When I arrived at 7:45 for an 8 PM reservation and found the bar and waiting area packed, I resigned myself to a long wait for a table. But at precisely 8 o'clock, the table was ready. This extraordinarily well-managed restaurant, specializing in the Low Country cooking of South Carolina, has been a Washington favorite through several changes of chefs, and the food continues to be top-notch under chef Neal Langerman's direction.
Portions are beyond generous at Georgia Brown's. The pile of fried chicken livers, marinated in orange juice and flavored with sage, would feed a family of four, as would the catfish fingers, beautifully fried and served with coleslaw and a mango-mustard tartar sauce. A couple might share a single appetizer and then go on to separate main courses.
Low Country seafood dishes have given a New Orleans flavor to this menu: Carolina Gumbo, a full-flavored combination of rock shrimp, chicken, and andouille sausage; Frogmore Stew, shrimp, fish, oysters, scallops, and clams over potatoes; and Shrimp and Grits, a lovely combination of spicy and bland--shrimp and andouille sausage served over creamy grits. If seafood doesn't appeal, go straight for the fried chicken--buttermilk-battered, fried crisp, and served with mashed potatoes and collards.
-This review appeared in the May, 2000 issue of The Washingtonian.