Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cozy Up at Firefly

Dupont Insiders’ Cocktail Haven, Shhh…

Does the thought of the holiday season send chills up your spine? Fake smiles at company parties, gritted teeth (disguised as a grin) at family gatherings, shuttling around the country to appease the in-laws and spoiled tots screaming, “I want! I want!” at the mall definitely kill the ‘warm and fuzzies’ for me this time of year. Thank God for Firefly!

On my last trip to DC, in October, I stopped in to Firefly twice (in three days) to sample their fall cocktails. The first night, I went with gal-pals SarahC and BabsieD. Let's just say that I enjoyed the sampling so much that I went back the next day to actually take notes. (All in the line of duty, of course.) The charming Mike Hill (formerly Bar Manager at Topaz and Rouge) is now GM of Firefly (Yay, Mike!) and he is draw enough, as far as I’m concerned. However, I have to say, the drinks didn’t hurt. No, they didn't hurt one little bit…

One of the cool elements about Firefly is that the public isn’t always aware of the creative cocktails concocted by Mike and his crew. (He is pictured here with Manager Basheer Murshed and barman, Billy.) It's like I have my own little home bar away from home (only their drinks are much more imaginative than mine.)

Though Executive Chef John Wabeck may not be the friendliest fellow I've ever come across, his food receives much acclaim. I would be remiss not to highlight some of the delicacies available to enjoy with your libations. If drinking works up your appetite, indulge in a small plate (such as duck breast with roasted apples), a medium plate (perhaps the seared rare tuna with creamy garlic sauce and potato gnocchi) or a large plate (try the seared venison medallions with braised red cabbage).

Now, back to the cocktails...

Moshe, Liquid Muse Photographer, East, captured some of the delectable drinks on digital, so those of you not in Washington can “drink” your hearts out. Sipsters in DC, you now have the lowdown on some of the hottest drinks in the District. But, please, I don’t want to have to wait for a table next time I’m in town. Keep it amongst yourselves...

(Courtesy of 'Billy the barman')
1 1/4 oz. Finlandia vodka
1/2 oz. Frangelico
1/4 oz. Godiva liqueur
crushed hazelnuts

Shake and strain Finlandia vodka and Frangelico into a cocktail glass. Pour the Godiva liqueur into the middle of the glass, allowing it to settle at the bottom. Top with crushed hazelnuts. (I had this in place of dessert… mmm…!)

Maple Leaf

(Recipe courtesy of Basheer Murshed, who is transitioning from Firefly to Urbana)
1 1/4 oz. Woodford Reserve
1/2 oz. maple syrup
1/4 oz. freshly-squeezed lemon
soda water

Shake lightly, pour into Collins glass, top with soda water and garnish with lemon.

Sweet Potato Martini
(This photo is courtesy of Firefly’s publicist, Anthony Hesselius)
1 1⁄2 oz. Chopin vodka (potato distilled)
1 oz. sweet potato puree
1 oz. Frangelico
Splash light cream
Splash dry vermouth
Dash Simple Syrup
Dash angostura bitters
Sprinkle cinnamon
Skewered mini marshmallow

Shake vodka, Frangelico, sweet potato puree, vermouth, simple syrup, bitters and cream, pour into a martini glass, s
prinkle with cinnamon and garnish with skewered marshmallows.

Visions of Sugar-plums
(Christmas play on the original champagne cocktail)
1 sugar cube
2 dashes orange bitters
1 oz. plum nectar
5 oz. champagne
1 lemon twist

Shake bitters onto sugar cube and place on bottom of champagne flute. Add plum nectar and top with champagne. Rest twist on rim of glass.


DC Celine said...

All of these sound gorgeous. Maybe enough to make me try Firefly again. A long time ago, in a land far, far away, I was lucky enough to be the escort for a wine family friend from Austria. His DC distributor was meeting with Wabeck about bringing Christof's wines to Firefly. It was unfortunately one of the most tasteless meals I've had, and the wines Wabeck hand-picked for us were just boring. Pleasant enough to drink, but I felt oh so vindicated when Christof commented later that he wasn't terribly impressed. I was really disappointed, given all the raves and critical positives the place gets. said...

Very interesting to hear. I have to admit that I've never had a full meal at Firefly - just nibbled on appetizers.

Honestly, before Mike Hill took over as GM, I wouldn't have rushed to hang out there. I found it a bit stuffy and unwelcoming.

However, I was very happy happily impressed when I did stop in recently. Like I said, the cocktails were very good. And, the ambiance has improved ten-fold with Mike's influence.

It is now on my "must-do" list for future DC trips.

DC Celine said...

I'll meet you there... said...