As a fan of live music and good eating, naturally hunting the venues that offer the perfect combination of music and dining, is something I’ve been doing for awhile. DC is no NYC nor New Orleans, but they get a standing ovation for keeping these types of spots alive and kicking and for opening up new places.Â One such semi-newbie is The Hamilton Live!, the downstairs level of the gi-normous establishment called The Hamilton, which houses multiple bars, open and private dining rooms, and a sushi bar.Â I had my first experience at The Hamilton Live! Friday night, the eve of my birthday, with two girlfriends.
For concerts goers, The Hamilton runs many shows a week with a large range of genres.Â You can buy tickets online or there, and patrons have their choice of where to dine, upstairs in one of the rooms, or at one of the bars, or downstairs in the concert arena. The menus are different, there’s more variety upstairs but the pizza is killer downstairs, and there are small plates “sound bites”, sliders, a few sushi choices, desserts and of course, a full bar with plenty of drinks.Â We made the executive decision to eat dinner upstairs on the main level and all though they were ready to seat us at our reservation time of 7pm, we ended up chatting as we girls do at one of the bars, and sat at 730.Â We were in the “bird” dining room, which is vast and gallery-like, with displays of large art, contemporary bird paintings that were commissioned by an artist in New York.Â In the middle of the stately wood-filled room are animal statues and booths line the space with tables in the middle. Our service was impeccable, we chose pasta and sushi and had a good conversation about which rolls were best for our interests, thanks to our patient server.Â The one challenge that you might find, which we did, is that the acoustics are challenging, not between guests, but between your server and you.
Once finished, we headed downstairs, after the first act had gone on, to watch renown jazz artist Nick Colionne, whom I had chosen to see because I was a fan since the days of Smooth Jazz 105.9FM.Â One of my girlfriends and I reminisced of those yesteryear days, as Nick’s fingers danced across his electric guitar expertly looking dapper in his all white suit and fedora on the stage.Â We sat on the upper level, away from the diners, overlooking the floor.Â With capacity of 500, there’s no bad place in the house and if you want to just listen, you can sidle up to one of the bars.Â What was most impressive about this multilevel concert space is that it is truly state of the art. The stage lighting is beautiful and only adds to the show and the sound is excellent. The sound guy is the top in the city.Â The service was again, on top of everything without being on top of us, which can be a hard line to keep.
Nick engaged his guests, joking about bringing his CD’s to hock, forgetting what song he was about to play, and how he just met his band.Â The best was when we left the stage and mingled with the audience while his fingers never left the guitar, playing and posing for photos, talking with his fans.Â I wanted to shout, We loved you on Smooth Jazz 105.9! But. I didn’t.
After the show, we made our way up to the third level, where there is a smaller bar and live music on the weekends.Â A female lounge singer was keeping the attention of many in the room and here, we sipped on Champagne and listened to her vocals. When we left, the front bar was still energetic (they are open until 2am on Fridays and 3am on Saturdays) and we all made it a point to return.
The Hamilton is located at 600 14th Street, NW.Â Make a reservation, join for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night and/or a concert.Â @thehamiltondc
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.