Bison Tartare and Barrel-Aged Cocktails at Teddy & The Bully Bar (Now Open)
It's not just the monocle chandelier, the rifle light fixtures, and the Mount Rushmore wall that pay homage to Theodore Roosevelt at Teddy & The Bully Bar, which opened yesterday at 19th and M streets NW. Nearly everything you eat and drink is in someway inspired by him.
Chef Michael Hartzer researched Roosevelt's eating preferences and the locations where he spent his life in creating the menu. For example, some items on the menu—like lobster "Wenberg" style—take a note from turn-of-the-century New York, where Roosevelt was police commissioner. Roosevelt also spent some time in New England, which is represented by East Coast seafood. (Oysters were supposedly one of his favorites, so there's a whole raw bar in his honor.)
The 26th president's time out West and fondness for hunting inspired grilled and fire-roasted dishes, including wild game. One example is a bison tartare with pickled ramps, pickled mustard seeds, smoked creme fraiche, and crispy tuiles that taste like an everything bagel (another nod to Roosevelt's New York days). Check out the full menu below.
Consulting mixologist John Hogan put together Bully Bar's drink list. Among the highlights are three 26-day barrel-aged Old Fashioned cocktails, which again tie back to Roosevelt in some way. For example, "The Rough Rider," a take on the Hemingway Daiquiri, gets its name from the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry that Roosevelt landed on Daiquiri Beach in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. (There's also "The Conservationist" and "The Trust Buster.")
Teddy & The Bully Bar is also staying hip with the cocktails-on-tap trend. An Americano and a take on the Rickey are available on draft.
The presidential-themed food and drinks are nothing new for owner Alan Popovsky. The menu at his other restaurant, Lincoln, was a nod to Abraham LIncoln—even if it might not have appealed to the 16th president's tastes.
Photo by Jessica Sidman