Last Wednesday, one of my favorite D.C. events of the year took place, Washingtonian‘s Best of Washington party at the National Building Museum. Ever since we went a few years ago, I have been dying to go back! The event features samples of food, drinks, and desserts from some of the top restaurants in the area. You get to dress up a bit, wander from table to table, and try what each restaurant has to offer. In addition, there are photo booths, an open bar, and a band. It’s a great time!
My birthday present this year from Chris included early admission tickets for us both! We were able to walk in an hour earlier than most of the crowd, which meant that we didn’t have to worry about anything running out and weren’t too overwhelmed by lines or lots of people early on.
We started out at the Water & Wall table with their delicious smoked watermelon with roquefort. Blue cheese and watermelon? It seemed strange at first, but the texture and flavors were incredible. Water & Wall is located in Arlington and we’ve been wanting to try it out.
We also had a great experience at the Boqueria table early on in the evening. The employees were very personable and excited for us to stop by. It was also fun that they offered both a food and a drink sample: lamb meatballs with tomato sauce and sheep’s milk cheese along with blackberry sangria with rosé and toasted vanilla beans. The meatball portions were pretty hearty too! Boqueria is already one of my favorite local restaurants, so this experience only cemented my love and adoration.
It was exciting to stumble on an incredible table grouping in the back corner that included Rasika, Acqua Al 2, Denson Liquor Bar, and Ghibellina. The latter three are all in the same restaurant group, but I had never heard of Denson Liquor Bar before. They served a delicious New York Sour. I definitely want to check out the restaurant now!
Other favorites included sparkling white wine from Flight Wine Bar, mini peanut butter cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake (of course!), doughnut bites from District Doughnut, the PassionFish sushi roll from PassionFish, and grilled oysters with chili butter from Republic.
Mason Social was another party table, with whiskey cocktails and a fun staff dressed all snazzy!
Chris’ favorite dish was the figs with burrata, cucumber/hibiscus salt, smoked duck breast, crispy herbed bread, and arugula pesto from Lupo Verde. We went back for seconds there too!
Our second time at Best of Washington definitely did not disappoint. It’s such a great way to find new restaurants to visit! As one example, our visit to Vidalia was directly motivated by the amazing onion soup we enjoyed at the event in 2011. Thank you, Washingtonian, for another great year!