|PX: Two Cocktail Hunters Outside the Infamous PX Blue Light|
It is hard to believe that PX has been open since 2006 and harder to believe that it has taken us over three years to try it out. That is not to say that we haven't enjoyed the mastery and pageantry of Todd Thrasher's cocktails at Restaurant Eve, toasting to our 30th birthday, as well as at other events around town. We have always been impressed with his unique creations and takes on classics. Thrasher elevates both simple and complicated cocktails to an art-form, which are all center stage at his homage to the cocktail, PX.
|Todd Thrasher Cocktail Master at Taste of the Nation 2010|
The reason for our hesitancy in heading to PX was a combination of not wanting to trek to Old Town Alexandria for a cocktail as well as my continued failure to understand the speakeasy trend -- new a few years ago, but now a mainstay in the DC going-out scene with places like the Gibson and the Columbia Room. Yes, Eating Around DC can be a late adopter.
PX is open from Wednesday - Saturday at 6; when the blue light is on, cocktails are flowing. PX takes reservations for tables and walk-ins can ring the doorbell and see if space is available at the bar. This strict policy means no one standing over you ordering a drink, which results in a fabulous, non-cluttered bar ambiance.
Entering PX is like stepping back in time. You climb a narrow, creaky, candlelit staircase, to a very dimly also candlelit series of rooms in an Old Row House (upstairs from Armstrong's Eamonn's Dublin Chipper). The darkly-lit wooden bar looks like a pharmacy with viles of hand made tonics and mixers.
The menu is a bit difficult to see by candlelight, but offers about 30 creations which range from the classic gin and house-made tonic, to the exotic including such ingredients as egg creams and burnt orange peels. The bartender carefully makes each drink, served in rounded martini glasses or tumblers with perfectly square ice cubes. It is nothing short of a shaking, stirring, flaming, cocktail pageant.
B adores gin, but was equally as enamored (excuse the glowing adjectives, but they are warranted) with a twist on the classic Manhattan. My latest drink involved the aforementioned burnt orange peel and about seven other ingredients. Since taking pictures or notes would have ruined the atmosphere, those are the only details I can recall!
Drinks average around $12 including the free cocktail show that comes with every order!