ABC Pony – Closed for Good

Image: Cassette case repurposed to deliver the bill.  Probably originally for Foreigner 4.

Current Status:

ABC Pony has closed.

House Accounts/Gift Card

Before Times Review:

First Visit: February 2020

ABC Pony is the latest project from Erik Bruner-Yang of Maketto fame.  It holds up the corner of a new apartment building in a rapidly developing area north of the ballpark.   The concept is a mash up of Italian cooking and Asian flavors.  The name comes from Bruner-Yang’s child.  The theme comes from the 80s.  The customers come from the neighborhood and further afield.

The plates are affordable, coming in at under $20, and many large enough to be a single entrée.  Split a salad and a pasta and you are probably good to go.  Throw in one more dish if you are a little hungry.  Some dishes are more tame than others.  The spaghetti with XO sauce is, according to one diner, like eating a fish – it is straight umami with dried fish, fish sauce, capers and chili flakes.  The artichoke salad is more classic Italian, as are a couple of the other pasta dishes.  While many of the dishes work, others seem more like prototypes in need of revision.  The agnolotti with sweet potato filling and balls of apple was bordering on a dessert and the mochi wrapped shrimp tasted and had the texture of mochi-wrapped shrimp, but not much more.  For dessert there are three sorbets and three different pound cakes.  The classic lemon pound cake hit the right notes.

The beverage list is short.  There are some interesting cocktails that are of the overall theme like a Beet Negroni. There are a few beers, wines and other choices.  The short list did not deter many from sidling up to the bar.  It already feels like a local watering hole only a couple months in.

The space is a big, bright and modern, like a 1980s mall. It is just a five-minute walk from the Navy Yard Metro.  If you are down that way, and you think it sounds interesting, we recommend you give it a try.

Other Guidance: The place is casual, no dress code implied.  GF and vegetarians can find items, but pasta is at the heart of the menu. Three of the pasta dishes have a GF pasta substitute – untried by us.  Entry is at street level, but the bathrooms are not easily accessible.

Rating: Worth Trying Out
Cuisine:  Italian (With Strong Asian Input)
Neighborhood: Navy Yard
Address: 2 I St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Reservations: Resy

Other Critics/Voices:

Washington Post: Emily Heil’s First Bite buys into the concept.

Washingtonian: #71 in 2020 Top 100; Preview

DCist:  Kate Stoltzfus is a fan of the white Bolognese fusilli