Chef Kyle Bailey, his wife and pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac, and beer director Greg Engert are the dream team at this beer-centric destination, which glows like a modern barn. Upstairs, ChurchKey is one of DC’s hottest bars, serving sandwiches, flatbreads, and nibbles along with an impressive roster of bottles and drafts. Downstairs is Birch & Barley, the more sophisticated sister establishment that, thanks to Bailey’s rustic cooking, is still tough to get into two years after opening.
The hard-to-find brews, such as a wonderful English bitter, are the obvious drink choices, but cocktails such as the mint gimlet also go down easy.
What to get: Juicy sweetbreads; herbal risotto with ricotta and marinated peach; pork loin with greens and eggplant; cavatelli with roasted chicken and chicken-skin cracklings; hake with beans and corn; grilled skirt steak with puréed potatoes and mustard greens; bratwurst burger; cookies-and-confections plate; summertime peach pie and blueberry tart.
Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner, Sunday for brunch (until 8 pm). Expensive.