While not a hotspot of hedonism, the Washington area now has its own little isla bonita of the Spanish clime following the July opening of Ibiza Night Club. Hosted by celebutante Kim Kardashian and Washington Life, and featuring Nicole Richie's ex, DJ AM, the riotous first night was a front-runner for event of the summer season.
Many of the gently perspiring dancers at Ibiza that night could also be spotted at a more subdued event, the July 3 art coming-out party for (at the very least) double-threat Michael Clements, WL's benevolent dictator (executive editor). "ART in DEPENDence" opened with a food and wine reception at Cafe Piola. Clements' colorful, abstract, poli-social narrative pieces hung through August.
A select crowd of A-listers sipped signature blueberry-infused cocktails at Gazuza thanks to sponsors PINK Vodka, Square One Organic Vodka and Bud Select at WL's "Celebrate Summer," held on July 11. Drinks and conversation left guests just as "in the pink" as the vodka.
After these glamorous invite-onlies, we turn to the institution of "Happy Hour," often connoting dollar beer and Quizzo at the corner pub. Many of the area's restaurants offer a winning one-two combination of full-price ambience with great deals on drinks and food. We're here to steer you in the right direction.
Sushi leads the way for happy hour cuisine. Oya, along with its posh atmosphere, offers sushi specials to go along with $7 cocktails and $5 wine and beer from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday (777 9th St. NW). What goes around comes back around at Wasabi, where — in time-honored Henry Ford tradition — discounted sushi, Saki cocktails and $5 pitchers arrive conveyer-belt-style from 5 to 7 p.m. daily. (908 17th St. NW).
Take your sushi from the top — the rooftop, that is — at Perry's, where $25 can be readily exchanged for two cocktails and two plates of enticing fare (checkerboard tuna, crab cakes) daily between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. (1811 Columbia Rd. NW). Jaleo sticks with its tantalizing tapas menu, but the price is right for beverages between 4 and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, when ice-cold pitchers of sangria, wine and selected cocktails are less expensive: et voila! Perfect post-work refreshment (408 7th St. NW). Love pizza? Don't miss Pizza Paradiso, where half 8-inch pizzas are $4.25 on weeknights between 4 and
6:30 p.m., and a selection of antipastos are $6.95 to $12.95 (2029 P St. NW and 3282 M St. NW). For a casual spot with sumptuous snacks, check out Town Hall daily from 5 to 7 p.m. for wine and beer specials and fifteen percent off the meal (2218 Wisconsin Ave. NW).
The lounge at PS7's takes happy hour to new heights, pairing an impressive list of $7 cocktails with a mouthwatering selection of unique cuisine: petite house-made hot dogs, half smokes and wild mushroom spring rolls with red Thai curry sauce, all ranging from $7 to 10 (777 Eye St NW). The sexy and time-tested art of spearing food with sticks is preserved at romance standby The Melting Pot, where $4 beers, $6 glasses of wine and (most importantly) half-priced cheese fondue are served at the bar (1220 19th St. NW). Poste
Moderne Brasserie starts the party early with a menu of four drinks for $4 starting at 4p.m. (555 8th St. NW). Brazilian steakhouse Chima serves up hearty fare fit for a gaucho; try the meat croquettes with a Caipirinha (Brazil's answer to the Cubans' mojito) to wash them down. This and other select drinks are 40 percent off, Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. (8010 Towers Crescent Dr., Vienna, Va.).