Astoria Added to 17° CxNW Recommended Restaurant List

Image: Water Boiled Beef

Last Updated: May 25, 2021

Current Status:

Astoria is moving to dine-in only, and shutting down take-out, delivery.  It is a beautiful little spot with great food.  Go in person and enjoy!

Employee Relief Fund: Venmo @astoria_dc.  “All proceeds will be split amongst the staff at Astoria & our sister restaurant, Copycat.”

Before Times Review:

Last Visited: September 2019

Over the last couple years, word spread of a great cocktail bar on H Street called Copycat Co.  Now that team has opened Astoria right on the 17th Street strip.  Wedged into a narrow, railcar of a spot between JR’s and Agora, it is an instant classic and easier for most to get to.

Cocktails are the focus.  The list includes many Tiki options on top of standards and variations of standards. Like Copycat, the food is a limited menu of Chinese small plates.  While Copycat does bao buns, skewers and dumplings, at Astoria co-owner Devin Gong decided to up his game and do Sichuan-style cooking.  Chili Won-tons, Water Boiled Beef (which Laura Hayes in the City Paper explains is not boiled in water, but is beef), and Dan Dan Noodles get positive marks. Pricing is simple, but not cheap, with nearly everything coming in at $14.

Astoria has quirks imposed by size and style.  The interior is Art Deco inspired with a brass and royal blue scheme.  The railcar feel is emphasized with railcar accents.  Astoria’s name is a nod to the Waldorf-Astoria bar. There is no standing area, or even seating at the bar – making it awkward for solo drinkers.  The long and narrow space only serves at seats and tables.  There is no stalking behind the bar waiting for a spot to open, though there is a small area behind the front window to congregate and drink.  If there is no opening, put your name on the list and wait for a text.  Even then, it is worth a walk out of the way to see if a couple seats are open and maybe even a wait to get in.  If you do have to wait, I’d recommend going around the corner to the first floor bar at Nazca Mochica, which is ample and relaxing.

Other Guidance:  It is nice neighborhood bar so dress is all over the place with some choosing nice, some neighborhood vibe.  The limited menu means GF and vegetarians will have to hunt and peck, but it is possible to make out a meal.

Rating: Worth Taking the Walk
Cuisine: Chinese
Neighborhood: Dupont
Address: 1521 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Reservations Walk-in

Other Critics/Voices:

Washington Post: Tim Carman was very positive.

Washingtonian: Preview. – No thread yet.

Barred in DC: Rare full write-up posted.  Lots of pictures, including the bathroom.

Michelin: Bib Gourmand 2020 – though there math seems off.