Washington DC - Just in time for D.C.'s return to full-capacity dining after more than a year of partial shutdowns and social distancing requirements, Georgetown is about to have a new reason to meander farther off M St. or Wisconsin avenue when Apéro makes its debut on Wednesday, May 19. Located at 2622 P St. NW, near Stachowski's Market, diners at Apéro can enjoy stylish pastries and espresso drinks in the morning from 8:00am to 2:00pm, and an assortment of bubbles by the glass and French fare in the evening from 4 p.m. until midnight, with the kitchen closing at 10:00pm. The restaurant can seat 45 people inside and another 16 on its garden patio.
Enthusiasm for Apéro has been building for the past year, if not longer. Created by Advanced Sommelier and educator of the D.C. wine scene, Elli Benchimol, Apéro provides a sanctuary away from the urban hustle and bustle on its doorstep. "At last, the Sommelier that launched a thousand careers sails her own ship," says Andy Meyers, Master Sommelier of Think Food Group with Jose Andreas. "Elli has mentored everyone with a corkscrew in the DMV and I cannot wait to place myself in her care at Apéro. No doubt this will be the wine destination for the finest freaks, geeks, bottle-slingers and ne'er do-wells DC has to offer. I'm sure she has a hit on her hands!"
Situated on the ground level of a historic row home, shadowy shades of deep blue layer the walls and banquets, while golden accents secure a touch of warmth that is paralleled by the hospitality. Menus are mounted to hand stained wooden tops from salvaged wine box lids. The high top tables were hand crafted by Benchimol from champagne caps collected for years during her work in the industry, and also with cap contributions from notable sommeliers across the country, including Nikki Lang, Brent Kroll and Daniel Runnerstrom of Maxwell Park wine bar in DC; Lindsey Fern, sommelier at the Inn at Little Washington; Chris Coker and Winn Roberton, Advanced Sommeliers of Bourbon Steak; Marika Vida, sommelier and owner of 'TheMomSomm" and former beverage director of the Ritz-Carlton in Manhattan; Sabrina Schatz, sommelier of Bobby Flay Steak at the Borgata MGM in Atlantic City; Kat Thomas, Advanced Sommelier of Ada's Wine Bar inside the Tivoli Village, Las Vegas and Michelle Defeo, president, Laurent-Perrier USA.
Apéro's menus are intended to create a gateway for each diner to set their own pace for an experience that matches their present needs. "I want it to feel like a happy space," says Benchimol. "Like you are as comfortable as you would be in your own living room." Selections range from non-alcoholic cocktails and coffee to wine, champagne and seasonally crafted cocktails. A warm savory waffle with house cured steelhead and crème fraîche can be paired with a glass of Crémant or topped with 10 grams of sustainable farmed caviar and paired with a bottle of highly allocated Grower champagne. Cocktails will rotate seasonally and the bar program will stand shoulder to shoulder with wine, champagne, food and caviar choices.
Consulting Chef Paul Stearman, who began working in kitchens in D.C. at the age of 15, has spent over 25 years curating his craft in iconic local locations, including time at the now shuttered Vidalia and Kinkeads, 18 years working with Chef Robert Weidermeir of Marcel's as chef de cuisine and more recently as Executive Chef of the storied Georgetown Club. Stearman is working in partnership with Benchimol to ensure that the playful approach at the core of Apéro is met with superior quality of execution. While the stigma of sommelier, caviar and champagne has earned its reputation from many bad actors as the essence of high snobbery, at Apéro you will be able to enjoy a trio of deviled eggs and a glass of bubbles for $20. A glass of champagne paired with full Caviar service and traditional accoutrement of egg yolk, egg white, red onion, chives, crème fraîche, cucumber, capers will land on a table alongside a box of savory waffles (gluten free upon request) for just $50. "The best way to express how much you care is through acts of service," says Benchimol. "Making people feel welcome, familiar and at ease is what hospitality is about."
For more information, visit www.aperodc.com
and follow Apéro on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Contact: Corbin Goldstein
Restaurant: Apéro, 2622 P St NW Washington DC 20007