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Chef Nick Stefanelli loves a good cigar, so at his new upscale Italian restaurant, Masseria, smoking will be on par with the eating and drinking. “For me, it’s just another piece of gastronomy, a really nice cigar after a beautiful meal,” he says. “You have tobaccos that are aged for years and years. There’s really a true art form to it.” Looking for other bars and restaurants with cigar menus as serious as their food and drink menus? Here are some of the city’s top places to light up—or if you can’t stand the smoke, to avoid altogether.
Masseria 1340 4th St. NE
The Union Market-area restaurant will offer a rotation of about 10 cigars, which can be enjoyed on the California-esque patio lounge with fire pits and sofas. W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist is curating the menu, which will include some limited releases and other special offerings as well as cigars for beginners.
Jack Rose Dining Saloon 2007 18th St. NW
Jack Rose has more than 2,000 whiskies to pair with a smoke on its rooftop bar. W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist provides nearly a dozen cigars, which are categorized simply by mild, medium, and full-bodied.
Civil Cigar Lounge 5335 Wisconsin Ave. NW
One of the top cigar bars in the city—from the same people behind W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist— opened in 2013. Guests can choose from more than 150 cigars paired with cocktails, wine, spirits, and small plates from Bryan Voltaggio’s Range next door. There’s also a retail area and 125 humidified cigar lockers for lease.
Shelly’s Back Room 1331 F St. NW
The dim-lit, leather-chaired downtown bar underwent a $700,000 renovation and expansion in 2010. But the old-school spot still has one of the most extensive inventories of cigars in the city plus 200 humidors for rent. The smokes are matched by an extensive bourbon and Scotch list plus an American food menu with burgers and chicken tenders.
Quill 1200 16th St. NW
The upscale bar and lounge at the Jefferson hotel offers cigars and cognac on its 25-seat outdoor terrace. The brands rotate based on demand from customers and requests from cigar-savvy bartenders. At any given time, there are usually eight types of cigars on the menu.
Photo courtesy Masseria