Drinking with the Guys

We had plans last night to go out with one of Matt’s new coworkers and the coworker’s girlfriend, but the girlfriend wasn’t feeling so well, so there was a last minute change of events. Instead we ended up out with around 10 of Matt’s coworkers and me. All of his coworkers are men, and they (including Matt) were drinking Budweiser by the pitcher like it was going out of style. Now, you’ll be hard pressed to get me to drink a beer to begin with, but if they had gone with the Blue Moon which the bar also had on tap, I might have been tempted. But Bud, no thanks, I’ll pass.

Which puts me in a precarious position….I don’t really drink hard alcohol and the wine lists at bars are usually extrodinarily underwhelming. So color me surprised when I took a look at the menu and found an albeit short, but really well thought out and pretty exciting wine list! Last night found us at Hamilton’s Bar and Grill, which doesn’t appear to have a webpage beyond it’s myspace page.

I really liked the place. It’s a little out of the way on Constitution and 2nd, right by the Department of Labor, but I thought it worth the trip. The atmosphere was kind of college bar meets Capitol Hill (though I suppose that can be said for many places in this neck of the woods) with plenty of TVs, a hug bar, lots of cozy booths and pretty cool bartenders. Our bartender was attempting to kill the keg of Bud and kept giving the guys free pitchers (he really wanted to get the keg of Magic Hat tapped).

So the food and wine. I first chose a glass of Grove Mill Riesling. It was okay, but I was in the mood for something a little more fruity. This glass tasted really reserved and was a bit too cold at first (and, that, coming from me, is saying a lot, as I love my wine fairly chilly). I also thought that perhaps it was a bottle that was a couple days old. So from there I moved on to a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Chile!! And that’s where I stayed for the rest of the night. I wish I had my pen with me so I would have written down the name, but it was delicious and perfect with the creamy and tasty crab and artichoke dip I had ordered. It had bracing acidity, goseberries, hints of citrus and a great structure. I will go back to this place just to find out what it was. Overall, the wine list had about 10 wines on it, a great mix of varietals and locations (seriously, I was shocked to find a sauvignon blanc in a bar (it’s usually an oaky chardonnay or a flabby pinot grigio) and flabbergasted when I found out it was from Chile!). All glass were $6.25 and on Wednesdays they have half-price wine night.

My crab dip was excellent. Really creamy with great parmesean flavors to complement the crab and artichoke, plus really generous on the amount of crab in the dip (and a huge portion overall). It was served with hot toasted pita triangles which made great scoopers. Matt had a cheeseburger, which he gobbled down (so I can only assume it was good) with fries (which were great, nice and crisp and salty). Great prices, good wine list and excellent grub. I recommend it.