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Anxo Cidery and Pintxos Bar, Multi-Partner Collaboration Including Sam Fitz, Alex Vallcorba Replaces Brad Walker, Truxton Circle


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Attended a media preview here last night - ciders are outstanding...this crew really knows their stuff. Downstairs bar will be set up like Etto, with all the pintxos on display across the middle of the bar. Pick what looks good, bartender plates it up for you. Over 20 ciders on draft, multiple more by the bottle, as well as beers, wines, and cocktails. Full menu is available upstairs and down (and both floors have a bar), but the downstairs is definitely more of a "pintxos bar" in that it's meant for socializing and recreationally snacking and boozing, while the upstairs is more of the "Basque restauarant." Pintxos were super fresh - Chef Vallcorba is all about letting ingredients speak for themselves. From the larger plates, the octopus and the quail were ridiculous, each being one of the best preparations of the protein that I've had in quite some time. No metro access hurts, but this should still be a busy spot. DC loves new things. Ciders and pintxos are new things (to DC).

Cheers!

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8 minutes ago, lhollers said:

Attended a media preview here last night - ciders are outstanding...this crew really knows their stuff. Downstairs bar will be set up like Etto, with all the pintxos on display across the middle of the bar. Pick what looks good, bartender plates it up for you. Over 20 ciders on draft, multiple more by the bottle, as well as beers, wines, and cocktails. Full menu is available upstairs and down (and both floors have a bar), but the downstairs is definitely more of a "pintxos bar" in that it's meant for socializing and recreationally snacking and boozing, while the upstairs is more of the "Basque restauarant." Pintxos were super fresh - Chef Vallcorba is all about letting ingredients speak for themselves. From the larger plates, the octopus and the quail were ridiculous, each being one of the best preparations of the protein that I've had in quite some time. No metro access hurts, but this should still be a busy spot. DC loves new things. Ciders and pintxos are new things (to DC).

Cheers!

Thanks for the preview!  Looking forward to seeing the full menu when it's available.  Do you have a general price point on the pinxtos and the cider?  I've really liked the collaborations with Millstone they've been sampling prior to opening.  Is it just domestic ciders on tap, or do they have European producers as well?

Shaw Metro entrance is only 4 blocks West.

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4 minutes ago, TedE said:

Thanks for the preview!  Looking forward to seeing the full menu when it's available.  Do you have a general price point on the pinxtos and the cider?  I've really liked the collaborations with Millstone they've been sampling prior to opening.  Is it just domestic ciders on tap, or do they have European producers as well?

Shaw Metro entrance is only 4 blocks West.

Fair enough - half a mile from the Shaw metro and one mile from the NoMa metro.

Pintxos are $1.50 to $5.00 (with most being $3 or $4); main menu items range from $4-5 snacks to $6 cheese to $9-10 veggies to $10-17 seafood and meats. There's also a 26 oz. bone-in ribeye for two that's $65.

Ciders are from all over the world - Vermont, Wisconsin, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Germany, New Zealand, U.K., Normandy, Spain... All ciders by the glass are 6 oz. pours and range from $5-8. Some of the bottles are a little bit more expensive, but are also bigger.

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15 minutes ago, Bob Wells said:

Did anyone get to the official opening night? I'm very intrigued by this place. Small plates plus ciders is like my dream eatery.

Tried to go; much too crowded.  Went to All-Purpose instead (first time), which was fine, but nothing special (and, as with most places these days, at least a bit overpriced, presumably because, somehow, the market will bear it, notwithstanding the competitive fact that 47 new places open every day -- is there an endless supply of disposable income in this town lately?!).

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I have been to a number of their pop-ups and really enjoyed the food and the cider. The staff are great.

Looking at the menu, we've eaten a number of the food items at pop-ups and really enjoyed them. All the food has always been well cooked. The only reason that I haven't like some things is because I don't like the ingredients (I don't eat seafood. My friends tell me that the octopus is great, but I'm not going to try that!)

Can't wait to get here. As soon as I am off these crutches...

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Went here last night around 9 as kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing.  Place was busy but not packed, though all the tables at the massive and nice outdoor patio were full.  I wonder if they're going to keep tables there on Fridays and Saturdays or whether they will turn it into standing room.  I suspect the former, but just a guess.

We tried two of the collaboration ciders: one was quite dry (almost sour), one was more balanced.  We enjoyed them both, but are hardly cider connoisseurs.  We also had three pixtos, two of which are laid out at the bar for you to look at.  The manzanilla olive, guindilla pepper, and anchovy skewer was delightfully salty, but significantly less memorable than Estadio's version.  The ESCALIVADA MONTADITO (roasted marinated eggplant, sweet baby pepper, anchovy) on a small piece of toast was slightly better.  Best of the three was the special: fried calamari with some aoili on grilled bread.  The combination of the charred bread, sweet aoili and salty/crispy calamari was so good we got another.  

The $125 dinner for two sounds like a pretty good deal as those things go: the equivalent of 3 glasses of cider each, salt cod fritters, rockfish, then the usually-$65 bone-in ribeye.  

The menu had some items and terms I hadn't heard of, but i failed to ask them to explain, so it's not a knock on them.  In fact, the service was quite attentive and friendly throughout.  

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Wow... Not to nitpick either, but 0.4 miles by walk, and 0.25 miles as the crow flies doesn't seem to fit "not in T C by any means". Sorry, not trying to be an asshole, but if we are correcting people for 0.3 miles and saying that isn't close by any means ... Hmm

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1 hour ago, DPop said:

Not to nitpick, but this restaurant is not in Truxton Circle by any means.  It's right on the corner of 3rd and Florida NW between Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park.

But the nits are ripe for picking!  The neighborhood of Truxton Circle is bounded on the north by Florida Ave, so ANXO is right on the northern border.

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On 7/18/2016 at 2:11 PM, TedE said:

But the nits are ripe for picking!  The neighborhood of Truxton Circle is bounded on the north by Florida Ave, so ANXO is right on the northern border.

That's interesting to see, there are no Truxton Circle signs within 5 blocks of that restaurant yet there are LeDroit, Bloomingdale, and even Shaw signs within 2 blocks depending on which way you go.  I stand corrected, but if you live in the area (which I know you do), you think of Truxton Circle as the area on 1st Street below Florida Ave stretching down to NY Ave, and not where Anxo sits. 

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Stopped in yesterday for a couple of ciders and pinxtos.  Cider menu is even more varied than I thought, this is really something exciting and entirely new for DC.  More domestic ciders on tap than imports, the interesting Basque offerings were bottled but I think that is just a supply issue with getting kegs (they were listed something like "draft ciders in a bottle").  Beer engines were serving a traditional English cider and perry that we didn't try on this visit. Just hope they can sell at a volume that makes keeping that wide of an inventory feasible.

We sampled the marinated mussel (lovely, meaty mussel in shell), mushroom stuffed piquillo (stuffing was a puree and it lost any semblance of oyster mushrooms to me; wouldn't order again), and the sausage montadito (a nice 2-3 bite snack).  Many of the larger plates and entrees looked more interesting, but I had dinner waiting elsewhere.  All in all, $25 for two drinks and a snack is not a bad deal at the quality they are offering.

Sat outside which is a nice space, but predictably noisy given the location on Fla Ave.  A bonus in this weather: the building shades most of the patio in the early evening.  Lots of families and dogs when we got there.

An aside: saw some of these sitting on the patio empty; I had never seen them before.   They apparently seem to have caught on with some cider producers.  It's like wine-in-a-box, but a keg!

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First visit on Saturday night.  We arrived before 7pm without reservations and were seated at the upstairs bar.  It appeared there were still a couple of tables available, but they must have been for reservations.  The dining room is QUITE small, so even though their web site says they take reservations for half their tables, and walk-ins for the other half...your chances at either of those options are pretty slim.  The bar upstairs is small so we received a great deal of personal attention from Zach, who is clearly excited about their offerings.  He had a great deal of knowledge about the various ciders and pintxos, and helped to steer us through our meal. 

The three of us shared a number of small and medium plates.  We ordered both hams as well as the manchego and idiazabal cheese plates (the latter being my favorite).  We had two orders of the shrimp croquettes and could have easily had a couple more of these wonderful little morsels, one of the best things we had.  I would recommend passing on the tortilla de patatas, this was served cold on cold bread with a cold tomato jam...the only real miss of the night.  My companions each had an heirloom tomato salad which were quite large portions and very fresh. The other stand out dish we ordered was the red snapper escabeche.  I highly recommend this dish.  The butter-poached snapper was incredible.   

Between the three of us we sampled a wide variety of the ciders.  There's a lot to learn about cider here and Zach was enthusiastic about helping us choose, he offered us a number of tastes when we couldn't decide.  These ciders are very dry for the most part (these are not the ciders you see at your run of the mill County store folks), and were better with food than without.  I recommend the "boozy" flight as an after-dinner option.  The Foggy Ridge port-style cider was my favorite and I could imagine curling up with a glass of this as a nightcap.  

We really enjoyed our first visit and I look forward to my next visit.  

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We also arrived around 7 pm (although shortly after) on Saturday. We were told upon arriving that there were no seats available, and that it would be around 45 minutes. Not knowing that there was an upstairs bar, we staked out some space on one of the ledges across from the downstairs bar for about five minutes, and then grabbed two seats at the bar that opened up. They also have a fair amount of outdoor seating, which is first come, first served, and they have a server out there as well, but we didn't want to melt. 

We absolutely loved Anxo. The ciders are all fantastic, and the bartenders are all very knowledgeable about them. In particular we loved the Millstone/ANXO Collaboration #1, which is funky and sour. I tend to like everything Millstone does, and they have two collaborations with them on the menu, as well as one regular Millstone offering. 

The place, at least the downstairs, feels more like Spain than basically anyplace I've been to in DC. We ate primarily from the "Pintxos" section of the menu. The best thing we had was a special, which was a montadito with fried calamari on top. It was fried perfectly, and was delicious. The Bacalao was also fantastic, as were the marinated mussels. We also quite enjoyed the grilled green onions with romesco sauce. 

Across the board, loved it. I wish it were closer to my house as we'd go all of the time. 

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I went last night, and it was no problem to find seats in the large bar area. One nice thing is that the servings on the cheese plate were actually quite ample. They have three cheeses (Manchego, Idiazabal, and Valdeon), each $6, and so you can get a full plate of all three for $18. In addition to the typical jam and crackers, it really comes with quite a lot of cheese.

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"Barracks Row: ANXO Craft Cider/Spanish Restaurant Bids to Open at Phase 1’s Former Location" by Larry Janezich at capitolhillcorner.org:

"Phase One – the oldest lesbian bar in the country until it closed last year – has been sold, ANC6B Chair Chander Jayaraman informed the Advisory Commission Tuesday night. . . . A potential temporary tenant for the building – the owner of ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar (locations in Truxton Circle and Brightwood Park) – will ask ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Committee for a change of hours of operation next month.

"ANXO owner, Sam Fitz, is negotiating to rent the Phase 1 space from the new owner and wants earlier serving hours than the start time of 7:00pm which is a condition of the current Phase 1 license conveyed with the building."

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We were there for dinner on Saturday - 2 of the 4 of us had birthdays this week, and we celebrated. The food was great. The service (the upstairs bar, with bartender Zach, who we love) was great. And the cider was as good as always.

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Anxo has a nice outdoor patio and the menu has things that I would enjoy, so I went to check it out for the first time last weekend.  Ordering is done through their website.  I ordered everything at once, thus lost control over the timing and ordering.

First to arrive were smoked salmon croquettes and clam chowder.  The croquettes were overly fishy and since I ordered lots of food, I did not feel compelled to try more than a couple of bites.  The chowder had lots of tender clam bits which convinced me that it was freshly made and I finished the whole bowl.

The artichoke with egg, arugula and serano ham dish is something that I never seen before but it looked visually appealing.  Taste wise I don’t know if the components all came together.

The last two were whitefish salad and grilled oysters.  My whitefish salad looked and tasted a bit plain compared to the website photo (last pic) but the oysters were perfectly cooked a seasoned.

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