Eat, Bar, Love

03Nov09

In observance of JP’s departure to Denver, CO for a conference, we dined at EatBar in Clarendon.

EatBar Restaurant Review

EatBar is part of a family of restaurants including Evening Star Café, Vermillion, Tallula, Rustico, and Buzz Bakery.  I have now been to all but Tallula, the posh neighbor of EatBar.  Rustico is one of my absolutely favorite, reliable spots.  I go for their wood-fired pizzas and beer assortment, such as the Wheaties Breakfast of Champions hefeweizen flight.  Buzz, as mentioned here, is one of my favorite bakeries and dangerously located across the street from Rustico.  You can usually get an impromptu buy-one-get-one-free pastry deal there in the evening.

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So, I’m raving about Rustico and Buzz but ignoring EatBar.  I had high hopes to like EatBar as much as I like these other two restaurants, and it had long been on my to-try list.  The interior is supremely lush and cozy.  It has a romantically medieval ambiance with high ceilings, copper-topped tables, velvet draperies, chandeliers, and a maroon/eggplant color scheme.  Specials are handwritten on chalkboard menus above the bar and windows are framed with shades of green and blue glass bottles.

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But the food wasn’t as interesting as the decor.  EatBar would be good for happy hour because they dispense various wines on tap and it draws a trendy crowd, but I wouldn’t invite family or suggest that someone plan a date there.  It’s far too loud; awkwardly, there isn’t a hostess to seat you(we held up the wall for several minutes before realizing this…); and the food, though whimsical, is forgettable.

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Beaker

beaker

Beaker

Washingtonian magazine lists the restaurant as one of its recommended Cheap Eats, and by DC standards it probably is.  Much of the menu is comfort food – indulgent in theory, greasy in reality.  We got a carafe  of wine for $16, kale and shiitake pasta for $9, and steak and cheese frites for $15.  I didn’t leave satisfied or impressed with the meal itself, but I might give it a second chance for brunch.  On weekends, EatBar plays a “cartoon bonanza” and other family friendly movies.  I just missed their showing of The Goonies last Sunday!  A must-rent.

Again, I overheard some fascinating chatter from the booth behind me, “Never, in 17,300,003 years, will you ever be a smug married person.”  Guess all bets are off after 17,300,004 years.

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Contemplating the indie music

I asked JP to help with some blog research by comparing DC to Denver.  He indicated that Denver is colder, more mountainous, and at a higher altitude which makes breathing more difficult.  Can you tell that he has the observational skills of an engineer?  ;)  Well, if ease of breathing is a factor in rating cities, DC triumphs for me.



7 Responses to “Eat, Bar, Love”

  1. 1 mg

    I am shocked, SHOCKED, that the DC blog would report on non-DC happenings. It’s not Convince Me Suburbs, is it? If I were paying, I would want my money back. As the case may be, I’m switching over to a Remy rap.

    I like the spin with “family of restaurants.” It’s what everyone else calls a chain. But this is the DC blog, so spin is an important, nay vital skill. Though I’m afraid the spin spun into mere cliche, with hackney such as “held up a wall” and “all bets are off.” However, I did like the mention of wine on tap because I’ve never heard of such a method to serve this libation; I just wish for more analysis.

    As for this JP character’s breathing difficulties, I happen to know he’s an audio engineer, so maybe if he breathed through his nose and not through his ears he wouldn’t have such a hard time. Just sayin’.

  2. Thanks for reading, mg! Let me know of any suggestions for DC restaurants or happenings.

  3. I’m sad that it doesn’t live up to the high standards of Rustico/Buzz! Those places are amazing esp with all the GF treats!

  4. Um as someone that lives down the street from Eat Bar in Clarendon, I have to say there’s nothing wrong with going over the river for a good eat!

  5. I’ve been to Tallulah/Eatbar for brunch several times but they always mess up a couple of components (burnt grits was the worst). It’s a shame. I got tired of waiting for them to work the links out.

  6. i’ve been to eatbar once and had a similar experience – so much potential, but a bit overpriced for what you actually get. definitely good for drinks, though! and i do like tallulah a lot – i’ve had excellent brunches there.

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