Cheat Sheet: Red Light Cocktails and Dessert Bar on 14th Street

By Rina Rapuano | April 9, 2014 By Rina Rapuano  |  April 9, 2014
Photo by: Under a Bushel Photography

The Gist: The former Bar di Bari space has been converted into a burlesque-inspired ode to sweets and cocktails - with pedigreed mixologists Ari and Micah Wilder, who have created cocktail lists for places like Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, and pastry chef Robert Underwood, who crafted desserts for Komi and Marcel’s. The restaurant, which opens tomorrow night, will have a 44-seat patio and plans to introduce brunch at the end of the month.

The Vibe: The rustic, vintage interior and the risque theme definitely impart sexiness and romance, making this an ideal third-date spot following up dinner at one of the many wonderful 14th Street restaurants.

Eat This: The slightly spicy Mexican chocolate tart with dulce de leche-like cajeta, housemade fluff and cacao nib chantilly.

Drink This: The refreshing Peep Show cocktail made of Genever, Pimm’s, cucumber, darjeeling tea and Wilder Bros. ginger beer. (True to its name, the cocktails comes with a performance - the rosemary is blow-torched when served.)

Skip This: The Cobblestone, a blend of bourbon, apricot liqueur, mint and peach nectar that was somehow even sweeter than the drink called the Cake Shake.

For Fans Of: Co Co. Sala, Room 11, Palena

The Damage: Desserts range from $8-$10 and cocktails run from $9-$11 - with a pre-fixe option, which includes a cocktail, beer or wine pairing, available for $22 per person.

The Verdict: ​The combination of fairly sweet cocktails and desserts was a bit of a sugar overload for our taste, but sticking with an on-tap Negroni or a glass of bubbly with one of Underwood’s sophisticated desserts might be the way to stave off sugar shock.

Red Light Cocktails & Dessert Bar, 1401 R St. NW; 202-234-0400

Places Mentioned

Write a review


Greek Dupont Circle
Food26 Decor22 Service26 Cost$176
Write a review

Marcel's by Robert Wiedmaier

Belgian West End
Food27 Decor26 Service26 Cost$103
Write a review

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

14th Street Corridor
Food25 Decor22 Service21 Cost$35
Write a review

Co Co. Sala

Eclectic Penn Quarter/Chinatown
Food25 Decor24 Service22 Cost$34
Write a review

Room 11

Columbia Heights
Food23 Decor22 Service21 Cost$36

Recommended on Zagat

comments powered by Disqus