The setting is amazing - big old church/guild hall kinda building. Several restaurants and bars... main lobby is dead center with high vaulted domed ceiling and lots of seating - bars to the left and right under the mezzanine - go right. Great bartender with skill working with HUGE selection of booze. Scene is post grad GU/AU bros in packs with no idea how to flirt with the darkly sexy and (shockingly for DC) well dressed women from countries you mispronounce. Upstairs is Rakes - starts with a more elegant bar with seating along the mezzanine rail overlooking the lobby below - dining area is across the void. Massive chandelier made from old pipe organ bits and pieces. Fantastic decor - someone was smart enough to hire someone with some taste and style. The food - very fresh oysters with little bottles of amazing sauces - something smoky something sweet something tangy - excellent. The winter lettuces salad was oddly amazing - a stand out. Fried quail - freakin' awesome. A few other tasty odds and ends. The pork loin - which others had raved about - was a disappointment and the waiter took it off the bill. There was some sort of cake for desert that was... yes... awesome. The sommelier is great - she knows her wines, will work with you on a price you are comfortable with, and is utterly charming. All the staff were quite nice really. Crowd is local celebrity newscaster, older couples with $$$ out for an adventure, and annoyingly attractive same sex couples one of whom is ALWAYS a real estate agent.
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