This year my sweetie and I decided to stay home for the holiday season and make a few holiday memories of our own. It isn’t that we don’t love to see family and friends, but there are times when one-on-one quality time is warranted. Know what I mean? After the 2016 we had, this was definitely our time for staycation holidays.
Although we did lots of staying in on Xmas Eve and Xmas Day, on New Year’s Eve we decided to let somebody else do the cooking. Hoping for an “experience,” we headed to a tiny Filipino restaurant in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. The restaurant, Bad Saint, was selected as the #2 best new restaurant in the USA in 2016 by Bon Appetit magazine. That’s in the entire U.S. of A!
First, you should know they don’t take reservations. And the restaurant only seats about 24 guests. So that meant on a cold, blustery day, we had to stand in line to get a place at the table (or counter, etc.). Guess what? We had a blast! Took metro to the neighborhood, then stood for 2.5 hours on the sidewalk outside. We were NOT alone by any means. Luckily we were among the first in line – 5th or 6th group, I believe. So we’d definitely make the first seating. That accomplished, so to speak, we passed the time chatting with our fellow line standers and took turns going to a nearby coffee shop to grab coffee, snacks, and warmth for a few minutes. By the time the doors opened, the line stretched to the end of the block.
Reviews aside, when the staff counted down – 1, 2, 3 – and then pulled up the shades on the windows, we knew this was going to be a fun evening. The menu was brief but complete – something tasty for everybody. We decided to share four dishes that were just amazing. They included a rice salad, kale, cauliflower, and a beautifully prepared and presented whole bronzino. They had one dessert which we were more than happy to enjoy – what I would describe as apple pie spring rolls with a caramel reduction.
I realize this post is an aberration for this blog, but our evening was not about the wine. It was all about the food and the experience. We did have a cocktail to start called a Chili Manilli. It was spicy and savory, made with chili-infused tequila, campari, and some other ingredients I don’t remember. With dessert we also had a rainwater Madeira.
We went for an experience, and we had a fantastic one! The staff – to a person – was welcoming, friendly, knowledgeable, helpful. Every morsel was incredibly tasty. I honestly think we could have ordered anything on the menu and been very happy. This outing will definitely be one of those memories we can talk about in years to come. Remember New Year’s Eve at the Bad Saint? Yes. Yes, indeed!
Will we go back? You bet! For what it’s worth, I highly recommend the restaurant. We’ve already had some friends get in on their own Bad Saint experience with the same positive impressions.