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all photos: Shauna Alexander

Happy first day of February! If the world, indeed, needs love now more than ever, then Iron Gate‘s Tunnel of Love could officially be our church for the next two weeks. The restaurant, to begin with, is one of DC’s most romantic destinations. The history, the endlessly flattering lighting, the shareable food, the perfect wines, the works. And while the carriage house is a perfect seal-the-deal/special occasion date opportunity, the front bar is where all the action will be over the next few weeks.


Possibly (probably?) taking a cue from the success of Miracle on 7th street the area has been overloaded with hearts, red chandeliers, glitter, a “kiss cam” selfie op in the mirror and more.


All of this would be for naught, of course, if the drinks and food were not a match to the lovefest around you.


The cocktail menu, movie inspired names and all, has some seriously girly winners (the elderflower forward “I’ll Have What She’s Having”, which comes pre-bottled) and over-the-top romance (“Better Put A Ring On It” is a tikki extravaganza, complete with a ring pop garnish) but also offers cocktails serious enough for the most serious cocktail drinker that may stumble in (we recommend the “You Make Me Want To Be A Better Martini” wotj 1751 Gin Lane victoria pink gin and house vermouth).


For those looking to leave nothing to chance the “101 Aphordisiacs” combines EVERYTHING from that category, down to a truffle on top.


Pair with some granita oysters for a snack, or go deep with a Iron Gate mixed grill for two, but make sure you save room for dessert too (zeppole hearts and chocolate dipped cannoli with pistachios are high on our list) and you have yourself a perfect OTT Valentine’s month outing. Oh and if you’re instagramming (and lets face it, you ARE instagramming) use #TunnelOfLove @irongatedc.


Iron Gate is located at 1734 N Street NW, opens doors every day at 5:30pm, and the pop-up is in effect now through Feb 15th.