I had never been to D.C. and was very excited because we were staying at the Marriott one block away from The White House. I was definitely surprised by how beautiful the city is, most of the federal buildings looked like they were made out of the same material, so there was a cohesive feel to the federal triangle (as it is called).
Some people search for the perfect steak, I search for the perfect Mojito. If they don’t have mint, I get crabby and sulk for a good 5 or ten minutes. Anything more is out of character for me, even over a good Mojito.
The W is a hotel you probably have seen featured in every design magazine around the world, the haunt of the chic and fabulous. The black, red and white lobby is not merely for checking in, it is a world-class lounge. I sat in awe as Bill, our bartender, put ice into a black cloth napkin and proceeded to crush the ice by hitting it with a spoon. It is fair to say that my opinion of a good bartender was forever changed and I am now a jaded person. The Mojito was perfection and I could have had three more (than the three I already had) if it wasn’t only 5 in the afternoon.
The next Mojito was at The Old Ebbitt Grill; famous for oyster’s on the half shell but I wanted to see if they could compete with Bill. Alas, Bill bested Old Ebbitt but my steak salad was pretty good. They do cook a mean Filet Mignon.
Next, the Café Du Parc, at The Willard Intercontinental, has a wonderful ambiance but their Mojito stank, or maybe that was the exhaust from all the tour buses idling nearby. Bartenders listen up! You need almost half a lime in a good Mojito and if you don’t get a workout muddling the mint then you are not working hard enough.
We took a taxi to Georgetown the next evening and I didn’t have a Mojito at Nick’s Riverside Grill but what I did have was horrible service. This was probably the only bartender (Server number 40, as his name is not on the receipt!) in town with no personality and could barely mumble a “whatcha want.”
With a long wait ahead of us until our dinner reservations, we spied Cabanas across the square. Thank God for small miracles! The atmosphere was South Beach Chic with house music playing in the background. A hot, young latin boy was standing behind the bar just begging to make my Mojito.
Who would have thought that this boy was not only the owner of the restaurant but also the once star of Trading Spaces, Mario De Aramas. As a former Interior Design student, I was all ears. If the million-dollar smile was not enough to get my attention, Mario’s mango Mojito was.
Mario has a personality that makes everyone feel like they are his best friends, and I really wish I could recount our conversation that long evening but I don’t want to make you jealous. We were having such a good time. We ditched our reservations at The Sequoia and spent the night with Mario.
Regarding the Mojito’s, however, the winner was Bill, from The W Hotel, who crafted probably the best Mojito I’ve ever had. Here’s to you, Bill. Chin chin.