Image: Mac & Cheese, Marrow & Brisket.
Last Updated: November 2021
Current Status: Open for sit-down both inside and outside. Take-out and Delivery also available.
Overview: Jesse Miller made his name among D.C. foodies as one of a string of excellent chefs working in the overachieving kitchen at Bar Pilar. Now his excellent cooking is available again. The menu at Pennyroyal Station tends towards items that are from the comfort food genre, but they push what can be done in that format to something even better. The mac and cheese has marrow and little pieces of beef brisket that add pop, depth and texture. The duck breast is spread atop a sunchoke puree with coffee accents that bring acidic bite to the earthiness of the sunchokes and offset the fat of the duck. The vegan pot pie has a decadent crust – without butter – and enough spice to surprise on the tail end of a bite. Miller likes ginger, and its combination of sweet and spice shows up in several dishes. There are some platter dish options of brisket or pork shank that are meant to be shared. Sandwiches are available for lunch, though the pulled pork BBQ on a biscuit carries through to dinner. It is hard to imagine you can go wrong. Even doing homey food, Miller’s dishes seem to have a sharpness to them.
While the dining industry deals with staffing issues, there is a counter-trend of positive places attracting good staff. We came across it at Oyster Oyster and it shows up here. They do have to cover a lot of ground, with the dining area stretching over multiple large spaces inside and out, but even on the busy night we visited, they never seemed in the weeds.
The wine list is limited for now, covering the basics. The bar area is large and they are putting out some solid cocktails based on our limited sampling.
The restaurant is located in the bow end of the triangle shaped Singer building. A mural by Belarus-born, Colorado artist Yulia Avgustinovich adorns the exterior. The interior was gutted and decorated by the trio of founders. Erin Edwards met Miller at Bar Pilar and Garrick Lumsden is a veteran of the local industry. Former Bar Pilar chef Justin Bitner did some woodwork and Miller did some of the paintings on the walls. The building used to house a bank and another part was owned by the Singer sewing machine company. Mt. Rainier was a planned suburb of D.C. on the Baltimore & Ohio line, eventually connected by streetcar. Mt. Rainier was given its name by the surveyors of the community who came from Washington state. You may ask where this is going – well, Pennyroyal is a minty herb common to Washington state. Pennyroyal Station takes its name from the old streetcar District Line Station and the plant that grows near the original Mt. Rainer. (Amazingly, one of the old D.C. streetcars is still in operation in Sarajevo of all places). Did you really think a site with the name 17° Cork by Northwest is going to skip on an obscure name story!?
Which brings us back to the original point. Without the streetcar option available anymore, it may be a bit of a trip to get there, and it is outside our normal District boundaries for listings, but we think Pennyroyal is worth a trip.
Gift Cards – you have to click through to the Toast app for take-out and there is a button.
Cuisine: Old or New American
Address: 3310 Rhode Island Ave, Mt Rainier, MD 20712
Reservations: Resy or Call: (240) 770-8579
Washington Post: Tom loved take-out, yet to review as a sit-down restaurant.
Washingtonian: Preview. A sign of how long it took, it was one of the most anticipated restaurants of 2019 (ah, Emilie’s) and 2020.
DonRockwell.com – no thread yet
Been There Eaten That: No write-up yet, but a meaty IG post.