First Look: The Coupe
stephanie | Oct 3, 2012 | 11:50AM |

Tryst and The Diner are all grown up, though nothing about them has changed.

The growth can be seen in their wiser, classier sibling The Coupe, a new incarnation from the team behind some of our favorite Adams Morgan haunts. Part-diner, part-lounge, part-bar, The Coupe builds on the best of both concepts with a 24-hour, upscale twist. In short, it’s everything we hoped it would be and more.

And starting tomorrow, Thursday, October 4, you can swing by the space (on the corner of 11th and Monroe St. NW) for a soft-opening dinner yourself. If you just can’t wait until then (and who can blame you), check out our exclusive first look at the stunning new Columbia Heights hotspot….

Starting Tuesday, October 9, The Coupe will be open 24 hours a day, every day, in a neighborhood that owner Constantine Stavropoulos hopes will grow and flourish around the communal gathering place. Currently, the team is applying for outdoor seating by spring, meaning there’s a lot more to come from a spot we already know DC is lucky to have–before the doors even open.

Upon first step into the gorgeous new space, you’ll notice just how much The Coupe separates itself from its smaller siblings; the establishment is 7,000 square feet with an almost compartmentalized feel to its diner/bar/coffee shop/lounge sections (though still open and stylish throughout). Open the front doors, step over the address quaintly laid in mosaic at your feet, and you’ll be greeted with a long front counter filled with pastries and Tryst’s signature coffees, available through a variety of methods (up to and including carbonated).

To your left is a seating area, filled with cushy booths, a large communal table and countertop seating. (And, might we mention the entire space is full of electrical outlets, making any of The Coupe’s seating options perfect for parking it to work).

Check out their menu for a range of comfort food items available throughout the day and night with an added mix of entrees and specials at certain times (eggs, waffles and other diner staples will be served all the time, thank goodness. A 24-hour breakfast available in DC? We’re for it.) Twists on classic breakfast foods like the Tunisian Baked Eggs, Pad Thai Omelete or Jasmine Rice Pudding are enough to make your mouth water on paper alone and we’re thrilled they’re offering a range of sandwiches, entrees, casseroles and weekday specials too.

If you turn to the right from the main counter, you’ll see comfortable chairs and couches, all salvaged and carefully curated to maintain the group’s signature upscale-homestyle feel. We can see ourselves lounging here day and night–honestly, we may never leave. (And let’s not forget about the rotating, fun, quirky art by local artists that dot the walls.)

And finally, a venture down to the far right of the space takes you to the bar; a gorgeous, spacious room that once was (of all places) a church and now sports DC’s first wine stations that will keep their bottles fresh in a nitrogen system. The Coupe’s bar program also offers over 40 wines under $40, eight rotating keg wines and 16 draft beer options, making it the perfect spot to try something new.

Bevrage Director David Fritzler’s mix drinks are reason to stop by alone, featuring incredible concepts like bottled cocktails, cafe cocktails, shaker bottle cocktails (served in adorable little mason jars), and cava sparkling wine cocktails. We were lucky enough to try a few, like the Bitter Ex–a mix of Gin, Cynar, Aperol and grapefruit juice–that can be poured over ice or “slugged straight from the bottle.” Its dark citrus flavors (the grapefruit rinds are soaked in gin to gain extra bitterness) make it the perfect during-dinner drink or nightcap.

The Pretty in Pink, conversely, was a bright and bubbly concoction made of elderflower liqueur, cava and strawberry-lemon shrub and has fast become one of our must-haves with brunch (we’d order this over a standard mimosa any day).

Our last drink preview was the delicious Sangriento Maria, Fritzler’s Spanish-style Bloody Mary. We couldn’t help but fall in love with its spicy, tangy, smokey flavor–and with ingredients like Vodka, sherry, tomato, carrot, lemon juice and just a hint of the finest Spanish olive oil, it’s one of the boldest and most flavorful cocktails we’ve had in quite a while. We’re thinking it might pair well with anything involving their delicious house-smoked Vermont maple syrup (which, you guessed it, has also found its way into a cocktail).

And now for some more photos…. We’ll see you there!