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Dickson Wine Bar, U Street Corridor - Three Floors of Wine, Cocktails, and Small Plates on 9th and U Street - Closed

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This is a few weeks late, but we visited Dickson Wine Bar at 9th & U, across from Nellie's a couple weeks ago for their soft opening.

The wines are all organic, from around the world. There were a couple reds that the 3 of us liked, but alas its been 10+ days since our visit & I don't recall them.

The menu's a mix of charcuterie, bahn mi sandwiches, flat breads and other small dishes. (I'm linking to Metrocurean's pic of the sandwich, which she posted on Twitter.) Since the food was free during the soft opening, I'll wait to return as a paying customer to give a review. But, the lardo is worth commenting on now. It was great, and reminded me of a Parisian restaurant last year. Thin slices, served with costini, sides of pickles & nuts.

The space is split into 3 levels. You enter on the 2nd floor thru a door beneath the old Dickson Building sign, which they wisely kept & took as the name. Inside, the 3 small levels are dark, with candles & a wall of backlit empty wine bottles. Downstairs still awaits its bottles, but I bet the customers can drink their way thru a wall's worth pretty quickly if the foods as good as it all sounds on the menu.

From some of the seats, you can even watch Nellie's big screens across the street... so while enjoying the chill vibe of Dickson, you can sneak a peak at the Final Four next week.

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Has anyone else been since they opened? It sounds great based on the yelp reviews, but of course I'd rather have your opinions. ;)

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Has anyone else been since they opened? It sounds great based on the yelp reviews, but of course I'd rather have your opinions. ;)

I've been 9-10 times, though I won't comment too much, as I'm rather biased given I designed the wine list. I will say the food (which I have zero to do with) has no business being as good as it is & punches well above it's weight.

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We did end up at Dickson's before a concert at the 9:30 club. I have to start off by saying that I absolutely LOVE the space, as I do the concept which is completely organic/biodynamic wines. The server also told me that their goal is to have all of their food be 100% organic (if I'm remembering correctly, they're at about 95% right now, which is impressive). We didn't have much time so we only got to try a few things. For food, my friend started with a simple cheese plate, which came accompanied by an interesting fruit jelly that had a hint of pepper (I thought jalapeno but I'm not sure) that I really appreciated. For our entrees, we both had the banh mi, I had the steak and he had the chicken. I didn't taste the chk although he said the breast itself was dry, but the steak was delicious, with a really nice char and the bread was nice and soft (although I thought too much, but I always find myself leaving bits of bread so that was probably just me). The only major fail with the food was my tuna crudo app. It was sadly boring, under-seasoned and unfortunately the tuna just didn't seem fresh. I actually couldn't finish it - of course, I did go against the server's recommendations for a starter, perhaps not so bright on my part. The gruner veltliner I got first was a nice pairing for the tuna though and I enjoyed the bonarda I had with my steak.

Overall our experience was pleasant, service was very attentive but not obtrusive, I got a moment to chat with one of the owners who was also quite friendly, and again, I really love that space (we sat on the main floor looking out onto U street, but the downstairs is equally appealing although more romantic with it's lighting provided primarily by candles). The jury is out on the food for me simply because we weren't able to try much and I had that one unpleasant app. If I lived in the neighborhood I would definitely be by numerous times to work my way through the menu and figure out my favorites.

Jarad, I mentioned to Steve a local MD winery that I'd love to see on your menu - Black Ankle (I work in the tasting room). He said he'd pass the name along. They're not certified b/c they have to treat for black rot, but are otherwise completely organic and biodynamic. They're not currently accepting new accounts, but should be after they release their new whites and 2 of the reds in late May/early June. I hope you'll check them out and consider putting one of their wines on the list (maybe they'll get an l or an s or both instead of an o or a b :lol:).

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Finally got around to spending some time at Dickson tonight. Briefly:

- The cocktail list reads well, but the end products don't always deliver. The Acai Collins had no depth; it was overpowered by the Douglas fir eau de vie (and acai where? why?). A straight gin cocktail with no gin. Their take on the Rickey fared much, much better.

- The $10 "meat and cheese" plate at happy hour is a good deal. I wish the drink specials had been as enticing (one $4 IPA and discount on their cheapest white and red by the glass)

- Get the $12 ribeye banh mi. Don't think, just do it. Curse the inflated price later. Live in the moment.

- The space really is fantastic. I would love to return often, but dropping a C-note on drinks and a few snacks for the two of us hurts my wallet. That doesn't have me clamoring to go back (except for the banh mi; it and its cursed $12 price point will haunt my dreams). However, Dickson is by far the best "we have 30 minutes to kill before a show at the 9:30" option that I can think of.

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When looking for a place to grab a bite and a couple of drinks before a show at the 9:30 Club there are many worse options than Dickson. Much of the menu is not terribly exciting, but the ribeye banh mi remains fantastic. And they have a number of wines from $8-10 a glass, which may not sound like much of a deal, but I'm having a harder and harder time finding wines by the glass at that price point.

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This is a nice place to grab a glass of wine, but the bahn mi has seriously declined over the past couple of years. Specifically, the bread is not nearly as high quality as before.

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This is a nice place to grab a glass of wine, but the bahn mi has seriously declined over the past couple of years. Specifically, the bread is not nearly as high quality as before.

Noooooo

This was the best bahn mi in the DC area, hands down!

(I *love* new members because they post about old topics. Welcome, Eatdceat!)

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Specifically, the bread is not nearly as high quality as before.

On my last two visits in the last 4 months or so (the last two weeks ago), it was the same as always.  It's a good sandwich, and my preferred pre-9:30 destination.

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Just there recently and the Banh Mi was really good if a little pricy.  The bread was a litle more of a torta style bread, but with a nice flake.  The pork belly was really good, the liver spread the only dull element.  At $13 a little high.

We had one meat for $9 and it was a dried sausage sliced paper thin, which is not my preference.  We were really impressed by their dijon and actually used it as a dunk for the good bread.

The Sazerac was on the good side, the Vouvray nice and mineraly.  All in all, very nice.  One of the more enjoyable experiences we ahve had in the area lately.

One point to note, they use Murray's chicken and Creekstone beef.  Neither are organic.

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They've built a really nice patio out back. Visited it last night for drinks and it was a welcome respite from the rowdy and noise of the other places nearby. A really solid place for a drink or two with friends.

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They've built a really nice patio out back. Visited it last night for drinks and it was a welcome respite from the rowdy and noise of the other places nearby. A really solid place for a drink or two with friends.

 

very convenient for 930 shows as well.

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Headed here last night for a birthday celebration with friends a day before my real birthday (which will be celebrated at the Nats game).  It was the perfect choice.  The patio was closed due to the weather, but when I arrived I told the host that we would have 10-15 people coming and going at different times and he quickly said that we could just have the upstairs floor to ourselves.  It had a large communal table plus plenty of room to mill about.  Nice accommodation, host!

The cocktails here are excellent, so I had a very good Bourbon Ricky, an interesting "New Fashioned" and then moved onto a very nice Sangiovese for the rest of the night.  Everyone else was also happy with their cocktails and wines, including my partner, who doesn't drink and who received several nice mocktails that the bartender came up with off menu.

Foodwise we grazed, with the excellent house cured olives, cheeses and meats, and some various Banh Mi.  The Banh Mi here are very good and perfect for the kind of drinking you do here.

Service was great.  Our server, Frankie, was super-nice, took some pictures for us (we didn't ask, she volunteered) and even brought up a round of bourbon shots (organic bourbon mixed with something called root - very good) for all 10 of us.  Classy.

One thing I like about Dickson is that it is never full, it is civilized but still fun and youthful, and it's not overrun with twenty-year olds.  As my friend said, it is a perfectly nice adult place to get a group together.  Followed by a quick sherry at Mockingbird Hill, it was a nice night out.

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We used to come here with some frequency before shows at the 930 Club. Of course, as more and more places have opened in the city, and this neighborhood in particular, we've gone less and less frequently. Last time we went we were the only people on the first level of the restaurant. 

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