Food & Drink

The 5 finest secret-menu items in DC

Published On 09/13/2013 Published On 09/13/2013
bibiana veal shank

You know that sensation when something feels wrong? It's like a weird sixth sense. Sometimes it hits while staring at a menu, and you just can't place what's not right... something's missing. Unlike Haley Joel Osment, you may not be able to see the dead, but you can sense when an eatery isn't giving you everything they got. That's why we went out and found these five off-menu items that're available at local restaurants, but just not on the menu.

Grappa-Cured Trout, 1789
Grappa-cured between 24-48hrs (depending on the fish), this Springtime dish that was too cool for the menu is a nice layering of fennel, baby greens, and watermelon radish, all touched w/ some lemon creme fraiche.

The Glazed Donut T.U.B.S., Ted's Bulletin Capitol Hill
Logan Circle
Ted’s Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich is the sammie's full name. The acronym will be your new nickname after consuming something this monstrous:

{glazed donut}
-fried egg-
-scrambled egg-
-sausage patty-
-cheddar cheese-
{glazed donut}

Black Jack Official Facebook

Speakeasy Menu, Black Jack
Logan Circle
Only made for their secret Tumblr site, the menu is currently playing with a "Collins", and unlike Kerry Collins, these three boozers aren't racist. Instead, there's the John (rye/lemon/simple/soda), Tom (gin/lemon/simple/soda), and Sasha (cachaca/lemon/simple/soda).

Braised Veal Shank, Bibiana
Penn Quarter
Exec chef Nicholas Stefanelli knows Italian -- just look at his freaking name. He also knows that having a whole braised veal shank prepared ossobuco style keeps the other real Italians coming in.

Chicken Club, W Hotel
Touted as one of Adam Richman's Best Sandwiches in America, the chicken club sandwich from the W Hotel is made with grilled and marinated chicken paillard w/ Nueske bacon, beefsteak tomatoes, a fried egg, and half of an avocado.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. 1789 1226 36th St NW, Washington, DC 20007 (Georgetown)

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 (U Street)

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 (Logan Circle)

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 (Downtown)

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.



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