Where: 1310 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 4 to 7 p.m.
Bar Bells: 4 out of 5
I don’t typically associate drinking with green living, but I’m not opposed to the idea. Madera’s Firefly off Dupont Circle makes sustainability sexy with an all-American feel and an atmosphere that’s to die for.
Firefly has always been the bar hanging right on my periphery. It was a "real" bar for "real" people– Dupont hipsters and young professionals – no place for a GW kid. But after I turned 21 and moved off campus, I figured why the hell not.
The bar is tucked neatly beside the Hotel Madera – one of Kimpton’s posh, affordable joints that allows pets and has a concierge that actually seems happy to see you. Madera takes customer service to the nth degree even if you only drink at their bar.
Firefly offers a nice breakfast in the morning, but the happy hour truly brings the real D.C. atmosphere to the table. By 4 p.m., beers drop to $3, a glass of wine is $4 and a good amount of the hotel patrons have filtered out to various parts of the city with their fanny packs and flag paraphernalia, leaving only a small amount of Dupont and West End locals strewn across the salvaged wood chairs and cushioned seating. It’s not a loud bar, a la Public Bar or Sign of the Whale – forsaking the tightly packed atmosphere for a more intimate and dimly-lit environment.
While they do card, the bar food is a pleasant thing to distract your under-21 friends if they choose to be dragged along to the little hole in the wall. The truffle fries are to die for – served in a cute little cone of parchment paper. Firefly isn’t for getting wasted. If you’re down for a long conversation, a glass of wine or a good beer then Firefly has the perfect earthy atmosphere for you. The homey service is best suited for topping off a pleasant dinner.
But if you are in for a bit more than a quiet night and are hoping for a few pre-going out munchies and aperitifs, Firefly won’t disappoint with its handcrafted cocktails. The signature concoctions, with names like “The Lavender Lemon Drop” or “Persephone’s Poison,” mix a variety of unique flavors from flavored vodkas and liqueurs to chai-spiced teas and ginger beer.
Or you could just sink in with a beer and let the evening pass you lazily by.