Chez Billy's Infallible Cocktails | Washington DC

Cocktails and Bistro Fare at Chez Billy's in Petworth

A cocktail called The Delicious Sour had better back up its claim.

Chez Billy, the latest from the infallible Hilton brothers–of Marvin, Patty Boom Boom, Blackbyrd and others–aces the 1800s-era drink ($12), mastering the frothy egg white, rush of tart lime, and apple brandy base.

Devised with an if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it mentality by Brendan Murphy of The Gibson, the cocktail list at the new Petworth bistro beams with best-ofs, including the obligatory peppery Bloody Mary ($9) and a zesty, Chartreuse-based Bijou ($12). The Sazerac ($10) is a tribute to the New Orleans ideal. Made with brandy, rye and Peychaud's Bitters, in a frosty glass coated with herbaceous Swiss Kübler absinthe, the drink has a boldly musty bite and a long, smoky finish.

Come brunch, the Cold Coffee Fizz ($10) blends creamy cinnamon- and nutmeg-laced cold brew with bourbon, brandy, orange, a touch of sugar and egg whites.

Our summer staple, though, will be the classic, off-menu Margarita ($13). Will Earls, an Oyamel alum and tequila expert, mixes a strong one. It's so satisfying that on a recent visit, we heard Earls mutter to himself, "Oh, yeah, baby," while mixing the tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime and orange juices, and simple syrup.

Chez Billy, 3815 Georgia Ave. NW (between Randolph & Quincy sts.); 202-506-2080 or