Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tradition Reigns next to the Treasury at Old Ebbitt Grill

Everyone assumes that I like fish.  Actually, I think I have a little Westside Cincinnatian cat in me as I really don't care for it.  I much prefer a nice chicken entrée.

Dining Room and Bar with Etched Screens of DC Landmarks
Entrance to Old Ebbitt Grill
     Every city has that older restaurant with the clubby feel, the power brokers casually meeting in the corners while tourists feel special to be there, food that is traditional, but well-made, and usually served smartly.  The 21 Club in New York, Lindey’s in Columbus, the Broker group in Denver, the original Morton’s Steakhouse in Chicago, and Galatoire’s in New Orleans all fit that bill, but perhaps the oldest (1856) is the Old Ebbitt Grill in DC, across the street from the Treasury and a couple of blocks from the White House.  We’d eaten there a decade ago and a good friend goes there every time he’s in DC.  (He ran into John Travolta there once, but that’s
another story, and we’ve seen Congressional types with their staff members, but we weren’t certain who they were).  

Trout Parmesan
Alaska Halibut
      The menu is extensive, but the way to go is with fish.  We followed the waiter’s suggestions so Neil and I ordered the Alaskan Halibut.  It was baked and very tender.  The dressing from the spring vegetable slaw added a succulent note to the fish.  There was a delicate mustard sauce on the sliced fingerling potato said served under.  Dale chose the Rainbow Trout, crusted in Parmesan breading, flash-fried, and topped with Hollandaise.  It was a very large piece of fish and it tasted great. The fried potatoes and al dente green beans were very good sides.  We asked for the waiter’s recommendations for dessert and had the Bourbon Walnut Pie, almost a warm chocolate chip walnut blondie, with ice cream.  The waiter was right, but we ignored his other choice (Cinnamon Swirl Pound Cake) and went with the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.  It was good, the ice cream especially, but the crust was a little greasy and the filling was not unique.   The waiter seemed to lose interest in us before serving the dessert.  We had to ask twice for more water and though I ordered coffee, it never materialized.

Bourbon Walnut Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
      The surroundings are a recreation of The Gilded Age and the pace feels relaxed and Southern.  Like I said before, you never know whom you’ll see, but they may be important.  

Rear Dining Room of Old Ebbitt Grill
Old Ebbitt Grill on Urbanspoon

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