Jump to content

The Monocle, in North Capitol Hill since 1960


Recommended Posts

Had lunch to day at The Monocle, the stately destination for lobbyists, staff and occasional Senators between the Senate office buildings and Union Station. It should probably be included on the list of the oldest restaurants in the area, since it just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

I can report that the smoked salmon carpaccio salad was nicely executed, with a tall mound of dressed greens over a plate of thinly shaved smoked salmon. I was aiming for light fare and it was just right. Today's special was the rockfish, and I was tempted. A quick scan of surrounding tables indicated that portion sizes are on the large end of the spectrum for all dishes. For future visits, the menu abounds with steaks and seafood.

Considering how uniformly bad the restaurants are at Union Station, it's worth the block and a half walk to The Monocle for a good meal. And maybe a celebrity sighting....

http://themonocle.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had lunch to day at The Monocle, the stately destination for lobbyists, staff and occasional Senators between the Senate office buildings and Union Station. It should probably be included on the list of the oldest restaurants in the area, since it just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Not only can I not believe there wasn't a thread on The Monocle, I also cannot believe it wasn't on the Oldest Restaurants List. Thanks, Kibbee!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think I've been to the Monocle this millenium but it was always solid in the past. Not the most interesting food but well-executed. Strong, well-made drinks too. It seems timeless.

Ditto. The older man whose name I don't recall who was the longtime daytime bartender there was wonderful. I don't think think I've been there since the early 90s.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What strikes me when I am in The Monocle is the atmosphere and the "sense of place" -- you absolutely know you're in Washington DC, at the epicenter of the free world's political base, and it is entirely the opposite of a chain restaurant where you could be anywhere and they all look and feel the same. Add that to the superior service and the attentive kitchen, and you have a go-to restaurant on Capitol Hill. It feels right from the moment you step in the door.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been a while, pandemic and all, so a long overdue visit back to The Monocle was in order today.

By the way, has anyone else noticed the near-total demise of Union Station just a few blocks away? Food options are limited in this neck of the woods.

The Monocle was more or less its former self today. Two of us met for lunch. Companion had the tenderloin steak salad, and I had the grilled octopus with spicy sausage. I'll note that the sausage dominated the scant tentacle of octopus, even though the octopus was the headliner. Both dishes were well executed and nicely composed. Thumbs up.

We were on the early side of lunch, so a very modest crowd was trickling in. Everything looked as normal as it might look at this stage of the post-pandemic, and with the Senate in recess until Labor Day, things looked as they should. I'll have to come back for a happy hour in September to do some staffer-watching.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/18/2022 at 1:47 PM, Kibbee Nayee said:

By the way, has anyone else noticed the near-total demise of Union Station just a few blocks away? Food options are limited in this neck of the woods.

Union Station is a debacle. Starbucks is on its way out. As a frequent Acela traveler I have been flying shorter distances and limiting the train or heading directly into the Acela club to avoid a very unpleasant experience.

The food court is about 2/3 empty, and Shake Shack is basically all that’s left in the main hall.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Keithstg said:

I have been flying shorter distances and limiting the train or heading directly into the Acela club to avoid a very unpleasant experience.

I hear they're thinking of expanding the Acela Club fat Union Station rom it's current underwhelming configuration to something approaching at least half of New York's Penn Station layout. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/20/2022 at 2:59 PM, Kibbee Nayee said:

I hear they're thinking of expanding the Acela Club fat Union Station rom it's current underwhelming configuration to something approaching at least half of New York's Penn Station layout. 

That would be most welcome. The new Moynihan Train Hall and Acela Club are both fantastic.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't been to the Monocle in years. For a quick and very casual lunch right near there, Gina Chersevani's Buffalo & Bergen is at 3rd and D, NE, just north of Mass. There's a diner counter inside plus another small counter. Tables outside. Obviously a fairly quirky space, but the people who work there are great.  Highly recommend.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/20/2022 at 7:39 AM, Keithstg said:

Union Station is a debacle. Starbucks is on its way out. As a frequent Acela traveler I have been flying shorter distances and limiting the train or heading directly into the Acela club to avoid a very unpleasant experience.

The food court is about 2/3 empty, and Shake Shack is basically all that’s left in the main hall.

It's definitely a lot worse than it used to be. For regular workday lunches there's still Chopt, Potbelly, Chipotle, Roti and Cava as well as Shake Shack. 

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...