An Early Look at the Queen Vic—With Menus

This H Street spot is striving for the authentic feel of a British gastropub.

By: Anna Spiegel

In England, a “gastropub” is a neighborhood watering hole with white-tablecloth food. In the U.S., the term has been thrown around—in Washington, there’s Againn and the now-closed CommonWealth—but few places actually capture its meaning in both menu and atmosphere. We’re hoping that the day-old Queen Vic, named after the pub in the English soap EastEnders, can replicate a gastropub from top to bottom.

The newest addition to the  ever-expanding H Street, Northeast, scene has the parts in place: A restored two-story space outfitted with funky, reclaimed furnishings; a gently priced menu with such dishes as bangers and mash and Cornish pasties; and British Isles beers on tap such as Wells Bombardier and Kilkenny. (Our resident Brit says the exposed brick is very New York; nonetheless, it feels cozy and rustic.) Owner Ryan Gordon, an investor in the neighboring dive bar, the Pug, and his Welsh-born wife, Roneeka, took chef Adam Stein on an eight-day tour of England, which included stops at famous markets, gastropubs, and the award-winning Indian restaurant that Ronkeeka’s parents own (their curry recipes are on the menu at Vic).

Stein’s menu takes cues from Fergus Henderson’s St. John in London, and April Bloomfield’s New York scenester spots the Spotted Pig and the Breslin. Stein, who was last cooking in Rhode Island, is a devotee of the sustainable-and-local approach in replicating dishes from across the pond. Even bread and condiments are made from scratch, and whole portions of meat are delivered from farms in Virginia and Maryland for in-house butchering. He also follows the nose-to-tail philosophy—a trend that Henderson helped revived—with such menu items as salt-and-vinegar scratchings (Brit-speak for pork cracklings); roasted beef-marrow bones with herb salad; and a charcuterie plate with slow-cooked headcheese, pickled whole-belly clams, and potted duck. Daily blackboard specials include even more offal, including fried sweetbreads and a tongue sandwich. Less adventurous diners can look to pub-grub classics such as fish and chips, Welsh rarebit (grilled bread with cheddar and mustard), and steak-and-ale pie.

For Anglophiles pining for a British pantry, the Queen Vic has a “tuck shop,” where customers can buy Ambrosia Devon custard, Cadbury’s drinking chocolate, Marmite, HP sauce, and McVitie’s cookies (the full list of goods is here.)

Stein is rolling out the full menus over the next two weeks, but if all the authentic, on-paper touches prove true, Washingtonians may have an a real gastropub on their hands.

The Queen Vic (1206 H St., NE; 202-396-2001; thequeenvicdc.com) is open Monday through Thursday 5 PM to 2 AM, Friday and Saturday 5 PM to 3 AM, Sunday 11 AM to 2 AM.

Dinner

Little Snacks

Spiced nuts $5
Cashews, peanuts, and lightly candied almonds

Salt-and-vinegar scratchings $4
House-made pork cracklings

Welsh rarebit $6
House-grilled bread with sharp cheddar, house mustard, and stout

Hand-cut chips $5
With dipping sauces

Appetizers and Small Plates

Ploughman's $9
Pork country pate, farmstead cheese, house-pickled veg, and grilled bread

Fried oysters on the half shell $11
Three fried oysters with foie gras, duck confit, and cornichons

Pasties (choice of three) $9
Cornish with beef skirt steak, turnips, onion, and potato; chicken-and-ham; curried-potato

Roasted marrow bones $7
Marinated in red wine and served with an herb salad

Market salad $7
Local mixed greens and seasonal vegetables with our honey-herb vinaigrette

Bacon salad $7
Bitter greens, house lardons, egg, and bacon vinaigrette with crackling garnish

Royal charcuterie plate $6 each, $25 for all
Pickled clams, foie-gras torchon, head cheese, pork pate, potted duck, and garnishes

Mains

Burger $12
Mix of local lamb and dry-aged beef, three-onion jam, mustard aioli, and house chips

Fish and chips $11
Beer-battered daily selection, house chips, mushy peas, grilled lemon, and tartar sauce

Bangers and mash $15
House-made sausages and made-to-order mashed potatoes with onion gravy

Steak-and-ale pie $15
Grayson farm beef served with made-to-order mashed potatoes and onion gravy

The full monty $12
Two fried eggs, beans, bacon rashers, sausage, tomato, mushroom, and fried bread

Roasted vegetable tart $11
Roasted seasonal vegetables, Mountain Top blue cheese, house-made crust with soft-boiled egg, and mixed greens

Murgh makhani (butter chicken) $13
Tandoori-style chicken, pureed cashews, tomato, ginger, and garlic. Served with basmati rice.

Vegetable curry (vegan) $12
Seasonal vegetables and basmati rice

Sunday Roasts (coming soon)
A selection of roasted meats with Yorkshire pudding, duck-fat-roasted potatoes, and gravy

Dessert

Banoffee Pie $6
Our take on the classic with banana custard, burnt sugar meringue, and chocolate crust

Chocolate fondant $7
A baked dark chocolate mousse with cardamom and ginger cream

Fruit tart tatin $7
Made with seasonal fruit and served with custard

Sticky toffee pudding $6
Sponge cake, dates, and toffee sauce with cream

Brunch

Skillet Bubble & Squeak $12
With two poached eggs, sausage, and black-pepper/cream gravy

British pastries $11
With house-made jams and butter

Cornmeal pancakes $10
With maple syrup, whipped butter, and your choice of rashers or sausage

Steel-cut-oat porridge $8
Served with brown sugar, fruit compote, whipped butter, and cream

Breakfast sandwich $9
Two fried eggs, rashers, cheddar, dressed greens, mustard, and mayo on our house bread with chips

The full monty $12
Two fried eggs, beans, rashers, sausage, tomato, mushroom, and fried bread

Market salad $7
Local mixed greens and seasonal vegetables with our honey-herb vinaigrette

Bacon salad $7
Bitter greens with out house lardons, bacon vinaigrette, and crackling garnish

Burger $12
A mix of local lamb and dry-aged beef, three-onion jam, mustard aioli, and house chips

Fish and chips $11
Beer-battered daily selection, house chips, mushy peas, grilled lemon, and tartar sauce

Murgh Makhani (butter chicken) $13
Tandoori-style chicken, pureed cashews, tomato, ginger, and garlic. Served with basmati rice.

Vegetable curry (vegan) $12
Seasonal veggies and basmati rice

Related:

An Early Look at Toki Underground 

Best of Capitol Hill Dining 

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