Who Says You Can’t Go Home
By Lani Gering
As many of you regular readers of this column know, I had to move out of the condo that I occupied in One National Harbor for over 11 years almost 2 years ago due to the monetary strains caused by the pandemic. It was one of the saddest days of my life. I know it may sound ridiculous to some of you but I truly did love living in the Harbor. I had my routine and liked to go on a walk about to check out new businesses and see what other action was up at my favorite places. I vowed to make it the 4 whole miles back across the bridge from Old Town on a regular basis and I did for the first year, however, it has been less frequent – other than doing the monthly distribution – in these last 9 months.
I was struggling with what to write about since about the only notable happening in the Harbor in April is the continuing Cherry Blossom activities that I wrote about in the March column and the springtime and Easter happenings at the Gaylord. So….I decided to take the drive across the Woody Bridge with Bob in tow to spend the afternoon in the Harbor. Wouldn’t you know that the day we picked ended up with the wind blowing a gale and rain pelting down so the walk about didn’t happen. Not to be discouraged, we went ahead and parked the truck in the Fleet Street garage and made the trek through the elements to my all time favorite place in the Harbor – Bond 45.
Bond was like my “Cheers” bar when I lived there. I could walk out one of the many ‘secret’ exits from the ONH building and across the street right to the front door. It was veryyyyy convenient. I made many friends there over the years with both locals and visitors alike with whom I have maintained contact. I was hoping to run into some familiar faces from my old building on this trip but the starts didn’t align, but our pal Nancy joined us later in the afternoon and some of my very favorite people were working on this Saturday. Oscar, former waiter at Landini Brothers here in Old Town; Sam, who also works at RT’s in Del Ray and one of the absolute best GM’s in the hospitality business, John Edwards, was on the floor. John has a way of making us feel like celebrities when we see him. And it isn’t just us, I can’t express how welcoming he is to everyone. That is one of the things that makes Bond 45 a special place.
Like so many dining establishments, several changes had to be made to adhere to the pandemic restrictions including a total revamp of the menu. Unlike the original extensive version, John and his team have whittled it down to one page that has offerings for every palate and in all price ranges. This revamp has not, however, made the drinking and dining here any less special.
We like to sit at the bar so we can talk with the bartenders and others who belly up. Always some fun conversations and definitely good cocktails. We met Hannah – the new kid on the block – on this trip and it looks like she’s going to be nice addition to the bar staff. Bob finally decided to sample some Whistle Pig Rye – he has been eyeing it since the first time we saw the bottle a few years ago. I went with a plain old vodka with soda and lime. Usually a martini drinker when I’m here I decided it was a little too early for one. The drinks at Bond are substantial – on par with the famous cocktails served at the aforementioned Landini’s. Food portions are also substantial and we usually opt to share. The smoked salmon app that we had was plenty for two people.
John told me that there are big things on the horizon for Bond but he wasn’t at liberty to disclose said “things” at the time of our visit. I’m excited to see what they have in store for us so I can share it with you next month. And…I have to say that for the few hours we were there it did feel like I was home.
Easter Bunny Meet & Greet at the Gaylord
While you might not spot him as he’s hiding his eggs, the lovable Easter Bunny takes a break from preparing his famous egg hunt to take photos with guests on Easter Sunday. For more information check out Gaylordnational.com or call 301-965-4000.