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The Drink: Le Metropolitan
The Location: Napoleon Bistro & Lounge, 1847 Columbia Road NW, (202) 299-9630
The Price: $11
The Buzz: I have a confession to make: I love dining inside on a gorgeous spring evening. Yes, the warm sun, the cool breeze, and the people-watching are all attractive temptations. But the empty restaurant, choice barstools, and a bartender to myself often lure me inside. This one-on-one time with the bartender has occasionally resulted in friendships and more often in free food and drinks. Thus, after only brief hesitation, I enter the deserted Napoleon in Adams Morgan. Greatly improved from the cold, sterile Mantis of past, this infant restaurant is richly decorated in gold, black, and red. Sitting under a black chandelier, I see all their specialty cocktails are Champagne cocktails. The bartender explains that it’s actually a Champagne lounge. Their Web site specifies it is the downstairs bar, Le Metropolitan, that is the Champagne lounge, which “features live DJs on weekends spinning global grooves, beautiful people sipping Dom, and cocktail maestros mixing our latest selection of champagne cocktails.” Luckily for me and my flip flops, the seen-and-be-seen crowd is sitting outside. I order the like-named Le Metropolitan cocktail, which is Courvoisier (supposedly Napoleon’s cognac of choice), Triple Sec, Branca bitters, and Marquis de la Brut Champagne. A little bitters goes a long way, and this orange-tinted bubbly tastes down-right medicinal—-like Alka-Seltzer mixed with cough syrup. While I sip away at my imbalanced cocktail, I take comfort that at least it doesn’t look as girly as my drinking companion’s French Riviera (Absolut vodka, Champagne, and Blue Curacao).
But in the end, I can’t complain; the bartender doesn’t let me down. Not only is he super-friendly, but he charges us for only one drink. And what’s nicer than walking home on a gorgeous spring evening with a slight buzz and money in your pocket?