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The Drink: Zorbatini
The Location: Parthenon Restaurant and Chevy Chase Lounge, 5510 Connecticut Ave. NW, (202) 966-7600
The Price: $7.25
The Buzz: The Chevy Chase Lounge, the boozy offshoot of the Parthenon Restaurant on Connecticut Avenue NW, feels like the kind of dark, just-the-drinks-ma’am watering hole where your parents used to get blasted. Televisions bookend a long bar that holds practically every spirit produced this side of rural Tennessee, including some terrific top-shelf liquors. It’s the kind the place where you could do a lot of forgetting—-or even mumble loudly to yourself—-without anyone looking up from the TV to pass judgment. When in Greece (or a Greek bar), I do as the Greeks do—-or as Americans think the Greeks do. I order a—-god, I can barely write this without cringing—-a Zorbatini. It’s not the version usually produced under that name; this one’s a cocktail made with chilled Belvedere vodka, served up, with a lone Kalamata olive speared with a thin plastic straw. The martini tastes like every other one built from Belvedere—-smooth, a little sweet, which would be fine if I had ordered vodka straight up. I eventually pull the olive from its skewer and break it up into the cocktail. It gives the drink a salty edge as well as some fruitiness. I like that martini better now, but I have to say, in keeping with the drink’s cheesy name, it’s still Greek to me.