Image: Guanciale over Bucatini
Last Updated: 1/3/2023
Current Status: Reveler’s Hour is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations are recommended even for the bar, though walk-in spots might be available.
They also continue to run their “wine shop.”
Before Times Review:
Last Visited: January 2020
The concept is relatively simple, but then you add a degree of sophistication and the whole thing becomes quite impressive. Reveler’s Hour is a pasta and wine bar/restaurant, but it is from the team that brought you Tail Up Goat. So, the pastas are insanely good, the wine list is fascinating and fun, and everything about it is done with care. It was packed from the day it opened on New Year’s Eve. A fire forced them to shut down for a couple weeks, but they have reopened. If you can get in, we suggest you go.
The food brings some of the sophisticated playfulness that makes Tail Up Goat a favorite. Among the appetizers, the grilled oysters served with garlic butter and hot sauce are crowd pleasers and deserved to be chewed for full effect. The bread with salty fishy butter is very good bread and very funky butter. If botarga appeals to you, then don’t miss it. The foundation of the menu is pasta. Cassarecce pasta with sea island red peas, collard greens, and pecorino Romano cheese is so smokey from the collard greens that it implies hamhock even though it is vegetarian. The spicy sausage and chunks of fennel that sauce the chewy garganelli make explicit flavors that are more often implied. That dish has already rolled off the menu, but have no fear about trying anything.
Desserts are limited. On one visit, the one option was marscapone semifreddo with dried citrus was tangy and refreshing but barely crossed over from the savory category.
The wine is list is at the heart of this place’s magic. Nearly 60 wines by the glass. Organized by Sommelier Bill Jensen, they are divided thematically. The opening day themes were Beaujolais, New California, Kermit Lynch’s Adventures on the Wine Route near Rome, and Provence. There is a bonus panel on the back listing local and favorite winery productions. Most of the bottles hover in the $60ish range.
The space is gorgeously done with sleek colors of black, white and grey. It is a Fellini movie come to life, with a large bar area in the front. Of course, we here at 17 Degrees, Cork by Northwest are all about the obscure naming practices. Reveler’s Hour comes from an ancient Greek poet known for his drinking songs. It sits across the street from the Line Hotel, which houses A Rake’s Progress named for the opera by Stravinksy and Auden, in turn inspired by paintings by William Hogarth. Some may find the trend a bit to precious. We are big fans. Other bits of whimsy include the wine maker trading cards and the drawings in the restrooms that bring wine phrases to life, done by Maryse Chevriere, they are worth a trip by themselves.
Other Guidance: It is a nice neighborhood spot. Jeans are not out of place at all. There are multiple vegetable options, including 2-3 of the pastas. GF pastas (made in-house) are available upon request. The restaurant is located at street level with no stairs to enter.
Washington Post: Positive First Bite from Tom.
Table for Two: Overall, we highly recommend this restaurant for a date night or with friends.