How We Winter (Outdoor Activations, Holiday Markets, & Popups)
As the great late Tom Petty said, Into the great wide open … or not actually wide … but definitely open. Area restaurants and bars are once again going to put on their thinking caps and offer warm, fun, and safe ways to drink and dine outside during the cooler months.
Conrad Après Ski
The third floor Conrad Lounge and North Terrace exterior space are offering a unique wintertime offering inspired by the traditional flavors of French and Italian alpine cuisine from December 4-31, 2020. Offered as part of the full dinner service, the Après Ski experience takes guests on a journey to the Alps with both its indoor space in The Lounge and outdoor terrace space decked out in Alpine décor. The Après Ski menu features a contemporary take on time-honored dishes such as tartiflette, fromage et charcuterie, croque madame, and pipee d’oignon francais & caviar, offering guests a true taste of peak mountain fare. As guests enjoy bites and the impeccable décor of a chic mountain chalet, they will also be invited to sip on classic winter cocktails with a modern spin such as Haute Toddy and a daily punch. Menu items are available for purchase a la carte. The Conrad Lounge and North Terrace also offers a daily lunch and dinner menu.
Del Mar Winter Igloos
Enjoy fine food and drink from Del Mar’s full a la carte menu in the private retreat of their cozy winter igloos. Igloos are located on the 2nd floor Terraza overlooking the Wharf and accommodate up to 6 guests each for a two-hour experience. Igloos require a $150 rental fee and a food and beverage minimum of $75 per person. For more information, visit exploretock.com/delmardc.
Downtown Holiday Market
The Annual Downtown Holiday Market, presented by DowntownDC Business Improvement District, Diverse Markets Management, and Events DC, has returned for its 16th year. Located at F Street NW between 7th and 9th Streets NW, Downtown DC’s spacious, open-air village will feature small businesses, local artisans and entrepreneurs from across the region. This year, additions to the market include an exciting mixture of interactive digital experiences, which include an awe-inspiring lumina projection show by artist Zak Forrest titled “Chroma” blanketed on the National Portrait Gallery. ARTECHOUSE presents a first-of-its-kind mixed reality (XR) adventure throughout the market, utilizing smartphone technology and the museum’s XR app to unveil Instagrammable surprises at various checkpoints hidden among vendors. Shoppers will encounter an 8’x16’ jumbotron screen illuminating the heart of the village, replacing live center stage performances with curated, streaming entertainment including holiday-fun films, Saturday Morning Theater Shorts from The National Theatre, and musical acts. Returning favorites and new food vendors for visitors to savor include the Taste of Germany, Alexa’s Empanadas, Old Blue BBQ, The Capital Candy Jar, Bindaas, and Migue’s Magnificent Mini Donuts. The market is laid out with a single entryway and streamlined one-way, distanced foot traffic to ensure safe circulation around the market's back-to-back retail vendor tents. All affiliated market workers, exhibitors and shoppers will be required to wear masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE) upon entry and at all times within the market. Hand sanitizing dispensers will be widely available, and easily accessed throughout the market. Market is open daily through December 23rd, and is closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 30th, and December 7th and 14th.
Beginning December 3, eleven custom-designed Yurts will rise from the Fiola patio, amidst a fleet of seasonal trees, transforming 601 Pennsylvania Avenue into a festive winter village. The tents each seat from four to six patrons of immediate family or friends, offering a one-of-a-kind dining experience at a safe distance from others. The restaurant has partnered with American Express – there is no fee to reserve the yurts – all diners must reserve through Resy and pay with an American Express card. The five-course menu begins at $135 per person and offers an array of courses showcasing the seasonal abundance of Chancellors Rock Farm in Rappahannock County, Virginia. Trabocchi and his team will create a variety of seasonal items from the Fiola Harvest Menu and one signature dish – the Papillote of Wild Foraged Mushrooms with White Truffle – which will be served exclusively in the Yurts. You may add on enhancements from Calvisius Caviar to imported Culatello, as well as offerings from Fiola’s Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning cellar. As a special gift, all American Express Platinum Card Members will receive complimentary cider coffee cake to bring home as a morning treat. For reservations, visit resy.com.
Friluftsliv at Sloppy Mama’s Catoctin Creek Whiskey Garden
Embrace the Nordic tradition of friluftsliv, or outdoor adventures. No, that's not a weird auto-correct, and yes, eating BBQ in a socially distanced whiskey garden is an adventure. So get some proper winter gear and get ready to have some good times. Bundle up and enjoy a meal outdoors regardless of weather, and enjoy Cotoctin Creek cocktails to pair with the BBQ. No reservations. Whiskey garden is located at 5731 Lee Highway in Arlington.
Georgetown Holiday Window & Streatery Competition
Back and bigger than ever, the Georgetown Holiday Window & Streatery Competition will run December 1 - 31, 2020. This year’s theme is Silver Linings, as businesses find festive, playful and creative ways to express the hope and positivity they’ve found in the midst of a challenging year. Participating windows and streateries will be decorated throughout December, when visitors can vote via QR code for their favorite display. Cash prizes will be awarded in the various categories including Best Small Business Window, and a Best in Show prize awarded by a panel of judges. A non-cash prize will be given to the business whose window or streatery garners the most Facebook ‘likes.’ Visit georgetowndc.com for more information.
Masseria Courtyard Experience
Extend your La Cucina experience with Masseria’s Aperitivo or Dolce experiences. The Aperitivo is a small collection of savory bites and antipasti to enjoy in the courtyard. If you like a little bit more luxury, add on a caviar service and foienoli to enhance the experience. The Dolce begins with a composed cheese bite and is followed by a series of sweet bites. This is an excellent way to enjoy some after-dinner drinks and desserts in the courtyard. If you are a cheese lover, add a cheese plate to your experience. If you are a chocolate lover, you can always add an additional chocolate course as well. Each experience can be enjoyed for $90 for two people. You have the option of adding on pairings (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), cocktails, or wines from the beverage menu. As the weather gets colder, the courtyard will be tented to allow for outdoor dining into the winter. Reservations required. For more information, visit masseria-dc.com.
Miracle Christmas Pop-Up
Miracle is coming back to Maryland with Miracle at Libs’s Grill Perry Hall, Miracle at Lib’s Grill Maple Lawn, and Miracle at Mutiny. From November to the end of December, each Miracle location will toast the season with a festive menu of signature cocktails and over the top holiday décor- classic to contemporary and everything in between. New Miracle cocktails this year include the Jolly Koala with Gin, Vermouth and Pine-Cardamom-Sage Cordial; the On Dasher, a concoction of Bourbon, Mezcal, Sweet Vermouth, Spiced Hibiscus, Burlesque Bitters, and Lemon; and theFruitcake Flip, made of Brandy, Jamaican Overproof Rum, Amaretto, Fruitcake, Cherry Bitters, and a Whole Egg. Classic Miracle cocktails back for the season include the Snowball Old-Fashioned, Christmapolitan and Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r!
Proper Christmas: A Holiday Spirit Pop-Up
Proper 21 closed on election night and has reopened through December 23, 2020 with a new makeover, ringing in the holidays early. With wall-to-wall Christmas-themed décor, whimsical photo opportunities, holiday-inspired cocktail list, prix-fixe food menu and more, the Proper 21 team will have you in the spirit. The Christmas-themed menu will include a three-course meal served with an alcoholic beverage for $37 per person. You can enjoy their choice of an appetizer, entrée, and dessert plus split a bottle of wine or each enjoy a Christmas inspired cocktail. The menu will include traditional family comfort food such as braised short ribs, goat cheese mashed potatoes, glazed crispy brussel sprouts, and homestyle calamari. You can also order anything off of the menu a la carte. There will be six featured Christmas cocktails for $13 a piece as well as beer and wine specials. Advance reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 202.847.674.
Stable Indoor Chalets & Outdoor Parklet
Jake Charrow, with partner Kyle Carey, have constructed five individual chalets - two measuring 7’ x 12’ that seat six guests and three measuring 6’ x 8’ that seat four guests - with open entries spaced over six feet apart at Stable. Each chalet will be sanitized after each seating and guests are required to wear masks at all times when they are not eating or drinking inside the chalet. The back bar seating will also be open with adjustable plexiglass installed to separate each party. Those dining in-person will be able to enjoy Stable’s full menu of Swiss classics including fondue and raclette as well as their beverage menu featuring seasonal and warm cocktails perfect for the cozy atmosphere. The chalets provided the perfect landscape for early holiday decorations, so guests will find Stable fully decked out to provide a welcome dose of cheer when they reopen. For those opting not to dine indoors, Stable received a parklet permit from the city and added outdoor seating outfitted with heaters and wool blankets with capacity for 20 guests on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. “Private” seating perched in a window opening out onto H Street will also be available to accommodate one party at time. Stable’s carry out operation and to-go Swiss bread, wine, beer and spirits market will continue without interruption. Both Stable’s in-person seating and carry out will be open for dinner on Thursday-Saturday from 5:00-9:00 p.m and brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Chalets require reservations via Resy and 12-hours advance notice for cancellation or parties will be charged a $50 fee. For more information, please visit stabledc.com or call 202.733.4604.
Tacky-Ass Tiki Christmas
Tiki TNT will host the ultimate "Tacky Ass" Tiki X-Mas from November 23, 2020 through January 6, 2021, featuring the "Thrasher's Rum-Ron-Rhum Shoppe" - a pop-up liquor store. A colorful bonanza of Christmas lights will project on every wall, snow machines will blast throughout, two-feet tall Santa’s sporting beachwear will stand perched at the bars and entryway, and, you will be hard pressed to miss the oversized Christmas Tree hung upside down, adorned with a collection of tiki ornaments and whatever else the beach brought to the shore. Imbibers are invited to toast to the holidays over the Tiki TNT Holiday Spectacular Punch and Hot Pineapple Cider served in decorative Santa Mugs. The TVs will loop Christmas classics and you may choose to partake in special table games. All the fun will honor the safety and health codes provided in CDC guidelines - masks required.Todd Thrasher has also reopened the doors to his workshop, Potomac Distilling Company, for tours and tastings. For more information, visit tikitnt.com.
The Viking Village at Hook Hall
Hook Hall has been transformed into a Viking Village with themed “huts”, rows of firepits, and a Viking-inspired menu and cocktails. The summer’s “cabanas” have turned into cozy spaces with firepits, sectional lounge seating and blankets. Additional huts have been added to Hook Hall’s backyard along with 16 fire pitted seating areas in the center of the yard. Each themed hut, available with 2.5 hour reservations at $125, includes a welcome bottle of champagne, heaters, special food and drink menus, a table and the option to keep the “doors” (curtains) open or closed. All huts are weatherproof, keeping heat in and the thunder of Thor out. Each comes with bottle service and a special prefixed food and beverage pairing menu. The Voyages of the Valkyries menu, to be shared by up to six guests, at $24.99 per person, includes winter hummus to share, a rustic beef stew Beef S’kause and a huge macadamia nut cookie. A drink pairing at $19.99 per person includes a welcome glass of mead; Glühwein, the traditional European mulled wine and a Thor’s Hammered, a specialty mulled hot cider. You also have the opportunity to enjoy a Viking experience for six people called the Feast of Valhalla. The $59.99 per person feast comes with a winter salad, a two-pound Bavarian hot pretzel, a shield (or tray) of assorted meats and the massive cookie. The drink pairing, at $29.99 per guest, is mead, Viking beer, dark Scandinavian beer and finished off with Thor’s Hammered hot cider. Those preferring to be seating in the center yard’s firepit area, with a 2.5 hour $15 reservation, have blanketed benches and a personal firepit. For socially distanced celebrations Hook Hall’s Viking Village offers lounges both inside its main hall and in the yard: Viking King’s Quarters for up to 18 people across 3 tables; Odin’s Lounge, inside the main hall for 18 people in lounge seating socially distanced in three groupings; Freya’s Field, socially distanced lounge furniture for up to 18 people in the outdoor covered space in front of the bar; an d Thor’s Retreat, outdoor private area for up to 12 people socially distanced at two tables. For more information, call 202.629.4339.
Watergate Winter Igloos
Stay warm all winter long in cozy winter igloos. These heated igloos are located on the patio of the Next Whisky Bar and can accommodate up to eight guests each. Rental fees start at $150. Food and beverage minimums range from $50 to $75 per person, depending on time and size of party. 90-minute seatings are available seven days a week from 4:30 p.m. Reservations are available by calling 844.617.1972. For more infromation, visit thewatergatehotel.com.
Photo Credit: Amanda Hoey