7:58 p.m Magpie and Tiger, a new Korean-American restaurant, is high on my and my boyfriend’s to-eat list, so we book our Saturday night reservations there. I haven’t had a proper meal all day and we end up ordering most of the menu. For drinks, I order the Matcha Sunset, a grapefruit, yuzu, habanero, and matcha cocktail that comes native off the menu, but no more when I add soju ($9.00 virgin, $16.00 with wine)). My friend ordered a bottle of Hana Makgoli Takju ($48.00), a Korean rice wine, so we could part. Appetizers include focaccia di reko ($13.00), which resembles a green onion pancake, and mala tetokbokki ($16), an extra-spicy take on the Korean rice cake snack. Then there’s the Yache Bokkum ($15.00) and Lobster Ginger and Onion Guksu ($47.00) with pak choi, mushrooms and 63-degree eggs. The noodles have a soft, chewy bite and aren’t smothered in heavy sauce, which allows them to really shine. These are some of the best pastas I’ve missed lately.
The star of the show is the Whole Rib Kalbi ($68.00), which features bone-cut beef and is served with umami rice, samjang, and red leaf salad. I grew up eating SSM at home, but this is the most delicious Korean barbecue lettuce wrap I’ve ever had. I must have stopped talking because after my third rap, my boyfriend says to me, “You just entered another world.” I know this dish is a winner because my friend, who I’ve never seen leftover food before, asked for it to be wrapped (no pun intended). Dessert is Ube Hottake ($9), Ube ice cream on a hot donut. Our check comes with two magpie bird shaped shortbread cookies and is $306.24, $20.00 which I already paid when I made my reservation and the rest is covered by my friend. Again, the relationship justice.
11:00 p.m Our final stop of the evening is L’Annexe, a Georgetown cocktail bar that serves some of the most unique drinks I’ve ever seen. We usually meet our friends here and have also made friends with the management. When we arrive, we often participate in “team meetings” (a round of tequila shots) with the bar staff. I once brought pandan and activated charcoal as drink ingredients just to see what L’Annexi would come up with. (I think the latter is benign in small doses, but be aware it can be a drug disruptor.) Soon after, they were both on the menu — the pandan in a drink called Spruce Banner, which contained gin, arak, and mastiha , Chartreuse. Features cucumber, lemon, mint, and activated charcoal in a drink called Esmoquine, which contains mezcal, crme de cacao, and orange bitters. I’m not saying I’m responsible, but I’m not. In fact, one of the chefs at Chez Billie Sood, a nearby French bistro, liked it so much he asked the staff at L’Annexe how the drink was made – and then he came over to the bar and asked me to help to help prepare it. thanked for that. Tonight the bar manager brings us a round of champagne on arrival and it is the service and familiarity that keeps us coming back. I ordered one for Honeydew You Love Me ($18.00), a frothy gin drink with notes of melon and a soft green that might now be my favorite drink of all time. I’ll take the check for both of us and give the extra tip, so it’s $50.00.
Saturday Total: $70.00
Illustration by Maggie Cowles
Tonight is one of those rare occasions when my desire to stay in bed outweighs my desire for candy.
8:40 a.m Afraid of waking my boyfriend up at an ungodly hour on Sunday morning, I grab my morning Americano and work in the hallway outside my apartment. When I come back I see he’s already awake and watching golf – the final round of The Open continues.