Washington

D.C. "DCocktail" Series: Marvin

When it comes to live music, food, and drinks, Marvin (2007 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009) in D.C. never disappoints. A U street staple for the past 11 years, the restaurant recently highlighted some brand-new cocktails and a return of their scrumptious chicken and waffles. The eclectic establishment, named for soul star Marvin Gaye, will now feature a weekly open mic on Wednesday nights. While you enjoy the sounds of some amazing artists, you can also partake in cocktails like the Naughty Native (Crown Apple, cinnamon, clove, star anise, lemon) and the New Year, Who Dis? (Cucumber-infused Tanqueray, St. Germain, jalapeno syrup, lemon juice, dill tonic)

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Marvin’s chicken and waffles are not your average chicken tenders and instant waffles. The restaurant provides you with an expertly fried chicken thigh, Belgian waffle, and collard greens that are surely made by a Southern chef. The seared scallops and creamed spinach are a great choice for seafood lovers, and the mac & cheese croquettes with pepper jam will satisfy all of your comfort food cravings.

You can cap the evening off with the “VSOPECAN,” a strong cocktail made with Hennesy VSOP, candied pecan syrup, mole bitters and Angostura, it’ll warm you up during the Winter nights, . For more information on menu offerings and their live music schedule, please visit Marvindc.com and tell them we sent you!

VSOPECAN

VSOPECAN

- Nyasha Chikowore

DC "DCocktail" Series: Little Havana

It’s well known that there are only a handful of restaurants in the District that make authentic Cuban fare such as ropa vieja and vaca frita. Little Havana (3704 14th St. NW 20010), which just opened its doors in Columbia Heights, is the latest addition to that select number. The restaurant boasts tropical neon murals, some including notable Cuban icons like Celia Cruz, Che Guevara, and Washington Nationals player Gio Gonzalez, and can seat up to 60 people comfortably. The artwork was completed by Erenesto Zelaya whose murals can be found on buildings around the city.

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Staying true to traditional Cuban fare, you can expect appetizers like yucca fries, empanadas, and chicharron de pollo. Main dishes will include pollo a la plancha, vaca frita, pargo frito, and of course the cubano sandwich. Desserts will also be available for those with a sweet tooth, such as flan and arroz con leche, just to name a few.

The restaurant, which is headed by chef Joseph Osorio and chef/restaurateur Alfredo Solis, is a cozy nod to the Caribbean island. The cocktails, curated by Heriberto Casasanero, also make sure to transport you to Cuba, with an emphasis on fruit-based cocktails laced with rum. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to sip your piña colada out of a hollowed pineapple and forget city life altogether during your stay. Little Havana is a great add-on to the district, offering a taste of authentic dishes paired with a fresh and festive ambience.

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If you're into truly Cuban food, stop by Little Havana and be sure to tell them we sent you!

- Nyasha Chikowore

Photo Credit: Little Havana