Photo above: Downtown Holiday Market – view along F St NW (courtesy of the Downtown DC BID)
We love how downtown gets ready for the holidays and below we assembled a list of public, outdoor holiday events for you to consider attending or visiting.
1) Downtown Holiday Market (F St NW between 7th and 9th Streets) – This now annual event is a market filled with artisans selling their wares, food vendors, and live entertainment. We always find a holiday gift for our loved ones at this market and take in a performer or two while enjoying the mini donuts and hot chocolate.
Date/Time: Opens Friday, November 28 through Tuesday, December 23 – noon to 8 pm daily
2) *NEW* CityCenter Tree Lighting (The Park at CityCenter (I Street at 11th St NW)) – This is a new event because CityCenter is new so we don’t know exactly how this will turn out but we suspect it will be quite enjoyable. There will be a performance from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington and two soon to be opened food retailers will be handing out samples including hot cocoa from Rare Sweets and hot tea from Mango Tree. A non-perishable food collection will take place for the DC Central Kitchen where donors will be entered into a raffle to for a chance to win gifts from CityCenter retailers.
Date/Time: Saturday, November 29 at 6 pm – then on display until Christmas
3) Macy’s Holiday Windows (1201 G St NW – between 12th and 13th Streets) – The annual holiday windows are on and working on the G Street side of Macy’s in downtown Washington. They were unveiled last Saturday and while they’re not as good as some of the New York City window displays they are indeed all our own. We cover these most every year.
Date/Time: On display now until Christmas
Don’t forget the Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting (Tuesday, December 2) and the National Christmas Tree Lighting (Thursday, Dec 4) also. The latter invariably gets a national act to perform and traffic is jammed in downtown that afternoon.
Denson Liquor Bar, a cocktail oriented lounge, opened for service last week in Penn Quarter at 600 F St NW (lower level of the former OBA (Oriental Building Association building – descend the staircase to enter below Fuel Pizza)). This building sat fallow for years and has been redeveloped in the last two years.
We stopped by Saturday night for a cocktail and dinner and were pleasantly surprised. The main bar with sliding glass doors interspersed behind covering shelves of liquor is a bit to the left after entering. Booth seating is available around the perimeter in an elevated area. The whole space exudes art deco and we also appreciated that there are no televisions which spurs on patron conversation.
We enjoyed the following:
Pre-dinner cocktail: Aviation – A shaken cocktail with gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice. The drink was nicely put together with all flavors in balance – lemon and violette more at the fore with the gin lurking in the background.
Dinner: Chicken Green Curry Pie – A chicken pot pie with green curry sauce garnished with mint and cilantro. The garnish enhanced the slightly spicy curry chicken mixture inside the dough shell. The mixture was a little too runny for our taste and stood to be thickened but the flavoring was on point.
Drink: We went with a white wine off the list, a Domaine Roger Champault Sancerre (Les Pierris), that was served at the correct temperature and was a good companion to the spiciness of the curry.
Dessert: Denson Candy Bar – All we can say is WOW! This is what a peanut butter cup aspires to be albeit in finger sandwich form. Two triangular finger sandwiches bookended with dark chocolate filled with peanut butter and feuilletine (crushed wafer flakes) grace the plate. Small salt flecks sprinkled on top give it a salty/sweet contrast. The chocolate should have been a little thinner to allow for easy cutting. Otherwise, it…was…just…delicious.
Drink: Our bartender gave us four small liquor samples (mostly rye whiskey) to try. We selected the tasty Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye and were given a custom blended drink, dry in taste to match the dessert. The one inch cocktail ice cube was an attentive touch.
The cocktail menu has both shaken and stirred cocktails and a dinner menu is available until 11:30 pm. The dinner/dessert menu is not online but click on the photo above to zoom in and you can catch most of it.
We hope our next visit is just as fun and tasteworthy. We officially welcome Denson Liquor Bar to Penn Quarter!
Denson Liquor Bar
600 F Street NW - Lower Level
Washington, DC 20004
Sunday to Saturday – 5 pm until closing
Join DC Councilmember David Grosso and Washington Performing Arts Society tonight 6pm – 9pm for “Politics and Arts: A Jam Session in the Wilson Building.” (1350 Pennsylvania Ave.m, NW) According to Grosso’s web site, “the event will showcase local musicians and also provide musicians from different genres and backgrounds with an opportunity to network and share their own passion for the arts. Special performances of the night will include SynchroniCity, Roof Beams, and for an added bonus a dance selection by SerendibDance.”
The Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association is hosting its November meeting on Thursday, November 20. On the agenda is a discussion of Union Station’s Second Century plan which “will essentially create a new neighborhood center at Union Station…” Details about the meeting follow below:
Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association Breakfast Meeting Reminder
Thursday, November 20, 8:30am
801 9th Street, NW
Metro: Gallery Pl-Chinatown, exit 9th and G streets
Continental Breakfast – 8:30 – 8:50 am
Brief Announcements – 8:50 am
Speakers Following Brief Announcements
Speakers + Topic
David Zaidain for Amtrak, David Tuchmann for Akridge, and Cindy Petkac for Union Station Redevelopment Corporation Union Station’s Second Century
We will hear from the Partnership that is now planning for Union Station’s Second Century. In addition to improved circulation plans and open space, they will construct a deck over the railway tracks and create a new community of residents, office tenants, shops, restaurants, and more. David Zaidain is the Washington Union Station Master Plan Project Director, David Tuchmann is Akridge’s Vice President for Development, and Cindy Petkac is the Principal Planner for the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation
RSVP extended due to Constant Contact’s servers going down on Monday. E-mail by 9:30am, Wednesday, November 19, if you plan on attending this meeting to Jo-Ann@PennQuarter.org as it will help our host prepare.
Include the first and last names and affiliations of all people attending.
The Native Foods Cafe, a fast casual vegan eatery, opened for service on Friday, November 14 in Penn Quarter at 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW (ground floor of the south Market Square building). We stopped in over the weekend and tried the chili, the split pea soup, and a side salad of kale. All delicious!
The menu features a whole array of vegan dishes, many based on tempeh or seitan as meat replacements. The drink side of the menu includes refreshing juice based drinks, beer, and wine. This retail space has been empty for three years or more by our memory and its being filled completes the retail fill out of spaces facing the Navy Memorial. Most importantly for those who live in “lower” Penn Quarter, the Native Foods Cafe will be open from 11 am to 10 pm every day expanding the choice of fast casual eateries south of E St NW.
We officially welcome the Native Foods Cafe to Penn Quarter!
Native Foods Cafe
701 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
Sunday to Saturday – 11 am to 10 pm
During November 17-23 the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) will be holding Cocktail Week. Over 50 restaurants are participating, including these in our neighborhood. Be sure to stop by for custom-made cocktails and food pairings for one great price.
Barmini (855 E St., NW)
Carmine’s (425 7th St., NW)
Casa Luca (1099 New York Ave., NW)
Cuba Libre (801 9th St., NW)
Cure Bar and Bistro (1000 H St., NW)
Fiola (601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW)
Gordon Biersch 9th St. (900 F St., NW)
Jaleo DC (480 7th St., NW)
Occidental Grill and Seafood (1475 Pennsylvania Ave., NW)
Oyamel (401 7th St., NW)
Penn Commons (700 6th St., NW)
Ruth’s Chris Steak House Convention Center (724 9th St., NW)
Zaytinya (701 9th St., NW)