Washington, DC - 3 Great restaurants & a Dud
We just returned from DC, a favorite city we visit regularly. We always check out CH for any city we visit. This time we ate at 3 excellent restaurants & one true dud - the good ones first.
Our first night was at our all-time favorite, Obelisk. It never disappoints! Fabulous cheffing! Wonderful food, & they don't take themselves too seriously. Amazing flavors, and we are always blown away by the burrata cheese. Still our very favorite restaurant.
Our second great restaurant was a return to Bistro du Coin, a casual French bistro off DuPont Circle. The last time we were there my husband had major back spasms, so it wasn't optimal. But we had a truly fun time with excellent, very casual food.
The 3rd "winner" was our first time to the Blue Duck Tavern. We had read reviews & gave it a try, & we WILL return. This chef also knows how to cook farm-fresh foods! The bone marrow appetizer was fab, and the soft-shell crabs truly fantastic. Entrees of scallops and fluke were superb. Desserts of chocolate & cinnamon ice cream & strawberry rhubarb crumble with creme frache absolutely amazing. Beautiful room, well-trained staff. We loved the entire experience.
OK, now for the disappointing experience. Despite positive recs on CH, we found Tabard Inn to be decidedly sub-standard in every way. Poor service. Lack of attention from the time you enter the door (& you wend your way on your own thru a "lounge" a bar, into the dining room). NO ONE seemed to care about anything with the customers. (Personally I don't care if the staff "really" cares, but they need to act as if they do!) The main dining room is pretty, and that's the most positive thing I can say. All the food was mediocre at best. The single male-female bathroom way down in the basement was grungy and "disturbing". It was a really yucky experience - not cheap - & one that we warn everyone else against.
Overall, 3 out of 4 isn't bad! And we HIGHLY recommend Obelisk and the Blue Duck Tavern.
1739 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
I'm disappointed you didn't like the Tabard Inn, but it is true that it's a much better brunch destination than dinner. I have had very nice dinners at the Tabard Inn, but I do tend to think of it as more a funky DC refuge (our nice restaurants often have a very 'business lunch' feel that's not very romantic) than out-of-towner destination.
Bummer about the Tabard. I love it for drinks, but we recently had dinner there for the first time. The service was very good (but it was a slow weeknight - not that it should matter) and I really enjoyed the sauteed calamari app and gnocchi entree. Not crave-worthy in the future, but I was pleased, especially since we ate there out of convenience. I love the space.
Thanks for the reviews. Bistro du Coin is next up on my list when I'm jonesing for Frenchness.
Great to hear your thoughts - thanks for posting. I've never had great service at Tabard Inn either, but the lounge is, IMO, a great place to grab a cocktail on a chilly day.
I've never felt compelled to have dinner there, and the one brunch I did have was pretty good for a city that lacks brunch options, but not amazing.
I also love Blue Duck - glad you had a great time there.