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Tabard Inn, Southeast Dupont Circle - The Cohen Family's Hotel-Restaurant With Pastry Chef Dalo De La Paz


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I don't think people talk enough about the Tabard. Fair notice: I am somewhat of a regular. But they are still putting out some of the best food I've eaten there over the last several years. I had carnitas there the other night that were truly, deeply delicious. And if they ever have short ribs on the menu, GET THEM. Even if you only came in for dessert.

Now, I do think their prices are a bit high across the board--beer, wine, and food. And the main dining room is incredibly loud even when it's half full. But even so--the food has just been delish.

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i am also a big fan of the tabard. it is consistently one of the best places for grown ups to have a drink (i think i just figured out were to go when i leave work this evening). while i have not dined there in a several months, i recall having been happy but never wowed by the food. at that price point, i expect a places that deliver wows on a more regular basis.

but i do adore sitting in any of the very different rooms for a bourbon, and good conversation.

Edited by starfish
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i was there [Colorado Kitchen] a few sundays ago hand they had french toast, but no pancakes.

not all in all that great. tabard inn has had the best brunch i have seen around town. and the dreamy dereks SO works the bar.

No question about BDSO (Beau Derek's SO) being one of my favorite people, but the kitchen-sink quiche I had this Sunday at Tabard Inn's brunch wasn't worthy of comparision with Gillian Clark. Don't get me wrong, I like Tabard Inn a lot, but Gillian would make a better quiche than this.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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i had tasty quiche there this past february.

and i like the other menu options, not that i had any of them, but they read well. as for CK, I just have never had anything there that comforts me, let alone, wows me. it is what it is, a decent neighborthood joint. i just can't see it as a place to wait in line for, or go out of my way for.

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i just can't see it as a place to wait in line for, or go out of my way for.

Funny, that's exactly the way i feel about Tabard Inn. I think their brunch is, well, fine, just fine. :lol: And that's about as warm as I can get about it. As for their dinner menu, I think the food is overwrought, overconceived, overpriced and underpolished. It's a mishmash of current and past food trends (goat cheese! food stack!) all brought to you on one dinner plate.

To each their own.

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I'll line up with the "pox on both their houses" crowd when it comes to dinner. Both are competent at their price level, neither seems worth waiting in line for. Kicking back in the lounge at the Tabard, though, is one of DC's great pleasures, and the painting of the cherub with the dice one of DC's great treasures.

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Does anyone know what's on their current dinner menu and, perhaps, can steer me to a yum meal?

I've been invited to have dinner at Tabard Inn in the next week, but the posts upthread aren't very encouraging.

At this point it almost looks like the best course is drinks there and meal elsewhere.

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Does anyone know what's on their current dinner menu and, perhaps, can steer me to a yum meal?

I've been invited to have dinner at Tabard Inn in the next week, but the posts upthread aren't very encouraging.

At this point it almost looks like the best course is drinks there and meal elsewhere.

i eat there a few times a year and the meals have almost always been good, sometimes even outstanding. the chefs have turned over a few times, but they have always been well chosen and there seems to be a fair amount of continuity in the kitchen. i haven't been since late spring, so don't know specificially what to tell you, but there is quite a bit of variety on the menu. some of the dishes can be on the overwrought side, but use your instinct, go with what you like, pretend you're on vacation and you should be happy. though a bit on the expensive side, i wouldn't pass up eating at tabard inn, and i mean to get there soon.

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I think the posts above are mostly not encouraging about brunch and lunch, which are an entirely different animal than dinner.

I had the bison steak salad appetizer the other night, which was delish, but the dinner menu changes daily, so ask your server. All their offerings are good, but some are great; the waiters will steer you toward the real stars if you let them. I tend to prefer the appetizers to the entrees, but I feel that way about many restaurants nowadays, so that may just be me.

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I love the place (I haven't been in a few months, due to limited cash flow - Tabard ain't cheap) and would think it'd be a fantastic place to go right now given the cold weather. Go early enough to have a drink by the fireplace (space permitting). So cozy.

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I hear that most of the political relics these days leave town on the weekends, but tabard inn was full to the rafters on Saturday night with wayfarers in search of roasting and seething and grilling and frying and something to wash it all down.

Though it bills itself as Victorian, the inn is a hodgepodge with bohemian leanings, not entirely ramshackle but the stairs do let out a few squeaks. Diners pass through successive stages of darkness from the lobby through a cramped jazz room that is served by the bar and functions as an antechamber to the restaurant. The dining area was roaring when we arrived, louder than we ever remembered hearing it, though conversation at an almost polite decibel level wasn't impossible so we didn't ask about relocating to a quieter spot up a flight or two and around some bends. Also, the space up there, when it happens to be available, is rather lonely. The walled garden provides one of the finest alfresco dining spots in the city. This time of year, you might be able to grab a bottle of something and finagle your way out to the back yard and draw away from the crowd on the other side of the windows and doors, which is one way to enjoy the cold when an excess of human warmth confined to one room becomes overwhelming. A hazy full moon would have been looking over our shoulders. If it does happen, you are probably not the first person to pass out back there, though you would expect the inn to be more forgiving of its registered guests. In any event, if the tabard inn feels amazingly less confining than a typical restaurant it's because the place does seem to offer a wide range of possibilities for occupying your time and dwelling for a while before or after your meal. The floor is a black-and white checkerboard. The white walls display an interesting collection of handsomely framed paintings, some gilding here, an impressionistic floral spray there, village scenes, mythic heroics, the face of a sesame street character I know I should be able to identify rising onto the canvas. We are sitting in front of a filthy dirty painting that in the dim light appears to be mostly about patina and is most likely not worth enough to justify the cost of scrubbing it clean. If the dishes were mismatched here, they could get away with it.

I know the food at tabard inn is not always perfect, but the cooking is dedicated to carrying on an enlightened tradition. Pedro matamoros is in the kitchen now and he is doing a decent job, putting his own small spin on a menu that's a fair representation of contemporary American French-based cooking. The food I tasted was less intensely rich than when david craig was in charge, less complex, even veering toward simplicity. (Andrew Saba was the immediate predecessor, but I just don't recall his cooking; it just seemed like tabard inn to me.)

You can spoil your appetite with the bread basket, an ample selection from sandwich, olive and cheese loaves that are soft and moist, crusty when you go looking for their heels. A salad of beets stacked loosely upon pipe dreams goat cheese dressed in a light apple vinaigrette and a few thin slices of green apple is simple and good, the ingredients prime. Only one artichoke fritter out of a few is what it was meant to be, the flavor of a meaty heart holding up well. The rest of the plate suffers from too much batter and not enough vegetable; a few leaves, while tender, are overwhelmed by this treatment. This is not a fiasco, but who will want to order it again?

Rabbit two-ways, a leg and a fricassee, are tender and work well with a restrained mustard seed jus and rosemary polenta. There is nothing especially wrong with the spears of asparagus, wherever they come from, but asparagus is not in its glory at this time of year; it's best left forgotten until spring. This semi-rustic dish is also simple, with good honest flavor that's no mystery. I left one cleaned bone on a stark white plate and believe I could easily have managed the other side of the rabbit as well. My wife's crab cakes tasted good, but were not so straightforward, given a New Orleans treatment in a crawfish remoulade with ham bits and accompanied by snap peas. Not bad, fairly rich, and it almost goes overboard.

From Huw Griffiths' dessert department, a pear cobbler is a small pie in a soft flour crust. It's mellow and picks up some nicely scorched caramel flavor from a scoop of ice cream. Cheese cake is about as good as it can be made, and it sits by a nice sweet-and-tart whole cranberry sauce.

The bar makes mean gin martinis and glasses of bruno porro dolcetto and its white counterpart, a deltetto san michelle aneis, went well with the food.

Dinner for two was about $140 and we could have done it for less. For another $140 you can buy a room for the night. On your way out the door don't forget to say goodnight to the three ostriches balancing fruits and vegetables on their heads.

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I had dinner at the bustling Tabard Inn last night, and it was terrific all around. A tuna "tartar" starter is actually seared, sesame-crusted slices accompanied by microgreens that have been tossed with a pungent wasabi dressing--a neat twist on sushi. Speaking of which, the halibut entree is a sushi-grade filet, cooked to rare, and served with sauteed fennel, capers, tomatoes, and orange sections. I didn't really like the orange sections terribly much, but aside from that, it was off the hook--the textures, flavors, everything. Verrrry nice. I also managed to finagle bites from almost everyone else at the table, and all entrees were very tasty, with the duck and the risotto coming in as superstars. To finish, we had a turkish coffee creme brulee that was loaded with cardomom. It was, truly, perfect. Service was lovely, the bread basket delicious... I still think the prices are too high, and that dining room WAY too loud, but that food is terrific. Two thumbs up.

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This is the first Restaurant Week that I'm going to more than one place for the deal (4 reservations this week!) and Tabard Inn was my first.

I went at lunch today with some co-workers (left the office at 11:45 and strolled back in the door at 2:15...oops! :) ). I had never been before but really enjoyed myself. I love the ambiance with all the little rooms and antique decorations. There were 7 of us and we were at a nice big round table in a room all to ourselves (good so that we didn't disturb other diners with our loud stories and laughter).

The entire menu wasn't available, but there were probably 4 app choices, maybe 6 entrees and 2 desserts. My appetizer was a delicious turnip and prosciutto soup with potato and leek and focaccia croutons. We even got the bowl and not the cup! (Tabard did not skimp on RW portions as evidienced by my protruding stomach I'm trying to hide behind my keyboard). My entree was my least favorite of my three courses, but it was still tasty. Roasted chicken with a butternut squash gratin, spinach and jus. Nothing wrong with it in any way, but nothing extraordinary. Dessert however...yum! :o An apple toffee struessel tart with vanilla ice cream. I'm sure it could've served two, but I ate almost the whole thing myself. Little bits of apple in a tart shell covered with brown sugar crumbles and toffee. The ice cream balanced it out perfectly. I would go back just for that!

The service was good, but a bit slow. Apparently there was a mixup in the kitchen that caused our entrees to be late, so we each got a coupon for a free order of donuts if we go back for brunch!

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We enjoyed our Restaurant Week dinner last night at Tabard Inn. They gave you the regular menu with happy faces :) next to the items that were on the Restaurant Week menu, approx 4 or so choices for each course. I had the smoked trout and corn fritters to start. There were 3 of them, each maybe the size of a golf ball, and they came with a small salad and something that seemed like a thin hollandaise sauce on the other third of the plate. You could taste the smoked trout in the fritters (as it should be). For my entree, I had the beef ribs in a Dolcetto sauce with spinach and a very custardy polenta. The ribs were very tender. For dessert, I had the upside down pear black walnut cake with cinnamon ice cream and surrounded by butterscotch sauce. The cake was moist and not very sweet, in a good way. The butterscotch sauce was very sweet, though so I left most of that on my plate. (I'm not a big dessert person.) Overall, I liked the food.

The odd thing was that they had a vegetarian entree (papardelle with peas and lemon) on the Restaurant Week menu, but no vegetarian appetizer/salad (usually it's the other way around) so my husband, a vegetarian, had to order off the regular menu. It wasn't a big deal since the vegetarian entree is usually one of the inexpensive items on the menu so his appetizer, entree, and dessert ended up only being a few dollars more than $30.06 anyway. I asked about vegetarian choices when I made the reservation, and I think someone just overlooked it when making the selections. My appetizer/entree/dessert would have been a few dollars more than $40 so Restaurant Week was a good deal. His appetizer was buffalo mozzarella on top of a tomato compote rather than the usual tomato slices, which I thought was interesting change. The tomato compote had a very strong tomato flavor, and he thought it went well with the mild buffalo mozzarella. I had a taste of the tomato compote by itself and my first reaction was, woah, you shouldn't eat that stuff without the cheese.

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I had dinner at Tabard Inn for the first time on Friday night and overall it was a great experience. For some reason, I was expecting a stuffy, blueblood atmosphere but instead discovered a place with a funky, welcoming vibe. As appetizers, the grilled calamari and monkfish skewer and the lamb bolognese with gnocchi were standouts. The crab cake and short ribs with tagliatelle were good entrees; however, the mushroom ravioli, which I believe came with just three pieces, was a little stingy. The poached pear tart/cobbler was one of the best desserts I've had.

The one real gripe I have is with the service. Learning that an 18% gratuity was added to our bill because we were a party of six explained a lot. I think the waiter knew he had his tip secured and just focused on other tables. He brought our wine after the appetizers; didn't bother to remember what any of us had ordered, instead calling out the names of the dishes and having us raise our hands to claim them (when just two entrees remained he guessed wrong, giving me my husband's food); and never came back to check on us, leaving us to flag him down. I guess we could have complained, but after spending $150 a couple and having a great time despite the server, I think we were reluctant to end the evening on a sour note.

But when the food and wine are this exceptional we're willing to try a place again and hope for a different server.

Edited by arlvahome
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Uh-oh, I am going for the first time this coming weekend for brunch and we have a party of six. Hopefully, we won't encounter these server issues.

Anyone been for brunch lately and have any recommendations? Like I said, it will be my first time dining there.

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Thought I would comment on my brunch this past Saturday. Interestingly, we had a party of six and did not have an 18% gratuity added to our bill, as noted above. I wonder why it would only be included at certain times?

I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience there. It was packed and cozy and loud which made for a bustling atmosphere.

The bread baskets are plentiful and delicious. Great corn muffins and I think I detected some coconut in there?

I had to order the half dozen donuts for the table and was not disappointed. Wow, are those good! And the vanilla whipped cream that accompanies them sent them over the top in both taste and sinfulness.

Deciding to send myself into a complete sugar/carb coma, I ordered the cinnamon/pecan french toast with apple compote. This also came with a side of whipped cream. I also requested a side of the country sausage. That was some good sausage! The french toast was very tasty as well.

Others at the table went with more lunch-y items: burgers, crabcakes etc. There were other interesting items on the menu such as paella?!

No room for dessert (and hadn't that been my meal anyway?)

Service was fine, though our server seemed slammed. I don't know how many tables he had, but it seemed like too many to me. It was slow at first, but then picked up as the meal progressed.

I will definitely return, especially when the weather turns warm and the patio opens up.

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Balmy in DC in March...going to see the Degas, Sickert, Lautrec show at the Philips Collection in Dupont Circle...need a civilized spot for brunch. The courtyard at Tabard Inn was the perfect spot this past weekend.

Brunch started with a couple mimosas and plate of fresh doughnuts, still quivering from their time in the deep fat fryer, surrounding a pot of vanilla cream. Next we slurped down a half dozen oysters, fresh and briney. The menu has about 15 different entrees ranging from the breakfast end, eggs benny, waffles, pancakes, to the more lunchy quiche, gumbo, crab cakes. Most entrees run in the $10-$15 range.

The Tabard Inn doesn't get much play on this board, but brunch outdoors when it's 70 degrees out. One quickly forgets that they are sitting in the middle of Dupont Circle.

post-44-1142351631_thumb.jpg

Quiche

post-44-1142351662_thumb.jpg

Eggs Benny

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Guest ummmm.....porkchops

I love the Tabard inn, especially sitting at the bar, eating and talking to Sholah, I think he is one of the best bartenders in DC...I've always found the food to be wonderful. Not inventive, but very reliably tasty.

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If you're thinking of dining outside on the lovely rear walled patio - here is a fair warning:

When you make a reservation, they will not honor a request for a table on the patio. It is first come first served. And if you do show up on time for your reservation, and there is a table on the patio - they still will not seat you there until every single member of the party has arrived. If, by the time the missing member(s) of your party has arrived the tables are full, you are SOL - they will not hold the table, even for two minutes. Even if you've driven an hour into the city through Cherry Blossom insanity and paid outrageous Dupont Circle parking prices to get there on time before the patio is filled. Even if you tell them this and also tell them you picked the Tabard Inn specifically because they have said lovely patio. You are still SOL. Unless you beg and plead and generally look like you might take the matter up on the next "Ask Tom" chat. Because if you do that, a patio table might just materialize. <_<

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If you're thinking of dining outside on the lovely rear walled patio - here is a fair warning:

When you make a reservation, they will not honor a request for a table on the patio.  It is first come first served.  And if you do show up on time for your reservation, and there is a table on the patio - they still will not seat you there until every single member of the party has arrived.  If, by the time the missing member(s) of your party has arrived the tables are full, you are SOL - they will not hold the table, even for two minutes.  Even if you've driven an hour into the city through Cherry Blossom insanity and paid outrageous Dupont Circle parking prices to get there on time before the patio is filled. Even if you picked the Tabard Inn specifically because they have said lovely patio.  You are still SOL. Unless you beg and plead and generally look like you might take the matter up on the next "Ask Tom" chat.  Because if you do that, a patio table might just materialize.  <_<

Um, interesting. So how was the food?

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Um, interesting. So how was the food?

This was my first time at the Tabard Inn, and my lunch was a mixed bag. The service was fine, once we were settled on the patio under a nice umbrella. They brought out a basket of very nice assorted breads with butter. I didn't share other plates, but I had the blue nose bass, which was perfectly prepared, if on the small side. It came with a scattering of a few mixed olives and pearl onions, and an odd pink rhubarb cream sauce pooled on the side. I thought there was supposed to be eggplant as well, but it did not make an appearance (I could be wrong about it being part of the description) It was one of those dishes that "sounded" interesting on the menu. As it was, the flavors simply did not work well together. A bitter briny olive with a rhubarb cream sauce - and a relatively strong piece of fish - it needed more or less of something.
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If you're thinking of dining outside on the lovely rear walled patio - here is a fair warning:

When you make a reservation, they will not honor a request for a table on the patio. It is first come first served. And if you do show up on time for your reservation, and there is a table on the patio - they still will not seat you there until every single member of the party has arrived. If, by the time the missing member(s) of your party has arrived the tables are full, you are SOL - they will not hold the table, even for two minutes. Even if you've driven an hour into the city through Cherry Blossom insanity and paid outrageous Dupont Circle parking prices to get there on time before the patio is filled. Even if tell them this and also tell them you picked the Tabard Inn specifically because they have said lovely patio. You are still SOL. Unless you beg and plead and generally look like you might take the matter up on the next "Ask Tom" chat. Because if you do that, a patio table might just materialize.  dry.gif

Except for the last two sentences, this seems normal for prime outdoor seating in prime outdoor weather. Tending toward totalitarian, but normal. They eventually caved to your threat to publicly trash them, right?

Do you think they should hold your table because you drove an hour but not hold another's because s/he walked five minutes?

ETA: Sorry--on a re-read my tone seems harsh. I don't mean it to sound that way, but am curious about what you think should have happened. (I'm just grumpy that I'm not on a patio. cool.gif )

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Except for the last two sentences, this seems normal for prime outdoor seating in prime outdoor weather. Tending toward totalitarian, but normal. They eventually caved to your threat to publicly trash them, right?

Do you think they should hold your table because you drove an hour but not hold another's because s/he walked five minutes?

ETA: Sorry--on a re-read my tone seems harsh. I don't mean it to sound that way, but am curious about what you think should have happened. (I'm just grumpy that I'm not on a patio. cool.gif )

I did not, and would not, ever threaten or even suggest, hint, or insinuate, that I would publicy trash a restaurant. (I want to eat in this town.) But my dismay was obvious. I told them when I telephoned the day before, that I was driving a long distance to eat there, and that I had selected their restaurant because of the patio. They told me the patio was first-come-first-serve, and said they would note my preference for a patio table. They did not tell me that all members of the party must be present to be seated. (nor do I encounter this all that often anymore, although it is understandable, and had I known, I would certainly have passed the information along.) We discussed what time I should get there in order to be assured a table, and then I reserved for 15 minutes before that time. I watched from the lounge as the patio filled with people who strolled in without reservations, in the few minutes I waited for the other member of my party to walk over from three blocks away. After "begging and pleading" and being told twice there was nothing to be done except eat indoors, a table on the patio did materialize as if by magic, and we were seated without further ado. The hostesses were very polite throughout the conversation. And yes, under the circumstances, I do believe that good judgment would have been to override the general policy, and seat me when I arrived and let me wait at the table.
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I'd say the majority of restaurants I go to these days have the "until all the parties are here" policy when there are few tables available. I understand the policy to keep me from taking up a 4 top for my party of 3 and one of them fails to arrive. When I encounter the policy at an empty restaurant it annoys me. Once at Faccia Luna in Clarendon the restaurant was empty and they told us we had to wait until the 4th person arrived in our party of 4 (he was parking the car). Due to the presence of a small baby, I called them out on the policy when the restaurant was EMPTY (BTW, not my choice).

However, back to Tabard Inn. I love the place for its quirkiness and atmosphere. I think the service is terrible. TERRIBLE. I still go. Probably will go for breakfast today or tomorrow. But I have to beg and plead for coffee.

I think you have to take Tabard Inn for what it is. Sorry you had a frustrating experience.

Oh and last night my plans were ruined by the spring related traffic. I think you have to accept the increased traffic and the frustrations it brings as part of the cost of living in the DC area. Metro when possible. My mantra.

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As I said, I understand perfectly well the reason behind the policy (in this case I think it's more so that people won't park for long periods of time just to hold a spot for friends who they know are coming much later). FWIW, the patio was empty when I arrived. I think the bottom line is that good judgment should have, and ultimately did prevail.

Basta.

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I think the service is terrible.  TERRIBLE.  I still go.  Probably will go for breakfast today or tomorrow.  But I have to beg and plead for coffee. 

I've been to Tabard several times, mostly for brunch, and I don't think I've ever had terrible service -- maybe I'm just lucky. Of course, I wouldn't say they go out of their way to please.

Tabard is excellent for brunch. Any of their poached egg dishes cure my hangovers instantly.

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I've been to Tabard several times, mostly for brunch, and I don't think I've ever had terrible service -- maybe I'm just lucky. Of course, I wouldn't say they go out of their way to please.

Tabard is excellent for brunch. Any of their poached egg dishes cure my hangovers instantly.

It depends on where you are seated and how busy they are. I go often for breakfast meetings during the week and experience the same problem. During the week though it makes sense as many people who eat are (a) having a leisurely breakfast or ( B ) limit their breakfast to the continental that comes with a room. However, it is very common for guests (including me) to have to track down a server to get a check.

Having said that let me explain what I mean by terrible... They seem to overwork the staff during weekend brunch. I don't get the sense that they have enough servers and support staff to accommodate the crowds. The runner last week most definitely seemed to be the manager not a server or traditional runner. Last week we totally forgot (because we ordered so much food) that we had ordered some sides. So did the server. They never arrived but were on the check. Of course they took them off the check and none of us missed the bacon but it was an oversight. My coffee problem would be alleviated if there were enough server/support types to monitor the room(s). It does seem to be a staffing issue...

Of course none of this really matters because I love this place for its wonderful uniqueness. The service issues are not enough to keep me from returning.

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Happened to stop by the Tabard Inn yesterday afternoon 12:30 pm - peak brunch-time. We were in one of those "need to eat" modes, but had made no plans as to "where to eat". So, on a whim, we decided to forge thru the groups of people waiting outside the restaurant for a table )we thought - well - maybe they are on their way out!) "maybe they will take us". Well, Tabard Inn was packed - tons of people, with a long reservation list - and guess what, I, with no reservation, and an incredibly hungy stomach managed to get a table - an a nice one@! The host was most gracious, very accomodating, and incredibly professional.

By the way - the patio/Garden is open and on a nice day (yesterday) a meal can be divine. TAbard Inn does not believe in direct sun (good). In the enclosed brick courtyard in the back, they have put a very light canopy across the entire courtyard, resulting in plenty of light and yes - you can still wear your sunglasses a la Hollywood, but you don't have to. Its comfortable. I personally love to dine outside, but so many places in DC just do not do it right. I hate having to sit on asidewalk cafe with cars on the street righ in front of my face. At Tabard Inn - this will not happen.

Let's start with the boos - Bloody Mary and Mimosa were ordered. Bloody was spicy, with just the right amount of horserasish. Mimosa - just the right combo of champage and OK.

Then - the fabulous bread basket - comes with standard french bread,but also these small muffins in wonderfully sweet taste. I think one was a corn/sage, the other was a walnut/fruit.

For starters, we had the summer squash soup. Quite good with the right, smooth, no lumpy consistency. For seconds, I had the crabmeat quiche with veggies . Came with a mixed greens. My dining partner had the poached eggs with smoked salmon. So - first the quiche. First of all - a HUGE portion. Actually - too big. But the crabmeat - this was REAL LUMP JUMBO CRABMEAT. The chunks were large, and went well with the roasted peppers, leeks, and scallions in the Quicke. the mixed green salad - very fresh with a lemon vinaigrette.

The poached eggs were interesting. Sort of a new take on the traditional eggs benedict -but without the bread. Tabard served the eggs on a bed of small potato cubes, which were tasty. And the potato cubes had chunks of smoked salmon all over the plate. It was quite good.

We were both too stuffed for dessert. But if you have not been - go. Atmosphere is great (get the patio) , Plates were tasty, Service very friendly and professional.

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I really enjoy the Tabard Inn for brunch - sounds as if you missed the delicious donuts, though! Yes... it can feel like carb-loading to eat both the delicious bread basked AND the donut appetizer... but sometimes you just have to splurge. Yum. :unsure:

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Welcome to DR.com, Emilia_VA!

We met some friends (about 8 in all) for Sunday brunch at the Tabard last month and while the food was good, they seemed to be rather slow to start in the morning. I would suggest scheduling your appointment later in the brunch zone and avoiding the opening seating, as we found both service and the kitchen to be unprepared for the initial rush. A little crowd gathered in the salon while waiting for the dining room to open, and when it did only about half of the tables were occupied. Nevertheless, it still took nearly 45 minutes for the first of our food to arrive, and brunch became a lengthy and drawn-out affair. I observed many of the tables sitting around with menus for a while, waiting for initial order-taking. There seemed to be plenty of servers on the floor, but we saw ours only infrequently until the food was served, and this seemed to be the norm around the room. After an hour, of course, the place was packed.

The space has a cozy ambiance and was certainly convenient for our host (who was staying on the same block) but I'd have a difficult time recommending it over, say, brunch at Firefly.

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Took my girlfriend and 2 close friends to Tabard last night after a delightful experience there with my girlfriend about a month ago. To say I was less than pleased this time would be an understatement.

For the opening course the orders were as follows: Lobster bisque, Fried camembert, Arugala and Goat Cheese salad, and a Mixed Green Salad. I ordered the camembert for myself and a friend had the lobster bisque- I didn't taste either of the salads. The lobster bisque was underseasond and luke warm when it was served. The camembert was tough and flavorless. This was clearly a hunk of cheese that had been sitting for some time and wasn't fresh.

For the mains we had the Rabbit Leg & Confit, Lobster Pasta, Muscovy Duck & Crabcakes. I only tried the Duck and the Rabbit, which I ordered. The risoto under the duck was terrible. It had terrible texture and was bland. It's like someone didn't bother to season the base in which it was cooked. The duck itself was fatty (and not in that great crispy fat way, in that blubbery why am I sucking this down kind of way) and the duck itself was overcooked. My rabbit was terrible. It was served cool. Now I know confit is not to be served hot, but it shouldn't be served at cooler than room temperature, and certainly rabbit leg shouldn't be served at just slightly warmer than room temperature. Additionally, the leg had 0 flavor to it. I've had a lot of rabbit in my time, and I adore rabbit, but rabbit doesn't taste like chicken thrown in a microwave, and this tasted like microwaved chicken. The gnocci served on the side had no firmness to them either- they were mushy, almost like mashed potatoes put into a gnocci shape.

The only things we had that were worth actually eating were the oysters on the half shell that are exclusive to Tabard Inn.

Needless to stay, we didn't stick around for dessert.

I probably won't return to Tabard Inn for a long great while.

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I nhad the rabbit leg wrapped in proscuitto last week for lunch and it was excellent. A pocket of thyme was tucked between the bone and the meat, with the proscuitto skin perfectly crisp, the meat juicy and flavorful. It was served on a bed of lentils topped with a thin layer of potato gratin.

My meal was stellar!

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I nhad the rabbit leg wrapped in proscuitto last week for lunch and it was excellent. A pocket of thyme was tucked between the bone and the meat, with the proscuitto skin perfectly crisp, the meat juicy and flavorful. It was served on a bed of lentils topped with a thin layer of potato gratin.

My meal was stellar!

I really wish I had that experience. I so badly want to like this place in its perfect space and ambiance.

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Cassoulet a la grandpere sounds appropriately robust when the night outside stings and howls a refrain you had almost never expected to hear again, but it's questionable how much pedro matamoros' scaled-back version of the classic casserole would warm the hearts of your French ancestors, who might be accustomed to more meat, more fat and bigger beans and wonder as well about how the accompaniment of a small, lightly dressed salad of arugula and goat cheese fits in. presented in a six-inch iron skillet, this dish is too composed to fully live up to its rustic roots, though hardly a terrible disappointment. Fusion will remind you of what's happening around the planet today, and a small mound of nicely chopped salmon tartare is hauled to Bangkok with dribbles of tantalizing lemongrass sauce, but you wonder what such an exemplary crab cake is looking for when it gets dragged to the ends of the earth in a sea of con-fusion. You also might wonder who in the kitchen has landed the duty of tearing small brussel sprouts into ceremonious petals - probably the same person required to comb the microgreens. Huw griffith's dacquoise, its upper tiers of cake lighter and bathing in diluted nutrella, is the ultimately sinful chocolate dessert, but like many sins is better committed by two. Showing up with a pear strudel in the shape of a rolled crepe are brilliantly red raspberries and strawberries, the latter as sweet as they tasted last spring.

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I had a lovely brunch this morning at the Tabard Inn. We were hungry, which was a good thing! The meal began with a basket of assorted bread. I quite enjoyed my choice, and the others looked good as well. Then, we shared a half-dozen warm sugared donuts served with whipped cream. At first I questioned the accompaniment, but after trying it out realized it really worked (although the donuts would have been lovely without)! As my entree, I had the scrambled eggs with sweet corn, basil and "mexican" cheese. Simple, but perfectly cooked and seasoned. Well balanced. Served with crispy potatoes. Jlock had the catfish soft taco, which was good, but a bit disappointing; it could have used a bit more spicy contrast than that in the included slaw. The brioche french toast with strawberry-rhubarb compote looked delicious, and although I did not try any, I could only assume it was as our dining companion was able to finish quite a bit of it even after bread and a couple donuts. Service was great!

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Two questions for the DRCrew...

1) has anyone eaten dinner there since the chef left at the end of April?

2) how is dinner at the Tabard Inn? I see there are mixed reviews on the board, but I have never had a bad meal but I have only eaten lunch, brunch and breakfast.

Thanks...

Nancy

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1) has anyone eaten dinner there since the chef left at the end of April?
The new chef is Paul Pelt, who has been a sous chef at Tabard for the last year or so. He had a previous stint as a cook at Tabard as well. In between he was the chef at the now defunct Rocky's Cafe in Adams Morgan (where I was a bartender) and ran a catering company. He has already had dishes on the menu at Tabard and is working with the same team, so I don't foresee and large difference in quality. Actually, Chantal--the bar manager at Tabard--says she tasted a wonderful oxtail terrine today and I know he makes an excellent gumbo that is already on the menu. I'm sure he's going to doing a great job. Worth checking out.
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I enjoyed a lovely lunch with my co-workers on the patio of Tabard Inn this afternoon...slightly overcast but wonderful temperature for dining outdoors.

Started with the pork terrine and rabbit rilletes, a nice simple presentation with a slice of toasted baguette, cornichons, and salad greens.

Entree was a soft shell crab (I haven't had nearly enough soft shells this summer) which was served over some watercress and tropical fruit salsa and emulsion. I knew when I ordered the dish that I wasn't going to like the salsa and emulsion, but damn it, I wanted a softy...and I was right, the fruit elements just weren't my cup of tea...but the crab was damn tasty!

The Tabard Inn patio really is a jewel.

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