Cheap Eats 2008: Domku

Why go: Kera Carpenter’s Alice in Wonderland–meets–Anthropologie lounge/restaurant fills two voids: It may be the only place in the region serving Swedish, Czech, and Polish cooking, and it’s one of the few good restaurants in DC’s Petworth.

What to get: Swedish mainstays—thinly sliced gravlax, a trio of sweetly pickled herrings—served with the nubby rye crackers known as knackebrod; a layered salad of shredded beets and carrots and sliced green apples; grilled-cheese sandwich with white cheddar and chilies; raisin-brioche bread pudding.

Best for: A chilled-out date on one of the thrift-store couches; hanging out with your laptop—wi-fi is free—if you don’t mind the indie rock and trip-hop blaring from the house iPod; a soothing, end-of-day repast.

Insider tip: Aquavit looks like vodka but tastes like fire—try a shot of one of the infused versions, such as lemongrass and ginger, before investing in one of the triple-strength cocktails.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner, Thursday through Sunday for breakfast and lunch.

See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants 

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.