Room 11 – A Great Neighborhood Find

I haven’t been to Columbia Heights in quite some time, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  The drive up 11th Street was all about gorgeous new condo buildings, renovated old houses with great porches, people strolling about, couples biking home with groceries, a guy walking his dog.  Then a corner with a bar or store, more houses, another corner with shops and people.  We were there:  Room 11.Room 11.aspx

A laid back terrace, bordered by a short wrought iron fence, with twenty and thirty-somethings lounging at tables, sipping wine, nibbling on snacks.  Inside, there was a small zinc(?) bar with what seemed to be locals sitting around.  A row of small tables on one side, a bar counter facing the window on the other.  We took a seat.

My Argentine viognier was quite good — crisp, fruity, floral.  My companion’s Argentine malbec was a little weak at first taste, but picked up spice and earth as you went along.  So far, so good.  We were ensconced for our 45 minute wait for an outside table – not too bad for 10 pm on a Saturday.

A steady crowd strolled in, most by foot, some by cab. Only problem?  It was getting a bit warm, and warmer still as more people jammed in.  And typical of the crunchy-leaning crowd, a couple people hadn’t showered and now we can all smell it.  Good thing the hostess came to the rescue!

Outside, we enjoyed a cheese and meat plate, spicy Tunisian meatballs baked in tangy tomato sauce and the hands-down best dish of the night — an amazing three cheese panini.  Wonderful bread, gourmet cheeses.  Not to be missed.

We paid the bill just as a cab wandered by, so we flagged it down and headed home.  Room 11 – a great wine bar.  Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood, or make the trip.  It’s a nice time in a laid back neighborhood.

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