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Mahogany, 11th & U Streets NW - Closed

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It should have been telling to me that there is no word on Mahogany over here at dr.

A friend chose Mahogany last-minute as a birthday dinner location. The inside is sleek with dark wood and dim lighting; there aren't more than 30 tables in the entire place, but things aren't crammed together which makes it a nice dining option on U Street.

We had the stuffed jumbo shrimp (I didn't try this) and the catfish fingers as appetizers. I'm not a fan of catfish to begin with (too bland for me) and the breaded fish here didn't do anything to dispel that.

I had crab cakes for my entree - a plump, crab-filled cake that receives no complaints from me. The accompaniments (tri colored pepper slaw and old bay rouille) hardly merit a mention - neither were in abundance enough to warrant a real taste addition. My dining partners seemed happy with their jerk chicken pasta and pan roasted hen. We finished off with dessert - bread pudding and fried oreos. The fried oreos were battered and fried to an inch of their lives then covered with a more-than-generous drizzle of strawberry coulis. I could barely taste the oreos, sadly.

The service was hit-and-miss - I was seated after my party and then ignored when I tried to get water or a drink. Our wine almost didn't show up, and the waitress would disappear and have to be tracked down by the busboy.

Also, of unusual note, they add a 20% gratuity to groups of 5 or more. We all missed the fine print on the menu, and I find it a little unusual that it's automatic for such a small group (though I guess the usual 6-8 person automatic gratuity rule is also arguably arbitrary).

I'm not rushing to recommend or return to Mahogany, but if you need to take the parents out for a nice meal in a nice setting you could do worse on U Street.

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