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Room 11, Columbia Heights - Neighborhood Wine and Dessert Bar at 11th and Lamont St.


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Happy to announce that Room 11 Wine and Dessert Bar is now open for business on 11th Street in Columbia Heights.

Ben Gilligan is in the kitchen, turning out small plates, paninis, cheese, and charcuterie. Dan Searing is behind the bar and has crafted a selective wine, beer and cocktail list. And Paisley Fig is supplying our desserts. Nick Pimentel was in charge of design and yours truly rounds out the ownership and management team. Drop by to say hello! We can be found on the internets at room11dc.com

More coverage Here and Here.

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The menu doesn't seem to be up on the website yet. Anyone know where I can find one?

Only by going there, it seems. This is all from memory, and I am only quoting from memory the things I remember, so there are some other things left out. Here goes:

Selection of cheeses

Soup: Roasted Corn Gazpacho - $5

Salads: 1. House; 2. Asparagus

Panini: 1. 3 Cheese (raclette, cheddar, moz.); 2. Cheese & Chutney; 3. French Ham; 4. Can't remember - all $10 each.

Small plates: 1. Olives assortment of some kind; 2. Trout & Fennel Salad - $8 (lightly dressed with oranges and almonds); 3. Can't remember; 4. Lamb rincetta - $10 (this looked very good).

Desserts (Provided by Paisley Fig): 1. Honey goat cheesecake with red wine reduction - $6; 2. Dark chocolate torte; 3. Apricot linzetorte; 4. Pistachio something.

***

It is a wonderful little space with comfortable bar stools, and at the bar, foot rest & purse hooks. Mr. Dan is lovely and very patient with me, as I was slow at ordering. The other staff were equally patient and warm.

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The patio is gorgeous and the whole place gives off the vibe of being The Ultimate Neighbourhood Hangout. I don't think I'd leave this place, either, if I lived in the area. The menu is primarily small plates with some paninis, as goodeats pointed out. Reasonably priced but it would get expensive to make a full meal out of it. Quantity is sacrificed in favour of quality (e.g. only two beers on tap, but they're damn good beers!). And did I mention how great the patio is? The staff were fantastic, too.

I'd love to see a certain establishment in my neck of the woods exude this kind of warmth and customer friendly attitude.

ETA - and thx to Jake for introducing me to the joys of ti-punch and the Minister of Rum himself!

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What better way to celebrate a rainy Labor Day than to knock back a couple De Koninck Belgian Ales ($6) at Room 11? I was very impressed with the architectural use of this tiny little corner space (made not-so-tiny by the relatively large patio outside). Dan Searing - who I don't think I've seen since he was at Temperance Hall - was behind the bar of this charming neighborhood hangout, where he is part owner (along with Nick, Ben, and Paul). Room 11 is wise to offer a simple, snack-oriented menu - their kitchen must surely be tiny, and given that they've been overrun with opening crowds, it's best to keep things straightforward for now, and to focus on quality. This place would be a regular watering hole for me if I lived in the area.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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I went here with a girlfriend on Sunday evening right at opening time. The place was very quiet, and was still pretty quiet when we left around 7:30. We each started with a cocktail: the house special "Buderim" for me, and a Leopold Bros. blackberry whiskey sour for her. The Buderim was sparkling chardonnay, ginger liqueur, and clementine bitters, garnished with a cube of candied ginger in the bottom of the glass which infused the drink with ginger flavor as I drank it down. Really nice. My friend declared her blackberry whiskey sour perfectly made; the sip I had was delicious.

We moved on to food with two dishes. Our cheese plate was composed of grilled haloumi, Grayson (from Virginia), and Appalachian (also from Virginia). The cheeses came at room temp, accompanied by average baguette and delicious olives and roasted peppers. We also got the house special salad for that night: roasted green beans tossed with truffle salt and topped with ricotta. This was really, really good. The truffle salt and ricotta added richness to the dish without making it heavy.

We skipped dessert in favor of splitting a Sticky Fingers sweet and salty chocolate chip cookie on our way down the street. Room 11 was perfect for an evening of catching up over drinks and snacks; I imagine we'll find ourselves there again. I do think it would be dangerous if it were closer to me.

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From their FB notice:

1st - Deviled Eggs with Pimento Cheese, Celery and Cucumber Salad

2nd - Tuna Tartare with capers, orange and pinenuts

(Vegetarian option - Slow Roasted Beet and Preserved Lemon Risotto)

3rd - Turnip and potato gnocchi with brown butter, cream and sage

4th - Hanger Steak with Parsnip Puree, roasted cauliflower, cippolini onions and salsa verde

(Vegetarian option - Substitute Hanger Steak for marinated portabello mushroom.)

5th - Ancho chile Pot au Creme

Call 202 332 3234 for info

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any recent visits?

Yes! I've been remiss about posting about this place because I'm about to start getting my mail delivered there, so it has started to live in my subconscious like my own kitchen.

I can't remember if it was the Times or the Post that wrote that the best cocktail trend of 2010 was the return of friendly hospitality in bars. Room 11 personifies this trend. Whether I'm recognized as a local or not, I am unfailingly treated with indulgent neighborliness. I knew this place was for me when on a chilly November night, the heaters on the patio weren't quite keeping out the cold, and the server brought us blankets. BLANKETS. I was sold.

The servers and bartenders WANT to serve you what you want--whether you know what that is or not. Their cocktail specials usually have something interesting to tempt me away from my regular drinks, but if not, they're willing (when not swamped) to flip back through previous nights' specials to find something new that hits the spot. Or if I want to stick to a regular, the rendition is solid. I've gotten a couple of duds on the wine list, but they have been rectified neatly and quickly (when not swamped). While I haven't eaten through the menu, the olives and almonds are a great, high-quality (and surely high-profit, but I don't care) bar snack, and the charcuterie (usually featuring a Stachowski product) and cheese are well kept and well presented. The gnocchi was a little sweet and unsatisfying for my taste, and the short ribs are good (not great). The cupcakes are ordered in from somewhere and are delightful. For a small menu, they've done an excellent job at making sure everyone can find something to nosh, no matter the appetite.

Swamped. Yes, they get swamped. You need to get there before 6:30 or earlier to get a seat, and after that things run more slowly and give less time for neighborly discourse (as it were). But unlike many joints, I don't mind waiting for a drink here because I know I'm going to be rewarded with something tasty. And the bottle of filtered water they leave every table means you won't ever be parched.

I think the drinks at the Passenger might be a bit better, but--and maybe it's just that this place is now my local--Room 11 wins on the full package.

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I'm coming out of hibernation briefly to encourage everyone who has yet to make it to Room 11 to do so now. The establishment has a strong cocktail program and a strong kitchen, and quite possibly, one of the friendliest staffs in the city.

Personal favorites include Jess' sazerac and the roasted fennel salad (don't know if this is still on the menu).

Just go.

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They've got a master on the fryer here. The calamari is CRAZY good--not even a touch of toughness or grease, and a crackly, well-seasoned batter that makes any kind of dipping sauce other than a squeeze of lemon completely unnecessary.

Oh, and the cocktails and service remain among the best in the city (duh).

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I'm coming out of hibernation briefly to encourage everyone who has yet to make it to Room 11 to do so now. The establishment has a strong cocktail program and a strong kitchen, and quite possibly, one of the friendliest staffs in the city.

Personal favorites include Jess' sazerac and the roasted fennel salad (don't know if this is still on the menu).

Just go.

Hmmm. No posts here in a year and a half? Sometimes, feelings of sheepishness merge with but lose out to delight at 'discovering' something long ago discovered. That was us. Tonight. Room 11. Had never before looked at this thread in the nearly fours years since it started. So, hadn't seen all the great praise and totally missed the prods like the one lad kai lemoni made nearly two years go.

Self loathing over, here's a bit of an update.

Totally agree this place is a wonderful neighborhood joint. Seems to have very nice beverage programmes whether beers, wine or drinks. They were just nominated for beverage/mixology program of the year (RAMMYs). On an unseasonably cool night like tonight, the figurative and literal warmness of the place was really nice.

Since I hadn't read anything about Room 11 prior that I could recall (other than a nagging sense that some I'd respected liked it), we had no preconceived notions...about anything.

They expanded sometime in the past year (I think?). Now, when you enter at the corner, you can walk to the left and into a back room (aka next door space they occupied) where there are a few more tables, another bar and a restroom with a auto hand dryer way too loud for such a small space. Love all the wood and the high cabinets.

We ordered a bunch of small plates since, save two chicken dishes tonight, that's what they had. A first order of pork belly ($8) was wonderfully crispy and flavorful with perfect mix of meat and fat. Served with some slivers of pickled hot peppers, this was one of the best things we got. So, good, we ordered a second one which, while a bit less amazing (drier) than the first, was still very tasty. The calamari ($8) were okay; nicely hot and crispy though maybe with rings a bit too skimpily cut. The overall portion was fine and it was nicely seasoned with s&p. We ordered two salads. One, a kale salad ($11) with bacon, candied pecans and persimmon and the other a beet, carrot, goat cheese and green salad ($8) which was simple, made of lovely fresh components and delicious. Finally, and partly because I'd noticed on some other thread here in the past day or two a search was underway, we ordered their grilled cheese. It was good. Not good enough to encourage whomever was looking to make tracks across state or district lines but warm, with maybe 2 cheeses with some tang and maybe just a bit too much bread for the cheese but, on balance, a satisfying sandwich.

These guys have a real coffee program!

Evidently with the expansion they were able to do espressos for the first time and, to do them, they have a beautiful marzocco in the back room along with two large grinders for decaf and espresso. The only fresh brew method is french press, which they did before the expansion, along with a big hot pot they keep ready. Best of all, they're using good coffee! Ceremony is the lead here though they also serve the newer, smaller, DC based roaster, Vigilante. They currently have Ceremony's Columbian Pedgregal which can be had at several spots (including Dolcezza Dupont currently) around town along with the Brazilian Cerrado Gold (also around town) and I think I saw the Rwandan Gitesi too. They'd just run out of whole milk and they were using only my 2nd favorite Ceremony espresso (Destroyer). Despite all that, I stubbornly stuck to my cappuccino plan. It was good. Not 'independent-coffee- house-using-the-best-espresso-and-whole-milk' good but still quite good and much better than the coffee flavored water and bitter espresso still 80-90% of restaurants are offering.

I'd love to see Room 11 expand its menu a bit thinking they have a bit more kitchen space now than they did when they opened (not sure?). Then again, I know the menu changes regularly with the chalkboard specials a nice aspect of the place.

The desserts looked good though we didn't partake.

Lovely neighborhood spot. The people behind it have great taste in terms of the aesthetic of the spot, menu and programs along with the great tastes being enjoyed across the menus. Every 'hood should have one of these but most don't. Wonderful beverage program from beers to coffee. And, they're now serving breakfast too-open at 8AM. All reasonably priced for very good value.

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Hmmm. No posts here in a year and a half? Sometimes, feelings of sheepishness merge with but lose out to delight at 'discovering' something long ago discovered. That was us. Tonight. Room 11. Had never before looked at this thread in the nearly fours years since it started. So, hadn't seen all the great praise and totally missed the prods like the one lad kai lemoni made nearly two years go.

Self loathing over, here's a bit of an update.

Totally agree this place is a wonderful neighborhood joint. Seems to have very nice beverage programmes whether beers, wine or drinks. They were just nominated for beverage/mixology program of the year (RAMMYs). On an unseasonably cool night like tonight, the figurative and literal warmness of the place was really nice.

Since I hadn't read anything about Room 11 prior that I could recall (other than a nagging sense that some I'd respected liked it), we had no preconceived notions...about anything.

They expanded sometime in the past year (I think?). Now, when you enter at the corner, you can walk to the left and into a back room (aka next door space they occupied) where there are a few more tables, another bar and a restroom with a auto hand dryer way too loud for such a small space. Love all the wood and the high cabinets.

We ordered a bunch of small plates since, save two chicken dishes tonight, that's what they had. A first order of pork belly ($8) was wonderfully crispy and flavorful with perfect mix of meat and fat. Served with some slivers of pickled hot peppers, this was one of the best things we got. So, good, we ordered a second one which, while a bit less amazing (drier) than the first, was still very tasty. The calamari ($8) were okay; nicely hot and crispy though maybe with rings a bit too skimpily cut. The overall portion was fine and it was nicely seasoned with s&p. We ordered two salads. One, a kale salad ($11) with bacon, candied pecans and persimmon and the other a beet, carrot, goat cheese and green salad ($8) which was simple, made of lovely fresh components and delicious. Finally, and partly because I'd noticed on some other thread here in the past day or two a search was underway, we ordered their grilled cheese. It was good. Not good enough to encourage whomever was looking to make tracks across state or district lines but warm, with maybe 2 cheeses with some tang and maybe just a bit too much bread for the cheese but, on balance, a satisfying sandwich.

These guys have a real coffee program!

Evidently with the expansion they were able to do espressos for the first time and, to do them, they have a beautiful marzocco in the back room along with two large grinders for decaf and espresso. The only fresh brew method is french press, which they did before the expansion, along with a big hot pot they keep ready. Best of all, they're using good coffee! Ceremony is the lead here though they also serve the newer, smaller, DC based roaster, Vigilante. They currently have Ceremony's Columbian Pedgregal which can be had at several spots (including Dolcezza Dupont currently) around town along with the Brazilian Cerrado Gold (also around town) and I think I saw the Rwandan Gitesi too. They'd just run out of whole milk and they were using only my 2nd favorite Ceremony espresso (Destroyer). Despite all that, I stubbornly stuck to my cappuccino plan. It was good. Not 'independent-coffee- house-using-the-best-espresso-and-whole-milk' good but still quite good and much better than the coffee flavored water and bitter espresso still 80-90% of restaurants are offering.

I'd love to see Room 11 expand its menu a bit thinking they have a bit more kitchen space now than they did when they opened (not sure?). Then again, I know the menu changes regularly with the chalkboard specials a nice aspect of the place.

The desserts looked good though we didn't partake.

Lovely neighborhood spot. The people behind it have great taste in terms of the aesthetic of the spot, menu and programs along with the great tastes being enjoyed across the menus. Every 'hood should have one of these but most don't. Wonderful beverage program from beers to coffee. And, they're now serving breakfast too-open at 8AM. All reasonably priced for very good value.

The coffee program is being run by Portia Eastham, formerly of Society Fair and Northside Social. Good people, she is. In fact the whole Room 11 family is good people.

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That whole review is right on - Room 11 is one of those places that does everything better than they need to be for a neighborhood spot, making it worth a trip across the city.

I often find myself with 40 minutes to kill during a day in DC hawking booze. Every single time, I go to Room 11.

The coffee program is being run by Portia Eastham, formerly of Society Fair and Northside Social. Good people, she is. In fact the whole Room 11 family is good people.

They have a great bartender named `Sean`

@ brian: Thank you!

@ jonathan: excellent; I didn't think to ask who was running the program; definite miss for me. Think I had met Portia at Society Fair in the past. It all makes perfect sense given what we saw, observed and tasted a few nights ago.

@ all above: goods tend to align, methinks. at Room 11, you have a very good place, run by good people and (exempting myself) praised and frequented by some of the very good people here on this board. the world needs more Room 11s. Room 11 type places probably even warm the cold and make nice the mean. so, more room 11 type hospitality would mean more more warm, nice people. or something like that. :)

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Sean does make really amazing cocktails

Yep! Turns out I know Sean, but didn't realize he worked here until after we settled on Room 11 for our night out on Saturday. We were able to snag a seat on the patio and ended up staying long enough that we had to move inside (the patio closes at midnight in deference to the neighbors). We shared the salumi plate, the cauliflower, pork belly, and the pinoy sandwich and everything was really good. They are not, incidentally afraid to use heat in their dishes. The sauce on the belly had some serious heat, and the sandwich had some strong jalapenos. Friends who joined us later ordered the risotto with seasonal mushrooms, which I had a bite of. Was pleased to find it was creamy, but not overly rich or heavy, and the rice had that nice toothsome quality you'd hope for.

Cocktails were across the board delicious. My favorite was the Biz Marquee, which I hear is actually one of Sean's creations, but the Basil Gimlet w/gin was a perfect way to start a summary night outdoors and the rose sangria was a very pleasant surprise. I also really enjoyed their special red wine of the night, a Portuguese blend. At $15/glass it was on the pricier end of the spectrum (glasses seem to range fro $9 up to $15), but worth it.

Service was great - friendly, knowledgeable. Drinks do understandably take a bit of time, but unless you're just hoping to stop in for a quick drink, I think that's a good thing. :P

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