I’ve been waiting for a restaurant opening I was really excited about for awhile. Although it seems like new restaurants are opening every two days in DC, I haven’t been like “YES we must go try this” — until I heard about the opening of Tulips. I first learned about the opening at an event at its sister restaurant Quinn’s on the Corner (which is also amazing — go for the taco Tuesday or their weekend brunch!) and was instantly intrigued because it was taking the place of the Irish Whiskey Public House in Dupont Circle.
After talking with the chef at Quinn’s (who is also the main man behind the menu at Tulips) about the transformation of the space and the offerings, I knew I’d have to add the restaurant to my ever-growing Google doc of coveted eats. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to attend their media dinner last night — and was literally blown away by it.
First of all, let me state that this post is not sponsored, because the things I’m about to say about Tulips are phenomenal. The space has been completely revamped and is super Instagrammable — think crystal chandeliers, floral print booths, and of course, tulips galore. You seriously cannot tell that this used to be a dive-y Irish pub.
To me, good service in the hospitality industry is key to having a good experience while dining out, and the team at Tulips is top-notch. I literally gave the head waiter a hug when I was leaving because he was so attentive and friendly! I hadn’t realized how long it has been since I had experienced such hospitality in a restaurant, and the team at Tulips has it on lock.
Now I guess we can talk about what really matters, the food. As you may or may not know, I’m a vegetarian and I was thrilled to see that there was more than one option for me on the menu! The restaurant boasts a menu that’s classic American with a European influence, but isn’t intimidating or stuffy. (Who else hates when they have to Google everything before ordering?) Our tasting started with a mushroom bisque that was pretty much the best soup I’ve ever had in my life. It was rich and somehow silky — and I could probably eat a gallon of it in one sitting. It’s definitely a must-order. Next up was a ravioli that featured thinly sliced apples in lieu of pasta and was stuffed with butternut squash. It was a nice take on a dish that usually leaves me stuffed, but I didn’t feel like I was losing any of the comfort factor that comes with a bowl of carbs.
We also got the chance try their speciality cocktails — Catherine and I opted for a gin cocktail with tea and lemon and it was super refreshing. Julie got a drink with bourbon and although I don’t typically like cocktails with that in it, it was very drinkable and I know Gerald would have loved it.
The best part about the restaurant? It has a champagne bar on the upper floor! The furniture is still coming in, but we fell in love with the intimate atmosphere and super cute nooks. After dining downstairs, guests will be escorted up to the lounge and offered a complimentary drink — I told you the service was insane!
Last but not least, we got a chance to chat with the owner and he was so genuine and kind it just made the entire experience. I love getting to meet the people behind the magic, it really puts into perspective how hard someone has worked to make a vision a reality, and I think that Reese has a LOT to be proud of at his new restaurant!
Tulips is officially opening on December 27th, and I’m already planning a return trip on New Years Eve with Gerald! If you go, let me know your thoughts!