Where Can You Find the Best Damn Dates in DC?
In a city as culturally diverse as Washington, DC, it may seem as though there is an endless number of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs where one could spend an afternoon or evening out on the town. But sometimes – just sometimes – too much of a good thing can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to planning a group excursion – or that stressful first date. Enter Mystery District.
Founded by a girlfriend-boyfriend duo who first began planning surprise dates and scavenger hunts for each other to maintain an element of adventure in their relationship, the power couple now utilizes a series of survey questions and hours of targeted research to create the most intimate and accurate date experiences possible.
I was lucky enough to collaborate with Mystery District to create “Operation Midnight Noir” – a three-part girls night filled innovative cocktails, bistronomy plates, and immersive gamine (think haunted houses and flesh-eating zombies which I’ll get to later).
Here’s how it works: Mystery District plans everything from start to finish. An hour before the first excurion, MD sends an address and two clues. Following the completion of the first excursion, hints are revealed 15 minutes before the start of the next excursion.
To give potential agents an idea of what an itinerary with Mystery District looks like, the agenda from my mystery girl’s night is below.
The Agenda for “Operation Midnight Noir”
What if you could take a peek into the future from right where you’re standing?
At Augment Arcade, imagination is brought to life through virtual reality games. Starting at $60 for an hour worth of playtime, players can enjoy a number of games ranging from lighthearted scavenger hunts to a downright terrifying fight for survival in a desert filled with flesh eating zombies.
Featuring four virtual reality machines, those brave enough to take on augmented technology and alcohol can grab a sip at the full bar and take a seat while they wait their turn.
- Nocturne Bar, 1832 9th Street NW
What you see isn’t always what you get, but that isn’t always a bad thing.
What hails as a popular donut shop during the day but comes alive when the sun goes down? I introduce Nocturne Bar.
One of the District’s newest hotspots, Nocturne Bar is an intimate 17-seat speakeasy that offers an extensive cocktail menu with unique bar nibbles for light snacking, guests can also choose from 30 original drinks on its menu rotation.
Recommended cocktails (menu subject to change)
The “Sting Operation” with raspberry, cactus pear, and elderflower;
The “Boca Del Cielo” with sotol, plantain, lavender, honey, and white pepper;
The “Bubblegum Crisis Cocktail” with vodka, jackfruit, aloe, and sake; and
The “Drink with No Name” with tequila, fennel, jalapeño, tonic, and bubbles.
Reservations can be made on Open Table here .
Described as having food “straight up more beautiful than Beyonce,” I strolled into Bresca in search of PB&J foie gras and sea urchin linguini. What I found was much more than I expected.
Inspired by the principles of Paris-born bistronomy, each plate is carefully crafted using seasonal ingredients and an innovative, experimental technique.
While the number of items on the menu may seem scarce, this is intentional. The names of the menu items themselves make it near impossible to choose just two plates (let alone three).
Recommended plates (menu subject to change):
The “Foie Gras Negroni” with strawberry, Campari, orange, and celery.
The “Burrata & Baby Carrots” with figs, blue basil, and chamomile.
The “Foie Gras Cake Pops” with hazelnut, chocolate, amaretto, and gold flakes. (Bonus: they are served in a cake pop stand shaped like a warrior — badass).
Reservations can be made on Open Table here.
To request one of the “Best Damn Mystery Dates in DC” or with help planning your next girl’s night out, contact the commanders at Mystery District by clicking here, or visit them on Instagram for more information.
*This post was created in partnership with Mystery District.