Image: The location sets the tone.
Last Updated: June 2022
Current Status: Open for dine-in service.
A slightly-weathered warmth sets the tone. For years chefs have come and gone, but the Federal Era building alone was enough to draw customers to 1789. The food has remained a classic combination of New American as influenced by France. Some chefs have played it safer than others, with Tracy O’Grady and Kyoo Eom making a mark in the recent rotation. Adam Howard, who did a stint in charge at Blue Duck Tavern (earning accolades along the way) and came up in the kitchens of Mike Isabella and Brian Voltaggio, took over earlier this year. For now, his approach appears to be a steady hand at the helm.
The building is old Georgetown brought to life. A multistory, converted residence blocks from the university gate. Old school charm, including a fireplace in the main floor dining room, give a sense of two centuries of history on the spot. Recent renovations jammed a bar near the entrance, so there is an off-key Clyde’s element as you start, but after that it is all charm.
The wine list is respectable for a place of this caliber, with some gems in the mix. The service is well-seasoned and earnest. Secret Service details may be hanging out as you approach. One night, the server went out of his way to note the neighboring table was where Merkel and Obama dined. If you have the reason and means to do so (it is an expensive restaurant), there are many reasons to go. Even if you do not have a security detail.
Other Guidance: It is a nice place, dress accordingly. There are some GF and vegetarian options, but the focus is on meat and fish. The Washington Post accessibility guidance: Wheelchair users are directed to a door near the main entrance, inside of which is also an ADA-compliant restroom.
Gift Cards: Link – appears to be redeemable at all group locations.
Washington Post: Reviewing the take-out era during Covid restrictions, Tom praised the spruced up menu of Eom, including the brioche-crusted halibut that remains on the menu. He was less generous with 2 stars to the O’Grady version. No coverage under the new chef.