TGIT! I’m back with another Dinner Club post. This series on the blog was inspired by my real-life dinner club, which I’ve talked about here on the blog a lot—but if you’re new around here, me and two girlfriends meet up once a month to try a new-to-us dinner spot in DC. We take turn picking the restaurant, and typically pick “splurge” places we wouldn’t go to on a normal night. We try to go on a Friday night on the later side, usually around 8:30 or 9pm so we can meet up for a pre-dinner drink and really make a night of the experience. So far, since our founding, we’ve been to The Smith (December), Officina (January), Iron Gate (February), Primrose (March), Maydan (April), Maketto (May), and The Dabney (June). We’ve also been tracking how much money we’ve spent at each restaurant, and do a comprehensive ranking after each meal—I’ll think through if there’s a good way to share that here on A Touch of Teal at the end of the year, when we’ll have 12 months of dinner club in the books!
We took a hiatus in July because summer travel schedules just did not align, but we were back at it this month, August, and went to Himitsu several weeks ago. Located in Petworth here in Washington, DC, Himitsu has the best atmosphere— it’s got a ton of natural light (we were lucky enough to sit in the booth right at the window!) and it only seats about 25, meaning it feels really cozy—but in a good way, not in the way where you feel like you’re sitting on top of your neighbor.
A James Beard Foundation Award nominee, Himitsu is a Japanese-inspired restaurant that combines fresh foods, acidity, herbs, and Southeast Asian and Latin American flavor profiles when creating their dishes. Their wine and drink list is amazing, because as you’ll see in the picture below, it features only woman-produced wines and woman-inspired cocktails.
In the spirit of transparency, Asian and Asian-inspired food isn’t my favorite cuisine, and while I did enjoy our meal at Himitsu because of the great atmosphere and company, it’s not my favorite restaurant ever. Reason being, I don’t really seek out Asian food and have enjoyed other restaurants on our Dinner Club tour that focus more on Mediterranean, American, or Italian food. In terms of Asian cuisine, our Dinner Club has also dined at Maketto, which I enjoyed more than Himitsu because we were able to enjoy their beautiful outdoor patio and I think their food is a bit more approachable for my non-Asian-food-loving self. Again, just my personal food preferences! I still wanted to write about Himitsu since Julie and Taylor, my dining companions, loved our meal here—and if you love Asian food, I think you’d really enjoy it.
At Himitsu, everything for the most part is small-plates and meant to be shared family-style. Julie and I started with Panko Fried Oysters, and they were so good. Even if you’re usually not the biggest fan of oysters, I think you’d like these since some of the texture is neutralized by the frying.
We then shared the Hamachi Crudo, Brussels Sprouts (they had quite the kick!), zucchini, curry scallops, and tuna tartare. Our waitress was great at helping us figure out the exact right amount of food so we didn’t over- or under-order.
My favorite thing we ordered all night were the Szechuan x Nashville Sandos—they reminded a lot of the Fried Catfish Sliders we loved at The Dabney. The entree comes with 5 pieces of fried catfish, a spicy comeback sauce, pickles, coleslaw, and toasted bread. They were delicious, and a great crossover of Asian flavors with Nashville hot chicken. If you go to Himitsu, make sure you order this!
I can’t wait for my September Dinner Club meeting! As I always say, it’s the best club I’ve ever been a part of.