The Bar Belle: Cilantro Restaurant and Tapas Bar

Cilantro Restaurant and Tapas Bar
3241 M St. NW

It seems like once you make it to senior year, birthdays become a reason for everyone to go out for dinner and drinks. It is different from the 21st, when hoards of people buy you shot after shot in some dive that will allow a mixture of legal and non-legal drinkers. It is even different from the old days of the 19th and 20th birthdays when a dinner would be planned, but only two kids with their older brother/sister’s ID would be getting drunk. Turning 22 sets a precedent of combining the organized meals of underclassman days and the heavy drinking of junior year.

Something that makes this “mature” commemoration of one’s birthday even better is when there are twins involved. Two birthdays means twice the reason to celebrate, as in more shots to be taken and more cake to be eaten. Two twins chose to celebrate their simultaneous entrance into adulthood last Friday night at the Georgetown restaurant and bar, Cilantro.

At 9 p.m., half an hour late, I finally made it to the restaurant to meet up with a group of about 15 revelers. The restaurant was surprisingly empty for a Friday night. Besides our large group in the bar area, there were only a few occupied tables and some scattered 30-somethings at the bar. The reddish-orange color palette, dark wood and low lighting created a cozy yet fashionable atmosphere. A fairly large bar area complete with overhead flat-screen TVs separated the front and back dining areas, making an area conducive to socializing. While the bar was probably the best location for our party since we were only ordering drinks and tapas, the table and chairs were awkwardly high, a precarious perch after several drinks.

Once our group settled, the service was attentive. The first bottle of wine that I ordered and the complementary warm pita and oil (think Bertucci’s flatbread and oil mixture) were out in minutes. The wine list was comparable to other area restaurants, with several bottles priced around $30. As for tapas, those delectable mini dishes that are perfect for people like me who always have difficulty deciding on just one dish from the menu, the prices and quality were fair.

To add to the concept of doubling the celebration it just seemed right to order a second bottle of wine. Although even the two bottles of wine split between two girls didn’t intoxicate me enough to stay much longer in the now-deserted bar. Creatures of habit we are, the next destination was Third Edition. Drinking continued for about an hour until the rubber legs and queasy stomach set in and I taxied home for some drunk online shopping and a booty call.

Bar Belle Rating: 3/5

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