Jump to content

Little Fountain Cafe (Downstairs), and Angles Bar and Billiards (Upstairs) - Patrick O'Donnell on 18th Street in Adams Morgan - Closed


Recommended Posts

If you have never been here, it is worth the trip. Cozy, dimmed lights, limited seating, very French country ambiance...and if you don't know WHERE it is, you'll miss it. This was my impression. I've been to Adams Morgan a thousand times and have passed right by this little gem of a restaurant. I loved how it all comes together. But specifically, a dish to note:

Duck Breast served with Mushroom Risotto and a cherry/port wine sauce . Now, I am a big fan of duck.... duck pate, duck confit, you name it. And so many times when I order it out in restaurants, its either too dry or too crispy. I'm not a crispy duck fan. This Duck Breast was very tender, juicy and cooked "just right" - medium to medium rare . The sauce really added to the taste of the dish - sweetening the experience, literally..

It was also half price bottle of wine night - so that always makes everything right. Go for the Duck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Little Fountain is one of my favorite spots, but nobody ever seems to talk about it, and none of my friends have ever been there. It's never incredibly busy (at least not when we've been there on weeknights), and the food and service have never been anything but excellent.

It should come up more often!

It is where Roger Troutman and I got engaged on Monday night!

(actually, that is a lie. technically we got engaged at Pharmacy Bar but we had a romantic dinner and champagne at the Little Fountain Cafe)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It should come up more often!

It is where Roger Troutman and I got engaged on Monday night!

(actually, that is a lie. technically we got engaged at Pharmacy Bar but we had a romantic dinner and champagne at the Little Fountain Cafe)

Congratulations!! I've always thought it was a cute and romantic spot, perfect for an engagement dinner.

ETA: My favorites have been the eggplant, tomato, and mozzerella stack, and the duck dishes (duck risotto, duck confit, etc). I've always found the service to be spot on, and a welcome respite from the stuffiness of some DC restaurants. OTOH, with the exception of a duck dish, my husband has never liked what he's ordered (a balsamic pasta that was almost inedible because it had way too much balsamic vinegar).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congrats!

I love Little Fountain. A reliable spot for reasonably priced food separated like a fishbowl from the hubbub of 18th St. I haven't been in a while but it always amazed me that those same two waitresses seemed to run the entire show. Are they still there? Half-priced wine on Wednesdays and the chocolate chip bread pudding - my two favorite reasons to go. Hmm, maybe next Wednesday...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Give Angles a try. I know, I know--total divey place, and few think they even serve food. And, sure, the burgers cost $9.95. But they come out of the Little Fountain Cafe kitchen. You have a choice of like ten special toppings--goat cheese, stilton, fried onions, and the like. The buns are fresh, the fries are good (and can be subbed with a salad), and the whole shebang is 2-for-1 on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

I hesitate to even mention my secret burgers, but all in the name of chow...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Give Angles a try. I know, I know--total divey place, and few think they even serve food. And, sure, the burgers cost $9.95. But they come out of the Little Fountain Cafe kitchen. You have a choice of like ten special toppings--goat cheese, stilton, fried onions, and the like. The buns are fresh, the fries are good (and can be subbed with a salad), and the whole shebang is 2-for-1 on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

I hesitate to even mention my secret burgers, but all in the name of chow...

this is good to know. Probably not a place to bring the kids, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahhh, the kids can handle a little second-hand smoke. May be their last chance to experience the delights of a smoky barroom, cigs will surely be banned by the time they're old enough for under-age drinking.

More worried about surly bouncers, temptacious women in "I 'heart' Nerds" belly shirts that might distract my son from his studies and frat boors so toasted I have to keep one eye on my daughter at all times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

temptacious women in "I 'heart' Nerds" belly shirts

Two for one burgers is really an outstanding deal, however, and the idea of such as Stilton-burger is one that I for one believe merits further study, purely in the interest of science and the exploration of the culinary landscape of our fair Federal District. Somebody is going to have to take one for the team and dive head-first into this particular establishment and report back with their findings. And I think in all fairness that somebody should be me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I myself--usually a cheddar-bacon burger kind of gal--have been taken in completely by goat cheese as a topping. They put a big mound of it on, and the creamy texture and sourness are just such a great foil to dijon and onion.

(I'm just now realizing why I usually read this site in the afternoons: because it's 9:15 in the morning and now I need a cheeseburger.)

But there are no surly bouncers or women of the night at Angles. It's really more of a neighborhood bar, especially during the week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Off the leash tonight, in Adams-Morgan. The S.O. is at a Fine Dining Establishment.

Dinner where? It could be the Jumbo Pizza slice. As some have said, (most of them women) "When I'm looking for something large and limp exciting, I go to Adams-Morgan". Instead, went to Angles Bar and Billiards. It is a AM bar attempting to be a dive bar, that has seriously left the dive bar tracks. Two televisions, one set to WETA. Gwen Ifill with no sound, but the captions activated. The music -- was that not Leon Russell? I had the BBQ pork, and a Spaten, And an Allegash White. The BBQ pork was good (the sign claimed it was smoked in-house), but the plate set up is definitely just the burger set-up with the smoked pork sandwich substituted.

The menu? I didn't have the nads to order the "Duck breast with port-cherry sauce and truffle risotto"

The bartender slid the specials, written out on a standard green diner order pad,in front of me. He didn't even attempt to read them.

The large sign above the bar "La Petite Fontain" (sp?) attests to the connection with the restaurant

downstairs, whose kitchen does the cooking.

Most of the patrons (regulars?) looked to be on the beer and cigarette diet. Some of the regulars were

busting the bartenders chops over how pink a medium-rare burger should be.

The pool table was in use, but most of the serious players go to Bedrock Billiards. Or so I've heard.

Next time, the burger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love Little Fountain. A reliable spot for reasonably priced food separated like a fishbowl from the hubbub of 18th St. I haven't been in a while but it always amazed me that those same two waitresses seemed to run the entire show. Are they still there?

Last night the friendly, mellow owner was the only one working the front of the house (plus, he was running food up to Angles). But there wasn't any need for other servers, because between 6:30 and 8:30 PM, there were only two people dining in the restaurant, me being one of them.

I love the ambiance of Little Fountain Cafe, right up to where you cross the threshold into the restroom and kitchen area, at which point you feel like you're starring in the sequel to Midnight Express.

The cooking here is surprisingly adept, and if you notice a few cajun items on the menu, it's because the chef of ten years is from New Orleans.

Little Fountain Cafe has a fine little beer list, but wines by the glass are virtually non-existent. If you want wine with your meal, you're best off selecting something in the $30-40 range, or better yet, bringing your own bottle and paying the refreshingly gentle corkage fee of $12.50.

Crab Cakes Orleanian ($10.95) are two hand-formed plums of cheap, claw-and-filler crab meat, well-fried, and worth ordering because of the elegant application of crawfish-thyme cream sauce.

The Butternut Squash, Leek, and Reggiano Parmigiano Tarte ($7.95) is a miniscule thing, sliced off from a larger tarte, and served with some properly dressed mixed greens. This almost gives the impression of being a sweet-potato pie, and I couldn't pick up any Reggiano in the dish (which is fine, because a strong taste of Reggiano would clash with this).

Little Fountain Seafood Gumbo is expensive at $10.95, but it's one of the best gumbos I've had in this area, thickened with carefully tended roux which throws off a teasing scent of chocolate.

I wasn't expecting much from the Pan-Seared Trout "Veronique," ($18.95), but the two pieces of ordinary trout were beautifully seared, and the cook again showed finesse and restraint with the tarragon cream sauce. Some halved grapes went well with this, and the roasted potatoes lent some needed salt; the tiny little asparagus had seen better moments.

A somewhat expensive Veal Chop special ($25.95) met expectations, the chop being good and fatty in the right places, with a crispy sear. Served with a semi-reduced sauce, the dish came with the same potatoes and asparagus as the trout.

The owner brought some warm Calvados out with the Warm Apple and Berry Crisp ($7.95) which was the first thing of the evening (other than the bread) that missed with me, tasting like a hot bowl of sharp, pungent fruit with granola for crunch, which I suppose is pretty much what it is.

Next time, I'll try the Roasted Chicken ($17.95) or the Crawfish Pie ($18.95), both dishes being unavailable last night. Remember also that Angles (the bar upstairs) offers the entire Little Fountain Cafe menu, and that in the main restaurant, all wines are half-price on Wednesday evenings.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even thought I haven't been to either Angles or Little Fountain Cafe in many, many years, I was saddened to read over on PoPville that they will be closing at the end of next month. They are great neighborhood spots, that stuck around through a lot of changes in Adams Morgan. I'm sure they will be missed by many current and past customers.

In the course of a bit of deeper digging, I was even sadder to learn that one of my favorite bartenders, Norm, had died last November. I knew him from Garrett's, but spent some fun evenings hanging out with him at Angles, where he worked for a very long time.  He was one of the good ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/10/2016 at 3:49 PM, goldenticket said:

Even thought I haven't been to either Angles or Little Fountain Cafe in many, many years, I was saddened to read over on PoPville that they will be closing at the end of next month. They are great neighborhood spots, that stuck around through a lot of changes in Adams Morgan. I'm sure they will be missed by many current and past customers.

Oh man, this one hurts.  We've only been once in the last five or six years after moving out to the burbs, but for the first five years I was in DC, this was my go to great meal.  When my wife and I rolled in on Wednesday (poor non-profit workers have to go on half price wine night), the waitresses knew us, our wine order, and favorite seats.  Such great food, ambiance, and that feeling of being completely welcome.

Patrick - if you read these forums, please know that you, Lauren and the rest of your staff were responsible for so many of my best memories in DC.  I proposed to my wife in your restaurant, we celebrated our legal wedding ceremony with friends there, and that doesn't even speak to the countless nights helping close down the place with one last glass of wine.  Thank you for all of it.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is really sad news. My wife and I have celebrated several special moments here including many early dates when we enjoyed it's romantic atmosphere and fine dining (on a budget). I even celebrated my 30th birthday here. Lot's of great memories. I will definitely have to get back a few times before the end of July.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...