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Feb 2, 2010 09:08 AM

Gastro Pubs

I recently ate at CommonWealth in Columbia Heights and had a decent time. I went later in the brunch service so service and food was, unfortunately, a little tired. I liked the atmosphere and the food concept a great bit.

Would you recommend any other gastropubs in D.C.? or any other places that serve rustic fare and have that "feeling" that CommonWealth has?


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  1. victoria's gastropub in columbia md

    1 Reply
    1. I would check out Brasserie Beck.

      1. I've never been to CommonWealth, so I don't know the ambience. Againn has a kind of Irish menu and the food is definitely what I'd consider gastropub. It is exceptional. But the ambience is strictly new downtown office building 'trying' to look like a pub.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          i'd consider againn to be more of a fine-dining place. especially because i believe they wanted something like 42 dollars (memory may be failing me, can someone please confirm/deny this?) for their monday night 'roast' special... chicken? thats kind of absurd.

          food was ok, the service was much more 'fine dining' than gastropub, i thought.

          their bangers and mash was pretty weak.

          1. re: kneelconqueso

            I agree, when I visited they wanted $30 for Lancaster Hot Pot or Shepherd's Pie. A friend visited Marco Pierre White's new gastropub this weekend in England and even he didn't have this much gall. A true gastropub doesn't just offer pub food in a slightly more formal atmosphere at fine dining prices, they offer it a normal price and include a good beer list. Againn had a high priced menu and ill selected overpriced beer list (however a surprisingly good wine list), clearly looking to attract a more fine dining clientele, as well as the lawyers from upstairs to buy their single malts. The space is great and I hope they figure out a way to tighten up the concept, but if you like Commonwealth, Againn is not for you.

            Victoria's on the other hand has evolved into the only place in Howard County where craft beer lovers (and beer dorks) can go and get real food. While not British (real or fake), Belgian or even Canadian (see the poutine made with duck and gruyere) the upscale pub food has improved and has become one of the best informal places to eat in Howard County.

            1. re: kneelconqueso

              The $42 is a meal for two people. So $21 per person. I don't know what it includes. Yes, I'd rather pay less. But eating downtown in DC has become almost completely expensive across the board.

              The OP asked about brunch. I've been to Againn for brunch. I was shocked at how excellent it was, and I didn't think the prices were out of line in the least.


          2. Try Granville Moore's. Maybe Churchkey too, but that vibe is more swanky than laid-back. DC just doesn't do 'gastropub' like Philly does. <sigh>

            1. Definitely check out Granville Moore's. However, be warned that the menu is deliciously one dimensional. The mussels are the standout to the point that I have been to Granville dozens of times and haven't been able to order anything but the mussels. They are miles ahead of any other mussels in the city IMO. The beer list is excellent and the atmosphere is great too. Definitely rustic and dark. It can get crowded but I find the crowd there to always be friendly.