DC has no shortage of places trying for a "neighborhood" feel, but Daniel O'Brien and Ali Bagheri's quirky A&D comes pretty close to nailing it. The narrow front room is dominated by a bar at which you can order well-crafted cocktails, many made with local spirits including Green Hat Gin and Catoctin Creek rye; the larger back room offers tables and waiter service. There's no real food menu to speak of, save snacks such as nuts or caramel popcorn and movie theater–style candy, but those with more of an appetite can bring in sandwiches from Sundevich around the corner, owned by the same duo. While drinks are perhaps pricier than the neighborhood vibe would suggest (many are more than $10), weekday happy hour from 5 to 7 offers $4 tallboys and $5 drafts and glasses of wine. If you're looking for a tasty drink in a laid-back atmosphere, this is a solid bet.
These days, the best bars in DC are even more popular destinations than usual.
From fabulously gimmicky destinations like José Andrés’s “cocktail lab” Barmini to ultra-old-school haunts shaking up solid classic drinks like Downtown's Old Ebbitt Grill, the scene is a varied one—as it should be. The city is filled with craft beer drinkers, wine lovers and cocktail aficionados, so there is room for all sorts of establishments to occupy the capital's imbibing network.
Fun fact, before you get drinking: because DC technically isn't a state, locals enjoy certain alcohol-related loopholes that aren't found in other parts of the country. For example, all local restaurants and bars can purchase their liquor stock directly from distilleries and breweries, cutting out the wholesale middleman that functions as a distributor in other states. A win for mom-and-pop breweries indeed.