Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Spot in the Neighborhood

I went to Whole Foods after work last night and walked most of the way home from there, but it was just too cold to finish the trip, so I stopped in for a second time at Axis Bar and Grill. It's a delightful new spot on U Street between 13th and 14th. It feels homey and neighborhoody and it seems to promote taking a load off and just hanging out. Axis is in a large renovated row house and the decor is simple and refined. When you walk in the long bar is in front of you and there is seating to your right, beyond the bar and on a second level. Lighting is dim and hues are of silver and dark wood. There are two flat-panel tv's above the bar which are perfect for watching newsy shows after work on a weekday, or sports on the weekends. I came in really just for a quick glass of wine, and opted to go with the house pinot noir. It was velvety, smooth and well-balanced. The wine list is well-thought out and not expensive. I noticed a Heron Syrah, which is a nice bottle, as well as an offering from Joel Gott, which is one of my favorite wineries. Rob, the bartender, is really friendly and sweet, and if you ask him for his opinion on the wine offerings he is happy to share. Axis also boats about 10 beers on tap. I wasn't interested in food last night, but thanks to new friend Gamal I got to try the calamari with lemon and olive strips which comes garnished with flat-leaf parsley. The calamari were firm and tender but not chewy, and the breading was really light so you actually got a nice taste of the squid. Gamal and his friend also shared a beef wrap which is beef, tomato, mushrooms and white sauce rolled in flatbread, and reviews were good. The roll is served with a small mixed green salad. The calamari and beef roll are on Axis' bar menu which is about seven items mostly priced around $5. The larger menu has a nice selection of salads, fish, and meats, including ribs and a nice selection of steaks. I promised to try food next time I stop in, and am looking forward to doing so and to having Axis in the neighborhood.

Axis Bar and Grill
1340 U Street in NW DC

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