After nearly two months of renovations, J&G Steakhouse at the W Hotel reopened today with new chocolate brown walls, new furniture, new menu items, and a new bar. But the addition that caught my eye at a media preview last night was not the collection of silver sequin throw pillows lining the banquettes. It was the roving martini cart that will wheel around the dining room providing custom cocktails tableside.
Consulting mixologist Domingo-Martin Barreres is the mastermind behind the bar on wheels. The cart is stocked with a variety of vodkas and gins, which chill in cylinders made of solid ice.
Other restaurants have dessert carts or cheese carts—even rolling guacamole-mixing stations. But cocktails? “The idea of this concept is long overdue,” Barreres says. “We’re pretty much pioneers of this as far as we know.”
Guests can customize their martinis with blue cheese-stuffed olives, pickled onions, cornichons, and peppers. There are also several fancy flourishes like a vermouth mist spray and an eye dropper filled with real gold dust suspended in high-proof alcohol to make your drink shimmer. One of the signature martinis is the Goldfinger with Lillet Blanc, Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, and gold dust. All the martinis are around $15; there’s no surcharge for getting a drink from the cart vs. the bar.
Eventually, the cart may also serve up mimosas and Bloody Marys for brunch, or other classic cocktails like Sazeracs and Old Fashioneds. “Really, it’s limitless,” Barreres says.
J&G Steakhouse. 515 15th St, NW; (202) 661-2440; jgsteakhousedc.com
Photo by Jessica Sidman