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An Ideal Restaurant (Your Version)


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i am sure it has been done before, i am new to the board, but what is your idea of the perfect restaurant. For me its is one that serves plenty of pork and cheese, in varied and unique ways, in a cool, comfortable, unpretensious setting. Oh yeah, almost forgot, strong drinks and quirky bathrooms. I don't need crazy fusion or outrageous ingredients either. Good Clean simple food done well.

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I've been thinking lately that we should start a thread about an entirely fictional restaurant in DC. We could all post details of our experiences. Perhaps the Executive Chef and/or Owners would post occasionally. It wouldn't necessarily be an ideal restaurant though. Some of us could post as if it's one of the Sacred Cows, and others would tear it apart.

Think of all the DC tourists who might spend hours looking for this joint. It would be a rite of passage for newbies-- a snipe hunt of sorts.

Meet you at __________________________

[insert name of restaurant here]


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I know that place! It's in Takoma Park and has an excellent wine list. :blink:
I love the service also. Its attentive without being stuffy. Very relaxed and friendly. I was in a few months back and had one of my favorite servers. When Beth and I stopped in last night we sat in another server's section but he came over and shook our hands and asked how Beth's job interview went. It took a second but then I realized last time we were in was right before Beth had a big job interview. I was amazed that he remembered that.
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Actually, I think I've already found my ideal restaurant and the only problem is that it's the Standard Tap in Philly. What about it makes it my ideal??

  • Great, independent beer selection - you can't get a Miller or a Bud. It's all local Philly ales. Hefeweizens, stouts, porters, pale ales, bitters, etc with many of them hand drawn.
  • Excellent, unpretentious food. Fantastic burgers and sandwiches, but there's also fried smelts, lamb shanks, roast boar, etc.
  • Friendly staff and servers that respect their patrons and the other staff. They recognize their regulars and treat them like family. Anyone caught being rude to staff or customers is unceremoniously thrown out on their ass. And the customers - mostly locals who know each other.
  • Simple decor - basic English/Irish pub style dark wood with spacious tables, comfortable chairs/bar stools, and room between the tables.
  • Multiple rooms/levels - small tucked away corners for those on a date, large tables for families and groups, tons of two and four tops in the bar area for smaller groups.
  • Non-smoking but with a large deck area for smokers and their friends. I'm one of the social pariahs that still fires up and I like being able to do it comfortably, with my beverage, and not interfere with the wellbeing of those that aren't smokers.
  • A kickass jukebox. Old school punk like the Sex Pistols, new school indie like Arcade Fire, classic bebop like Coltrane, traditional folk like Arlo Guthrie - all the good stuff.
  • Buybacks - I don't know why I like this so much because I end up tipping the amount of the drink anyways. It's recognition that you're the kind of customer the establishment wants to keep and it makes me feel good. I have such self-esteem problems..... ;)
  • Walking distance from home/Metro - OK, this place is in Philly but it's walking distance from our friend's house where we stay, and there are lots of cabs in the area. In other words, no drinking and driving!

As for Cafe Neuo....I like that they don't even ask what I want. They start pouring the Guiness as soon as I walk in the door. :blink:

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Have you tried the Pork Belly Five Ways? :blink:

Yeah, Bacon, Pancetta, Chinese red-style, Cracklins, and Chicharon. Although the latter two were kind a similar. ;)


P.S. The Hersch's comment brought me out my usual lurking ways.

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I heard that Derek Brown is going to be the new bar manager there.

And also that Danny Boylen will be the GM. :blink: I also heard that they will be starting their spring menu next week, featuring suckling pig hot off the spit every Friday night for HH.

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This is a fun exercise...one that I would be interested in getting others' perspectives. My ideal version of a restaurant would be one whose menu changes according to what is in season and reflects the chef's personal tastes. I also love when chefs take traditional dishes and tweak them into something new. The space would be modern and chic, but not cold and metal. Warm hues, comfy chairs, side-by side seating tables for two. There would be a community chef's table where single diners can walk in and sit down without reservations. An open kitchen would welcome guests to a walking tour of behind-the scenes, and servers would be encouraged to escort their guests around upon conclusion of the meal. The bar would serve authentically fresh cocktails, and nothing frozen, using fresh squeezed ingredients. Guests would always receive a taste of wine before being poured a glass. Upon leaving the establishment, guests' cars would be ready and waiting at the door...

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