The Pembroke

Image: Pumpkin Soup

Last Updated: 5/16/21

Current Status:  This hotel restaurant had pretension of being something better than that when it opened.  It went through a number of cycles with chefs coming and going and inconsistency rising.  It shut down completely for the pandemic, but is now open again for brunch.  As it comes back, we have hopes that it will return to a reliable form.

Cuisine:  New or Old American
Neighborhood: Dupont
Address: 1500 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
Reservations: Opentable (Brunch Only)

Other Critics/Voices:

Washington Post: Tom gave it 2.5 stars and put it in his Spring Dining Guide 2019.

Washingtonian: 8 New Bars/Restaurants to Try (March 2019) – no thread yet.

Michelin:  Plate rating


Before Times Review:

In March, 2019 we added Pembroke to our recommended restaurant list.  A remodel of the dated Dupont Circle Hotel created a glitzy dining room and a sleek bar area.  The dining room was renamed The Pembroke.  Tom, in the Post, was surprisingly positive about the new menu.  Since then the place has worked out some kinks and brought in a new chef, Harper McClure.  McClure is a well-respected chef who has worked in some of the better kitchens in the area.  The opening highlights of the menu – Lamb Tagine, Dover Sole, mushrooms – remain in place.  For the season, he has added some dishes like pumpkin soup with drenched bread crumps and a squirt of flavored oil that is on target (though it could probably use a little seasoning).

The Pembroke has its own bar that is independent of the primary hotel bar off the lobby, called The Doyle.  Cocktails here are done well, the wine list is solid, and not that expensive for a hotel place.

When we added it in March we said:

“The food is a mish-mash of cuisines that might be summarized as New American with Mediterranean notes.  It still has some kinks to work out, but it is on its way….  The place is pretty good, and worth taking a walk out of your way.  A fine addition to the bounty of dining options in Dupont.”

It looks like the kinks have largely been worked out and it is still pretty good, with some dishes justifying a walk out of the way.

Other Guidance:  It is nice but not that nice.  Jeans are not out of place.  The Mediterranean cuisine is friendly to vegetarians and GF, though you still have to hunt and peck your way through.