Last weekend I ventured out to Georgetown to check out L’Annexe, which is new to the area. It delivers a European inspired urban cocktail bar that seamlessly blends into Georgetown’s vibrant and picturesque landscape. L’Annexe offers farm to table small plates designed and directed by Chef Andrew Markert that rival their delicious cocktails. The combination of the food, drinks, and ambiance makes for the perfect bar experience.
Location & Parking: I found street parking pretty easily on a Saturday evening, so parking doesn’t seem to be an issue in the area. As mentioned above, L’Annexe is in Georgetown but the exact address is 2917 M St NW.
Ambiance: Immediately upon entering L’Annexe, you can tell that a lot of thought was put into the ambiance and atmosphere of the bar. The bar area is very modern with a zinc-topped bar outfitted with pieces of woods that the owner Fady Saba fished out of the Potomac River himself. The various garnishes for the cocktails are beautifully displayed on the bar, which I appreciated because who doesn’t like a pretty drink?
Beyond the bar area, there is a seating area for the patron who would prefer drinks and a meal at an actual table rather than at the bar. A laser-cut map of DC is on the wall in that area, which helps to create the illusion of a separate space. At the end of this particular room, there is a burlap and leather entry curtain that opens up to an inviting library with infused alcohol on the shelf.
(On the Vine & Honey Mule)
I would describe the library section of the bar as more so mid-century modern, which creates an inviting and cozy spot that encourages you to settle in and enjoy some thoughtfully prepared cocktails with a significant other. The bar itself is not overly big, but by creating a different ambiance in each room, it makes the space both large and intimate at the same time with an upscale but casual atmosphere.
Drinks : Obviously I couldn’t visit L’Annexe without trying a couple of their cocktails, so my friend and I started off with a glass of “On The Vine" ($14, Melon infused vodka, sparkling wine, cucumber syrup ) and “Honey Mule” ($14, Vodka, honey ginger, lime juice, soda ). I typically like my drink on the sweeter side, and although it wasn’t necessarily sweet, both drinks were extremely refreshing and tasty, which made it easy to go down.
Unfortunately, I am officially on the dark side of my 20’s and at that point some caffeine was definitely in order. Although they don’t have an espresso martini on their menu, the bartender was accommodating and was able to make one. The martini was tasty and provided me with the little kick of energy I needed. My favorite drink we had was the Pushing Daisies ( $16, Orange blossom water and butterfly flower-infused tequila, Cointreau, honey, lemon), which is a frozen drink but was still strong enough. The last drink we tried was the Lemon Sazerac ( $16, Lemon peel infused cognac, Peychaud’s bitters, simple syrup), which is perfect if you’re having a long day and need a stiff drink. It’s what I would consider “a man’s drink” because it’s really strong.
Food: It’s hard to believe that the food is just as good as the drinks, but it would be a missed opportunity to visit L’Annexe without trying a couple of their small plates. The bartender was raving about the mushroom toast ($17 Pecorino, pine nut jam, sage, brown butter powder ) and insisted that we got it. I was very dubious that it would be good because I’ve never heard of mushroom toast much less seen it on a menu before. Let me say any doubts that I had evaporated after my first bite. The brown butter powder literally melted in my mouth, and the toast was easily my favorite dish and one I highly recommend trying.
It shouldn’t be much of a shocker, but I ordered the charcuterie board ( $19), which came with an actual honeycomb. It’s hard to go wrong with a charcuterie board because cheese and bread are guaranteed to be filling.
Next, we had the Scallops Skewers Xo Sauce ( $19, Shiso leaves, rice pearls, miso aioli). I am typically not a fan of scallops, but they were done so well and was very flavorful that it was easily the second-best dish I had there. Although the portion size is on the smaller size, I would recommend trying the scallop if you want to try a flavorful dish.
(Scallops Skewers Xo Sauce)
The last dish we tried was the Shrimp Aguachile ( $17, Pickled pearl onions, cucumber, corn nuts, avocado, cilantro). I wasn’t necessarily a fan because I don’t like cold dishes, and I am not a huge fan of Mexican flavors, but my friend thoroughly enjoyed it.
Overall, I enjoyed everything about L’Annexe from the drinks to the food, and I’m planning to return soon in the future. It’s the ideal place for a cozy date night spot or to catch up with some girlfriends over drinks.
Ambiance – 8/10
Drinks – 8/10
Food – 9/10
Cost – 7.5/10 ( They're introducing a happy hour menu later this week , which would make stopping by for drinks more affordable.)