Holiday Dining and Drinking Options Aplenty

Cocktails, Carolers and Feasts Among Treats

Posted November 29, 2010 at 5:49pm

December is nearly upon us, and D.C. restaurants aren’t wasting any time getting into the holiday spirit. From carolers to festive cocktails to special dinner menus, area restaurants have Christmas covered.

• Bibiana (1100 New York Ave. NW) will be ringing in the holiday season with cocktails galore. A new drink will be served each day, beginning Wednesday, as a creative way of counting down till Christmas; think of it as an alcoholic advent calendar.

Beverage Director Francesco Amodeo and bartender Milton Hernandez are responsible for the bevy of beverages. The festivities will kick off with the Cleopatra, a boozy mix of almond milk and date-infused rum. Later in the month, the sugary Gabriella — a concoction made from chocolate bitters, rye, ginger and cardamom syrup — will be served, as will the Serena, a mouth-watering combination of homemade Nutella liquor and homemade mint liquor topped with whipped cream. The cocktails will change daily and cost $12.

In addition to the cocktail countdown, Bibiana will also be serving the traditional Feast of Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. In keeping with the Roman Catholic tradition of not eating meat on holy days, Executive Chef Nick Stefanelli will prepare a special menu including fish and pasta.

Priced at $75 per person, the menu will include black spaghetti with Catalina Island sea urchin and aglio olio peperoncino, as well as salt cod with potatoes, onions, garlic and chilies on grilled bread. The menu will be served from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 24.

• The Feast of Seven Fishes will also be an option at Potenza (1430 H St. NW). Executive Chef Bryan Moscatello will prepare seven of his favorite seafood dishes, many of which are family recipes from his childhood in New Jersey.

The menu will be served Dec. 23-25 and costs $199 for four people and $99 for each additional couple. The meal will include dishes such as stuffed lobster with crab arreganata, balsamic glazed tuna and seared scallops.

• Morton’s the Steakhouse (1050 Connecticut Ave. NW and 3251 Prospect St. NW) will be celebrating the holiday with a selection of themed cocktails. Mixologist and sommelier Sara Fasolino has perfected two new recipes for the holiday season.

The Sparkling Sleigh Ride is made with maraschino cherry liqueur, vanilla citrus liqueur, cranberry juice and Prosecco topped with a mint leaf. The restaurant will also be serving the Morton’s Coffee, a blend of dark crème de cacao, Bailey’s, amaretto and coffee topped with whipped cream and served in a cinnamon-rimmed glass.

• P.J. Clarke’s (1600 K St. NW) will celebrate the Christmas season in style. The downtown restaurant will put up a Christmas tree complete with all the trimmings. There’s one catch, though: The tree will hang upside down from the restaurant ceiling, to keep the dining room free of clutter.

Downstairs at the more upscale Sidecar, white lights, garland and another Christmas tree will decorate the dimly lit restaurant. Both P.J. Clarke’s and Sidecar will serve Irish coffees throughout the holiday season to warm up customers.

• The Willard Intercontinental Hotel (1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW), which will be decorated with lights, Christmas trees and garland, is rolling out a host of holiday-themed activities throughout December.

Afternoon tea in Peacock Alley will have a festive twist, while the Round Robin Bar will serve holiday cocktails. The Jingle Bell Julep, a mix of bourbon, raspberry liquor, triple sec, mint and raspberries, will be served along with the Sugar Plum Toddy, which consists of Mandarin orange vodka, triple sec, Rumple Minze, Framboise and hot water. The hotel will also be serving Christmas Day brunch in the Willard Room.

Throughout December, the hotel will host carolers and other musical acts in the lobby. The performances are 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. every night from Wednesday to Dec. 23. Each show is free and open to the public.

• The Willard isn’t the only place that will host carolers. Over in Georgetown, 1789 Restaurant (1226 36th St. NW) features nightly carolers from Dec. 16 through Dec. 24. The Washington Men’s Camerata will serenade guests nightly from 7 to 9 p.m. The restaurant will also be decorated for Christmas beginning Friday.

• Christmas cookies are a tradition that dates back for generations. If you’re interested in changing up your recipe this year, swing by Zola Wine & Kitchen (505 Ninth St. NW), where the staff will teach visitors how to make holiday cookies and other fun treats.

Priced at $55 per person, the class will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 14. The cooking school will also host a class on Dec. 15 on preparing the traditional Feast of Seven Fishes. This class is $90 per person and will focus on anchovies, baccala, clams, octopus, orata, shrimp and tuna.