DC, are you ready for all the sherry and ham you can handle? Derek Brown, Chantal Tseng and the rest of the Mockingbird Hill team certainly hope so.
This Spring has been a truly spectacularly busy time in the DC food and drinking universe. Don’t even try to deny it. Mockingbird Hill though is bound to turn heads even in this saturated climate, because it truly IS something a little different. The first in a series of three project Derek Brown & Co have slated for 7th street NW, it is a cozy neighborhood hang out dedicated to his wife’s (and fellow drink expert) Chantal Tseng’s favorite drink: sherry.
Inspired by the couple’s trips to Spain, and named after a line in The Clash’s “Spanish Bombs” Mockingbird Hill features a long bar, a long wall bar and a cozy back room which also features the only traditional dining seating in the house: a family style table.
On the menu: a whole lot of sherry and ham. Tseng, who left her Tabard Inn outpost for this, has curated a list of 54 sherrys, ranging from the dry “fino”s to sweeter variations. Several are priced at $6 or less. Just like in Madrid, the menu focuses on snacks vs. heavy meals, when it comes to sherry pairings. Each drink comes with free snacks, curated to pair with whichever sherry you order (expect: manzanilla olives, peanuts or walnuts or bitter chocolate) and the menu features four types of cured ham (which glow in the back of the main room like the lights at the end of the long-day-at-work-tunnel). We were particularly excited to see the duck prosciutto from Cure DC on the menu, currently one of our favorite charcuterie snacks in DC. And for those who care-yes, jamon iberico de bellota IS COMING TOO.
Ham and Sherry aside, the bar will also serve beer and cocktails on tap. The beers are DC Brau and Three Stars and the cocktails are a story in and of themselves. On top of the four sherry cocktails (we tasted the PX Sweet Tea, which was a refreshing and herbacious, and WILL be ordered again) the bar also features Green Hat & Tonics on tap, which are a part of a project named BRIGADE between Brown, JP Featherston and Green Hat Gin (and was originally created for Red Apron Bar in Union Market).
This edition of the tonic is apple and thyme tinged and is a great continuation of the flavor palette offered in other aspects of the bar, as well as a terrific offset to the very junipery Green Hat Gin. I had 2 in a row before I even noticed I had them.
So, there’s that. The bar will officially be open for public business at 5pm this Friday (TOMORROW) and the orderly line for 1843 7th Street NW can start forming right here. Now, pass us that duck prosciutto, will you? PLEASE?