The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel’s new restaurant focuses on small-plated classics with a twist.
By Laura Wainman
Frequent patrons of Connecticut Avenue, rejoice: fine dining has returned to The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, with the opening of Edgar Bar & Kitchen. Filling the void of the iconic 63-year-old Town & Country Lounge, known as a power lunch destination and post-work watering hole, Edgar opened just in time for the holidays. The 166-seat restaurant is billing itself as a “modern eatery” with “traditional American brasserie cuisine and authentically crafted cocktails.” Designed by New York firm AvroKO, the elegant space mixes canvassed walls and ceilings with herringbone wood and espresso slate floors, a marble bar and leather bar stools for a hauntingly classic feel.
Much like its predecessor, Edgar Bar & Kitchen places an emphasis on being a bar to drink and be seen, which is evidenced by the fact that the bar is in middle of the space and has its own entrance from Connecticut Avenue to give it a freestanding bar and restaurant feel. Named for former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who dined at the space almost daily for 25 years, the restaurant will return to its roots of classic cocktails and comfort food with subtle, modern twists. For example, try an “Earl the Pearl” cocktail, made from Earl grey tea house infused Belvedere Vodka, fresh lemon, house-made mint syrup and ginger beer or a “Pear Sidecar” with Bulleit Bourbon, pear liquer, fresh lemon juice, house-made syrup and rhubarb bitters. While you won’t see the traditional happy hour specials at Edgar, stop by for nightly themes such as Monday Blues with $15 shots of Johnnie Walker and Bubbles Up Thursdays, where parties of five or more ladies will receive a gratis bottle of sparkling wine.
Washington Life was invited to sample selections from the bar and cocktail menu, and we were highly impressed with what was presented. Chef Andrew Morrison, formerly with Maison Blanche and Le Mistral, has developed a small plates-centric menu using local ingredients and trend-driven flavors. Highlights included the Graton Village Cheddar and Potato Croquettes, the Homemade Meatballs in a crushed tomato sauce (a must-order as they are the most delicious, tender meatballs we have ever tried) and the Maryland Crab Cake with paprika sauce. The bar menu was not to be outdone by the six craft cocktails we tasted, with favorites including the Pom-Blackberry Balsamic Bourbon, the Raspberry Gin Fix and the Strawberry Citrus Vojito.
If you can’t head to Edgar immediately, placate your cravings with this at-home recipe for the Strawberry Citrus Vojito, courtesy of Edgar Bar & Kitchen. But make a reservation quick to get a taste of the real thing!
Strawberry Citrus Vojito
Recipe courtesy of Edgar Bar & Kitchen
1 or 2 strawberries, quartered
6 mint leaves
1 1/2 oz. Ketel One Citroen
3/4 oz. simple syrup
1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Top with Zonin Prosecco
Drop strawberries and mint into mixing glass then muddle. Add ice, Ketel one citron, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Shake 4 times. Pour ingredients into highball glass, add ice and top with Prosecco.
Edgar Bar & Kitchen is located at 1127 Connecticut Avenue NW. Breakfast is served daily starting at 6:30 am; lunch begins at 11 am M-F and noon on Saturdays and dinner is served at 5 pm daily. The bar menu is available every day from 11 am to midnight.