Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Eating and drinking in the District

Guess who got carded (or "proofed" as we say in Buffalo) buying wine the day after her 45th birthday? A bonus birthday present!  I admit, I sometimes hedge about my age, referring vaguely to "growing up in the eighties" or being in college in the "early nineties" (technically but barely true, as I graduated in 1990).
45th birthday, with Ian, Grace, Seamus

Friday we went to Mas, one of my favorite C'ville restaurants.  We were extraordinarily lucky to get a table (for five!) right away.  Mas serves one of my favorite white wines, which we enjoyed along with a pureed beet spread, artichoke dip, grilled, bacon-wrapped dates, aioli-topped roasted potatoes, and tiny sandwiches of Serrano ham and Manchego cheese.  In lieu of cake (our oven is broken) I had the toasted almond martini at Bang, where we stopped for a drink after dinner.

Saturday, we impulsively accepted my sister's invitation to visit her and her husband in Washington DC.  Ian had to work, Brigid is in Richmond at school, and Jon quit smoking on Thursday and is currently in the life-without-cigarettes-is-not-worth-living stage, so it was just Seamus, Grace, and me.

From their building, we walked toward the White House, cutting through the Hotel Monaco on our way.  The manager there gave us a history of the building (half of it built in 1812, the rest in the 1850s with a gallows and slave auction in the courtyard).  He invited us to take a detour through the old part of the building so we could see one of the only cantilevered marble staircases in the United States, in the 1812 part of the building.

We wandered through the National Portrait Gallery and stumbled on an awesome folk art exhibit, then had drinks at the W, overlooking the White House.  My sister and I had stellar margaritas, and the kids had strawberry lemonade.
Looking down on the White House.  Click to see the sniper.

Seamus at the W

We walked past Ford's Theater and the White House, stopped for a sushi appetizer at The Hamilton, strolled the Mall and stopped for a rest in beautiful Bartholdi Park, near the Botanic Gardens.

At the White House.
Yes, I AM wearing the same outfit I wore to dinner the night before.

We stopped for dinner at Bistro Cacao, a French restaurant behind the Capitol, and then walked home.  It was one of those velvety southern nights and we took a detour through Union Station, just to get into an air-conditioned space for a minute.  Overall a glorious day.


  1. What fun! I'm not at all surprised you got carded--you look very young.
    I cannot wait to bring my boys to DC someday. Looks like you had great luck with weather AND timing for your day trip.

    1. I hope you get a chance to do that. There's so much to do. I've been many times and still feel like I've only scratched the surface.

  2. Happy belated birthday! It sounds like you celebrated in style.

    I cannot believe how tall Seamus has gotten.

    1. Thanks! Seamus is only half an inch away from being six feet tall.

  3. Sounds fabulous. Love that staircase. Congrats on getting carded -isn't that the best?

    1. Thanks! I do love to get carded. Such a change from when I used to dread it.

  4. Happy Birthday, Hot Mama! Somehow that sounded better in my head.

  5. It sounds and looks like you had a lovely birthday!