Image: Soup – Delicata Squash Veloute (mustard creme quenelle, balsamic red onion, crispy dill, Bengal cardamon dust).
Last Updated: March 2022
Current Status: Open three nights a week; they recently added Thursday to the historical Friday and Saturday. They also have the bar open for à la carte dining and drinks.
Elizabeth’s Gone Raw is both descriptive of the menu and of the degree Elizabeth Petty’s personality is reflected in the entire establishment. Located in a converted townhouse, nestled among more modern buildings, Elizabeth’s is a serene environment of sophisticated dining, antique charm, and inventive food. The menu is vegan and uses limited heat to prepare the dishes. Far from being restricted, the options expand to go beyond the obvious crutches of most kitchens. The result is a history of intriguing menus that successive, talented chefs have crafted within the set parameters.
Dinner follows a prix fixe menu, with a few add-on options. The wine list is biodynamic in orientation and pretty deep in choices. Like its younger fellow traveler Oyster Oyster, the stated ideals of the restaurant appear to have drawn an enthusiastic team, excited to serve the food and adding to the warm environment. Though the building is old and the décor drawn from antique stores, the atmosphere is not stuffy.
Elizabeth’s developed organically. Petty, a caterer in D.C. for three decades, was diagnosed with breast cancer 2009. As a result, she switched to a vegan diet where no food is cooked above a certain minimal temperature. A year later, she started hosting once-a-week dinners centered on that approach, eventually using an event space on L Street as a restaurant three nights a week. Reading the early reviews, it is interesting how much techniques have improved, but also how many migrated out of the creative necessity of the plant-based world to mainstream fine dining. Now in its second decade, Elizabeth’s Gone Raw remains a unique experience and a gem hidden in plain sight.
Washington Post: Eater reported that in 2011 Tom wrote a very positive review and then gave it 2.0 stars. The Post link is dead but Going Out Guide overview and the photo shoot is still online! The same rating in the 2014 Spring Dining Guide.
Washingtonian: List of good restaurants for Whole 30 dieters (remember that!)
Been There Eaten That: From 2012, “Elizabeth’s Gone Raw isn’t necessarily for everyone, but it’s a great example of how exciting, unconventional, and revelatory food can be.”
Washington City Paper: Stephanie Gans reviews the restaurant and digs into the backstory even more.