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anyone tried Darlington House?

Has anyone tried Darlington House, in the old Childe Harold space?

I only went to the lower level, with a pub atmosphere and sort-of publike food. I don't think I would recommend trying it yet. The gnocchi with mushrooms, ramps, and asparagus were wonderful, in my opinion, and the molten chocolate cake was really good (though when isn't molten chocolate cake good?). Also, good fries.

The bad: the crunchy chorizo ravioli were soggy, the tuna sliders were overcooked (in my opinion--my husband liked them) on stale-tasting brioche, and the worst thing of all was the schizza (like a flatbread pizza) with sausage, pesto, and ricotta salata. It literally tasted like no one had salted or seasoned any element of it at any point--there must have been no parmesan in the pesto either.

Did I say that was the worst part? That might have actually been the waiter, who brought all four dishes at once (to our tiny little two-top table), spilled beer on my husband, and took away our salt and our ketchup before we were done eating to give them to another table, and when we complained about the totally unseasoned schizza (literally, I swear, the first time in my LIFE I have ever complained to a waiter about a dish--normally I just chalk it up to experience, but this was AWFUL), told us, "The chef doesn't really believe in using salt" and walked away (funny, when nothing else seemed to be undersalted--a bit to the contrary, in fact).

Mostly I am just amused by how comically absurd the whole place was. All this being said, I could still see myself wandering in by myself one weeknight just for a bowl of gnocchi... it is around the corner from me, after all. Anyone else been? Maybe my experience was unusual--certainly my waiter seemed to be uniquely incompetent.

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  1. I've been meaning to post about this place. I haven't eaten there yet but I've walked by it a number of times and have wondered about it. Sounds promising...always nice to have a decent neighborhood spot and the Childe Harold was a great location. Hopefully they fix the service issues.

    Here's an write-up from The Daily Candy:

    When it comes to local restaurants, it seems that they’re either too stark or all chintz. It’s rare to find a spot that’s just darling.

    Or, more precisely, Darlington.

    Dupont’s new Darlington House brings three dining concepts to a former house (don’t miss the Victorian molding and lighting). Chef Alexander Schulte relocated from The Modern in New York to cook seasonal, primarily sustainable dishes. The menu includes house-made pastas (try the fettuccine with calamari), peppery line-caught salmon with sweet and sour vegetables, and flourless chocolate cake with coconib crunch.

    Downstairs is a casual cantina, but don’t let the flat-screen TVs (or wooden deer heads) fool you; the flatbread pizzas, charcuterie plate, and rib eye with shallot compote are a far cry from wings and nachos. The third floor library will soon offer Wi-Fi, cappuccinos, and breakfast pastries for lounging.

    It’s enough to make the House a home.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa

      I don't always trust everything Daily Candy says. Often they review places before places open and have no idea about the food.

      However, I would like to check it out at some point.

      1. re: Jacey

        I don't always trust what Daily Candy is saying either in terms of restaurants. But one thing is for sure---they usually talk about places with a buzz (or are about to have a buzz) , so that's what I pay attention to.

    2. Had a very similar experience last Friday. That schizza was in desperate need of seasoning. Or, at least, a more flavorful sausage. But we had one other schizza -- with prosciutto and mushrooms and gorgonzola -- and that was very good. Still, our waiter (sounds like the same guy) was beyond lost. He clearly hadn't been trained. At all. We would have stayed longer if not for him. Weird, because when I stopped in for a drink just a couple days after they opened, the bartenders were really friendly and very good at their jobs. Hopefully the waitstaff will catch up.

      1. Any new updates? I was thinking about trying it out this week or next.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Going with a bunch of people on Friday - has anyone been back with new reports?

            2 Replies
            1. re: anunez

              Anyone gone since these last reports in May?

              1. re: KWynn

                If anyone is interested, Sietsema has reviewed Darlington House: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...