Small Plates: Competition Makes Drinking an Art

Posted March 3, 2010 at 3:38pm

Artini, the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s annual celebration of cocktails and art, kicked off this week.

The annual competition pits mixologists against each other in a cocktail-making contest that will ultimately be judged at a gala at the Corcoran on March 27. Proceeds from the gala benefit ArtReach, the Corcoran’s community outreach program.

Twelve bars and restaurants are participating in the contest to create a drink based on various works of art from the exhibit, “A Love of Europe: Highlights from the William A. Clark Collection.” Participating establishments include newcomers such as J&G Steakhouse (515 15th St. NW) and its terrace bar, POV, as well as the old guard, including Bourbon (2321 18th St. NW) and Tabard Inn (1749 N St. NW).

Over the next month, each location will host a feature night in which the competing cocktail will be offered at a discounted price. Featured nights will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mie N Yu Restaurant (3125 M St. NW) will be hosting tonight. Drinkers can vote for their favorite cocktail and view a complete schedule of feature nights on washingtonian.com.

Restaurants Serve Cocktails for Pennies

Drinking on the cheap just got a whole lot easier. The Occidental Grill & Seafood (1475 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) has rolled out a new deal that offers 95-cent cocktails with the purchase of an item off the bar menu. The special is the restaurant’s way of toasting 103 years of success and will be available from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The bar menu includes signature dishes such as jumbo lump crab and baby artichoke fondue, while the cocktail list features classic drinks such as the old fashioned.

Meanwhile Acadiana (901 New York Ave. NW) is offering 25-cent blood orange mimosas and Cajun Marys at brunch as a nod to the new D.C. parking meter fees. (“At least your cocktail will last you more than 7 minutes!” the restaurant says.) Patrons must order the $29 three-course prix fixe menu to get the deal. The menu includes savory treats such as eggs benedict, chicken and smoked andouille sausage jambalaya and Southern shrimp and grits.