Old Ebbitt Grill

Old Ebbitt Grill - Washington, DC - Photo by Mike Bonfanti

Summer concluded with a family vacation to Washington, DC.  The kids were exited about the hotel pool.  Becky could not wait to see historic landmarks.  I was giddy with the prospect of eating my way thought our nation’s capital.  We arrived at Reagan National Airport at 10 o’clock in the morning, and following an exciting cab ride checked into the Liaison.

With our luggage deposited in our room we made the short walk up New Jersey Avenue towards the Capitol.  A light rain feel as the dome and crowds of tourist grew larger. We did not have a destination for lunch, and meandered up the National Mall stopping to take pictures of structures the kids had only seen on television.  Hunger struck our small band a little afternoon and Becky asked where I wanted to eat lunch.  Without hesitating I suggest the Old Ebbitt Grill.

Old Ebbitt Grill - Washington, DC - Photo by Mike Bonfanti

The saloon was founded in 1856, and is Washington’s oldest.  It moved to its current location at 675 15th Street NW in 1983 bringing many of the antiques and unique decor pieces that had been accumulated over its 150 year history.  Upon entering we gave our name to a hostess and made our way into the Old Bar.  Men in suits jostled for space at the intricately carved bar with out of town visitors in t-shirts and flip flops.  Wooden beams lined the ceilings, while stylized lamps dotted the dining area.  A marbles staircase led to a private dining room.  The restaurant had an old, distinguished feel and I loved the vibe.

Following a short wait we were led to a booth towards the back of the restaurant.  Green velvet lined benches with dark wood backs straddled a table covered in heavy white cloth.  A bow tie clad waiter appeared, introduced himself, and took our drink order.  Local beers were featured, and I sampled a couple during our meal, including a Vienna Lager by Devils Backbone and a legendary Natty Bo (to keep things classy.)

Old Ebbitt Grill - Washington, DC - Photo by Mike Bonfanti

As for the food, Old Ebbitt focuses on classic recipes such as pork Milanese, grilled calves liver, and steak frites.  Our waiter raved about the jumbo lump crab cakes, and Becky opted for the double serving.  I opted for the trout Parmesan.  The two little people ordered their standby chicken fingers.  While we waited for our meal we enjoyed our drinks and people watched while the kids colored.

The jumbo lump crab cakes lived up to their name. Two large pylons of crab meat were stacked on top of corn and tomato Chesapeake. Roasted fingerling potatoes and Old Bay aioli completed the dish.  I waited for a chance to sample her lunch, but she ate both of the crab cakes before I could snag a piece.  I will take her word that they, along with the dish’s accompaniments were delicious.

Old Ebbitt Grill - Washington, DC - Photo by Mike Bonfanti

My trout Parmesan was lightly fried topped with hollandaise sauce and served with crispy garlic potatoes and sauteed Swiss Chard.  The outside of the fish was crisp while the mild white meat was moist.  The hollandaise sauce added a nice creamy element to the dish, and I enjoyed both the garlic potatoes and the Swiss Chard.  

Service throughout the meal was top notch, including the part where the managed disassembled the bench to fish out my cell phone, and it was a wonderful place to kick off our Washington vacation.  The Old Ebbitt Grill is open Mon – Thurs 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 a.m., Fri 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 a.m., Sat 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 a.m., and Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.  The saloon can be found online at ebbitt.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @oldebbitt.  Reservations are recommended for and can be made by calling (202) 347-4800.

Old Ebbitt Grill - Washington, DC - Photo by Mike BonfantiSweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating:
Atmosphere: A
Taste: A
Presentation: A
Service: A
Cleanliness: A
Price: $$$

Old Ebbitt Grill on Urbanspoon

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