777 I Street., NW
Washington, DC 20001
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, American
Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 10, Saturday 5:30 to 11.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Gallery Place-Chinatown
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Oxtail “tots”; flatbread topped with Buffalo chicken, blue cheese, and celery; miniature hot dogs with house-made ketchup; tuna-tartare-filled sliders on Parker House rolls; Primanti Brothers sandwich with soppresatta, shoestring fries, and a runny egg; s
Lounge menu, $10 to $24. Dining room, $10 to $23. Five-course tasting menu, $77.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible
Cuisine: Ambitious, creative American cooking that is by turns witty, intricately embroidered, and—increasingly—delicious.
Mood: The monotone palette, the clean, soaring lines, and the serious expressions on the waiters’ faces tell you you’re in for a high-minded night. It’s directed by chef/owner Peter Smith, who takes risks, aims to impress, and never lets you forget that you’re here to have An Experience.
Best for: Grazing at the bar before or after the game or theater, given its proximity to the Verizon Center and Shakespeare Theatre; the long list of small plates that convey big flavors; and a good wines-by-the-glass program that includes reasonably priced half pours.
Best dishes: A trio of miniature hot dogs, each in a butter-painted bun; red-wine-braised short ribs with horseradish-potato mousseline; tuna sliders, the house-made Parker House rolls framing a hand-chopped tartare of fish; an elegant cauliflower soup; braised veal breast with expertly roasted sweetbreads; King salmon seared and sauced with a fascinating blackberry and Vouvray reduction; chocolate-praline bombe with wattleseed ice cream; lemon frozen yogurt with an ouzo-almond cake.
Insider tips: Smith stages a dazzling first act—including the house-baked breads and such starters as the trio of hot dogs with lacy fries—and a crowd-pleasing final act of gorgeous desserts. In between, things are more uncertain—highs alternating with lows.