Surrounded by dark wooden accents and a single grand chandelier, T.J. Stone’s serves a menu of modern American cuisine peppered with saucy barbecue, fresh seafood, and innovative recipes. Chefs forge tender pasta and savory sausage from scratch for the sausage-and-mushroom pasta, baked in a rich sauce of shallots, garlic, and dry vermouth. Half-racks of pork ribs adorn faces with smoky and stylish sauce beards, served with a selection of two sides, such as coleslaw or baked beans. The pepper-crusted tuna rolls blissfully in cracked black peppercorns before pan-searing in its savory flavors and donning creole-mustard barbecue sauce, baby arugula, and leafy cilantro.
The ingredient captains at Burrito Grill helm a menu of abundant, authentic Mexican cuisine. Today's deal grants purchasers a choice of up to six burritos (can be mixed and matched)—grilled steak, grilled chicken, steak-and-chicken combo, shredded pork, ground beef, or vegetarian ($5.50–$6.45).
Swing's caffeine artisans craft signature blends of globally sourced, locally roasted java that have garnered a bouquet of awards and accolades, including a spot on Zagat's Buzz-Worthy Coffee Options in DC list. Fill thirsty mugs with a craft-roasted blend such as the Diplomat ($14/lb.), a dark brew that deftly negotiates sweet notes of baking chocolate into bold sips that evoke sensory portraits of leather and pipe tobacco. The Nicaraguan Los Papales ($16/lb.) teems with vanilla and malt flavors, and the Espresso 90 ($14/lb.) jolts sleepy gray matter awake with a Northern Italian roast with notes of cherry, pomegranate, and “Reveille.”
At Listrani's, perhaps the most impressive thing about the menu is the depth of the specialty entree selection. Among more than 20 main dishes available, Shrimp alexandra pops out—a dish sauteed with sun-dried tomato and served atop linguine. For the pastas, alternatively, diners choose from five different sauces, among them a spicy tomato and an alfredo made with fresh cream. But one would be remissed not to call out Listrani's pizzas, which start with a base of fresh dough and house-special tomato sauce, before being topped with caramelized onions, capicolla ham, or kalamata olives, to name a few. There are 10 specialty pizzas baked in all, still not enough to satisfy one Ninja Turtle for a single lunch, but not bad for most human guests.
An evening at Tokyo Japanese Steak House generally includes dinner and a show, but it’s not live music or dancing, and each group of diners gets their own performance. Guests sit down at U-shaped tables built around grills, where chefs theatrically slice, toss, and sizzle teppanyaki dishes. Guests can choose a single protein or a combination—including filet mignon and shrimp—which are seared amid plumes of steam and fire before their very eyes. More mellow meals take place at the sushi and noodle bar, where patrons look on as chefs meticulously build smoked salmon nigiri and Japanese lasagna, a baked California roll with secret sauce.
The dishes pair perfectly with their slew of Asian-inspired drinks. In addition to pouring sake and Sapporo, the bartenders mix specialty cocktails, such as the Tokyo sunrise with tequila, plum wine, and pineapple juice.
Grass Roots Station heartily feeds its neighbors multicultural meals crafted from local, organic ingredients. Capitalizing on their exclusive partnership with DC-based Japonica Tafe teas and Alexandria Cupcakes, Grass Roots mirrors its beverage and dessert options with lunch and dinner specialties from the Mediterranean, Ethiopia, Mexico, and America. The Aterkik Alicha flavorfully rests curried yellow chickpeas on the shoulders of soft injera bread so they can see over the tall heads and onto the stage ($8.95), where tortellini sings a wistful duet with meat about the painful woes behind choosing between tomato, pesto, or boulonnaise sauce ($9.50).