Washington, DC


Cocktail and snack offerings at the Spritz Garden // Photo Credit- Maya Oren/MOJALVO

From a press release:

Columbia Room founder Derek Brown has been dreaming of an al fresco space dedicated to spritzes for a while now, mulling over a temporary popup at his Shaw cocktail bar or even at a separate location. When the pandemic hit, Columbia Room shifted to focus on outdoor-dining-only until Phase Three of reopening in DC, utilizing its current patio as well as an extended streatery area located in tucked-away Blagden Alley. With warmer weather arriving in Washington, it became clear that the Spritz Garden should set up shop there, providing another outdoor space for small, intimate groups of friends to safely visit bars and restaurants. “The space is meant for being outside with the sun shining, and the spritz is the perfect representation of that.”, says Brown. 

THE DRINKS

The Spritz Garden drink list, designed by Columbia Room general manager Paul Taylor, will feature its namesake drink in a few forms: the Aperol Spritz- perhaps the most famous of the spritzes- with Cinzano Prosecco, sparkling mineral water, and aperol; and the Cynar Spritz bolstered with housemade salted grapefruit soda. Other apéritif cocktails will include a Negroni with gin, campari, and sweet vermouth, a classic Americano featuring campari, sweet vermouth, and sparkling water, and the Watermelon Americano, a more summery spin on the classic drink, made with campari, Dollin Blanc, and watermelon soda. 

In order to temper the DC summer heat, the Spritz Garden will offer the aperol spritz in frozen form made using a recipe with a touch of clarified strawberry and Normandy cider, which “emboldens the classic spritz flavors”, according to Taylor. The frozen spritzes will be available for guests visiting the Spritz garden in person as well as a to-go option along with the classic Aperol Spritz offering.

A menu of Columbia Room favorites, currently offered on the rooftop patio, will also be available on both the rooftop and streatery seating areas. New to both menus is the inclusion of ABV information for each cocktail, making it easier for guests to make selections based on their potency preferences. 

THE FOOD

The Spritz Garden’s food menu, also created by Taylor, will feature light snacks reminiscent of those enjoyed during cocktails hours in Italy. “One of the great things about being in Venice and getting a spritz is that you have olives or other little things to nibble on..something that, when you eat them alongside an aperol spritz, you think, “OK. That’s perfect”, says Brown. The snack offerings will feature items including Castelvatrano olives, marinated artichoke hearts, housemade meatballs, whipped gorgonzola, almonds dusted with saffron, and crunchy potato chips. 

Spritz Garden guests can also order sandwiches from Your Only Friend, Taylor’s sandwich concept operating as a ghost kitchen out of Columbia Room, and enjoy them while on the patio or streatery.

THE SPACE

The Spritz Garden will encompass Columbia Room’s outdoor spaces including its rooftop patio and extended outdoor seating located in historic Blagden Alley. Situated next to neighboring restaurants’ patios, it provides the convivial feel of outdoor dining in Italy, while still providing ample space for social distancing. The new ground-level space, seating 16 guests across 4 tables, will be outfitted with bright orange umbrellas, tables, and chairs under a mural from local artist Kathrine Campagna that will be inspired by the spritz and in the style of Italian Futurism. The garden aspect will come alive thanks to landscaping from local urban gardening experts, Love & Carrots

The Spritz Garden at Columbia Room will be open on Wednesday through Saturday from 5-10 PM (streatery) and 5 PM-12 AM (rooftop patio). Reservations are encouraged via Tock

Columbia Room is located at 124 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001. For more information, please visit www.columbiaroomdc.com or call (202) 316-9396.”

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