Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ask the Barman

Q: What makes DC such a good drinking town?Mark from Cleveland Park

A: There are so many factors that go in to that. First, the people sitting across the bar are more responsible that anything. As with their willingness to try new food, more and more people are experimenting with new liquors, flavors, and simply trusting the bartenders to come up with something based upon a flavor profile they’ve offered up; dealer’s choice if you will. 

People are moving away from walking in and ordering a scotch on the rocks or vodka martini while ignoring the bar/restaurant’s cocktail list. While there’s nothing wrong with having your favorite drink (I have plenty of those), it’s always nice to try a new drink.

Also, I believe we’re extremely lucky to have a lot of dedicated and talented people behind the bars in the city. No longer are people bartending to just put themselves through school or to make money in between “real” jobs. Now, there are passionate people who live and breathe the bartending craft. There’s been a noticeable shift towards a chef-like mentality behind bars not only with culinary twists on drinks but also in preparation.  Part of that is due to some of the top bartenders in the city have moved out from the kitchen to tend bar. Others have simply learned by watching their chefs and have integrated the kitchen prep into their bar prep. The line between bar and kitchen isn’t blurred just yet, but it’s not as straight as it used to be.

Drinking in DC has come a long way in the 6 years I've lived here. There weren't any straight cocktail bars when I moved here. Run through the list now. There are so many good ones with more coming. Obviously, I think we make great drinks at Fiola, but I think the competition will only make us better.



Bar Manager Jeff Faile