DC’s Best Wine Bar

I believe that you like a restaurant or bar based partially on the quality of its food and/or drink, but also based on the experience you had there. Did you propose to your fiancĂ©e at The Inn at Little Washington? No doubt you’ll always have a fond place in your heart for that restaurant. Did your gag reflex kick in when you walked in the door of Lauriol Plaza, only to see it packed wall to wall with wannabe hipsters wearing way too much cologne and perfume? Well then the kick ass margaritas and fajitas probably didn’t improve your first impression much. So what is Uncle Max trying to say? Well, based on the quality of their wine, cheese, and service, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that DC’s best wine bar is none other than Veritas.

My first experience there wasn’t anything to write home about, but all in all it was a pleasant evening and I knew that I would be back. Note that if you’re looking to have a quiet glass of wine, this is not the place for you. When the after work crowd rolls in, the volume level challenges that of a jet engine despite the soundproofing material that you’ll find attached to the bottom of each table, but don’t let that scare you. My second experience was almost magical. My drinking partner and I were lucky enough to grab a table after lurking waiting for about ten minutes, in fact the table was offered to us by some guys who were also waiting. Who says chivalry is dead? Our waiter, an English bloke, brought us glass after glass of amazing wine since we gave him the power to make our selections for us. He once forgot to bring us the wine that we’d ordered, so to make up for his mistake he gave us each a $22 glass of flora springs “trilogy”, a mix of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, and petit verdot. One word: Heaven. I don’t want to get the guy in trouble, but let’s just say that the cheese and pate that we ordered was nowhere to be found on the bill at the end of our (five and a half hour) night. Let’s also just say that he got a very generous tip as a result.

So that’s it, my favorite wine bar in DC. Done deal. How about you? Now is the time when I duck and cover as people strongly disagree with me and start calling me names.

Photo by Hoffman

4 Comments so far

  1. Jenn L (unregistered) on December 18th, 2007 @ 10:35 am

    Well, currently there are a very small amount of places that can be called "wine bars" in DC, with the most recent four out of five that I count open within a year or less, so I don’t know if we’re in a position yet to pick and choose the best!

    The current round-up: Bardeo in Cleveland Park, Proof in Gallery Place (though even they call themselves a "wine-centric restaurant" in order to make bank), your Veritas in Dupont, Vinoteca on U Street, Cork on 14th Street will open early next year… are there any others?

    I still have yet to try Veritas, because the times I’ve gone they have been packed to the gills or closed for a private party. I wasn’t too inclined to give it yet another shot but perhaps I will now based on your experience!

    I went to Vinoteca’s "soft opening" but need to go back for a real try. Proof has been consistently fun for me with wonderful selections by both bartender and sommelier.

    Anyway, there’s my two cents… or grapes…


  2. Max (unregistered) on December 18th, 2007 @ 11:28 am

    I also tried Sonoma recently on Capitol Hill which is more of a restaurant than a wine bar, but wasn’t very impressed. The service was incredibly slow and the food (cheese, pate, etc) was nothing to get excited about. Such a shame.

    I really want to go to Proof though. I’ve heard great things about it.


  3. justin (unregistered) on December 18th, 2007 @ 11:48 am

    There’s also Sonoma on Capitol Hill… and it’s a great place.


  4. Mik (unregistered) on December 18th, 2007 @ 12:38 pm

    Well that’s certainly on my list for my return visit early next year, and not just because a British bloke was your waiter.



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