Food & Drink

The 5 finest secret-menu items in DC

Published On 09/13/2013 Published On 09/13/2013
bibiana veal shank
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1. 1789 1226 36th St NW, Washington, DC 20007

The elegant 1789 appears to have stepped directly out of its namesake year. Filled with antiques and white tablecloths, it has the look of a country inn and a menu that's brimming with fresh, local dishes, like fried soft-shell crab and Shenandoah Valley lamb chop. Pair your meal with a bottle of your own choosing (this spot is BYOB!) and finish it off with the Hummingbird Cake: banana brûlée, vanilla pudding, pineapple, dark rum-toffee sauce, and banana ice cream.

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2. Ted's Bulletin 1818 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Why choose between vices like ice cream and alcohol when you can indulge in both at once? At Ted's Bulletin, "adult milkshakes" are a crowd favorite -- towering glasses of blended home-made ice cream spiked with things like peppermint schnapps, Irish cream and coconut rum. And for those who can stomach more than a boozy shake, the D.C. mainstay offers a full menu of morning and afternoon eats. Best known for its brunch, the place boasts home-made pop tarts, hefty egg plates, and a "Walk Of Shame Burrito," stuffed with sausage, cheese and hash-browns. The trendy, leather-booth-lined space is equally as appealing as the entrées (and equally instragrammable), and the bar offers plenty of coffee, and a traditional cocktail menu, for when the dairy-liquor combo doesn't necessarily appeal.

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3. Black Jack 1612 14th St NW, Washington, 20005

This casual, upbeat bar in Logan Circle is located about Pearl Dive restaurant and serves up classic American cocktails in a New Orleans-themed space. You'll find original drinks in addition to the classics, and all are reasonably priced. The restaurant is a member of the Black Restaurant Group, so the seafood here is also on point, especially the raw oysters and steamed mussels.

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4. Bibiana Osteria & Enoteca 1100 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005

This awe-worthy spot by Franklin Square sits comfortably at the heigh of luxury with 120 seats sitting amidst a Milano-inspired design with glass artwork, soft lighting, and black leather/dark, polished wood accents. Prices are going to be a little higher than your average Italian joint, but you're paying for what you get -- house-made pasta dishes, grilled, seasonal fishes, chicken, and duck along with a handful of (what else) artisan, wood-fired pizzas.

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5. W Washington DC 515 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

The capital’s closest neighbor since 1917, this newly renovated hotel has one of the best rooftop views in town and has the “sophistication of Sinatra to the charm of Chevalier” in all of its 317 rooms.