Napoleon Bistro 1847 Columbia Road NW
Grey goose vodka Blue curacao White cranberry juice Topped with Champagne… …and garnished with a kiwi
Brian’s take: I have to say that the Bonapartini at Napoleon, while it may have the best name of any artini we’ve tried, was on the whole a rather bland affair. To be honest, it’s difficult to remember exactly how it tasted. Was it tart? Was it savory? Was it bitter? Was it sweet? Was it bad? No, no, no, etc.—it was none of these things. The only aspects of this artini that weren’t forgettable were its color—a mouthwash-inspired aquamarine—and the one tasty moment that transpired when I took a swig of the concoction while the accompanying kiwi slice was in my mouth. Indeed, this artini’s name certainly belies its flavor. I expected something more out of the Bonapartini. I longed for obsession, despotism, dense flavor—a small drink that packed a mighty punch. Yes, that’s right: I wanted nothing more than for this artini to give me a black eye! But alas, I exiled myself from Napoleon Bistro bitter, bored, and bruise-free.
On a scale of 1 to 5 olive branches: 2
Ted’s take: Dennis Rodman once cannily observed that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Napoleon, we must here affirm, was never quiet but frequently desperate—which brings us to the Bonapartini.
Not the cute name. “Yes,” you murmur, “but is it art?” Note the inclusion of cranberry juice. “Yes,” you muse, “but is it tart?”
The answer, to both questions, is a resounding no—though this does not bode as ill for the beverage as one might expect. The champagne adds a reasonable bit of panache to the whole affair, and the kiwi, properly squeezed, contains more flavor than the other ingredients combined. I have never before found myself wishing that the bartender had “included more blue curacao,” as I generally find it an insipid mixer, but on this occasion it would at least have kept things tastier. Really, one doesn’t ask much out of these so-called “artini” things—but when the drink offers as little to the buds & brain as the Bonapartini, one can’t help but feel duped…
…much like the huddled masses of France!
On a scale of 1 to 5 olive branches: 2.25