Capital Cooking Contributor
I’ve walked by 901 Restaurant and Bar a number of times without giving it a second thought. There’s no shortage of great restaurants in the Penn Quarter/Chinatown area, but 901 deserves to be added to that list. Upon entering the dark, sophisticated lounge area you immediately know that you are in for a treat. The trendy decor, low lighting and cozy booths set the tone of the space. Their daily happy hour (every day from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) makes this an excellent place to congregate for drinks, and the wall of windows makes for great people watching.
901 recently unveiled a new way to beat the sweltering D.C. heat with the addition of refreshing summer margaritas to their menu. Vida Tequila, a smooth Mexican spirit made with 100% pure agave, provides the base for the two handcrafted cocktails.
The True Blue Maragarita is a mix of Vida Blanco tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh lime and watermelon juice. For a unique twist, the glass is rimmed with blue salt. This cocktail seemed very salty, even without the additional salt on the rim. It had a muted melon taste, but I couldn’t specifically decipher that it was watermelon juice.
The Reposada Passion combines Vida Reposada, pineapple juice and passion fruit puree. A rock candy garnish adds playfulness to the cocktail. The general consensus was that this bright yellow drink was incredibly strong. Don’t be fooled by the rock candy, this is not a child’s drink.
If hunger strikes, 901’s Asian-American menu offer a myriad of options designed for sharing. The Kobe Beef Sliders were a clear favorite as the flavors were exceptional. The beef was juicy, the toasted bun was buttery and crispy and the spicy aioli was the perfect compliment.
The Hoisin Duck Spring Roll dish was comprised of tender duck, stuffed with mozzarella cheese and served with a Thai chili cream sauce. The sauce cut through the richness of the spring rolls, by adding an extra creaminess and depth of flavor.
If you enjoy sushi rolls, I highly recommend the Japanese Tuna Tempura. Served atop a crispy wonton chip and avocado mousse, this tempura battered roll is a delicious combination of buttery tuna, crispy seaweed and spicy ginger. All together it made for an amazing bite.
901 would make a great date spot, but if you can’t make it out for dinner they also offer a new late night happy hour featuring $5 specialty drinks from 9 p.m. to close.