The Cheezborgers Are Coming

Posted September 21, 2005 at 5:01pm

The Washington outpost of Chicago’s legendary Billy Goat Tavern is expected to be up and running next week at 500 New Jersey Ave. NW. The tavern hosted a soft-opening bash on Monday, during which guests dined on cheeseburgers, of course.

The original Billy Goat Tavern opened in Chicago in 1934 and was made famous by the “Cheezborger, Cheezborger” sketch on “Saturday Night Live” in the late ’70s.

The new Capitol Hill location, on the ground floor of the National Association of Realtors building, is a narrow, modern space with a small bar and a handful of tables.

The Billy Goat’s diner-style menu will offer burgers, egg sandwiches, grilled cheese and hot dogs.

Drinx Opens at MCI Center. With a name like drinx, you would certainly expect the sleek new restaurant at the MCI Center to be focused on cocktails, but its worthwhile offerings extend beyond the bar.

Chef Brian McPherson, formerly of Butterfield 9 and New Heights, has crafted a menu of American favorites, such as jumbo lump crab cakes, applewood-smoked baby back ribs, sirloin burgers and pork spring rolls. A separate bar menu offers prosciutto-wrapped figs, tuna tartar with crispy wontons and the ubiquitous plate of mini burgers.

But back to the cocktails. Drinx’s extensive martini list includes a house concoction made with gin, sherry and blue cheese-stuffed olives, a signature cosmo made with pear purée, and a sake and gin cocktail sweetened with lychee. Other choices include a tomato water bloody mary, a passion fruit mojito, a handful of champagne cocktails and dessert-style chocolate concoctions, such as the “chocolate rush,” which mixes pisco and Godiva chocolate liquor with a shot of espresso.

Drinx also offers a nice selection of beers, including about 10 choices on draft. During the weekday happy hour, from 5 to 7 p.m., 16-ounce drafts are priced at $3 and Svedka brand martinis are $5.

The space, which formerly housed Nick and Stef’s, has been completely renovated. The spacious restaurant is awash in neutral tones, with angular ceilings that add drama to the room. Plasma televisions keep bar patrons up to speed on the night’s games, and there’s also a private room that overlooks the MCI Center’s practice court.

Drinx is located at 601 F St. NW.

A Grill for Bobby Van’s. Upscale steakhouse Bobby Van’s is planning to launch a more casual concept with Bobby Van’s Grill at 1201 New York Ave. NW. The new spot is expected to open in mid-November. With a menu of smaller portions and lighter fare, such as sandwiches, pasta and salads, the grill will be a less expensive version of its older sibling. Diners will still be able to order Bobby Van’s signature steaks and wine from an extensive list of moderately priced selections.

The large two-story space, which includes an outdoor patio, will seat about 600 people.

Shuck ’Em. It’s officially oyster-eating season, regardless of whether you abide by that old saying that oysters should be eaten only during months that contain the letter “r.” And there’s no better way to celebrate than by indulging in a night of all-you-can-slurp oysters at Old Ebbitt Grill’s wildly popular Oyster Riot, held this year on Nov. 18 and 19.

But you’ll have to act fast — tickets are already sold out for Saturday’s party but are still available for Friday.

Tickets are $80 and include more than 20 oyster varieties, beer, dozens of wines and live musical entertainment.

The Oyster Riot is a celebration of the winners of the International Wines for Oysters Competition, which is held in the weeks prior to the event. During the competition, a panel of judges made up of wine and oyster lovers sample wines entered from all over the world with raw oysters. The winning wines will be available at the Oyster Riot.

Old Ebbitt Grill is at 675 15th St. NW. Tickets can be purchased from the restaurant’s Web site, www.ebbitt.com, or by calling (202) 347-4800.