Cuisine: In transition, with the menu taking on a bit of a Greek flavor under new owner and longtime sous chef John Manolatos, who bought the Adams Morgan landmark in July from Ann Cashion and John Fulchino.
Mood: The painting of a reclining nude remains over the bar, and jazz still filters through the sound system—until 8:30, when the music switches to R&B and the volume spikes. Solicitous servers with fixed smiles seem to have been trained by Mesmer, but the crew in the open kitchen is efficient and relaxed.
Best for: Couples, small groups, single diners at the bar, sidewalk dining in warm weather.
Best dishes: The menu changes daily, but look for sweetbreads with spinach; salads such as an autumn display of beets and burrata laced with anchovies; juicy duck breast with pears and a nubbin of foie gras; roast chicken with honey and rosemary; and bison rib-eye steak. The dessert list is less inspired, though an exotically spiced apple crisp hits the spot.
Insider tips: Ann Cashion is no longer writing her daily menus by hand, and some of her signature dishes—most notably the potatoes Anna—are gone. But Manolatos, who has cooked in this kitchen since it opened in 1995, maintains continuity even as he tweaks the menu with Greek flavors: a mezzethakia platter of savory spreads, an olive-oil tasting, brined chicken aromatic with honey and rosemary, and Greek yogurt with fruit for dessert. The wine list remains Eurocentric and value-oriented, with some of the city’s best small importers represented.