Last Updated: 7/25/2021
Current Status: One of our favorite spots, it has gone back to dining only. Wednesday – Thursday 5:30-9pm.
They continue to operate a wine shop out of sibling restaurant Reveler’s Hour.
They are also encouraging donations to Miriam’s Kitchen.
Before Times Review:
Last Visited: January 2019
Some restaurants seem to beat the odds. With Tail Up Goat, both the restaurant and D.C. hit the lottery. This quirky spot, tucked away from foot traffic and employing very unique flavors, went from long-shot to (Michelin) stardom. They say the food is a combination of Mediterranean and Caribbean cuisine, but those are merely reference points for the singular talent of Chefand his team.
There are many strengths at Tail Up Goat, but let’s start with the extraordinary food. They take what has become a cliché – open-faced “toast” sandwiches – and convert them into substantial and interesting. There are thoughtful mixtures with offbeat ingredients like seaweed. Not every dish is for everyone, but if you’ve made it this far don’t stop being adventurous. The signature dish is (was?) a stack of lamb-ribs. The recipe can slightly vary, but it is meaty and flavorful. It relies on nothing traditional and works in ways that are magical. If it is on the menu (and sadly it hasn’t been recently), don’t miss it. If it is not, there is much more good stuff to try.
One of reasons why Tail Up Goat has been able to sustain its level of excellence is the original team remains in place. In addition to chef/co-owner Sybert, co-owner Jill Sybert runs the front of the house, and co-owner Bill Jensen is the beverage director. The whimsy and adventure does not stop with food. Jensen clearly loves his wine list and when delivering a bottle may add tidbits like, “the wine-maker is a former motorcycle racer.” Like the food, the cocktails can be challenging and rewarding in their combinations.
Fitting the Caribbean theme, the space is bright, and open. The vibe is casual. So casual one wonders how Michelin raters got past it. The service is enthusiastic and attentive without being cloying or doting. Recent success has created some logistics issues. There might be a waiting list just to sit at the bar on busy nights, which means there can be no place to have a drink while you wait.
Not only is it worth the cab fare to the edge of Adams Morgan, it is worth taking the time to gather some friends, make a plan, and wait patiently to get a reservation.
The frenzy around Tail Up Goat adds an extra challenge to eat there. Not only is it worth the cab fare to the edge of Adams Morgan, it is worth taking the time to gather some friends, make a plan, and make the effort to get a reservation.
Rating: Worth Paying for Cab
Neighborhood: Adams Morgan
Address: 1827 Adams Mill Rd NW, Washington DC
Other Guidance: The ambiance is casual, no need to dress up – but you can. For GF, V they are accommodating, including GF pasta options. I’ve seen the menu be taken back to the kitchen and come back marked up for a table with multiple restrictions.
Washington Post: 3 from Tom.
Washingtonian: #37 in 2020; #5 in 2019; #8 in 2018; #6 in 2017.
Michelin: One Star