Classics Revisited: The Monocle

The restaurant world is notoriously fickle, but these15 places—all a half century old or more—have withstood the test of time.

A Capitol Hill power-lunch staple: the hefty, butter-topped bone-in rib eye. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About The Monocle

American, Steaks
107 D St NE
Washington, DC 20002
NE Northeast Dr
Fredericksburg, VA 22408

You could tour the monuments or museums—or you could drop into this gently aging institution, which provides a fascinating glimpse into the ways and means of old Washington. As the restaurant nearest to the Senate, it has for decades functioned as a kind of Cheers for politicos—a cozy, charming tavern that just happens to serve the most important neighborhood in the country. Go at lunch, when Congress is in session, and you won’t see just framed pictures of the power players—you’ll see the power players themselves, attended with almost bowing devotion by the veteran, crisp-vested waiters.

The menu doesn’t change with the seasons—heck, it doesn’t even change with administrations. Keep it simple and opt for any of the steaks, which are well seasoned, given a good char, cooked to the requested temperature, and served with a side of creamy scalloped potatoes. Few of the big-boy steakhouses get it right every time, either, and they don’t have a who’s who of the rich and powerful passing through every day.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner.

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