Imagine my despair. With only minutes left in Poste Moderne Brasserie’s happy hour I flagged down a bartender to order my drink. The bartender informed me that happy hour ended at 7 p.m. In an act of desperation (and only $5 in my wallet) I held up my phone to prove that it was indeed 6:55pm. The bartender disagreed and much to my dismay, I was charged full price for my glass of wine. I had just arrived and already my evening at Poste was off to a bad start.
Putting my wine "incident" behind me, I decided to soldier on through the Poste experience. Surprisingly, despite the large crowd, I was able to snag a bar table and a less-than-helpful waitress to order up some of Poste’s well-known truffled frites. Coated in white truffle oil and presented in a wrapped-up newspaper, these fancy french fries will set you back a whopping $8. These fries were crispy and delicious, but if I am paying $8 for fries I want them to arrive in a parade on a gold plate.
My dinner companion and I also tried the Serrano Ham and Manchego Sandwich from the bar menu ($14), served on crusty bread with arugula and paprika chips. This sandwich turned into quite the comical experience, as I have never encountered bread that was so crusty that I struggled to eat it. We could barely talk to each other because eating the sandwich required so much effort. By the end of my meal, I was covered in breadcrumbs and the roof of my mouth hurt. The challenge of the bread surpassed any of my delight in the salty serrano ham and creamy manchego cheese. While I did not have a chance to sample other items on the bar menu, less challenging options include the Grilled Beef Burger ($14) with organic cheddar, dill pickle and frites and Tomato Bruschetta ($10) with manchego cheese, fresh basil and white anchovy.
Poste is a good place if you are just in the mood for drinks, I highly recommend the Basil Lemontini. Made with Kitel One Citroen, sparkling wine and fresh lemonade “infused with basil,” this is how spring should taste. It is light, refreshing (for an alcoholic drink) and is the one reason that I may go back to Poste. Another recommended cocktail is the Lavender Margarita. This margarita is made with cointreau, lavender, lime juice, tequila and has a lavender salt rim. All of Poste’s cocktails cost $10.
Poste exudes hipness, both in its chic décor and snooty service. But besides its tasty cocktails and large patio, the substandard service and pretentious atmosphere make it a less-than-pleasing experience. My recommendation is to go for happy hour, try the frites, sample a cocktail but leave before the clock strikes 7 p.m. (or 6:55pm).
Happy Hour at Poste Moderne Brasserie
Monday through Friday
4 – 7 p.m.
555 8th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
Metro: Chinatown/Gallery Place