1238 H St., NE
Washington, DC 20002
Neighborhood: H Street NE, H Street NE
Sunday through Thursday 5:30 to midnight; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 to 11.
Nearby Metro Stops: Union Station
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Mussels; fries, with truffle aïoli or pesto mayo for dipping; bison tartare; Steak et Fromage sandwich, with bison brisket, cheddar, grilled onions, and horseradish sauce.
Why go: This renovated 19th-century townhouse, named for a humanitarian doctor who tended the neighborhood, looks at first glance like all the other bars launched by Joe Englert along the revamped H Street—dark, cavernous, pulsing with a hipster vibe. But it’s also a serious restaurant that sources locally, features a raft of Belgian beers, and maintains a tidy, trendy menu with seasonal specials.
What to get: The city’s best mussels in a variety of preparations; excellent fries, accompanied in the Belgian manner by a choice of dips—look for the truffle aïoli or the pesto mayo; a robust tartare of bison meat; a novel take on steak-and-cheese with long-braised brisket, cheddar, grilled onions, and horseradish sauce.
Best for: A night out with the boys (or girls); a post-Nats nightcap—the tavern is within striking distance of the new stadium.
Insider tip: Heaping bowls of mussels are discounted to $10 on Monday nights.
See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants