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jandres374

Lincoln Restaurant, Vermont and L Street Downtown - Chef Takeshi Nishikawa Replaces Demetrio Zavala

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Did a search here and on google but did not find anything. My wife just informed me that we are meeting friends here on Saturday night - anyone been? Suggestions or should I use my power of veto.

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Coincidentally I am heading here tonight. I also wanted some advice but didn't see any. Will find out if there's anything to report.

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Went for happy hour. Calamari fries were a little meh, but I like their fries with the trio of dipping sauces. Tater tots with sour cream, dill and salmon roe were good. Their bacon manhattan was a bit too sweet and mapley. However, on the whole could have been worse.

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Went for happy hour. Calamari fries were a little meh, but I like their fries with the trio of dipping sauces.

Ditto. Also the little potted spreads were quite good, although I'm going back months here and now I can't remember what they were (and am apparently too lazy to google their menu).

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Ok, my quick report on Lincoln is that it was good, but not great. I would go back if invited, but probably wouldn't rush to make another reservation.

One of my friends and I were early for the reservation and planned to partake in Lincoln's HH ($5 wines and apps), but the bar was absolutely packed. Instead we hopped next door to Mio (which incidentally also serves $5 wines as well as $5 signature cocktails). But once it was time for dinner, we headed back to Lincoln. I know it's been said a lot, but the floor paved with pennies is pretty clever (and looks pretty cool too). One negative is that the restaurant is LOUD. Our server had trouble understanding our orders a couple of times

Three of us started out with cocktails since the list looked so interesting. One had the Gettysburg Address ($10 Beet purée, lemon, Square One Botanical, Veev, barkeep aromatic bitters) which wasn't my cup of tea since I don't like beets, but it actually tasted more fruity with a beet aftertaste. The 1944 Mai Tai ($9 Chairman's Reserve rum, orange curacao, almond syrup, fresh lime. Popularized at Trader Vic’s in San Francisco 1944) would've been better on a beach than on a rainy September day, but was interesting. I had the Moscow Mule ($10 Housemade ginger, Skyy vodka, copper mug, lime, Created in LA at the Cock & Bull Saloon early 1940’s), which pretty much tasted of ginger and lime. Very simple. The copper mug was neat, but also made my lips very cold every time I took a sip.

It's a small plates restaurant (which I'm kind of over), but we only really ordered one thing to share and then each for a fish and a vegetable. I am sort of guessing on a few of these because the Summer menu is still on the website, but the Fall menu is what we had at the restaurant (is it really that hard to switch out a PDF on the website?! come on).

We shared one of the Seasonal Jars, Artisanal Bread $7, and had the Butternut Squash. I think I would've preferred it warm (it was served very cold), but it had a good flavor. The "Artisanal Bread" was basically toasted baguette/crostini, but had a nice crunch to contrast the creamy spread. I ordered the Roasted Brook Trout ($12 Asparagus Lentil Salad, Whipped Avocado) and the Roasted Heirloom Eggplant ($8 Goat cheese, rosemary, burnt honey). The trout was well cooked, and the whipped avocado was a nice "sauce" for the dish. I wish the salad had a little bit more asparagus and a little fewer lentils, but overall it was a good dish. The eggplant was great with the creamy goat cheese, but a couple of the bites were a bit overwhelmed by the honey taste. I am a sucker for roasted eggplant though (and goat cheese!) so this dish was right up my alley.

The others at our table had Poached Arctic Char ($13 different presentation than on the summer menu) and Grilled Asparagus ($10 Poached egg, artichoke vinaigrette). She's recently a convert to poached eggs and loved what it added to the dish. The other two mains are not on the online menu but one was Grouper ($15 with kale and roasted tomato?) and one was Shrimp and Grits (with chorizo). I didn't love the flavor of the Grouper dish, but the Shrimp and Grits bite I had was great. The other side was Roasted Brussel Sprouts (with bacon lardons) that was ok, but a little overcooked.

All in all, nothing bad, but nothing that particularly wowed me either. Definitely worth a try, but perhaps the lack of reviews on DR is telling...

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Headed here tomorrow, in the spirit of trying something new (to us) and attempting to stay close to the metro due to the heat. Any recent experiences?

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Any recent experiences?

It was a great choice for happy hour a couple of months back for a group with varied tastes: wine, beer, and liquor specials all available. Munched on calamari fries (excellent) and crab hush puppies (pedestrian), plus a couple of salads, of which the raw kale salad was the highlight. However, when we were there, it came with fresh strawberries and a look at the current menu suggests it has been updated to dried blueberries -- not sure that will have the same luxuriousness of mouth feel (the parmesan and lemon vinaigrette remain the same).

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Although not very recent (earlier in the year), we had an awesome team dinner here (about 9 or 10 people) and would highly recommend it to anyone doing that type of thing. The drinks were fun and interesting, and the menu was varied enough for anyone's taste. And, even though it was crowded as the night went on, we could have fun and still hear each other talk.

So, while it is not a ground-breaking restaurant that will blow you away, it is a fun spot good for larger groups that are just trying to have a good time.

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Although not very recent (earlier in the year), we had an awesome team dinner here (about 9 or 10 people) and would highly recommend it to anyone doing that type of thing. The drinks were fun and interesting, and the menu was varied enough for anyone's taste. And, even though it was crowded as the night went on, we could have fun and still hear each other talk.

So, while it is not a ground-breaking restaurant that will blow you away, it is a fun spot good for larger groups that are just trying to have a good time.

Thanks! I will report back.

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The report...

The bar was jackhammer loud at 7:00 pm, making the restaurant loud even though it was not half full. Things quieted a bit when the bar crowd thinned. Nice space. The penny floor is unique, big windows create an airy feel, the theme art does not cross the line to kitch.

Service was well-intentioned but awkward. Immediately upon seating us the server breathlessly recited a script about the nature of the small-plate experience (thanks, we have not been living under a rock the past decade) and the restaurant's commitment to fresh and local, ending by gushing about all the house made beverage concoctions and then without pausing for breath inquired, "sowhatcanIbringyoutodrinkfromourdeliciousbeveragemenu"? Hello! We haven't had five second to even look at the menu. The runner attempted to refill water glasses in the middle of the wine service, causing the server to almost miss the glass. There were grabs to remove half-full plates, which we were still enjoying. But the manager came over twice to see how we were doing, and he was jollly and sincere.

We started with one of "the jars" which was advertised as corn, smoked salmon and goat cheese. I did not detect any salmon. No biggie. The corn was sweet and crisp and the goat cheese was a tasty binder. The jar presentation, while cute, is functionally stupid. The goat cheese was on top of the corn, and it needed to be mixed for proper spreading enjoyment, but the jar was too full for easy mixing. Either use a bigger jar or mix it before presenting. This was served with raisin toast (tasty) and some sort of cracker/crisp, some of which were slightly burned.

Blistered shishito peppers were served with a dip, possibly mayo based. Simple, nicely charred, easy to polish off a bunch of these without guilt.

The kale salad was the big winner for us. The kale was cooked to a pefect just tender state, shredded, and mixed with dried blueberries, dried currants and chopped hazelnuts. The dressing was a tart lemon base with garlic. The whole affair was topped with parmesean cheese. Delicious. The manager said it was the most popular dish on the menu. If you think you don't like kale, try this.

We then had trout served on some greens and beans. This was very nice, too. The trout was simply seasoned and seared. The greens and beans were light but garlicky and made the dish very interesting and filling.

I would return, happily, especially to try more of the menu. The heat yesterday depressed my appetite. I really wanted to try the crab risotto and crab soup, but I just couldn't eat very much. So if you're in that area, definitely give Lincoln a try. There's a lot to like here, with room for improvement.

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Went to Lincoln for lunch last week. Not sure if it was the group that I was with (not as much fun as when I was there last year) or the meal that I ate (lunch instead of dinner), but my experience was much better in 2012 than it was in 2013.

When I try to think about it objectively, I just didn't see as much creativity in the menu last week as opposed to what I saw last year. This is not a cutting edge restaurant by any means, but when you look at the lunch menu, it just reads heavy. I feel that when I was there before, they relied on great ingredients and interesting combinations to make the food great, now it seems as though they are relying on deep frying everything. Of the food I had last week, the deviled eggs, crab hush puppies, cowboy fries, spinach and artichoke beignets and chicken pot pie were all average. The only thing that we ate that I would say was pretty good was the macaroni and cheese and the grilled cheese (although I think that the bread for this was doused with too much butter). The atmosphere is still fun and the drinks are still good, but I was simply not impressed by the food when compared to last year.

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I didn't eat there, but my good friend Rachel Sergi is working there now behind the bar, and the drinks were amazing. (She's not managing, just bartending, and seems very happy there.) The food looked quite good, so I'll have to return to annoy her again. 

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Had never noticed this thread nor the restaurant itself.  A friend chose it for lunch today.

Very forgettable.  Reminiscent of so many other generic, uninteresting restaurants catering to downtown corporate crowds in many cities that, given the ordinary (or worse) food and expensive real estate on which they sit, are overpriced.

The "seasonal lemonade" today was pineapple.  A questionable mix given the natural sweetness of pineapple and, sure enough, it was nearly too sweet to drink.

We ordered two apps.  The brussel sprouts were well executed though like so many other renditions at restaurants across the land.

For both of us, the "calamari fries" weren't so much "meh" as they were flat-out bad.  Appearing near identical to frozen mozzarella sticks, the perfectly consistent and rectangular slices of squid inside each fried stick (questionable provenance) were simply too rubbery and chewy to even eat. We each tried one and left the rest.  The waiter didn't ask and we were fully charged for them.

For our mains, we each kept things simple and had fried cod sandwiches. The cod was decent but too small a portion overwhelmed by a mediocre roll. The obvious solution was to open the roll, eat the cod with a fork and then leave hungry. Fried chips that came with the sandwich were okay and the slaw was at least fresh if ordinary.

Obvious big caveats that this was only lunch and maybe it was the always-possible "off day" but, between the really mediocre food, overly descriptive and annoyingly cute menu language, and average-at-best service, I just have little use for restaurants like this. Not when we have so very many better options surrounding it downtown and all around.  $30 pp, pre tax and tip, without any drinks from the bar.  No thanks.

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I visited Lincoln for HH the other night.  For transparencies sake I was visiting one of their bartenders, Alex.  Alex is a friend, and in my mind and in the minds of several others with more experience is possibly one of the most knowledgeable craft cocktail bartenders in the region.  He is geeky about the topic, reads on it all the time, has created his own bitters, infused alcohol, and has been studying the topic for years.   years.   He is also a good chap in my estimation.

Alex disdains publicity.  He is not a highlighted publicized bartender/mixologist.  Yet virtually every featured cocktail on the Lincoln menu is one he created or teamed on to create.  Alex works Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at Lincoln and handles the biggest nights at the restaurant.  He has also been featured in several publicity efforts by Lincoln.  But he isn't well known.  His call.

In any case I cocktailed on two maple crusta's a bourbon based drink that were very tasty and well made.  A nice confluence of flavors.  I was very early at the HH.  Alex was preparing all the syrups and mixers, as his cohorts were doing additional set up.  The crew behind the bar was amiable to customers and among themselves and seemed to work well together and responded quickly to customers.  They were paying attention all the time.

On the bar menu side, I was there so early the kitchen wasn't open, so started with a hummus dip with crackers.  I'm a big hummus eater.  I enjoyed the consistency of Lincoln's version.   Additionally I ordered the Pennsylvania Duck Sausage.  Very flavorful with a flaky crust and a sharp mustard.  Excellent bar food.   Chatted with some customers including some regulars.  They like the bar, the drinks and the staff.

From the comments of the staff, perusing reviews, and noting some customers...this is definitely a go-to restaurant for nearby hotels...but it has a terrific bar environment, a friendly staff....and I can certainly vouch for at least one tasty, well made strong cocktail.

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I have to say Alex was a really great surprise to our visit to Lincoln.  One he is a super nice guy bringing extra bar seats around for us.  Two they have a serious cocktail program here.  Three he is super knowledgable.  I was really impressed.  We had a few different cocktails on the menu and the punch.  Everything I had was wonderful.  This is the type of place that I could just go to and hang out at the bar.

We also had some good food.  We had standard deviled eggs which were good, nice and decadent filing.  We had the crab "tater tots" which were more like potato crab fritters, very good, but not a tater tot, not that one should let that stop them from ordering them because they were tasty on top of a little pile of sauce.  We had crab risotto which was also lovely, very rich and decadent.  Pork belly which was ok, just a little rich with everything else we ordered.  I had a really nice simple beet salad with pea shoots and peanuts that I liked.  The table also had mac and cheese, duck sausage, short ribs, carrot soup and some other things I didn't taste.  I had never been to Lincoln before but I thought the dishes were well executed.  I would definitely come back.  Oh and I had the chicken pot pie which I thought was classic, but excellent.

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I have to say Alex was a really great surprise to our visit to Lincoln.  One he is a super nice guy bringing extra bar seats around for us.  Two they have a serious cocktail program here.  Three he is super knowledgable.  I was really impressed.  We had a few different cocktails on the menu and the punch.  Everything I had was wonderful.  This is the type of place that I could just go to and hang out at the bar.

We also had some good food. ........

Hooray!!!!

Being transparent and all....Alex took the bartending school program, bartended around the region, became a mixology "nerd"   has developed his own infused liquors and created his own bitters.

I'm glad he served you and did a good job.  From his colleagues I think he has his fingers and touch on most of the specialty drinks on the Lincoln menu.

He is a real nice guy...to boot!!!    Nice to hear that you enjoyed the visit and that he was part of the positive experience.  He is one of the town's excellent craft bartenders.  He prefers to stay out of the spotlight!!  (except when he says a "bigmouth" like me can tout his expertise.   ;)   )

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Hooray!!!!

Being transparent and all....Alex took the bartending school program, bartended around the region, became a mixology "nerd"   has developed his own infused liquors and created his own bitters.

I'm glad he served you and did a good job.  From his colleagues I think he has his fingers and touch on most of the specialty drinks on the Lincoln menu.

He is a real nice guy...to boot!!!    Nice to hear that you enjoyed the visit and that he was part of the positive experience.  He is one of the town's excellent craft bartenders.  He prefers to stay out of the spotlight!!  (except when he says a "bigmouth" like me can tout his expertise.   ;)   )

Well if he is an example of your students, you do an excellent job.  He really was a class act!  He totally made me want to go back.  This would be a great place for a DR event, even just a small group of people for happy hour.

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Well if he is an example of your students, you do an excellent job.  He really was a class act!  He totally made me want to go back.  This would be a great place for a DR event, even just a small group of people for happy hour.  

Nah.   Give him all the credit.  He has advanced through his interest in the topic, his research, and his efforts.  More credit to him.

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I have to say Alex was a really great surprise to our visit to Lincoln.  One he is a super nice guy bringing extra bar seats around for us.  Two they have a serious cocktail program here.  Three he is super knowledgable.  I was really impressed.  We had a few different cocktails on the menu and the punch.  Everything I had was wonderful.  This is the type of place that I could just go to and hang out at the bar.

We also had some good food.  We had standard deviled eggs which were good, nice and decadent filing.  We had the crab "tater tots" which were more like potato crab fritters, very good, but not a tater tot, not that one should let that stop them from ordering them because they were tasty on top of a little pile of sauce.  We had crab risotto which was also lovely, very rich and decadent.  Pork belly which was ok, just a little rich with everything else we ordered.  I had a really nice simple beet salad with pea shoots and peanuts that I liked.  The table also had mac and cheese, duck sausage, short ribs, carrot soup and some other things I didn't taste.  I had never been to Lincoln before but I thought the dishes were well executed.  I would definitely come back.  Oh and I had the chicken pot pie which I thought was classic, but excellent.

Learned over the weekend that Alex, who I believe is a truly talented mixologist, recently left Lincoln to take a long and serious vacation.

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Garret Fleming left Lincoln as its Chef de Cuisine in Dec, 2011 (three months after the opening), and now, Takeshi Nishikawa (who comes from New Heights) is replacing Demetrio Zavala. That said, Zavala seemed to be more in an "Executive Chef" role, as he was the one who replaced Michael Hartzer at Teddy and the Bully Bar.

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