Taste Test: Crimson Bars
BYT at large | Nov 15, 2017 | 11:00AM |

Words by Logan Hollers, Photos by Nicholas Karlin

I really didn’t want to like the new Crimson trifecta in Chinatown. Gentrification, hipster, etc., etc., etc. But. BUT. The place is genuinely great.

BYT was recently invited to take part in a mini crawl of the three Crimson properties. We loved it.

Crimson is a new trio of dining and drinking establishments from Ian and Eric Hilton, located inside the same building as Pod DC, a “value-driven hotel” that replicates the hostel model (small, personal rooms with private bathrooms) at a luxury scale. While the rooms certainly looked nice (and are perfectly located in downtown D.C.), the real draw is the Crimson family of bars.

Crimson is made up of Crimson View, a rooftop bar with hanging gardens and a limited food menu based around light snacks with a Southern bent. With gorgeous views, ample seating space, and some damn good cocktails, this should rapidly emerge as one of downtown D.C.’s favorite rooftop bars. (And those house made chips… Ridiculous.)

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Crimson Diner, on the ground floor of the building, serves a warm, inviting space where people can congregate, socialize, work, or wind down. The menu is based around Southern comfort food, and is open from 7:00 a.m. until midnight. Anchored by Blanchard’s boutique coffee roasters, this is the type of place that’s great to stop in for a cup of joe and to do some work, meet friends after work for a beer, or dine on good food in relative peace in Chinatown.

The crown jewel, however, is Crimson Whiskey Bar, a traditional public house showcasing and celebrating whiskey’s rich history in the American South. With a whiskey selection second only to Jack Rose, the room is gorgeous, full of wood, leather, and old books. Cocktails focus heavily on artisanal moonshine and brown liquor; the menu, based again on Southern-style cuisine, is a perfect match.

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The Whiskey Bar was also home to the two best tastes of the night: a fried chicken sandwich with gooey cheese on a pillowy brioche bun, and an Amador whiskey finished in former Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.

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Whether you’re looking for gorgeous views of downtown D.C., solid Southern-style diner food, or incredible whiskey cocktails, Crimson has you covered. And if you overimbibe? Pod DC is right there to save the day.

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