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It’s safe to say Carlie Steiner has her hands full as the co-owner of Himitsu, but she happily curates cocktail menus for other bars when she’s feeling inspired. “I take gigs that are in the sphere of something I haven’t done before,” she says. “The Jewish-inspired cocktails got me excited because they’re familiar ingredients mixed with the less familiar.”
She’s talking about the drink menu at Bullfrog Bagels’ new upstairs bar at 317 7th St. SE that launches this Friday at 10:30 a.m.
Priced $10-$12 each, those cocktails include a “Manischewitz Spritz” containing just a nip of the overly-sweet red wine every Jewish kid gets drunk on too early in life; “Celery Barrameda” with manzanilla sherry, celery syrup, soda water, and candied celery; and a “Matza-Michelada,” which takes the beer-based brunch drink and adds a matza-paprika salt rim.
Best of all is the “Rye + Everything Soda” that capitalizes on the lightening rod trend of everything spice. Steiner says she went light on the garlic and onion and heavy on the white sesame and poppyseed in crafting a syrup that tastes like an everything bagel, which she pairs with rye whiskey, soda water, and a slice of lime.
Bullfrog Bagels’ owner Jeremiah Cohen calls the bar “Bullfrog Upstairs.” It will be open Thursdays through Sundays starting at 10:30 a.m. He’ll let the neighborhood dictate how late it will stay open into the night.
Along with Steiner’s drinks, a limited menu will include comfort food like pastrami carbonara, matzo ball soup, pastrami ramen, and bialy bruschetta.
Bullfrog Upstairs has four bar seats and a smattering of tables, bringing the total number of people the space can hold to 25, but Cohen wants customers to know they can take Steiner’s cocktails out on the patio, especially to people watch when Eastern Market is bustling on the weekend.
Steiner and Cohen first met waiting in line for city permits, and later became fast friends. “She makes cocktails that taste spot on and that’s kind of unusual because sometimes, when people get creative, things are just off,” he says of his cocktail menu curator.
Bullfrog Bagels, 317 7th St. SE; (202) 494-2609; bullfrogbagels.com