This Toby Cecchini post at the T Magazine blog is a nice read. In fact, I wish I had written it. The prose is pleasant and Cecchini goes into the right amount of detail to really capture the drink experience in question. That is, Glühwein at the Upholstery Room, the wine bar semi-attached to Wallse in the West Village. I also wish that I had written it, because that would mean that I still went to Wallse enough to know this place even existed (since 2009 no less!).
Just to give context to my occasional rant about D.C. restaurants, Wallse is my benchmark for a top notch meal with exemplary service in a classy dining room for less than a splurge (say, $125 for dinner for two). And that aside, the Austrian cuisine is sadly underrepresented in D.C. Leopold’s Kafe is too chilly; Old Europe is too hokey; and Mozart Cafe is too dour. Of course, I do gladly eat at all of these restaurants; none is what I would describe as a good deal.
Oh, why oh, why can’t Kurt Gutenbrunner open a restaurant in D.C.? In the National Gallery, perhaps? There is nothing finer than a charming museum restaurant, and we are given only an expensive buffet or collegiate dining hall options. Gutenbrunner’s Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Galerie couldn’t be more charming. If he did open such a cafe in the National Gallery, or Portrait perhaps, we could warm up with that lovely hot mulled wine or a good coffee and a pastry on a chilly day of sight-seeing. Or pop in for a little rabbit with Spätzle and a glass of Grüner Veltliner. Or head down for a brunch of soft boiled eggs and speck or a weisswurst with potato and cucumber salad and an Austrian beer before a day on the Mall…
Forgive my tears; I don’t even care much for Glühwein.