When Ramona and I got to Art & Soul last Wednesday, it was hot, humid and the skies were threatening rain. We’d come up into the lobby from the parking garage and were kindly greeted by everyone we saw, but quickly exited the hotel to head to the patio at Art & Soul where we were meeting the lovely Katie from We Love DC. The only problem was that the patio was empty. Confused, I asked the concierge who happened to be outside, what we should do. He said that their entire hotel was pet friendly, and to ask at the hostess stand where we should go.
The hostess greeted us warmly and said that they’d been expecting us – we’d emailed ahead just to make sure Ramona wouldn’t be a pest like her namesake and that though they’d decided to keep the patio closed in case of rain, we were welcome to sit in the lobby bar and enjoy our cocktails (and any offering from the Puppy Patio Menu). The staff invited us to enjoy a selection of appetizers from the 5:01 Session Happy Hour menu and brought us the fried green tomatoes (with goat cheese and ahi tuna), the crispy duck wings and the beer steamed mussels. We each ordered a Laurel Park sno cone cocktail (gin, st. germaine, sparkling rose, cucumbers, strawberries) and Ramona opted for the Gravy Train (beef tips in rich vitamin enhanced sauce with rice). The duck wings were my favorite, but the ahi and fried green tomatoes were a close second. The mussels were fine – kind of dry – and maybe in a neighborhood not spoiled by Granville Moore’s and Belga, would pass as pretty good. The Laurel Park was delicious – I love cucumber in my cocktails – my only (minor) complaint is that it could have been more boozy. I like my drinks to taste like drinks, and this one could have done with a little more oomph. Later we tried the Rehoboth (cachaca, pineapple, spearmint, smoked black salt), which was more to my liking in the booziness category. We were also treated to a selection of mini cupcakes which were mostly delicious (a couple of them involved chocolate, which means I’m not going to like them based on that fact alone) but did not go with the salty deliciousness of our Rehoboth Sno Cones.
Ramona’s reviews for the Gravy Train could best be summed up by her fervent cleaning of her dish – not a speck of gravy remained when she was done, and she was begging for more the second she was finished. I know it’s a huge indulgence to take a pup to a fancy happy hour, but at $5, the “entrees” seemed pretty reasonable as a special treat.
We really appreciated the staff’s efforts to make us feel comfortable, even in a crowded hotel lobby bar. They were also very sweet to Ramona, who they treated to several snacks (only after asking my permission), many scratches behind the ears, and lots of attention (which she loved).
I’m looking forward to going back on an evening when the patio is open – perhaps on a Crab & Beer Wednesday when crabs and beer (and all the sides) are available outside. I know Ramona can’t wait either!
Ramona is a rock star!
Thanks for the review! I’ve been curious about the “Pooch Patio”– since I’d have to drive all the way out to the ‘burbs to get my pup after work, I’d want to be sure it was worth it.