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Sep 11, 2013 07:26 PM

Old ebbitt grill

What are your thoughts on this restaurant?

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  1. Leave it for the tourists. I wouldn't go back.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Steve

      I agree! Perhaps I'm ordering the wrong thing, but I've been perhaps 5 times and it never leaves me longing to go back anytime soon. I find the food is just mediocre, it's incredibly crowded and just not that good. It's fun for tourists because of its history but definitely nothing special in my book.

    2. I like their raw bar happy hour.

      5 Replies
        1. re: alkapal

          Me too. Raw bar and cold beer. What's wrong with that?

          1. re: flavrmeistr

            As a raw bar and beer joint, it's fine. Going beyond that and treating it as a restaurant is where it becomes problematic.

            1. re: JonParker

              that simply isn't true, jon. it is a perfectly respectable restaurant. i've had very good meals and excellent service there.

        2. re: 4X4

          Second the raw bar happy hour. Everything else I've tried off the menu has been a big plate of meh.

        3. i like it a lot! i have had very good meals there -- and great service for food and wine. i find the food quality to be consistently fresh and well-prepared. i think the menu is very reasonably priced. i like the dinnertime atmosphere.

          after one dinner in 2011, i even wrote to the chef to get her recipe for one of the salads -- with:
          sliced roasted beets
          candied walnuts
          sweet gorgonzola
          apple cider vinaigrette with shallots***
          sliced apples

          the online menu doesn't reflect the daily specials, which are often great values. the last time i was there, i had a very good meal, as did my companion, detailed here:

          *** recipe
          """"This makes approx 5 cups """ ****

          ½ each Shallot (i think chef meant ½ C).
          ½ cup Honey
          1/8 cup Dijon Mustard
          1 tsp Cinnamon
          2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
          2 cups olive oil (the chef had said ½ gallon, but i think she made a big typo. i changed it to this 2 cups so as to fit her "total" liquid amount.
          so….i'm not sure about this ratio…..usually i do a 3:1 or, depending on the salad, a 2:1 ratio of oil to acid.).

          Put all the ingredients in a blender and puree. While the blender is still going, slowly add the oil in a drizzle to combine. Season with some salt and pepper.""""

          1. I think it depends on what the occasion is. It is pretty touristy but the food isn't terrible. It's part of the Clyde's group, as is The Hamilton down the street (which I prefer).

            If I only had to recommend one meal in DC would I send someone to Old Ebbitt Grill? No. If you had a meeting at the White House and a hankering for old school charm and oysters? Then this might be the perfect place for you.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Elyssa

              I am eager to try out the Hamilton based on your recommendation.

              Usually when I'm lunching in that area, I'm with clients who are from out of town. One group, in particular, loves OEG due to the location near the WH. Last time they were in town, we were seated in a small room downstairs that had about 7 large round tables. Even when it filled up, the room was not as loud as upstairs. My group wasn't a chowhound bunch and the menu pleased everyone and I thought was just fine. Anyway, next time we'll try the Hamilton.

              1. re: tcamp

                The Hamilton also works for client lunches---I've used it for business before. There is a salmon salad that I love and also a salmon burger that is great. My old boss always use to get the fish tacos.

                Get a booth in the back room for a meeting. It's certainly not quiet in this restaurant (because it is HUGE) but the booths are better.

              2. re: Elyssa

                So if you had to recommend only one restaurant in do, where would it be??

                1. re: Penguin817

                  Penguin - that's a mighty big question involving a bucketload of variables that have to be addressed before it can even be approached.

              3. It's not a foodie oriented place, not inventive nor is it intimate, but it is pretty reliable and has a DC buzz that a lot of people enjoy. The food is basic American grill, decently prepared and served. I take visitors there without any shame.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Elder Berry

                  No shame, but no pride either. As one Chowhounder once described Clyde's, it's a big bowl of ok.

                  1. re: JonParker

                    Sometimes OK is enough. OK does not equate with contemptible.