Barrel Whiskey Lounge

Surrounded by the glow of the nation’s Capitol, amongst the hustle and bustle of thousands of the country’s most rich and powerful, lies a monumental attraction of a different kind that deserves admiration and recognition in its own right.

Barrel, a rustic yet cozy whiskey bar known for its southern fare and flare, has quickly found itself amongst the best and most palatable grub hubs in the city – and executive chef Garret Fleming is all too familiar with praise and recognition.

 

While the former Bravo Top Chef contestant’s time on the big screen may be over, his adventures in the kitchen crafting some of the nation’s best brown water cocktails and brunch bites are far from over.

Fleming has built nothing short of a southern dynasty just north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Sugary sips with names such as “Members only” that features a mixture of Ford’s Gin, Campari, Raspberry Syrup, dry vermouth, lemon, and egg white, and “Last Resort” that is a dreamy concoction of Bulleit, Licor 43, Cynar, Angostura, and orange bitters grace the Elixir Bar menu.

After taking one good look at us after coming in from the blistering cold, our informative and delightful waiter Sam recommended the “Milk Punch” cocktail – a beverage with a slightly sweet yet potent punch (no pun intended) that contains rum, brandy, vanilla bean, carmelized bananas, brown sugar, and maple syrup. (Trust us, it is magic in a glass!) The liquid goes down smooth and leaves a surprisingly yummy aftertaste, much like a mixture of tropical fruit with the subtle undertones of nothing but southern goodness.

 

Not stopping there, Sam decided we couldn’t make a trip to Barrel and not take full advantage of the self-serve bottomless mimosa brunch bar (how does he know us so well already?) The bottomless brunch that runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday features house made simple syrups that guests can add to their orange or cranberry mimosas, which they can also pour themselves to get the right amount of champagne:juice ratio. (Considering how incredibly impossible it is to find a brunch in DC that serves mimosas with the correct ratio of juice to the stuff we really want, can we get an Amen?)

The friendly staff showered us with a bucket of chilled champagne accompanied with fresh raspberry pineapple simple syrup, mint lemongrass simple syrup, fresh squeezed OJ, and cranberry juice. While it was a treat to be able to pour our own champagne, it was the simple syrups that sealed the deal. Even after all of the brunches we have attended (most of which we remember), these mimosas were the freshest, most flavorful mimosas of all.

Let’s just take a close-up so you can appreciate the consistency of the yumminess within the glass. We think this pour-form of the raspberry pineapple syrup deserves an Olympic gold:

Now, a proper southern whiskey bar would never serve ladies brown water without offering them nibbles, but Barrel took the term “southern hospitality” to an entirely new level.

Simultaneously, Barrel staff brought out plate after plate…after plate of beautiful food art.

 

Chef Fleming started us off with the creamy, crispy Croque Madame made with ham, crab mornay, egg, and chard (a green, leafy vegetable), all on top of a thick slice of lightly toasted bread.

Sam recommended we break the egg yolk first while the dish was hot. Check out this serious yolk porn below:

 

Next up was the Mac n’ Cheese. Before we dive into the details of this rich and cheesy dish, let us first take the time to distinguish this mac n’ cheese from all others. Made with five different types of cheeses including aged Wisconsin parmesan, fresh goat, gruyere, fontal, and topped with fontina, the dish is SO good, that a popular food magazine asked for the recipe! We won’t ruin the surprise of course, but let’s just say we can certainly see why they want to share Chef Fleming’s secret with the world:

 

We decided to dig into the Fried Chicken, Sausage Gravy, and Peach Jam Biscuit dish next which was a pure southern delicacy. The crisp boneless chicken breasts and fluffy biscuits made these former belles swoon! The mixture of the sweet jam with the salty brown gravy was a match made in foodie heaven:

 

Working our way through the massive feast before us, we decided to take a stab at the Jagerwurst, Baked eggs, Roasted Garlic and Toast dish. Chef Fleming starts out with crushing slivers of garlic in a pan, adding cracked eggs over the top once the garlic is browned and roasted. A blend of secret spices is dashed on top before it is served along side a perfectly toasted piece of bread and a giant, juicy jagerwurst.

Just about stuffed to the brim, we still had quite a few surprises in store (but don’t worry, we always make room). Next, we decided to expand our horizons and dig into the Cauliflower Migas with Chilis, Peppers, Currants, and Poached egg. For a dish with such seemingly simple ingredients, it sure packs a flavorful punch. Spices such as curry, turmeric, cayenne, and smoked paprika dance around a mixture of chopped jalepeno and chili peppers and baked cauliflower for a smoky flavor with subtle spice.

 

The skillet dish is topped off with crunchy croutons and a poached egg with creamy yolk. Here’s a closer look:

 

Taking a glance down the table, we realized we had one final dish left: the glorious, ginormous, warm, gooey cinnamon bun. This wasn’t your average cinnamon bun, either. This big ole’ bun was topped with a melted cream cheese glaze mixed with the perfect pinch of bourbon.

To make this treat even sweeter, underneath the cinnamon bun was a 1-inch thick layer of carmelized brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter.  Check it out:

 

As we finished up our cocktails and enjoyed the feelings of our overstuffed but satisfied bellies, the gracious staff led us to the room we dubbed the “bourbon basement.”

 

In a dimly lit private room below the main restaurant is a hidden gem full of some of the world’s best bourbon-whiskey (some they even age in barrels themselves). In fact, just behind the bar on the top floor, visitors can find what aged bourbon is currently on “tap,” which flavors are up next, and which flavors the elixir masterminds are brainstorming on mounted chalkboards.

 

The bar downstairs offers fun weekly themed cocktails (this past week was David Bowie), and rumor has it upcoming cocktail themes could possibly include Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. Flickering candles, stained-glass decor, and rustic wooden tables also offer a relaxing atmosphere for reasonably sized groups wishing to host private parties.

Barrel is truly an experience unlike any other; a unique and thrilling gem tucked away in the heart of the nation’s capitol that offers visitors a chance to export themselves south of the Mason-Dixon in a matter of minutes. With its friendly staff, one-of-a-kind dishes, cocktails that don’t skimp on the special sauce, and knack for creativity, Barrel will hopefully remain a staple of Capitol Hill for years to come.

9 replies to “Barrel Whiskey Lounge”

  1. I should not have read this an hour before lunch time. OH MANNN this looks amazing! Following you on bloglovin now so that I can get this kind of tasty goodness on the regular!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have you ever received an expensive data roaming bill after a trip abroad? Yep…me too. #ad

Have you wasted time anxiously looking for an eSIM vendor at a crowded airport? (I’ve done this in the past, too 🤦🏽‍♀️) Both were expensive and hard lessons learned, but thankfully I’ve since discovered @airalocom!

@airalocom is the world’s first digital eSIM store that solves the pain of potentially high roaming bills. Using Airalo is super easy, too. Simply download the app, select your digital eSIM from more than 200+ countries and regions, install, and be connected with the outside world the second you land. With data plans starting at just $4.50, there’s really no reason not to give it a try! 

Use my code 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐒𝐒𝐀𝟑 for $3 off your first purchase on Airalo.

Safe travels! ✈️
{#airalodotcom #airalo #esim #sponsored}

…

#travelessentials #travelessential #travelhacks #travelhack #travelhacking #travelmusthave #travelmusthaves #smarttravel
A visit to Yosemite National Park really is like living in a dream 🥺

I recently spent a week in eastern Central California exploring @yosemitenps for the first time, and I must say it definitely earned a spot in my personal “Top 3 U.S. National Parks” category!

Some can’t miss spots in the park that are highlighted in the reel:

- El Capitan / El Capitan Meadow 
- Bridalveil Falls
- Half-Dome
- Glacier Point Overlook 
- Yosemite Valley 
- Hetch Hetchy (road is open year round, but may close intermittently due to snow depending on the time of year)

As always, for your safety and to protect Yosemite’s delicate ecosystems, always stay on designated trails. If encountered, give wildlife plenty of space and do not approach. Do not disturb or remove archeological or historical objects from where they reside. Leave the park even more beautiful than you found it for future visitors 🩵

**Reservations are required to drive into or through the park on certain dates / holidays through Oct 27, 2024. Additional reservations are made available seven days before the arrival date at 8 am Pacific time, but go quickly. For more information visit https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/reservations** 

Have you visited Yosemite National Park yet? #yosemitenps #nationalparksusa #nationalparkservice #usatravel #usaroadtrip #roadtrippers #outdoorsy #nationalparksgram
Instagram post 17973947837589303
Instagram post 17909310869867611
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝟒 𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐢𝐧 @charleston.travel ::

(You’ll want to SAVE this for your next trip!)📌

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟏:
- Check into the @hvicharleston. Here you can enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese reception, milk + cookies at night, and a made to order breakfast in the mornings!
- Grab a sweet pick me up at @tintoycrema next door 
- Stop for pics at Rainbow Row
- Walk to White Point Garden + The Battery
- Visit Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
- Have a late seafood lunch at @fleetlanding 

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟐:
- enjoy complimentary breakfast at @hvicharleston (order the ham + cheese quiche or croissant!)
- take the free DASH bus from the hotel to Liberty Square to visit the @southcarolinaaquarium. They have an amazing Sea Turtle Rescue Center! 
- eat lunch at @browndogdeli (I recommend ordering The Folly Beach Turkey Crunch Wrap or the Fried Green Tomato BLT) 
- tour the Nathaniel Russell House and/or the Edmondston-Alston House (it survived hurricanes, the earthquake of 1888, and the Civil W*r!)
- eat dinner at @magnoliaschs. Order the fried green tomatoes and southern egg roll!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟑:
- enjoy another breakfast at @hvicharleston! You can order it as early as 6am.
- Board a boat to @ftsumternps. This historic Fort is marked as the spot where the first battle of the Civil W*r was fought. Reservations required. 
- take an Uber to @fireflydistillery to try their Sweet Tea Vodka, Banana Pudding Moonshine, and their Chocolate Pecan Whiskey. Dont pass up a boozy moonshine milkshake (for 21+) and a Rocket Burger from @rocket_burger_chs food truck!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟒:
- enjoy an iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich at @carmellasdessertbar (just a few blocks from @hvicharleston)
- stroll through the @charlestoncitymarket. It’s been around since the mid 1800’s!
- eat late lunch at @hymans_seafood. Don’t pass up their hush puppies and crab cakes. They were voted Best in Charleston for a reason! 

Click on the link in my bio to read my full “4 Days in Charleston” guide (yes, there’s more!) on my blog to help you plan the ultimate Charleston vacation.
Instagram post 17997277805380983
Looking to sell, buy, or trade your car from the comfort of your home? You’ll want to check out @driveway_hq! 

Driveway.com makes it easy to find the value of your current vehicle through a convenient evaluation process that only takes a few minutes. Instant offers are valid for 7 days.

When you’re ready to buy, its inventory of more than 30,000 new and used cars makes finding the perfect one a breeze. Simply search inventory by year, make, model, color, gas milage, and more. Driveway will even pick up your old car or deliver your new one right to your doorstep!

As someone with a busy travel schedule, Driveway takes the stress and hassle out of searching for a new car so I can explore on my own time. From road trips in the mountains to quick spins around the city, wherever I’m going it helps me get there.

Driveway. The way better way to buy and sell your car online. # AD
Copyright 2023 © All rights Reserved | Privacy Policy