First Look: A&D
stephanie | Dec 7, 2012 | 12:00PM |

There are some names in D.C. we can’t help but love. We love them because they signify expertise, aesthetic, familiarity and quality and no matter what project they may attach their name to, we’ll come running–in the case of Dan O’Brien and Ali Bagheri, we’ll come running with hungry eyes and stomachs.

The men behind Seasonal Pantry and SUNdeVICH just opened their newest concept, restaurant and bar A&D, on the same block between their two wildly popular locations and believe us, we couldn’t be happier.

  

Take two names we know and love, add a bar (!!) that also happens to serve their signature gourmet takes on the classics, a cozy, relaxed atmosphere and we’re sold. A&D is, as mentioned, conveniently located right alongside their other ventures, making the 1300 block of 9th St. NW a hub of artisan eats.

“My business model with Dan revolves around multiple small concepts in the area so the neighborhood will become a destination,” said Bagheri. “There’s a strong sense of community here that we love. It’s what we wanted to reinforce.”

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A&D is O’Brien and Bagheri’s first bar venture, though an easy one, according to Bagheri. Managing a bar has been an easier transition, due to their years of experience in the always-humming restaurant trade. In fact, A&D is the perfect marriage between their old experiences and new; the rustic, warm bar focuses just as much on cuisine as it does cocktails, with a mouthwatering list of locally sourced ingredients for both menues.

  

The cocktails highlight regional favorites–like Green Hat and Catoctin Creek–and use fresh ingredients prepared every day. Expect freshly-squeezed lemons and limes, as well as housemade syrups. The drink menu will also change seasonally, two to four times a year. For now, stop in and enjoy the 9th St. Coquito involving housemade  egg nog with coconut milk, vanilla bean infused rum, brandy and a secret spice blend. Egg nog’s not your thing? Why not try The Uptown made of Titos, rosemary syrup, cucumber, fresh lime, egg white and fizz?

And, as is to be expected from any endeavor from these two, the menu of both small and large plates looks incredible. The cuisine is just as fresh as the cocktails and just as thorough in its flavor profiles. Take for instance the beef tongue Reuben–whose main ingredient is brined for 28 days to develop the perfect tenderness–or the Smoked Chicken Sandwich, whose chickens are whole-smoked for hours. Even the Tete and Ricotta is made from the tender meat pulled from a whole boiled pig’s head, undergoing that extra step to bring full flavor from the meat to the dish.

They also offer a selection of small plates that are perfect for sharing or nibbling on along with your cocktail. The Chow Cheddar is their playful take on chowchow, and is made of pepper jam with cheddar folded in the spread.

A&D is only open from 5:00pm to 1:00am from Sunday through Thursday and 5:00pm to 2:00am on Fridays and Saturdays, though Bagheri hints there may be a Sunday brunch soon on the way, as well as an option to eat your SUNdeVICH sandwiches and Seasonal Pantry goods in the space. As always, we’ll be waiting (hungrily) for the news.