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Notes From the Field: American Ice Co.

Our critics give new restaurants a quick look and report back with their first impressions.

It’s hard to believe that the same guys who started the velvet-roped 18th Street Lounge back in 1995 are behind this venture, which redefines the words “stripped down.” Paint-mottled brick walls, wood-planked booths, and rusty signs make up the backdrop, and Pink Floyd is turned up loud. The bar’s pleasures lie more in the gritty roadhouse vibe—and interesting but unpretentious beer selection (cans of Porkslap and Old Speckled Hen, Goose Island on draft)—than the shortlist of barbecue sandwiches, which are fine but, like most city ’cue, lack a ton of smokiness and savor (chopped pork gets our vote over the sliced turkey). Still, it’s easy to imagine that come summer, a picnic table on the front patio is going to be nearly as tough a score as a Thievery Corporation ticket at the 9:30 Club around the corner.

American Ice Co., 917 V St., NW; 202-758-3562 


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