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Poste or Circle Bistro for happy hour?


bexdc
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Looking for a low-key but hip place with good nibbles and drinks for happy hour this evening. There's abot six in our group of late 20 and 30-sometings. Anybody been to either of these places to comment on the bar scene? Thanks!

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Yesterday's glorious evening weather would have made Poste a mandatory slam dunk - so obvious even the CIA guys taking their kids to the Spy Museum next door would be there. Poste has a wonderful terrace for al fresco boozing. But it looks like rain this evening. So try Circle. The smell from last weekend's fire should have subsided by now and they give you these fun little fritas with your drinks. Although you'll still get the touristos.

"Food is an essential part of a balanced diet."

Fran Lebowitz

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I didn't think much of Circle's atmosphere when I went a few weeks back--kinda stale, the seating is pretty awkward, and the service was spotty. The drinks didn't pack much punch, and the food, while cheap, was missable. Liked Poste's patio much more the other night. But yeah, it doesn't look like the night for it. I've heard Rosemary's Bistro does a decent happy hour?? Or how 'bout the bar at Firefly? Or at Oceanaire?

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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Or Helix?

Zola's bar is nice (and close to Poste, but not outdoors).

Oh, and how could I forget Ceiba's bar? I think that's a great one.

IMHO, Firefly's bar/lounge area is too small to accommodate six unless you get there really early (like, now - j/k).

Edited by JennyUptown (log)
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I heard Firefly is nice, but the seating is very limited there. I was thinking Helix as well, but it's kinda small, and the music is LOUD. I hate shouting just to make small talk with the person next to me.

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15-Ria could be nice, too. Not sure about happy hour specials per se, but a lounge-y room, plus the bar, plus the patio you don't want today...good drinks, bar food (fried oysters, mini-burgers...:).

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Jenny, tell me more about Ceiba! Enough room for a group of us without having to be strung out along a bar?

I just went to Ceiba's web site hoping for a photo of the bar area, but came up empty. It may be too all-in-a-row, but in my experience, it takes awhile to fill up so you could probably arrange chairs nicely to accommodate conversation.

Plus you can order churros with your cocktails! Or the delish queso fundido.

Hmm...other ideas:

On Friday nights, I love Aroma in Cleveland Park. They don't serve food, HOWEVER they welcome you to order from any of the restaurants that deliver to the neighborhood (e.g., the yummy Spices, the nasty Bricks, etc.). You could also get takeout from Indique (takes 30 minutes from ordering seemingly in spite of how busy they are). The DJ on Friday nights is GREAT and it doesn't get loud until later (9 or 10).

Chi-Cha on U Street is nice, reasonably large and they have food. Drinks are pricier than I expected, but they do have food. Go early though - it gets packed by 8.

If you have money to burn, go to Degrees at the Ritz in Georgetown. The place is gorgeous, I've always been able to find a table, the cocktails are enjoyable, but it's pricey.

U-topia's a good drinking/live jazzy music spot, but the food is just ok IMHO.

Ooh, just thought of Mantis in Adams Morgan. Love that. Good inexpensive food too. Seating as well.

Places I don't love:

Buffalo Billiards. Fine for pool and it's huge so you can pretty much always get your own group-space, but the food is abysmal. Seriously, how can you mess up chicken fingers? They can and do.

Local 16. Really nice roof deck, but very fratty crowd and the food is bad-bad-bad.

Do any of these work?

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Ortanique upstairs or downstairs can accomodate a group your size, provided there's no parties already booked. Call ahead if this location interests you. And there's always Zaytinya...

Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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I like the bar at Zaytinya, can get crowded, but if you get there early you can take over a couple tables, plus they have a nice patio (when it's not crappy out like today)...they have good beer on tap, plenty of mixed drinks fixings and some interesting wines.

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I've gone with small groups to the bar at Ceiba and really enjoyed it. They have the actual bar, but they also have barstools along the wall. There is an L-shaped part where you can cluster and not have to sit in a row or feel as if you are blocking the flow of traffic.

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It seems the folks in my group were leaning towards Poste, despite the weather. So Poste tonight, it is. However, I am going to try some of the other suggestions in the coming weeks, i.e. Ortanique, Ceiba, Mantis, and Zola. And thanks to the poster who reminded me about Zaytinya - yes, they have a nice bar, I had forgotten about that. Another to-do.

I'll give you an update on our Poste food and drinks experience soon. :smile:

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So we went to Poste. The servers and other employees there were quite welcoming. The group which we shared a long mini-bar with was not so nice - actually only the two women in black who dressed a decade younger than they should have. But what do I know. They were a bit haughty and insisted on putting their purses where our plates should have been. We discreetly moved them towards their side of the table, which seemed to irritate the princesses. The men in their group seemed a bit sheepish.

I drank red wine and ate the pommes frites and vegetable tapenade. The fries came in a big paper cone and were quite crisp, but were overly salted. The other dish was good, but nothing to write home about. My friends drank gin and tonics and beer. They seemed to like Poste all right, but were underwhelmed.

We seemed to be the youngest people in the bar by about 20 years, and it's not as if we're wet behind the ears ....

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