Brunch Café | New American Dinner | Trendy Cocktail Bar | Dog-Friendly Patio
Where to Sit: Since City Cafe is split into three sections, where you sit depends on your dining motives. Select from the café section (for morning coffee), the elegant cocktail lounge (for late-night and happy-hour drinks), or the cozy, split-level dining room (for more leisurely meals).
When to Go: Swing by for dinner on Tuesday, when every bottle of wine is discounted by $10 and select entrees only cost $15.
Inside Tip: When the weather's nice, ask your pooch to accompany you for brunch on the dog-friendly patio.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Sip a coffee while scoping out the tiny, but intriguing collection of books at Read Street Books (229 West Read Street).
After: Get your daily dose of culture at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (1212 Cathedral Street) or the Lyric Opera House (140 West Mt. Royal Avenue), both just blocks from City Cafe.
Though devoutly British in name, Union Jack's British Pub is actually a transatlantic blend of both English and American conventions. Inside the expansive space, stone walls and a fireplace bear a distinctly European feel, though HD plasma TVs and projection screens broadcast games of hockey and American football. The food menu retains a similar dichotomy, offering up options such as Maryland crab cakes, fish and chips, and Caribbean jerk chicken sandwiches. The two nations fully unite at the handsome wooden bar, where guests can sip on one of 16 drafts, ranging from Fuller's London Porter to state-sourced Samuel Adams. Should cultural clashes persist, patrons can retire to the billiards room after their meal to settle disputes over the proper pronunciation of "aluminum."
The chefs at each Copper Canyon Grill, a mid-Atlantic favorite, craft their regional American dishes from scratch every day. Their kitchens fill with flames and savory aromas as they roast meats and vegetables over hardwood fires, making customers happy, but leaving behind bare earth at local basketball arenas.
The kitchen yields hearty servings of grilled prime rib and filet mignon, ahi tuna and Atlantic salmon, and Delmarva-style crab dip and Eastern Shore jumbo lump crab cakes. It also tempts with a signature rotisserie chicken and jalapeño- and serrano-pepper cornbread baked in an iron skillet.
You can’t miss Paul’s Discount Wine and Liquor as you drive along Wisconsin Avenue in upper Northwest DC; and if you do, there’s a bright retro-style neon sign to guide you back. Inside, a current selection of international and domestic wines and spirits are packed into a fairly small space, and the knowledgeable staff helps customers find hidden gems among the stacks. While prices are already low for the area, regular specials can make the tab unbeatable, while a popular newsletter ticks off announcements regarding the arrivals of limited supply bottles. If you can’t decide which wine is right for you, come for Friday Night Wine Tasting, a weekly free event.
Walking through DogWatch Tavern, a few things catch the eye: the 100-ounce towers of beer that seem to anchor every other table, the 10 big-screen TVs that captivate sports fans, and the pool table, couches, and other amenities that earned one section the designation of man cave. What you won't notice are rumbling stomachs. Known for its large portions, the eatery serves hearty sandwiches, such as the bratwurst burger covered in white cheddar cheese sauce on a kaiser roll. Drafts of Dogfish Head, Sam Adams, and Harpoon wash down dinner. The environment is freewheeling and fun, like a jam session with a player piano you've always admired. Visitors play video games and compete for skee-ball high scores, and a recent promotion even rewards anyone who visits for 30 days in a row his or her own barstool, complete with nameplate.