Mockingbird Hill

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Photograph: Scott Suchman
Mockingbird Hill

Part of cocktail guru Derek Brown’s trio of Shaw bars—including the adjacent Southern Efficiency and nearby Eat the Rich—this dimly lit spot is a paean to the particular pleasures of ham and sherry. Inspired by Brown’s teenage fascination with the Clash (it takes its name from a line in the song “Spanish Bombs”), the bar marries an upscale menu with a punk-rock sensibility. In addition to the most impressive sherry menu in the area, you’ll find cocktails ranging from the playful Fino garlic back (sherry with a side of pickled garlic juice) to the High Kirk, with Manzanilla and Glenfarclas 12-year single-malt Scotch, to an on-tap gin and tonic with Green Hat gin. Vegetarians needn’t despair; the variety of hams shares menu space with dishes such as Manchego with honey and cocoa-dusted corn nuts and classic pan con tomate. 

Venue name: Mockingbird Hill
Address: 1843 7th St NW
Washington, DC

Cross street: between T St NW and S St NW
Opening hours: Mon 5–11:30pm, Tue–Thu 5pm–12:30am, Fri 5pm–1:30am, Sat 10am–1:30am, Sun 10am–11:30pm
Transport: Shaw/Howard University Metro
Price: Snacks $3–$5, small plates $6–$10
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Jaime B

Mockingbird Hill is one of my favorite bars in D.C. It sits on a street on the border of Shaw and Bloomingdale, and the shop front is really cute: It’s one of three in a series of old-fashioned shop windows, lined up in a row and all owned by the same person, yet very different. Mockingbird specializes in sherry. I love sherry, but it wasn’t until I frequented Mockingbird Hill that I learned that most sherries are NOT sweet. Sweet sherries are dessert version, just like sweet wines like port. The small bar imports sherries from all over the world, and the staff is trained to speak on each one. For a “starter kit” there are several beginners’ flight to try that come with small food pairings and descriptions from the bartenders. Also, there are really good snacks here, including Spanish hams.