Monday, November 16, 2009
W DC Living Room Bar: Modern, Chic, and Pricey
Friday night we decided to finally check out the Living Room Bar at the W hotel (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/property/dining/attraction_detail.html?propertyID=3279&attractionId=1004250472). Located across the street from the White House, and formerly home to the very much in need of a makeover Hotel Washington, the first W in DC opened this past summer.
While the hotel was and is famous for its rooftop bar with great views of the White House and mall monuments, we had not made a reservation and were not patient enough to wait in the velvet roped lined to get up there – owing to a long work week and a pressing dinner commitment at Ray’s the Steaks (priorities!). So we opted for drinks in the lobby bar.
We were greeted immediately by the doorman and entered into a space oozing with modern touches – (faux fireplace in the form of a flat screen TV on the right) and full of DC residents doing their best to dress--and act--like Manhattanites. I of course proceeded to trip over the welcome mat, so there was no question that I was not up to the level of cool, but I tried to recover quickly.
The W renovation transformed the Hotel Washington's stodgy lobby, with a soaring white ceiling complete with restored original moldings, artsy chandeliers, a huge open space segmented with couches, over sized chairs, and a wine bar at the far end of the room. This place is trying to be very hip and in most cases, they have succeeded. The music was a mix of every genre from Indian to 50’s standards supplemented with a house/techno beat. While everything on the wine list was of excellent quality, the prices were rather obscene with wines ranging from $ 9 - $30 a (the majority around $15); house cocktails were also available for $15.
We decided on a glass of the Gloria Ferrer (http://www.gloriaferrer.com/) champagne which we had enjoyed while in Sonoma last fall and were happy to see that this option by the glass was the low end of the price scale. The service was much more attentive than I had anticipated, and the champagne pours were generous and perfectly chilled.
All and all it was a great way to start a weekend and after a few sips of the champagne, I began to feel a bit hipper -- maybe it was the pulsating music. I am looking forward to enjoying one the W's new winter-inspired cocktails at their rooftop bar later this season.