Finding My Perfect Pre-Hockey Happy Hour in DC

Hockey and Modern Asian cuisine?  ALL CAPS and Wasabi Guacamole?  It doesn’t seem like a natural fit, but…

My pre-Washington Capitals dinner and drinks spot is the bar at SEI.  Hands down.  It’s open, with a lot of counter space, and there’s a small lounge area with low tables set-off in the back.  Happy hour runs until 8 pm – every evening.  It’s not wall-to-wall people, so you have space to linger and eat and hear your friends talk.  I haven’t had a bad happy hour red by-the-glass (recently a merlot), and my sinuses are consistently cleared by the wasabi I apply liberally to my spicy shrimp or tuna sushi rolls.  And then there’s the signature Wasabi Guacamole.  Four of us scooped up two orders with crispy wonton chips.  Then J and I usually take a break from sushi for two Kobe beef sliders on a plate.  We don’t waver from these favorite happy hour menu choices and they never disappoint.

Post-hockey?  Rarely. But when it’s happened, it’s been to Flight.  Flight’s the warm blonde downstairs wine bar on “the other side” of Capital One Arena.  By the end of a 7:00 pm game, closing time is coming, and so are the happy hour prices on wines opened, but bottles not emptied.  When we arrived after one hockey night, stool space was available at the curved center bar, and we were immediately engaged by a bartender who was – well, engaging – and knew her wines.  A perfect way to cap off a Capitals win.

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