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Bar Review: Barcode

Bar Review: Barcode

Euro-lounge Barcode in Farragut Square is the newest venture from DC Hospitality Group (Lima, UltraBar). The trendy sports bar just celebrated its one year anniversary in November. A dozen taps offer rotating craft drafts, with most pours $6 each, accompanied by 27 more brews in cans and bottles. Nearly 30 reds, whites and sparklers are offered by the glass ($6–$13), with several more available in bottles.

However, it’s the seasonally changing cocktail program that shines the brightest at this mod bistro, and we set out to find the best they offered. Just before 2 PM on a Thursday, as the lunch crowd was dwindling down, we chatted with resident bartender Gabriela about their signature creations. Mixologist and bar manager Ari Wilder makes all juices, syrups and infusions in house from fresh fruits and herbs bought weekly.

The first drink we tried was the Green Tea Mojito, made with Atlantico Silver rum, housemade green-tea simple syrup, fresh lime and mint. A refreshing twist on the Cuban classic, it has a very subtle tea flavor that hits a few seconds after the sip. Very yummy, and worth the $11 price tag.

Next up was the All American, a concoction of Rouge whiskey, tart cherry liquor, black cherry juice, lemon juice, chocolate bitters and stout foam. These yielded a very interesting combination of flavors that took some getting used to – the stout foam is slightly off-putting at first, but after a few sips it may grow on you. This might be one of those love it or hate it drinks for most people ($13).

Gabriela makes her own concoctions too. If you’re not a fan of sweet beverages (like us), ask for her off-the-menu Twisted Peach, an absolutely delicious Peach Ciroc martini. The simple recipe (Peach Ciroc plus an entire fresh-squeezed lime, shaken and served up) goes down a little too easy; be careful.

Other cocktails new this season are the Number 1 Cup (mint-infused gin, Pimms, ginger beer, lemon juice and crushed cucumbers; $11) and the Violet Martini (U’luvka vodka, Dolin dry vermouth, juniper syrup, lemon juice and violet liquor mist; $12).

We didn’t test out those three cocktails on an empty stomach (don’t worry!), thanks to the several tasty food options. Seafood is a winner here: the mussels are fantastic. Try both types on the menu, either with San Marzano tomatoes or in a classic white wine sauce ($12 for a sharable portion). The seafood ceviche (made with assorted fish) is surprisingly authentic and quite fresh ($9).

The place cleared out by 3 pm, but that was just the calm before the storm. No sooner did we sit down and get to work on the laptop (free Wi-Fi, nice) than the happy hour crowd started trickling in. Judging from the numbers of suits, this is clearly a popular post-work spot, and it’s easy to see why.

Weekdays from 3–7 PM and Saturdays from 5–7 PM, draft beer, wines and rail drinks are half-priced. Each day of the week brings its own specials, too. On Monday, cheeseburgers or grilled wings are just $5. Tuesday sees half-priced wine by the bottle, “Latin Wednesdays” bring three-for-$9 tacos, and Sunday gameday specials are also still in effect. Overall, the food was good and the bartenders know what they’re doing. Barcode is a great choice for cocktails in the city. 

Top photo via Barcode on Facebook; bottom photos by Vanessa Carbajal

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