For a city that's hell-bent on getting what it wants, having a watering hole that makes a cocktail the way you like it is equally important.
The Passenger (1021 7th St. N.W.), Mount Vernon's newest neighborhood spot, will take you on a slow and easy voyage to a land of handsomely crafted cocktails with a twist of ingenuity. Manned by former Gibson and Cork alumni Derek and Tom Brown, the Passenger is manned by brothers who once again call up their encyclopedic knowledge to mix up a little magic in your glass.
The process: You offer a few hints about what you like and trust a well-trained connoisseur to make a decision for you. Vodka or gin? Sweet or dry? Bartenders then happily pursue a creation based on your preferences. A request for a not-so-potent drink with vodka resulted in a deliciously chilled concoction with hints of something remarkably unique yet sweet.
The house specialty right now may sound like a detox cleanse, with ingredients that include lemon juice and egg whites, but we have to argue that the Sherry Flip was pretty tasty.
Spirits not your thing? Try a pint of Arrogant Bastard on draft or one the eight canned beers. We suggest the Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale and the Ten Fidy Imperial Stout. While you hunker down to ponder your poison, nibble some Marcona almonds and try a chili half smoke or a kimchi hot dog from chef Javier Duran.
Dim lighting is the only thing that illuminates the cool artwork inside the Passenger. Well-worn floors lead you back toward an unmarked set of doors, where a vintage dining car is being replicated for additional seating. And stay tuned for the opening of their exclusive Columbia Room.