My love affair with cozy bar/lounge/restaurants started in New York City. It was there that I first really understood the importance of having an establishment that you could frequent that felt like home. Of course, no place can replace home but after you’ve had a long day and you just need to get away from it all there is absolutely nothing like the stiff pour from your local bartender friend or the quality meal from your neighborhood restaurant to bring you back from the brink…to let you know that all is right with the world…to let you know that there’s nothing that another day can’t make better.
If you’re in Washington DC or plan on visiting soon I would like to introduce you to Darnell’s Bar, an unassuming come-as-you-are bar/lounge located at 944 Florida Avenue that will certainly lighten your spirits.
It’s quite possible to overlook the place as there isn’t a large sign on the outside, but don’t be surprised if the owner, Darnell, sees you walking past and waves you inside to enjoy a drink, a bite to eat and if it’s Sunday, experience Sunday Dinner.
I literally spent the entire weekend at Darnell’s. Friday night I celebrated my girlfriend’s birthday there, Saturday evening was an extension of the prior night and the breeze that blessed the outdoor patio was right out of a fabulous vacation…finally on Sunday night I had to come back to Darnell’s to experience Sunday Dinner first-hand.
Green beans, rice, salmon, a shrimp cream sauce to pour over the rice and salmon, flavorful (and moist) baked chicken, meatballs, rolls, pound cake, chocolate cake, spinach dip, artisan crackers, strawberries, grapes…I was in heaven and the sweetest thing about it all is that the Sunday dinner (while it lasts!) comes from Darnell’s heart, meaning that at the moment it’s complimentary to all patrons.
Good food, good people and refreshing cocktails are a recipe for amazing memories, I look forward to making many more here…
Darnell prepping Sunday Dinner and refreshing a lovely lady’s beverage!
Artist, renaissance gentleman, and fellow patron Joe Ruffin shares one of his sketches over a cocktail
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