When it comes to gastropub fare, the Nation’s Capital is a haven of modern-day taverns doling out hearty sausages (read: a pancake burger), craft brews and killer cocktails.
The next time you’re in search for an inventive gastropub in Washington, D.C., look no further. Here’s were to go:
What It Is: An outpost of the New York City-original, the European brasserie is known for its basic wood furnishings, foxed mirror panels and white-tiled walls.
What Our Inspectors Say: “The crowd-pleasing carte features a plethora of comfort food, like chicken pot pie, shellfish platters and mussels steamed in Chardonnay. Lunchtime faves unveil rigatoni with wilted pea shoots and tomatoes dressed in parsley-almond pesto, while nightly specials culminate in a Saturday paella. Come on your special day for a slice of chocolate birthday cake, which is always on the menu.”
What It Is: An über casual spot (complete with jukebox!) on Capitol Hill.
What Our Inspectors Say: “It’s all about the sharing economy here, where small plates rule the roost. The beer list is vast and the wine selection surprises with lesser known finds. Small-batch charcuterie and whole animal butchery are passions of the chef, so the menu is meat-driven, but right sizing keeps portions in check. The carte is whimsically categorized so while "bready things" bring a summer tomato tartine with ricotta, "beasty things" unveil a cotechino burger enriched with tomato aïoli and melted cheese. Seal the deal with "sweet things" like lemon-scented ricotta donuts.”
What It Is: This neighborhood eatery sits adjacent to its butcher shop and gourmet boutique sibling, Red Apron.
What Our Inspectors Say: “Beer is big here, with more than 20 on draft and arranged by flavor profile (tart/funky and fruit/spice are just two). At lunch, pick a meat (turkey breast, porchetta or beef döner), then take your tigelle or flatbread and smoosh it all together. At night, the menu steers offbeat and may include crawfish hushpuppies, beer-brined rotisserie duck or smoked pork with mescal-baked beans. Charcuterie is also creative, unveiling absinthe-lime rillettes and Negroni-inspired Campari-rosemary salami.”
Hero image courtesy of The Smith.