Convivial on 9th Street is a Must Do

Convivial is the kind of joint where you order a drink from the bartender and immediately ditch your table reservation because you don't want to leave the party.

Sazerac at Convivial
The cocktail menu is hefty, but well organized. I immediately zoned in on the Sazerac, which I consider a test of bar mettle. When it arrived, smokey and in this frosted glass, the aroma of the lemon wafting up... I knew I was not moving for the next two hours. 

From there, we ordered the duck egg beignets and the escargot in blankets... because, how can you not. 
L: Duck Egg Beignets; R: Escargot in Blankets
In particular, the escargot - garlicky and delicious - wrapped in a thin cigar of phyllo dough, really was my favorite bite of the meal. We also explored the cassoulet, which Chef Cedric Maupillier excels at at sister restaurant, Mintwood Place.  

We couldn't eat another bite of savory, but that didn't mean there wasn't room for dessert. The Floridian in me had to try the Key Lime Pie. I'm partial to the Publix version, but the Convivial pie didn't disappoint (and looks much prettier.) I'm definitely going to try upping my home key lime pie with the Convivial speculoos crust twist.

Key Lime Pie
Ninth Street is exploding with new restaurants. I was glad to see the chef was in the house, making sure back of the house and front of the house were both firing on all cylinders (they were.) Maupillier is one of the most gracious hosts and was chatting up guests who soaked up the attention. Yes, us included. He deftly handed us off to his PR man, Blake, for any follow up we might need and went back to the kitchen.

One other fantastic thing about Convivial is that it's perched above the parking garage. And, if you swing through neighbor Giant to pick up a few things, you get two hours of parking validated. 

Convivial is located at 801 O Street NW in Washington, DC. It got busy quickly, so if you don't plan to arrive early, make sure you grab a reservation.

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