Picture: Owls in the Bathroom
Last Updated: 6/23/2020
Current Status: Beginning June 24 the dining room and outdoor patio are open for dining. Reservations are available up to one week in advance through Resy. They continue to do take-out. They have pared back to 3 courses to match the times. But the pineapple bread is still awesome.
Before Times Review:
First Visited: March 2019
This is a special restaurant already executing at a high level. The cuisine is New American and incorporates modern touches (ice cream in savory dishes like “bbq” carrots) but manages to not cross the line from interesting to “challenging.” The dishes are tapas-sized and meant to be shared. The format is a four-course prix fixe at $65. There are four choices per course to choose from – so going with a group of four is ideal to taste every dish. No dish was a dud, but the steak and the gnocchi seemed a bit pedestrian compared to more creative ones like crispy quail on cheddar grits or roasted sunchokes that collapse in your mouth like campfire marshmallows. The wine list is short with four sparkling, five red, five white, and a rosé. All but three of them are available by the glass or bottle. The style is casual with lots of tables packed into the compact space and a small bar off to the side. It is not the kind of place to show up early for a drink. Kinks are fewer than expected for a new place doing a complicated menu across the whole dining room. Like nearby Maydan and Tail Up Goat, Rooster & Owl is yet another unique restaurant for D.C. that seemed to spring wholly conceived from the head of a talented team (the Athena myth matches the owl imagery too). It got a few previews, but it is still surprising that something like this could arrive under the radar – but that didn’t last long. It is located a few blocks north of U Street on 14th, but no matter how far it takes to get there it is worth paying for the trip.
Washington Post: Tom gave it 3.0 stars in the 2019 Fall Dining Guide. Also #3 in the Spring 2019 guide of new restaurants.