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Thally, GM Sherman Outhuok on 9th Street in Shaw - Chef Jesse Long Replaces Ron Tanaka - Closed

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I normally don't cut-and-paste press releases, but then one says all you need to know. That said, while this may technically be "Shaw," it seems to be the centroid of Shaw, Convention Center, Mount Vernon Square, and Logan Circle, so I'm not sure exactly where to put this in the Dining Guide.

Congratulations, Ron and Sherman!


WASHINGTON, DC - August 21, 2013: Bringing new flavor to 9th St. NW in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC, Thally serves Modern American Cuisine created by Chef and Co-Owner Ron Tanaka, along with a rotating list of wines and craft beers, custom cocktails, housemade sodas, and unique spirits in a 70 seat restaurant which includes a 14 seat bar. The restaurant hopes to open on or about Tuesday, August 27th.

A Dream Realized

Thally is the brainchild of two good friends who have been talking about opening up their own casually elegant restaurant in Washington, DC for years. Chef & Co-Owner Ron Tanaka and General Manager & Co-Owner Sherman Outhuok finally found the perfect place, on a burgeoning block of 9th St. NW near the DC Convention Center, and Thally was born. Thally was conceived to be a comfortable and inviting neighborhood restaurant, as well as a destination worthy of Washingtonians crossing the city to discover our mouthwatering cuisine.

Our name pays tribute to our Shaw neighborhood as well as our families: "Thally" refers to the Tally-Ho Stables (built in 1883) located in Naylor Court directly behind our restaurant, as well as to Thalia, Sherman's daughter. (Thally is pronounced without saying the "h", as in Tally-Ho.)

The interior décor also reflects the character of Thally's surrounding neighborhood. Design details include: exposed brick, reclaimed wood, vintage barn-door hardware, blackboards, antique pipe fittings, leather seating, substantial wood and steel tables, and a 28 ft. absolute black granite bar with leather-finish. Our logo and the custom wall graphics created by local graphic designer/ artist Matthew Hlubny for Thally's dining rooms and bathrooms feature images of the antique stables, row-houses and carriage houses that are characteristic of the Blagden Alley-Naylor Court designated historic district in the Shaw neighborhood, contained between O and M Streets and 9th and 10th Streets. 


SimpleFresh, and Flavorful"¦ all of Thally's dinner dishes have been carefully created by Chef Ron Tanaka with those three words in mind.


chilled cucumber soup "“ greek yogurt, celery, cumin, dill, mint

romaine salad- capers, grapefruit, worcestershire croutons, buttermilk vinaigrette

salad of grilled peach, crisp prosciutto, spiced cottage cheese, bibb lettuce, balsamic

watermelon, heirloom tomato, herbed goat cheese, pickled radish

bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, avocado vinaigrette, pain de mie toast

crab roulette- peekytoe crab, cauliflower/tomato salad, dill

carnitas sope- pork shoulder, red chile sauce, epazote, radish


swiss chard- tarbais beans, fennel, mushrooms, shallots

grilled branzino- eggplant caponata, basil, piquillo jus

pan seared rockfish- corn salsa, filet beans, tomato, tarragon

roast duck- artichoke, greens, black olive sauce

grilled pork t-bone, mustard brined, pinto bean puree, mustard greens, ginger, grilled scallion

grilled delmonico steak- baby spinach, coffee dust, bordelaise sauce


WINE: Thally will serve 24 wines by the glass, with a rotating list that switches out 6 wines by the glass per week!

DRAFT BEER: Our bar has 10 craft beers on draft.

DRAFT CIDER: We're cider fans, and will always have 2 ciders on tap and a few by the bottle.

THALLYTAILS: Custom cocktails created by Co-Owner Sherman Outhuok.

HOUSEMADE SODAS: In lieu of serving traditional sodas squirted from a soda gun, Thally will be making its own sodas and colas.


Thally is co-owned by Chef Ron Tanaka, Sherman Outhuok, and Paolo Sacco.

Ron Tanaka, Chef  & Co-Owner

A native of San Diego, Chef Tanaka began his culinary career in the mid 90s when he came to DC and began working in the pantry of the Morrison-Clark Inn under the tutelage of Susan McCreight-Lindeborge, who was a great inspiration to him.  He was then spirited away by well-known Michel Richard who hired Tanaka as a line cook when he opened Citronelle. He continued to refine his cooking talents and techniques while working for Frank Ruta at Palena and then Eric Ziebold at CityZen. When Cork opened on 14th St NW, Tanaka was hired as Executive Chef, putting the restaurant (and himself) on DC's culinary map. Excited for new adventures, Chef Tanaka left Cork to reinvigorate New Heights in Woodley Park, quickly making it a must "“go dining destination, and earning it accolades on Washingtonian's "2012 Very Best Restaurants" List. He is excited to now open his own restaurant which dedicates itself to SimpleFresh, and Flavorful Modern American cuisine.

Sherman Outhuok, General Manager & Co-Owner

A longtime fixture on DC's bar scene, Sherman Outhuok was a managing partner for a number of years at Posto restaurant on 14thSt. He then went on to open Maple in Columbia Heights as the Bar Manager /AGM.  He makes his own "Cello" (sweet and citrusy) liquors, inspired from his time at Posto. You'll regularly find Outhuok behind the bar mixing up new batches of Lemon, Tangerine, Orange and even Grapefruit Cello. You'll also see him front-of-house, greeting guests.

Paolo Sacco, Co-Owner

With more than 20 years of experience in Washington, DC, as well as substantial culinary work throughout Italy, London, and New York, Paolo Sacco is highly regarded as a dynamic leader in the restaurant and hospitality industry. He is the well-known and admired Owner of Ristorante Tosca, Co-Owner of Posto, and now a Co-Owner of Thally. Sacco's hard work, dedication, and mission to always provide the highest quality cuisine and service to his patrons have placed him among the elite of Washington's restaurateurs.  Sacco's career in DC began when he became the maitre d' at the very trendy Bice Restaurant from 1993-1995, where he was responsible for the operation of the dining room, as well as creating unique menus with the chef. Since its opening in April 2001, Ristorante Tosca has firmly established itself as a mature player and premier Italian restaurant on the Washington restaurant scene.  Sacco's trattoria-style restaurant, Posto, has followed that same path "“ albeit on a more casual level, as it is quickly became a cornerstone on 14th St.'s restaurant row. With Sacco's guidance, Thally is poised to lead the charge in making 9th St. NW a culinary destination.


Thally is located in the newly thriving 9th St. Corridor in Shaw, immediately adjacent to Seasonal Pantry and A&D Neighborhood Bar, in the middle of the block between N and O Streets NW.

1316 9th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001





Twitter: @ThallyDC

Open Tuesday "“Sunday:  5pm -11:30pm (bar), 5:30pm - 11pm (kitchen)

Closed Mondays

Private Dining

Thally is able to accommodate parties of up to 25 people in a separate, semi-private dining room.  In addition, Thally is also available on Mondays for full restaurant buy-out to accommodate 70 people.

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Okay, then, I'll do it.  As a fan of Ron Tanaka's work at Cork, I was excited to try Thally, but left disappointed.  The salad of grilled peach, crisp prosciutto, spiced cottage cheese, bibb lettuce, balsamic (actually fig, not peach a few nights ago) was nice except that the cottage cheese was overwhelmed by clove.  I don't know what to say about the swiss chard- tarbais beans, fennel, mushrooms, shallots main course; it was no more than what you'd expect given the description, and didn't really come together as a dish, just an assortment of vegetables on a plate (granted that's exactly what I wanted at the time, but not what I usually expect out of a restaurant).  Also, the chard was gritty.  Mr. P tried three of the first courses, and although he liked them, didn't have anything interesting to say about them.  It was clear, though, that we weren't going to be wowed like we used to be at Cork.

I think Thally might be suffering from an identity crisis.  Despite the words "SimpleFresh, and Flavorful", some of the dishes seem high-concept, and others suggest neighborhood bistro.  The clientele were all over the place; during the hour and a half we were there we saw a young family (with a delightfully well-behaved young lady) having dinner at the bar, a couple guys in shorts and button-down shirts making a lot of noise in the back, a few middle-aged couples a little on the dressy side, and at least three parties of women dressed for clubbing (one of these parties was out in a half hour, after a round of drinks and appetizers).  If Thally can please this diverse audience, more power to them, but for now they're missing something in concept and execution of the dishes.  And that immediate area offers some real culinary competition.

As an aside, I'll offer this thought: when a well-regarded chef is doing something new and the crickets are chirping on donrockwell.com, that's a clue.

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dined at Thally last week and there were some things I really liked about it.

+agave tequila with guava and elderberry.  Smooth, slightly sweet, and packing just the right punch. No print cocktail menu yet, but our server reels off intriguing-sounding house made ingredients like a pro.

+ bread goes from good to great with a dab of lemon-infused butter with a touch of rosemary.

+ appetizer with watermelon, heirloom tomato, herbed goat cheese, and watermelon radish is fresh and flavorful (delivering on the restaurant's concept of simple, fresh, and flavorful) and playful.  It looks just like sushi but tastes like watermelon.  I can't argue with a dish that makes me smile.

+the crab roulette (which Sietsema in his "First Bite" column calls "intriguing")  is the don't miss dish at Thally.  Spicy, crunchy, tangy, sweet.

a few things I wasn't crazy about

-service is a little choppy.  Drinks take longer than seem reasonable, and our server takes her time in asking us if we are ready to order any food.

- not all the dishes are consistent. Grilled Demonico steak with baby spinach, coffee dust, and bordelaise sauce gets a thumbs up, but the accompanying spinach not so much.  Branzino feels like a light and healthy dish, but could use more pop.  Pan seared rockfish is simple and fresh but the acidity of the relish overpowers the sweetness of the fish.  Some of the dishes could benefit from the elements of interest exhibited in the watermelon salad, or the crab roulette.

I give the restaurant credit for being active on social media and knowing how to take criticism.  I posted a review on my blog and they responded on Twitter saying it was fair and balanced and "we'll do our best to keep improving."  So classy!

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Based on my initial visit, Thally strikes me as a good restaurant that still needs to smooth out some edges.

I really enjoyed the ambience - it's a long, narrow very well appointed restaurant. I thought the food was very good, though I stuck to small bites and a side. The brussel sprouts were outstanding, while the whiskey roast onion, crab roulette, and duck confit were all very good. My date really enjoyed her monkfish entree as well.

Being there on a Friday night during peak hours, the kitchen clearly got backed up and we waited quite a while for our food. And the service could be better - our waitress seemed inexperienced and the bartender was brusque.

All in all, I certainly enjoyed the food and ambience enough that I'll return. And I definitely will make it back for their happy hour - half price for all their small bites.

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Made our second trip to Thally Saturday night, and I'd say all of my thoughts (not posted here) both positive and negative were confirmed.

  • Food was fantastic. I can't complain about anything there at all. Everything was perfectly cooked and delicious.
  • Love the way the room looks and feels.
  • Cocktails were quite good.
  • Once again, despite a reservation we were kept waiting for our table beyond what I'd consider reasonable. Our reservation was at 8:45, and we were seated just short of 9:30. It's a small restaurant, and I understand that some times people just don't leave their table when they're finished, but some of this is on the restaurant. For example, we saw "our" table open up, and then sit completely untouched for at least five minutes before anyone made any sort of move to clear it. This was just frustrating.
  • Our server was also the bartender. She was a wonderful bartender, extremely pleasant, knowledgeable about the menu and wine list, and very helpful. She also wasn't able to be as attentive as she should have been because she had to deal with all of the patrons at the bar. 
  • Food was very slow coming out.

I'd return because I like the atmosphere and the food, but I'm not going to go out of my way unless I hear positive reports about improved service.

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On 8/11/2015 at 4:56 PM, DonRocks said:

Has anyone been to Thally lately, and if so, can you recommend anything in terms of seasonal produce?

I was at Thally a couple of weeks ago and found the whole thing underwhelming. They've since changed the menu and it's indicative of the experience that I can't remember much without prompting.  However -- on looking the current menu over -- I'm reminded that my first impression was that it was still mid-March in Thally's kitchen.  Signs of summer were few and far between.

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