The Bar Belle: Clyde’s

(Georgetown location)
3236 M St.

I am not a wine aficionado, nor could I even begin to explain the difference between a Cabernet and a Merlot. In fact I was too drunk on wine during “Sideways” to understand that whole Merlot issue. But I do like to drink cheap wine and large amounts of it. This creates quite a conundrum when partying in the D.C. social scene. First, at any bar where tennis shoes are allowed, wine is basically a myth besides some form of repugnant blush. Second, at any bar or club where wine is available, their meager by-the-glass offerings usually cost the price of an entire bottle from the Columbia Plaza Market or Riverside. Third, even at restaurants where it is guaranteed there will be formidable choices the prices are usually tripled or quadrupled from store prices. After years of pre-gaming with wine and then dismally sipping from the cheap beer special at the bar the rest of the night, I have finally found a place where my epicurean pleasures can be fulfilled: Sundays at Clyde’s.

Yes, Clyde’s the quintessential D.C. location for brunch during parent’s weekend and somewhere to celebrate a friend’s birthday with an overpriced, average-tasting meal. But it has provided the solution to my wine drinking woes. Every Sunday all bottles of wine and champagne (except the most expensive on the list, which I wouldn’t order anyway) are half off. So recently I met a group of friends, who also wanted to extend their weekend drinking before the 40-60 work week becomes reality (and a very scary one at that).

By 9 p.m., when I reached Clyde’s, the front bar was already fumigated with smoke and a cacophony of drunken voice modulation and blaring bar music filled the room. I squeezed past a group of older guys who, in their signature “we’re alumni of Georgetown” garb, precariously waved their cigarettes in the air yelling for the bartender to bring drinks. The group was obviously leftover from brunch.

Our waitress was overworked and admitted that the kitchen was suffering from similar conditions, so the service was not stellar. But what was lacking in the service was made up for in price and prime people-watching. My group split two bottles of wine and a couple appetizers, all of which, except one bottle, were compted by our waitress for the long wait and the kitchen’s lack of items. The crowd, a mixture of GW and Georgetown upperclassmen and some daring young adults risking a hangover the next day at work, was as good a college scene as one gets in D.C. The night wasn’t overly eventful except for a middle-aged couple making out in front of our table, but it was the best way for a second semester senior to start off the week, inebriated and distracted from those so-called “important” responsibilities like planning a life post-GWorld.

Bar Belle Rating: 4/5

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