Popping in with my February dinner club roundup of the places I ate at in February and haven’t shared on the blog before. (You can see January’s installment here!) Overall, I ate out less in February—it’s always a slower month socially when it’s hibernation temperatures and since I was out of town for five days for work, that cut into my DC restaurant time.
I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about it here on the blog before, but I keep a running list of restaurants I want to try in DC on my phone. Whenever someone tells me about a place I want to try, I walk by somewhere that looks intriguing, or I come across a restaurant rec online, I write it down. Then, whenever I make plans with someone and we don’t have a spot in mind, I can always throw out a few new places for us to try.
Lastly, I wanted to share a little bit about an email that totally made my week. A reader emailed me to let me know she told her boyfriend she wanted to do her anniversary dinner at The Pembroke after reading my review. At the end of her delicious meal, her boyfriend proposed! This note seriously made my week—I often blog after work, alone on my couch, and forget sometimes there are people on the other side of my screen. I am so grateful for everyone who’s read my blog over the years, and this is another cool thing I could have never dreamed up when I started TOT six years ago.
SCREWTOP WINE BAR | CLARENDON
While I no longer live in Arlington, Screwtop Wine Bar will always be one of, if not my favorite, restaurant in the area. It’s a casual place that can also feel celebratory, and the entire staff there is so nice. I’ve gotten to know everyone over the years and they greet me like family when I come in, and basically reach for the rosé as soon as they see me. On top of the excellent service, they also have some of the best food ever. I always love to start with the nachos and then order the burrata caprese with a side salad with the avocado ranch dressing—but no matter what you order, it’ll be good. (My sister and mom swear by the Cuban sandwich!)
They don’t take reservations and the wait can be rather long on the weekends, but you can order wine to enjoy while you wait, and it’ll be worth it, I promise. Sometimes after a long day at work, I’ll go sit at the bar and enjoy my sandwich and it’s just as fun as when I am there with a group.
The last time I was at Screwtop, I signed up for their new rosé wine club, which runs from March through September. It’s $40 a month, which gets you two bottles of rosé (worth more than $40), 5% off on your restaurant tab, and 10% off on retail purchases (they sell most of their wines in a little shop at the front of the restaurant). I think my membership will more than pay for itself, and if you love rosé and Screwtop as much as me, would totally recommend!
BRASSERIE LIBERTE | GEORGETOWN
Truthfully, I really wanted to like Brasserie Liberte, but I wasn’t sold on my first visit. (I have heard really good things about their brunch though, so I would totally go back and give it another shot.) A French brasserie located in the heart of Georgetown, the decor was stunning and the service was great, but we weren’t super impressed with the food. Our burgers came with slightly stale buns and for the price you pay, there are definitely way better options in town—like Le Diplomate! I also thought they were a little stingy on the wine pours, which is always a pet peeve of mine at more expensive restaurants.
ECHO PARK | SHAW
In full disclosure, I went to Echo Park on their media preview night where they closed to the public to host influencers, reporters, and other DC restauranteurs to celebrate their opening—so my food and drink were free. In another full disclosure, I could never eat pizza again and die happy—it’s just not a go-to food for me, but y’all, I loved the pizza at Echo Park. It might be the best pizza I’ve ever had in DC?! It’s also got a really cozy bar, which is perfect for the last few nights of these cold winter months. And don’t forget to finish your meal with some limoncello!
TAIL UP GOAT | ADAMS MORGAN
Tail Up Goat is definitely one of the best restaurants in DC—and one of my top five! If you haven’t been, drop what you’re doing and stalk their restorations immediately. Their restaurant is one big, simple room, but it feels so cozy and approachable. The service is great and they’ll bring the beverage director over to walk you through the wine and cocktail menu.
I went this month with my dinner club, so you know we went big and tried a lot of dishes. I’d been once before, back in November, and I loved it just as much this time, too. While I am normally a wine gal, I started the night off with a cocktail—the Pamchenko Twist VII, or what they like to call a “slammable vodka cocktail.” It’s vodka, homemade pomegranate juice, and soda water—so delicious! The menu at Tail Up Goat changes often, but we ordered the crispy salt cod (which have been on the menu since day one and are so good!), seared scallops, fluke crudo, carrot cappelletti, and a parsnip pasta that was on special.
We also ordered two of the focaccia “spanakopita” because we loved it SO much. When I went back in November, the focaccia was also my favorite dish—it was some sort of Italian number back then. So, regardless of what focaccia is on the menu, I’d highly recommend ordering it.
One thing I do want to flag is that when I went in November, I think the portions were larger, especially on the pasta. When I went with dinner club this past Friday, we were a little disappointed in the size of the pasta dishes, especially for the price. So I would recommend asking the server what the portion size of each one is so you can make the most informed choice. For dessert, our waitress brought us this delicious chocolate mousse with sea salt that wasn’t on the menu and it was so delicious—so I’d definitely ask about that, too 😉