I’m loving the resurgence of Tiki Bars! It was only a short time ago that you had to look hard to find one – not the case today (although I would really like someone to put one in the Orange Plaza, but I digress). So when I read that there was a new one, Archipelago, opening in Washington, D.C. well before I was going to visit in the spring – well, I knew that they must have found out I was coming and expedited! Okay maybe not.
Archipelago, located right next door to the Lincoln Theatre in D.C., is right on the corner of an intersection but from the outside is hard to tell that tiki is in store. Once you enter though, a spacious front area awaits that is nicely apportioned with appropriate tiki and nautical decor. At the back is a small bar. When we arrived it was pretty empty in the front area but cozy back at the bar. We opted for the front where there was ample seating and was pretty comfortable, even though we were against the window. A huge picture window at that. This wouldn’t be a place to go to for an afternoon beverage if you were looking for the dark confines of a comfortable tiki bar. The back bar maybe.
The menu at Archipelago was very original. The only standard they listed was a traditional Mai Tai, which I of course tried. It was solid. I think that I didn’t like it more mostly because of their choice of rums. But nothing I wouldn’t finish (I’ve never met one that I wouldn’t yet!). The next beverage I tried was the Oil Can Boyd, a take on the classic Corn ‘n Oil beverage. The thing that drew me most to this was the Olive Oil infused Jamaican rum. Funky! The taste was quite interesting. A standard Corn ‘n Oil is already a pretty brash drink, and adding the Olive Oil rum to it made it unique to say the least. Another beverage we tried was the Going Down With the Ship. It. was. Hmm. Jager, orange, spiced rum. Quite an odd one this.
Oh! They did have food too. The pupus there were actually pretty good – we had the Dan Dan noodles and Wontons in Red Oil – delish!
Archipelago was a nice little find, and knowing we were there on an off night, the service was a little slow but friendly. The presentation of the drinks was fun on a few of them but the glassware was the same ol’ cups you can see everywhere, not so exciting. Overall a nice place but I think I would recommend just sitting at the bar.