Acacia Bistro & Wine Bar is located in the corner of a blocky office building in the decidedly uncharming Van Ness stretch of Connecticut Avenue. The interior is modern, neat and tidy, leaving the focus on the contents of the huge wine list and the creative menu. The underlying theme is Mediterranean--so you can find a variety of tapas, charcuterie and cheese plates and fresh pasta dishes. At lunch, paninis and burgers are the stars of the show, along with a few, well-chosen entrées. With so few decent restaurants in the immediate area, Acacia Bistro is the one place where you can depend upon a solid meal and a fine glass of wine. There’s also an ample patio area for outside dining.
Saigon Saigon's immersive Vietnamese menu features pho noodle soups, spicy curries, and entrees of lemongrass chicken or roast pork. Diners sip wine while nibbling small plates of shrimp-topped baguettes, mushroom-stuffed spring rolls, or skewers of marinated chicken satay. Main courses appease appetites with stir-fried noodle dishes, or Chef Vu's specialties of rice topped with Saigon sausage and lemongrass pork, flank steak in sizzling hot pots, and filets of ginger-infused salmon. Chefs garnish dishes with colorful fresh veggies and fragrant herbs, and diners enjoy their feasts amid the warm-colored walls and sprigs of bamboo of the interior or in the open air of the patio.
Organic. Fair trade. Sustainable. Microroasted. Plenty of adjectives describe the coffee at Pound The Hill, but the staff is most concerned about one in particular: delicious. They partner their carefully curated brews with breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Breakfast sandwiches—such as the Italian Elvis, smothered with Nutella, bananas, and honey—segue into lunchtime ones piled with veggies, feta cheese, pesto chicken salad, and pulled-pork barbecue. At dinnertime, chefs switch sandwich bread for small plates and entrees, such as organic chicken breast stuffed with blue crab. The restaurant also hosts daily happy hours, which happens to be what clowns call each credit they need to graduate from clown college. During this time, guests sip wine and beer while noshing on discounted appetizers.
Open City hosts a broad cross-section of patrons, from local hipsters and neighborhood families to conventioneers staying at the nearby Marriott and Omni hotels. Freelancers and students leisurely sip coffee and use the free Wi-Fi, and while the café is open all day long, the most popular meals here are breakfast and brunch. Look for omelets, scrambles, buttermilk or multi-grain pancakes, french toast, mimosas and everything else you might crave before noon, all served with a seriously relaxed vibe. While breakfast is served all day, those dining later might want to indulge in one of the homemade salads or sandwiches, or fawn over a cup of coffee – served with animal crackers on the side. No matter what your order, the big, yawning space will make you feel right at home, thanks to an abundance of natural light. Or, soak it all in from their sidewalk patio space.
The shelves of wine bottles at Dickson Wine Bar stretch all the way to the ceiling. Which is a lot of stretching since the dining room encompasses two tiers, including a cozy second-floor bar and interior balcony. Lights behind the shelves filter through the standing and supine bottles, highlighting the vivid tones of varietals gathered from around the world. When not admiring the view from the expansive front windows, guests admire a menu of small plates that includes cheeses, charcuterie, and flatbreads, along with three types of bánh mì sandwiches. And, for the adventurous drinker, there is even a menu of wine-based cocktails, such as the hard palmer, made with earl grey vodka, lemonade, and prosecco, or the dead sea, mixed with spiced rum, red wine, and ginger beer.
Maple sits on a recently gentrified street in Washington’s Columbia Heights neighborhood. The intimate wine bar and bistro serves stylish Italian dishes to a wide swath of locals and in-the-know tourists, including a bruschetta combo appetizer that’s perfect for kicking off any meal. Celebrated main dishes include a lamb ragu with tagliatelle, featuring port-braised lamb, olives and parmigiano reggiano cheese, while rotating daily specials are posted on the chalkboard-covered back walls. And why is a place specializing in Italian cuisine called Maple? A slab of tiger maple wood provides the centerpiece for the restaurant design, transformed into a bar running the length of the space. Keep in mind, Maple’s limited hours means they’re only open for dinner and Sunday brunches.