Location: 300 Florida Ave. NW
Readers’ pick: Barcelona Wine Bar
In a city that offers countless grungy dive bars and packed clubs, finding a classy bar for an evening out can prove difficult.
But ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar makes it easy. This Basque-inspired cidery and restaurant, located in Truxton Circle in Shaw, combines the mechanical style of an upscale brewery with the welcome pretension and alternative of cider for those averse to beer.
Although cider usually brings the stereotypical sweet, sometimes bland flavors of Angry Orchard or Strongbow to mind, ANXO introduces variety to the typical cider experience. About 27 different types line the entire side of a letter-paper sized menu.
Just as beers are brewed with different yeasts and methods to produce varied flavors like IPAs and stouts, ciders at ANXO are classified on their menu as “bright,” “fruit forward,” “rustic” and “structured.” They are poured from one of the 36 taps lining the black-and-white tiled bar wall, the remainder of which serve a small, local selection of beers.
The ANXO flight – which will provide you with four 2-ounce pours for $12 – gives a cider newbie a taste of the nuances of cider, with different house-made varieties. Each glass shows off a different flavor: the dry Cidre Blanc, the tart Happy Trees, the complex and olive-tasting Collaboration and the vinegary Collaborative.
In addition to the large small plates menu, the bar-only menu features several options that are ideal for sharing with friends, including the tapas staple of small bites of fried potatoes topped with an aioli and paprika, patatas bravas ($6).
The wood floors and metal furnishings provide a classy-yet-rustic aesthetic with about two dozen stools for seating. The playlist spans from classic rock to contemporary, adding a fun, alternative vibe to the rustic setting that is buzzing with young people.
From diverse ciders to the serene atmosphere, ANXO provides a happy hour alternative for the fruit-inclined drinkers of Northwest D.C.