During Memorial Day Weekend, my friend The Cravings Curator was invited to spend a weekend at the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel, and she invited me for a fun-filled weekend in DC.
We flew out Friday morning early on a 6 AM flight. I almost missed my flight, but thanks to TSA Pre-Check, I got through the gate with ease. If you don't have this, I suggest investing in this beauty. Better yet, I suggest signing up for global entry because TSA Pre-Check is included. We headed straight to the hotel from the DCA airport to drop off our luggage. Upon arrival, around 9 AM, we were told that we could actually check into our room! How lucky of us!
We solidly napped from being fatigued by the week before us (we both work full-time jobs outside of our blogging gigs in demanding industries), and I decided to order room service breakfast. I don't often treat myself to room service, but every once in a while, I like to indulge.
My friend Lily decided to join us last-minute in DC, and she flew into the city separately, staying in Logan Circle. After a day of napping and relaxing in our room at Kimpton Glover Park, Edlira (@thecravingscurator) and I decided to venture off to meet with Lily for a happy hour at Bar Charley.
We had dinner reservations at 7:15 PM, and didn't want to over-exert ourselves with food consumption. Somehow, we ended up getting carried away while chatting on the patio, and ordered the Catalan Fries, PEI Mussels, Korean Style Chicken Wings alongside our drinks. Those Korean Style Chicken Wings really surprised me. The meat fell right off the bone, and I found myself thinking about how delicious it was (yes, I was licking my fingers).
When we asked for our check, we asked to split the check three-ways. My card was swiped a third of the check, Lily's was swiped a third of the check, but then Edlira's was never swiped, and we realized Lily's card was swiped again for two-thirds of the check. Our server never came back after he dropped the check, and we waited a bit before bringing this to the attention of another server who immediately rectified our checks. Off we went to go to dinner!
Our walk over to Hazel Restaurant was filled with us periodically stopping to loo at the street art. I am enamored by street art, and love seeing how people like to express themselves.
The patio at Hazel was beautiful. With string lights and a floral painted wall, aesthetically, Hazel accomplished so many goals. We went to Hazel with the intent of sharing the Ducked Up! dinner. When we got the menu, we couldn't help but also try the zucchini bread with foie gras. What a delicious start to our meal!! The sweet bread with the salt flakes paired with the foie gras, amazing. I was overjoyed by how simple and delicious this dish was. It makes me want to try to make a chicken liver mousse at home and baking some zucchini bread and seeing how that pairs. Our server spilled my water at one point, and wasn't quick (nor apologetic) to dry off our table, or provide me additional napkins.
The Ducked Up! dinner itself was so delicious. By the end of the first course, with the duck wings, salad with duck dressing, and duck sausage, we were already full. And then the second course came out, the kimchi duck fried rice, crepes, duck breast with a side of kimchi and pickles. Holy. We were full, and couldn't fathom the idea of eating anymore.
We asked our server for our check, and she dropped our bill without eye contact or word and swiftly walked away. It seemed like this was an evening of getting billed incorrectly, because once again, asked to split our check three-ways. Lily and I were billed half the check each, and Edlira was billed 100% of the bill??? In total, we were billed double the amount! I walked up to our server to let her know that the bill was incorrect, and she begrudgingly rolled her eyes and said "things happen" and rudely walked away.
Once we paid for our bill, I privately pulled the manager (Corinne) aside on our way out of the establishment to discuss with her our experience with our server to bring to her attention. She was incredibly apologetic about it and wanted to make it up to us with drinks and some dishes, however I told her we paid and were already on our way out as we were on a schedule to meet a friend. We exchanged contact information, and I sent her an email following-up, thanking her for the apology and glad she was receptive of my experience. This is actually a topic I want to discuss on another post: how to address poor service or experiences to an establishment's management first instead of defaulting to a Yelp or social media forum rant -- this is something I saw a greater perspective of when I was running the social media channels for PAGU Restaurant.
After Hazel, we met with my old roommate's college friend Lisa at The Gibson. The Gibson is this speakeasy with the entrance being an unmarked door. I have tried to go there the last two times I was in DC, but could never go due to the long waitlist and crowd. This night, I seemed to be fortunate because we were immediately seated into this dim-lit antiqued decorated establishment. No photos because honestly, they wouldn't do the experience justice. Trust me when I say you should go there, the drinks, the vibes, the atmosphere is all prime. If I lived in DC, I'd say this would be a great date spot.
Lisa then took us to Players Club, a barcade (bar + arcade) that had opened up earlier in the year. I've been to my fair share of barcades, and this. place. is. the. bomb. It is large and spacious, has a plethora of board games, and the arcade game options are bountiful. Next thing we knew, we were dancing and singing with the 80's songs the DJ played, chatted with a ton of people (and playing against them in games), and having an overall amazing Friday evening.
The next day, we realized the weather was going to be a scorching 90 degrees, and suddenly we were on the hunt for an outdoor pool we could spend our Saturday. After searching on Google and calling around, we discovered Capitol Skyline Hotel had an outdoor pool open to the public with a pass for $25. From what we could tell, the cabanas weren't additional costs, but first come first serve. We enjoyed frozen margaritas by the pool and cooled off before the skies opened up and rained as soon as we left around 3 PM. We were fortunate to have a solid four hours in the sunshine by the poolside.
In my opinion, naps are crucial to the survival of long days out and about - this is true for me when I am both traveling and wandering around home (Boston). After showering, we napped before we headed into our dinner at Casolare - the Michael Schlow Restaurant of Kimpton Glover Park.
I've worked with closely Chef Michael Schlow's Restaurants in Boston (such at Tico and the former Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar), so I was very excited to have the opportunity to try one of his DC locations. The Casolare team so kindly coordinated a tasting menu for Edlira, Lily and I to try, and even had my WBE logo printed on our personalized menu! We chatted with the General Manager, Chris, as well as the Director of Operations of Michael Schlow's restaurant group (I was so surprised to see he was there to chat with us!!) and enjoyed a feast of a meal.
We were so full after our meal, and I was fortunate to be spoiled by the team to try their delicious dishes. My favorite was the eggplant lasagna dish, and I always love a tiramisu for dessert!
After our dinner, Lily and I went to Columbia Room to do a four round cocktail tasting with "light bites" pairings. I made this reservation a couple of weeks before our trip, and needed to pay for the tasting ahead of time. This tasting takes place in the secret back room of Columbia Room, and it was about a two hour experience. The drinks covered a series of themes per course: sound, color, flavor, and time. The team walked us through what we imagined these drinks would taste like, and deceived us based on our assumptions of how sound, color, flavor, and time impacts what we actually ended up receiving. It was a fascinating experience.
The Kimpton PR team tipped us off to how we were in town for the opening weekend of the Kimpton Donovan's Rooftop Pool Sunday's, where there would be brunch specials and a DJ on site. What better way to spend yet another day at a pool, let alone a rooftop pool with beautiful city views. We left our room at Kimpton Glover Park and made our way to Kimpton Donovan, and enjoyed a fun-filled morning once again laying poolside, eating breakfast, drinking frozen drinks, and living our best lives. We eventually made our way back to our hotel before heading to dinner at Tail Up Goat.
This meal was light, simple, and for the record, there are no goat dishes on the menu at Tail Up Goat. We learned that the restaurant comes from a saying to differentiate goat and sheep: tail up goat, tail down sheep. I enjoyed one of the bread dishes (because I am a glutton for liver mousses): einkorn sourdough, chicken liver mousse, hakurei turnip agrodolce, turnip tops. With this meal, this pretty much ended our foodventures for our weekend in DC. The following day, we all flew back to Boston at varying times - of course my flight ended up being delayed. I wish I knew sooner my flight would have been delayed because I totally would have gone to Milk Bar to satisfy my cereal milk craving. Oh well, next time. I'll be going to NYC in September and November, so I'll have another opportunity then!