Each weekend, my other half and I try to find a different place to eat and drink (I have a long list) in the D.C. area. This past weekend, we headed to the following places in Alexandria, VA:
- Haute Dogs and Fries (it’s gluten-free friendly with gluten-free buns) for incredible gourmet hot dogs – no picture, I was hungry
- Sugar Shack (not gluten-free friendly but the boyfriend loved the variety of gourmet donuts) – no picture, my boyfriend was hungry
- Captain Gregory’s (a speakeasy inside of Sugar Shack)
While I could easily write great things about all three, it was the last stop that left a lasting impression.
Why Speakeasies are the Places to Go
I love speakeasies because of the unparalleled, overall experience you get from the minute you’re at the door, until the minute you leave. Usually established by craft cocktail masters, they understand the importance of immersing you in a different world, while ensuring what you are drinking is complete perfection. The bonus: When the speakeasy has story. (Read about why Captain Gregory‘s is in Sugar Shack.)
How to Get In
Once you’ve pulled the rum flag, right inside the front door of Sugar Shack, a wooden wall opens just enough for the hostess to make sure you have a reservation (yes, you need one to enter).
When you’re welcomed in, you notice that it definitely is an intimate place (it seats only 21 people at a time). The decor is “old school nautical” with old, green velvet seating, tea lights, lighting the old wooden tables, and a rather large canoe, anchored to the ceiling. Jimmy Buffet was softly playing out of the speakers, which at some point, I started to feel like I was on vacation (sign of a good weekend).
When our waiter came over, he was thorough in going through the menu and their philosophy on their craft cocktails. Their entire cocktail/food menu is redone everyday, which is a lot to plan for. But what I loved more was that all of their syrups, juices, bitters, and other ingredients are made fresh each day. Having once been “attached” to a bartender, I know how much work and care goes into doing this. It’s what separates a drink at bar from a craft cocktail experience.
What We Ordered
Considering the menu changes everyday, there’s no way for me to recommend particular drinks or food. However, I will say that my drink (called D.A.R.L.I.N.G), which included lemonade, absinthe, lavender, as well as several other liquors and juices, was absolute perfection. You’ll notice the lavender sprig and the elongated ice cube (about the length of a stick of butter) – even down to details, they got these drinks right (note the drinks are about $13 – $18 a piece).
As for food, considering I already had a gourmet hot dog, and my boyfriend had that plus an orange creamsicle donut, it was up to me to pick my dessert. It’s been years since I’ve had Panna Cotta and they knocked this lemon-flavored one out of the park!
We were only able to be there for about an hour but definitely plan on coming back we highly suggest you venture out there as well.