dedication.

Yes, I came back again, and I am really glad I did, as Chef just added Chicken and Dumplings to the menu. The kind where the chicken tasted like it was slow-cooked for hours, as it was nicely shredded and in a rich stock with comforting vegetables. It was sort of a hybrid between a chicken pot pie, where it was green beans, carrots and tomatoes and chicken noodle soup, but the dumplings were in place of the crust and noodles. Mmm.

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Sometimes, the post-Christmas celebrations are more meaningful than the actual celebration. Especially if you are trying to capture the spirit of the wintery, Christmas feel, desperately trying to grasp onto any warmth in your life, or soul to hold onto. The Egg Nog Panna Cotta ($8) breathes comfort back into the Christmas feel -- a lovely, smooth texture, surrounded by crunchy, gingerbread crumbs, ginger-honey syrup and candied oranges (I think).

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a big, bustling, busy bar that will undoubtedly siphon off hundreds-upon-hundreds of patrons from Liberty Tavern during the weekends.

It certainly did that with us tonight. We had arranged to meet friends at Liberty Tavern, and upon arriving promptly at 5:30, there was not a spot in the bar to be found, or a table to be had for dinner. We had intended to have drinks for a while, linger, and eventually eat, and so we wandered down the few paces to Eventide's lounge, which was essentially empty (several people at the bar, no one at the lounge tables). By 5:45 when our friends showed up, we had our pick of tables, and were informed that even on Saturday, happy hour was in effect until 7.

We took a booth and settled in for a comfortable, cozy evening during which we didn't have to shout to make ourselves heard, and paid no more than $5 for a drink all night. Among us, we ordered the Butternut Squash Risotto Fritters with arugula salad, balsamic vinaigrette ($10), the Fried Chicken and Waffles, buttermilk fried chicken breast, herbed pecan waffles, maple butter, maple-chicken jus ($17), the Soft Pretzels, housemade peach mustard, deviled Virginia ham ($8), the Pasta Bolognese, spinach pasta sheets, herbed ricotta cheese, pork and beef Bolognese, Parmesan bread crumbs ($15), and the Bison Barbecue Sliders (3) with Napa cabbage slaw and fries ($12). The last was my dish, and the pulled bison barbecue was exactly what I needed for my first real food after a week of being too sick to eat anything fun: not too sweet and perfectly tender, with a creamy/tangy slaw, and lovely, crispy fries (the ketchup was unnecessary to me). I have to admit I'm a bun remover -- I tend to eat sandwiches open face or with half a bun because I prefer a higher filling-to-bread ratio, particularly if I have fries on the side, but I didn't mind have to use a fork on the extra meat. My companions raved over the bolognese, which was presented as a lasagna in a personal casserole dish, and the deviled ham that came with the pretzels; also receiving two thumbs up were the chicken and waffles, comprising a huge, mostly-deboned breast with juicy meat beneath a crisp coating, and waffles that had no score on the sogginess scale, with the maple-chicken jus presented in, essentially, a shot glass on the side for personal decision-making on "to douse or not to douse."

I admit that I'm entirely too District-centric in my dining, and I'd been looking for a chance to get to either Eventide or Liberty Tavern for a while. Seeing friends we hadn't had the chance to visit for a while (and who happen to live at Courthouse) was an easy excuse, to be sure, but I would come back to Eventide lounge on a whim. I'd love to try the upstairs restaurant, but for a casual night out -- even on a Saturday! -- with friends, this completely hit the spot.

ETA: By the time we left, the place was full. ;)

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Went to happy hour last night at Eventide. Had their white wine on special- which was very good. Thank you for choosing a very nice, easily liked wine for the special. Had the pretzels with mustard and chopped virginia ham. Those were wonderful- the salty ham was chopped in a little container and I think the mixing bound it a bit, it was really good. Also had the chicken and dumplings- which were good, but Mom's is so much better, I don't think anyone's can compare. The broth was just a little too thick and it could have been served hotter. Ended with the brown butter cake, which was fantastic. Had a crunchy exterior, with a warm soft interior, the grapes on top cut the sweetness a bit. Their vanilla ice cream was a very good, very vanilla ice cream and it all paired well with a little bit of caramel. It was a wonderful, decadent dessert without being too over the top sweet.

All in all it was a really nice evening and I hope to get back to try the lobster pot pie or the bison sliders... and more desserts.

Also the Tire Swing was excellent. A really seasonally appropriate cocktail that was a little spicy and refreshing. I think the cocktails here are really top notch, they really perfect their cocktails before they go on the menu and are really well thought out. I want to go back soon to get the mulled wine.

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I enjoyed the 3/12 happy hour at Eventide, but more importantly, I fell in love with their meatless mushroom burger. This patty had the look and heft of its bovine relatives and it even had a meaty taste thanks to the umami-laden mushrooms. A little extra ketchup to boost the umami factor and you had a delicious masterpiece. I am not an expert but this was the best meatless burger I've ever had. One very minor complaint: the burger tends to fall apart under pressure, but in my mind that's what forks are for! ;)

Also, I'd like to give kudos to Steve, the bartender, for graciously assisting a novice cocktail drinker with his second cocktail ever (first was a martini at Copeland's of Rockville, btw). He served me a Manhattan with a tad more vermouth on the rocks. I had told him that I preferred brown ales to give him a place to start and sure enough, his drink hovered in the same part of the flavor spectrum but retained its own unique character.

Finally, I must thank the entire staff for finding my keys. They were lifesavers!

Rob

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FWIW, Steve really enjoyed meeting all of you and he told me yesterday that he really had a blast talking to you as a group. We're happy to play host to your happy hours anytime...just shoot me a PM. (Sorry I wasn't there--I was basking in the glory of a Friday night at home.)

-Dave

P.S. We have just simply had nothing but pleasurable experiences with the Rockwellians that have visited us and we truly enjoy all of your visits. Lots of nice, interesting people. Lots of good, very honest feedback. Lots of newly-formed friendships. Cheers!

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I'll let durwoodx describe the academic discourse on beer that occurred tonight, but I just have to talk about the fact that there is a drink called the "Donkey Punch" on the menu. If you order this with the "Love Mussels" you might be ordering the most unitentionally dirty-sounding meal available in the greater DC metro area.

Steve's "originals" of classic cocktails are pretty fantastic. The Re-Animator, Mosby's White Rye, Lillet Blanc, Cherry Heering, Lime, Chartreuse Rinse , as a counterpart to a traditional Corpse Reviver, is supremely tasty. Definitely made the days of conference calls fade into the background. As always, thank you, Mr. Warner, for the drink awesomeness.

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A mini-invasion by dr.com folks at the lounge last night. It's a great place to relax with some people until around 8:00-8:30 when it turns a bit meat market-esque. Some good eats there, some passable but unremarkable, but either way a great space and a great bartender - friendly and helpful without being obsequious.

What we tried (basicly from meh to YEAH!):

Santa Fe Shrimp were fairly tough (seemed overcooked a good bit) served in a "spicy smoked tomato sauce, poblanos, cilantro and avocado" that bluntly left me pretty flat. Not much chile flavor. Not much spice in general. Side note: perhaps it is because I am from New Mexico but it bugs me when restaurants throw a "Southwestern" or "New Mexico" or "Santa Fe" label on something and toss in some diced chiles and think that covers it. There's a whole lot more to the flavors of the state than that, folks.

Mexican Torta - OK I blame myself for not reading the description thoroughly enough. "Served on a white roll" while I had some sort of tostada-like arrangement in mind. Basicly a BBQ sandwich. Again, not much of a chile flavor here - perhaps a bit of the chipotle coming through the sauce but mostly: BBQ! There was a bit of interest in the "refried cranberry bean" spread that was found at the bottom of the sandwich but overall good but not moving.

On my last trip I tried the English Pea Risotto Fritters. I know, I know risotto fritters are on the trite food list now, but the pea and mint flavors gave these a bit more interest than most, and the texture was great.

Porcini Mushroom Tagliatelle: now THAT'S what I'm talking about. The pasta itself was great - wonderful texture and very fresh - while the sauce (wonderfully earthy and comforting) and the various veggies mixed in (the fava beans in particular - just enough crunch without being tough) really came together. The inclusion of the argula pesto on the bottom made for a nice change of pace as you worked your way through the dish. Only downside - eat as soon as possible. As the dish cooled it became increasingly cloying and greasy. Not recommended for extensive bar conversation.

Overall, though, a space I would love to come back to again. I had a great meal in the main dining room a few months ago and the lure of the roof is quite strong.

Oh yeah, and the gist of the beer dissertation was this: it is very hard to get a good Bavarian-Style Weissbier in the states.

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A delish concoction made yesterday by the wonderfully, beautiful Miss Amy behind the bar involved cava, St. Germain Elderflower, cucumber water and one other ingredient that I cannot remember. If you are in a girly, bubbly-cocktail mood, just print out the picture to hand to Amy (of course, she or Steve will now throttle me, but this drink is worth it!).

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I do not blame Steve at Eventide for my hangover.

However, his drinks last night were excellent, and it amazes me how full of good cheer and friendliness he can remain while slammed at the bar.

And why do I have to be craving a Donkey Punch now?! I won't be able to get one for nearly a week!

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And why do I have to be craving a Donkey Punch now?! I won't be able to get one for nearly a week!

Ha! Often these wishes make me wish Eventide is open Sunday nights, but I am glad that the crew gets a break. Say "hi" next time (oh wait, you did!).

I am grateful, as SeanMike said, how friendly and in good spirits Steve and Clare are when they are slammed. Despite the fact that Midori is not fashionable anymore, my mom really appreciated the substitute cocktail made in its stead by Steve. The bison sliders also apparently hit the spot, as did the accompanying fries (and my mom never likes fries, but pronounced these "quite good!").

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This Friday and Saturday, our bar and lounge plays host to the greatest show in Arlington--the line of people that wraps around our corner waiting to get in the Clarendon Ballroom's Halloween parties. All of the costumed people (who are there competing for large cash prizes) really go all-out and last year, our entire lounge was full of people facing the street doing some high quality people-watching. We get to dress normally and still interact with the costumed crazies--it's the best of both worlds. (No costumes inside Eventide, folks!)

This year, we've made a few judges' flip books so 25 lucky people get to have a little more fun interacting with the fine folks in line. :) (On Friday, we'll lend you the book for a $5 deposit and give your money back if the book is still in decent shape to use on Saturday. On Saturday, the books are $5. Keep 'em nice or trash 'em. It's your book now!)

Come down and join us in the lounge this weekend! (We really had a good time last year and hope to make this an annual tradition.)

Any name suggestions for the nights would be certainly welcome via PM!

ETA: The line usually starts on Friday around 8ish. It starts a bit earlier on Saturday--maybe around 7?

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Went to the lounge the other night. Talked to Matt and the other bartender both who were very nice. Steve left big shoes to fill, but these guys seem to be doing their best. I heard them time after time recommending beers to people who wanted a lite beer or etc. They were doing good. Made me some nice drinks. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that they continue to be there and carry on the good work they are doing. And continue to make new and seasonal drinks often for the menu.

Had risotto balls for a snack and they were tasty. The ham and pork panini looked killer good though. No beef sandwich though :)

A little birdie told me Steve Warner was hired by the neighborhood restaurant group and might be turning up at Tallula for a bit? Can anyone confirm?

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I'm not sure why. Miller Lite was one of the six or eight bottles available last time I was in.

This reminds me of the current Miller Lite commercials where an inappropriately clad male would ask for a "light" beer without reference to which brand. The bartender's response somethin like - I'll get you a "Lite" beer after you get a clue. I suspect Eventide is doing a public service by suggesting that people skip "light" beer for a more flavorable beer.

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This reminds me of the current Miller Lite commercials where an inappropriately clad male would ask for a "light" beer without reference to which brand. The bartender's response somethin like - I'll get you a "Lite" beer after you get a clue. I suspect Eventide is doing a public service by suggesting that people skip "light" beer for a more flavorable beer.

So, you can apparently only stock six or eight beers, and you choose devote one of those slots to Miller Lite, yet you tell your customers they're rubes for drinking it?

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So, you can apparently only stock six or eight beers, and you choose devote one of those slots to Miller Lite, yet you tell your customers they're rubes for drinking it?

While your logic is seemingly unassailable, I'll attempt to rationalize on behalf of the restaurant. Try as you might, some people will insist on drinking Miller Lite and expect restaurants to carry popular brands. Not having Miller Lite could cause you to lose business. Nevertheless, any passionate beverage director must feel obligated to convert Miller Lite drinking heathens into microbrew lovers. And I'm sure they're subtle in their ways of recommending better beer.

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While your logic is seemingly unassailable, I'll attempt to rationalize on behalf of the restaurant. Try as you might, some people will insist on drinking Miller Lite and expect restaurants to carry popular brands. Not having Miller Lite could cause you to lose business. Nevertheless, any passionate beverage director must feel obligated to convert Miller Lite drinking heathens into microbrew lovers. And I'm sure they're subtle in their ways of recommending better beer.

Not that you need support, as you answered the charge very well, but I will chime in that it is not a big step from Miller Lite to whatever pilsner or kolsch or other lighter-bodied style that they may offer (I have not been in a while, but I believe that they had either Full Circle Kolsch or Scrimshaw Lager/Pilsner on their bottle list). They can probably move a decent number of patrons toward these tastier beers, but there will be those who insist on the "old familiar". Just be glad that Miller Lite is not joined on the list by Michelob Ultra, PBR, Amstel Light, etc., etc., ad infinitum, at the cost of crowding out other micros.

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I would like to address an issue brought up earlier (thanks, Don, for bringing it to my attention; please move this if it is inappropriate).

I am no longer the bar manager at Eventide, of course, but I have found a new position to keep me entertained for quite some time. I have recently signed on with The Neighborhood Restaurant Group; my duties will have me behind the bar at the Columbia Firehouse for three shifts a week, and managing a couple of others. My role will eventually expand to include the cocktail programs of a variety of the individual restaurants in the group, as well as training staff, and conducting classes and seminars on cocktail making, history, individual spirit tastings, and other fun stuff. I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that await, and hope that I can share a beverage or two with all of you soon.

I met some really great people in that place…

Steve

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We've launched a new Bar Menu in the Lounge. To the delight of many I am sure, the beef sandwich and the chicken and waffles are back! Also, we are going to try to offer three entrees from the Dining Room in the Lounge. These three items will be available until 9.30PM. We have a few new beers and spirits as well--Caldera Amber is my new favorite. I hope you'll stop by and let Matt know your thoughts on the menu, since it is a work in progress.

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We've launched a new Bar Menu in the Lounge. To the delight of many I am sure, the beef sandwich and the chicken and waffles are back! Also, we are going to try to offer three entrees from the Dining Room in the Lounge. These three items will be available until 9.30PM. We have a few new beers and spirits as well--Caldera Amber is my new favorite. I hope you'll stop by and let Matt know your thoughts on the menu, since it is a work in progress.

That sounds great! Are you also planning to bring back brunch?

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So... after skulking about DonRockwell.com for approximately 5 years, checking out opinions for my own dining interests, I figured it's probably about time I signed up and chip in my two cents concerning my position & place of business!

Greetings to all - I am the "Bar Manager Matt Wilcox steps in for Steve Warner" as worded in the subtitle to this thread, and/or the "friggin Red Sox/Giants fan," as I am referred to in the Eventide Restaurant thread. I accepted the bar management position at Eventide after Steve's departure. In this DC Metro environment of culinary "who's who," I've done a pretty good job of remaining somewhat low-key, so perhaps I should lend a few tidbits of my backstory?

I started my fine dining experience in Rehoboth Beach, DE. I joined up with Nage in late 2004, quickly fell in love with the environment of teamwork, equality, and communication (not to mention the killer flavors of Kevin Reading, David Hamer, Hari Cameron, etc.). In late 2005, I moved out to the DC area to help open a Nage in Downtown (Scott Circle) in March 2006. In the meantime between my move and the restaurant opening, I took a "layover" position at Tallula, serving under Dave Pressley & Josh Radigan, keeping my wine knowledge sharp.

I was the bar manager & head bartender at Nage DC from March 2006 to September 2010, when I decided to seek out a bartending position at Eventide for a change of pace. Nage still produces some incredible food and deserves a bit more recognition than it gets, but sometimes ya gotta switch it up. I was happy to reunite with some familiar faces in Clarendon, yet little did I know I would find myself back in a bar management position so fast (approximately 2 1/2 months).

I had a great time training under Steve Warner, be it for such a short time. I crafted my cocktail creations in the past mainly from the use of fresh purees, housemade spirit infusions, infused syrups, curious muddlings, etc. There's a good name for a band: Curious Muddlings. However, during my time at Nage, i had strayed from the integrity of the original recipes of the classics. I obviously wouldn't continue to make anything that guests didn't like, but I tweaked classics almost the way I LIKED THEM. Or how I saw them being the best. Coming to Eventide was a fun reawakening to the art of the "original." We have such a fun group of regulars that come in and feel comfortable asking for anything from a Sazerac to a Martinez to a Blood & Sand to a Cooper Brothers (the last being one of our most frequently ordered). I've always felt that a courteous diner w/ good restaurant etiquette should always give the benefit of the doubt that they may have a seasoned bartender, before writing them off right away as not having some degree of cocktail knowledge. Perhaps some of our first-time diners even hold back from ordering an old-time favorite because they think we might have no idea what we are talking about. Let's face it: the modern day "vodka/soda bartender" has made it hard for those who see it as an honorable and dignified craft. It's kinda sad when what we do at Eventide may be viewed by some as "stuffy," when just 60-70 years ago, it was what a bar was. Heck, I've been in a helluva lot of bars in the last few years that didn't even carry cocktail glasses...

Enough ranting & waxing philosophic on what are just my grievances! The point I was trying to make is I learned some good work ethic from Steve Warner and was introduced to some new creative ideas in "alcoholic chemistry." A lot of commentary on topic boards regarding current affairs at Eventide discuss a "change of direction." Frankly, we are not doing so much of a "change of direction," as we are an "opening of arms" to those who may have found us to be not as approachable as another "beer & a shot" hangout in Clarendon. The main fear going around between all of the grapevine chatters was that Eventide was going to turn into a drunk tank. I assure you this is not the case. I will be glad to continue this discussion with those who wish to address it, and I will take the next few weeks to do specific replies to individual comments from the recent past.

Eventide is not going to start carrying Red Bull. Eventide is not going to get SO LOUD that you can't hear each other talk after 10pm. Eventide is not going to have 5 fights and 10 pools of vomit a night. I may sound extreme, but this is honestly where I started seeing & hearing some of the paranoia going. The Eventide lounge is going to continue to make the drinks & give the service that many of you came to love about it. At the same time, I have expanded some of the liquor stock and beers to include some of the more mainstream items. However, we will always have 5-7 craft beers, changing seasonally, and I will continue to run cask ale firkins as an announced 1-2 night event, every month or two. The spirits list will also shift and morph, as I find creative new additions to supplement the usual fallbacks. I have also posted my first list of cocktail creations in my time here at Eventide in early February. I sincerely hope many of you, especially the former regulars who felt that everything would go to hell after Steve left, will come and give them a try and meet some of our new staff.

I will conclude my Ivanhoe-sized introduction here. For those of you who made it through, I look forward to addressing any concerns or questions in future posts/replies. I will also probably directly reply to some of the previous posts that address specific topics & the direction of the restaurant/bar/lounge. Thanks for your time & warm welcome to the club. I, also, will continue to frequent the bars & restaurants that employ Dave Pressley, Steve Warner, and Amy Smoyer. Shout out!

Matty W

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