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Valentine’s Day brings out more gimmicks than pretty much any other holiday. And restaurants and bars love a good gimmick. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, here are some options for embracing themed menu specials and terrible puns, ranked top to bottom from extremely to moderately cheesy.
Smoothie King: Who needs a boyfriend? A “Soulmate Smoothie” quiz helps people find the smoothie “that best fits each person’s unique nutritional goals and needs.” Also: dark chocolate strawberry smoothies.
The Daily Dish: “It’s Not You, It’s Me” singles happy hour includes stinky breath dishes like garlic and anchovy flatbread and “Shot Through the Heart” shots of tequila.
Martin’s Tavern: An “I Heart U” crab cake appetizer for two is comprised of a heart-shaped crab cake with “I” and “U” spelled out with candy hearts. Eat it in the booth where John F. Kennedy proposed to Jackie in 1853.
Vendetta: For $35, lock lips over “Lady and the Tramp-style” pasta for two, which includes Champagne and tiramisu.
Bar Pilar: Anti-Valentine’s Day specials include offal food specials (beef tongue pastrami sliders, duck offal ramen) plus bitter and sour drinks.
City Tap House: Porters and stouts takeover the taps and accompany a three-cource “Black as Your Heart” prix-fixe dinner menu.
Pizzeria Paradiso: The Dupont location will serve sour beers, Georgetown will serve sweet beers, and the Old Town Alexandria spot will pour “flowers and chocolate:” three chocolate and three floral beers.
Buffalo & Bergen: A $40, four-drink “Lover’s Delight, Cocktails at Night Menu” features the “What Came First” cocktail with mezcal, candied grapefruit, and “pink love.”
Café Dupont: Oysters, Burgundy-braised short ribs, and raspberry cheesecake make their way onto a $65 aphrodisiac-themed menu.
McClellan’s Retreat: Get a free glass of punch if you can prove you’re on a first date, blind date, or Tinder date.