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One of my favorite pairings in life is really fancy champagne with a very simple, mundane American snack like goldfish crackers. There is just something wonderful about combining the haute with a classic comfort food from your childhood.

At the newly remodeled Ritz-Carlton Washington’s Lounge, Quadrant, you can have a pairing that epitomizes the beauty of elegant with vintage. Lead mixologist Christopher Mendenhall draws from the kitchen’s culinary creations to create his remarkable beverages, which include a gorgeous French 75 made with real champagne, the Bee’s Knees, a classic prohibition beverage made with honey and gin and lemon juice (and adorned with real honeycomb!), and the Aviation, a concoction of maraschino liquor, crème de violette, gin, and lemon. Each cocktail is beautifully prepared, and tastes just as good as it looks.


And then there is the comfort food fare to compliment the drinks. Most notable: the waffle fry nachos. It is what your dreams are made of. Fries. Drenched in cheese. Drizzled with sour cream and sprinkled with chopped green onions. Eat them with your French 75 and contemplate why your life is so good.

Also delicious is the heirloom tomato flatbread, essentially a margarita pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella. It’s a well-known fact that pizza is the best food to have with any kind of alcoholic beverage.

Falafel bites are meaty-tasting, served with a creamy tahini dipping sauce, and pita with hummus, guacamole, and a cheese plate offer other international bar snacks known to pair perfectly with cocktails.

Their slogan is, “It’s more than just a lounge. It’s an experience,” which is a pretty accurate description. There’s nothing like the sublime experience of drinking a craft cocktail while seated on a sleek blue couch at the Ritz…and eating waffle nachos.