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Gastropub type dining in DC?

  • h
  • hammb Jun 18, 2013 05:54 AM

My fiancee and I are planning on stopping in DC for a couple nights on our upcoming vacation. We'll be arriving on Sunday afternoon/evening, seeing the sights on Monday, then heading home on Tuesday.

I've been looking for a place to have a good meal that Monday night. Not necessarily fine dining, but some place that has good, creative food along with a good beer/cocktail selection (I like beer, she likes cocktails/sangrias). We're both a big fan of the gastropub type places/atmosphere, where even if the food is bar food, it is bar food done correctly. The types of places that you see on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives are kind of what I'm thinking. I am good with a nicer environment than that as well, but the fiancee is not as adventurous of a foodie as I am so it has to have at least some choices for her (for instance my first though twas birch & barley, but she wasn't too enthused about anything on their menu).

We're staying in Arlington, and will be spending most of that Monday hitting the Smithsonians, the archives, the monuments, etc. What I'd really like is something that we can take the metro to for a late dinner, then take the metro back to Arlington so I don't have to deal with driving at all that day.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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  1. I actually haven't eaten there, but I wonder if Virtue Feed and Grain in Alexandria might be along the lines of what you are looking for.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Doh

      Virtue Feed recently overhauled their menu; most of the gastropub items went out the window, replaced with standard bar fare. Good beer selection and cocktails, but I can't recommend the food. Society Fair's wine bar has some nice menu items and an excellent cocktail selection. 

      You might want to consider The Queen Vic or Granville Moore's on H Street. Eatbar in Arlington is also a candidate, but it tends to get packed so you might want to make a reservation. 

      1. re: monkeyrotica

        I agree with Granville Moore's. I think that is what you are looking for. Very divey---great beer, mussels and amazing frites! Can't take the metro there very easily though. Will need to likely take a cab.

        Another place to check out is Bar Pilar on 14th Street. Lots of small plates options and good cocktails in a laid back environment.

        1. re: Elyssa

          Thanks for the suggestions guys. I'll take a closer look at the menus and sit with the Fiancee to make some decisions.

          What about Tonic as an option as well? I saw it mentioned in another thread and it looks like it could be a good choice. I saw some good beers for me, good cocktails for her, and a menu that looked pretty good. Especially if those tater tots they keep touting are a housemade version...

    2. Meridian Pint or Churchkey probably have the best micro-brew selection in town, both with passable food. Try to hit Churchkey first, and then Meridian Pint as MP has the better dinner menu. Both have amazing Draft selections.

      1. When I think of DD&D, i don't think of cocktails, so there seems to be some disconnect here.

        Take Eat Easy is a bar that takes its food seriously. A couple of Uruguayan brothers started it. They have some plain as well as fancy food. Their Chevito is an outrageous sandwich. a 5-Star Chowhound delight. Menu is on their Facebook page. No reservations necessary.

        The other place where the food is pure DD&D is DGS, a Jewish deli with Moroccan influence. Reservations necessary, a bit upscale for a deli. Definitely get the chopped liver appetizer, other than that it's hard to go wrong here. Food quality is sky high. but nothing too precious. Knish, whitefish salad, pastrami, it's all good.

        1. I would stay in Arlington and hit up either Eat Bar or Green Pig Bistro. If in DC I think Birch & Barley or Churchkey might fit the bill.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ktmoomau

            I second those as well.

            I was at Virtue a month back and was not impressed. The beer list, while not mammoth, was well chosen and thoughtful, but the food was slightly above average bar food. Tonic is the same thing...mediocre food and if they serve cocktails, I can't imagine they are anything to remember.

            I'd suggest hitting the green line for U Street and walking down to Bar Pilar. Yes, it is another small plates place, but it's not too adventurous, plus they have a decent beer list (nothing too large) and good cocktails. Although it's a monday, I'd play it safe and make reservations (can't recall if they take them actually) and REMEMBER, the metro closes at midnight, but be there earlier.

            1. re: The Big Crunch

              Actually, some of the beer-based cocktails at Virtue are quite good, but the food really is nothing special. They started with some interesting takes on pub food (the crubeens are still good), but people kept ordering the burgers and buffalo wings.

            2. re: ktmoomau

              Ooh...Green Pig looks interesting.

              Thanks for the suggestions guys. For Monday dinner the fiancee loves Italian, so I ended up booking a table at Dino for us. We may check out the Green Pig for a beer and dinner when we roll into town on Sunday.

              Thanks again!