Image: The bar in before times.
Last Updated: November 2022
Current Status: They are open for sit-down dining. They are not serving at the bar currently. Take-out and delivery, including of wine, is available.
Despite the aviation theme, Flight feels like the little engine that could. Committed to serving good and interesting wine they have just kept going, slowly building respect and a fan base, while sitting inconspicuously on a block behind the “arena of many names” in Chinatown. As its name implies, the wine choices are by the glass and bottle, but also arranged into trios of smaller portions to try and ponder. The flight comes with a small card with background on the wines. The servers over the years have also had a pretty strong grasp on the list and are able to assist. The wines selection includes choices from familiar favorites – California, France, Italy, but it also includes variations on themes that go to regions like Slovenia, Virginia, and Georgia (country not state).
Wine is the focus, but the food does not distract from the experience. The options appear to be a bit more trimmed these days with occasional substitutions, but still includes snacks and more substantial choices. Even in these times of slim choices and supply chain problems they have chosen to keep a menu that they can do well. The fingerling potatoes with aioli are meant to be shared and a great way to start – or tide you over. The Japanese eggplant with charred eggplant purée underneath highlights the subtle thoughtfulness of the kitchen. There are also more substantial plates of scallops, salmon, or beef. A combination of finesse and resiliency keep things on track.
The space is defined by the dramatic wood sculpture-like piece emanating from behind the bar that curves up and across the ceiling. The warm wood matches a softly but not dimly lit setting. There is music, but it is kept in the background. Outdoor seating may be available, weather and staffing permitting. The team is lead by Kabir Amir and Swati Bose, who like to focus on small growers doing natural wines. Bose, one of the many notable women wine professionals in D.C., told the Post about how seriously they take the wines, including a strong training program. “They have to be able to talk about every single wine — it is a whole different level. A lot of our staff actually go on to study wine and I think about 50 percent have gone on to be certified sommeliers, or at least first level.”
Flight was a James Beard semifinalist in 2020 for its wine program, which in hindsight was a bit a taunt by the gods to get such a nod and then go into the pandemic mess before they could leverage the publicity. But Flight kept going and came out on the other side. As wine bars come around again, we hope they get the full attention they deserve. We suggest you hop on that train – or catch a flight, or whatever metaphor works for you.
Other Guidance: The warmness of the place means that neither casual nor nicer attire are out of place. The menu has a few choices for both GF and vegetarians. It is located at street level with a small ramp down to the space.
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Food Network: “A serene break from the sports bars around the Verizon Center, Flight Wine Bar serves small plates with worldly wines.”