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The Monocle, in North Capitol Hill since 1960


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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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