I love a good glass of whiskey - especially Irish whiskey - served neat in a highball glass. Its one of the simple joys in life. For our anniversary a few months ago, my hubby gave me the best gift ever - a visit to the Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington, DC. I was skeptical at first, "a saloon - on our anniversary night - no kids & this is what he picks?" These were my thoughts as we walked up to the entrance in an unassuming section of the Adams Morgan neighborhood. When I walked in, I saw this & was literally in heaven (cue the heavenly angels singing):
I mean it was literally like a LIBRARY FOR WHISKEY - yep, you got that right, all of that is whiskey with a few selections of craft beers & wine (I couldn't tell you about that very much because my focus was on the whiskey). I love books - I love whiskey - could this get any better! Here's another picture - the walls are literally lined top to bottom with whiskey:
After we took our seat at the bar, I was further impressed by the attentiveness of the wait staff & we asked for the menu, at which time they bought me this:
Jack Rose Dining Saloon doesn't just have a menu - they have a BOOK OF WHISKEY! I almost fell out of my chair when they laid the several inch thick menu in front of me. It's pretty thick and well organizes their whiskey offerings by type & country/state from which it came from. Jack Rose not only offers your standard bourbon & scotch whiskeys that can be found in any corner liquor store, they also serve rare and antique whiskeys that are no longer being produced as well as craft whiskeys from smaller "boutique" distilleries. I believe that this is their strong point as an establishment. It was fairly early in the evening before the dinner rush, so we had our wonderful wait staff pretty much to ourselves. After ordering our first flight of whiskeys to try, we discussed with them how they were able to procure all of the different whiskeys especially the antique & rare ones. Our waiter explained that their buyer scours estate sales, auctions, even his contacts in the liquor industry to craft a robust & well-rounded offering for Jack Rose Dining Saloon. After sampling some of the delicious whiskey including an antique Overholt from the early 1900's, our waiter asked if we had heard about the secret speakeasy. I was intrigued - No, I had not heard about this secret speakeasy. Of course, I asked if I could see it & he sweetly honored my request. We went to the back of the establishment down a service stairwell to a simple doorway & when my waiter opened the door I saw this:
Oh my, I felt like Alice in Wonderland who had dropped down the rabbit's hole. The speakeasy itself is a simple space, but it's secret, quaint & quiet - a sought-after rarity in any bar in Washington, DC. The warm wood furnishings, candlelight, exposed brick and dim lighting set an intimate mood that is unmatched. Alas, I could not stay as they have a strict "reservations only" policy that they limit to a small number of people on each & every night. No pushing or crowding at the bar to get a drink in this place. We will definitely make reservations to the speakeasy for the next time we visit. I start running a mental checklist of our friends and family, who are true whiskey lovers, and vow to bring them here when they visit. As for us, we really enjoyed our evening at the Jack Rose Dining Saloon. Here we are- the hubby & I - in front of another wall of whiskey:
If you're not a whiskey connoisseur, Jack Rose Dining Saloon also has some pretty great food offerings, as well. I can't recommend this place enough, and it takes a lot to impress me these days. I don't mean to sound snobby, but we've been to quite a few bars & restaurants here in the US and abroad, and we've had some pretty amazing dining/drinking experiences throughout the years. One of our hobbies as a couple is to cook and try out new foods at home, so we can just about cook anything you might find in a restaurant. One might call us "foodies." When we go out, we're looking for not only good food & drinks, but a memorable experience, as well. Jack Rose Dining Saloon definitely delivered just that. From the warm library aesthetic of the interior to the hidden speakeasy to the amazing book of whiskey to their delicious food offerings, this place hits a home run on every level. Visit them online at http://jackrosediningsaloon.com/ & on your next visit to DC, definitely try out Jack Rose Dining Saloon, you'll not be disappointed!