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It's Party Time: Beaujolais Nouveau Uncorks

By Olga Boikess
November 19, 2013

Looking for a party to kick off the holiday season? The arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau, the annual vintage of a soft, fruity French wine, released at midnight on the third Thursday in November (the 21st, this year) sparks celebrations at Gallic venues around town. Here are some of the happenings.

Bistrot du Coin: It gets kind of crazy after midnight at this DuPont Circle French when the Wednesday night (Nov. 20) revelers get to try the free-flowing vino. Around 11 PM, the tables and chairs are put away, a DJ pounds out the beat, and the madness begins. No admission, so get there early, or late (after 1 AM).

1905: The Brightest Young Things are throwing a shindig called “Get Beaujolaid” at this Shaw bistro starting at 10 PM on November 20, with food and discounted drinks, a DJ and dancing. At midnight, there’s free Beaujolais Nouveau until 2 AM. Advance tickets are sold out, but there will be a few more available at the door - first come, first served. Or, try reserving for dinner (202-332-1905).

Bastille: On Thursday, Nov. 21, this Old Town French bastion will uncork the Crus of Beaujolais, paired with a four-course menu, including a mushroom and bacon tart, pork cheeks with lentils; beef chuck roast and goat cheese cheesecake ($54, $79 with wine pairings). It’s also a chance to learn about some picturesque wineries and their products (703-519-3776).

Central: Celebrate while enjoying chef-owner Michel Richard’s food wizardry - he’s offering a special three-course meal, besides his usual menu, to pair with the new vintage, on Thursday, Nov. 21 starting at 5 PM. He’s also discounting all other wines from the Burgundy region by 15%. There’ll be challenging wine games with vino as prizes, and the French-inspired band Laissez-Foure will play Parisian gypsy jazz from 7 PM to 10 PM (202-626-0015).

Cork: This 14 St. NW wine bar and market duo will hold a Beaujolais tasting on Thursday, Nov. 21, offering five samples that explore the region’s terroir, matched with five bites of holiday fare at their Tasting Room, 1805 14 St. NW; $50 (202-265-2674).

Malmaison: Chef Gerard Pangaud celebrates the new vintage by creating  a duck breast dish in a Beaujolais and cassis sauce that will be served at dinner on Thursday, Nov. 21, at this Georgetown French hot spot, as well as at its sisters Cafe Bonaparte in Georgetown and Napoleon Bistro in Adams Morgan. A complementary glass of Beaujolais Nouveau is part of the deal (Malmaison: 202-817-3340; Cafe Bonaparte: 202-333-8830; Napoleon Bistro: 202-299-9630).

French Embassy: This posh destination will host the Alliance Française celebration, Beaujolais and Beyond. Free-flowing wine, a buffet filled with cheese, pâté pastries and Gallic fare, DJ sets and dancing, wine trivia and more are on tap. Dress up in Roaring ‘20s regalia; 4101 Reservoir Rd. NW; $60, VIP $95, tickets here.

Some other Gallic spots likely to be offering Beaujolais this season include Bistro Francais, Bistro La Bonne, Bistrot Lepic, Le Grenier and La Chaumiere.

Places Mentioned

Central Michel Richard

Penn Quarter/Chinatown

Food26 Decor21 Service23 Cost$54
 
 
 
Cork Wine Bar

American • 14th Street Corridor

Food25 Decor22 Service23 Cost$44
 
 
 
1905

American • Shaw

Food21 Decor22 Service19 Cost$35
 
 
 
Bistro Francais

French • Georgetown

Food21 Decor20 Service20 Cost$41
 
 
 
Bistro La Bonne

French • U Street Corridor

Food21 Decor17 Service19 Cost$31
 
 
 
Bistrot Du Coin

French • Dupont Circle

Food22 Decor20 Service18 Cost$36
 
 
 
Bistrot Lepic and Wine Bar

French • Georgetown

Food24 Decor19 Service22 Cost$49
 
 
 
Le Grenier

French • NoMa

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
La Chaumiere

French • Georgetown

Food26 Decor24 Service24 Cost$58
 
 
 
Malmaison

French • Georgetown

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Cafe Bonaparte

French • Georgetown

Food23 Decor20 Service18 Cost$29
 
 
 
Napoleon Bistro

French • Adams Morgan

Food24 Decor24 Service19 Cost$36
 
 
 
 
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