NFT Washington DC Logan Circle / U Street

Logan Circle / U Street

Essentials
It's a river of bars, restaurants, and shops in this culturally vibrant part of town. U Street is a great place for indie rockers, hip-hoppers, and street-stoppers. Thanks to an eye turned toward the past -- once called Black Broadway -- jazz joints that once famously lined the streets in the '20s are making a comeback.

Sundries/Entertainment
The current surge of activity hearkens back to U Street's heyday as an African American cultural destination. Also in the mix are Mediterranean joints like Tabaq Bistro, upscale coffee shops like Busboys and Poets, speakeasy types like The Gibson, and party spots like DC9, the See more.

>Black Cat, and Café St. Ex.

In the boutique-industrial complex, there's Muleh, Treasury Vintage, Ginger Root, Passport Fashion, and Zina. Turn to Home Rule for kitschy fun, and if you like a little adventure when you shop, don't miss Ruff & Ready. For vintage, check out the Hunted House and Miss Pixie's. If you're boozing, iconic Barrel House in Logan Circle, and Modern Liquors in Mount Vernon both have you covered.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Veg in the City

By Amber McDonald
What's captivating everyone from politicians to Playboy bunnies, athletes to authors? Veganism! Check out Amber McDonald's guide to DC's new and unusual veg offerings.
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Make-out Spots In DC

By Magda Nakassis
Hankering for some good-old smooching? Magda Nakassis (aka Ladyface) shares her favorite DC places for mouth on mouth action. Open wide...
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Weddings = Loving & Spending

By Rin-rin Yu
No better time to spend money than when you're plighting a constant troth.

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Make-out Spots In DC

By Magda Nakassis
Hankering for some good-old smooching? Ladyface shares her favorite DC places for mouth on mouth action. Open wide...
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Where Not To Make-Out In D.C.

By Emily Groves
You know you don't want to. No, seriously, stop. You think we haven't seen you making hay all over the district, entwining your limbs and sucking your face and frankly, we're bored and confused and afraid. Love is for wusses and carnality is for carnivores and this is not Boca Raton, this is the United States of America. The only place for you to make out is jail.

Read More...
Artsy Bar Crawl

By Graham Fortier
Cheap, normal bars in DC. That's what Graham Fortier is talking about.

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I'm With The DJ

By Jade Floyd
If the eclectic mix of musicmakers Jade Floyd brazenly chronicles in this stirring set of interviews aren't spinning, they're not living. Read their words, hear their music and appreciate the creativity of DC's newest/coolest/hottest disc jockeys. Huzzah.

Read More...
Finding DC's Local Music Scene

By Sarah Bloxham
Everyone likes music! Do you think you're better than everyone else? Come down to earth, haughty, presumptuous feature reader, you!

Read More...

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

Le Diplomate
Acclaimed Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr has brought a taste of France to Washington, DC. In only a few months, "Le Diplomate" has established itself as the newest "it" restaurant. The wait for a reservation is long, but worth it. At Le Diplomate, one is transported to a Parisian café through an ambiance that is classic, avoiding cheesy Parisian stereotypes. There was no more festive day than Bastille Day to try out the restaurant's brunch for the first time. Mimosas and rich French brewed coffees were a given. The strawberry-elderflower French toast was fresh, light and airy, with just the right amount of butter and flavoring. The bacon was crispy, if a bit overdone. Also receiving strong reviews were the omelets and the side potatoes which were salty, cooked and flavored to perfection. Le Diplomate has been receiving rave reviews from critics throughout the city. Since an establishment can't be judged on its brunch alone, I will certainly have to make a return visit. You know, for the sake of NFT readers, but of course.



Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

Post Pub
The Post Pub isn't your average dive bar; after all, it's located in downtown DC. But it has all the makings of a dive bar, complete with lone regulars lost in their pints, a tenured bartender serving up drinks, and the damp smell of stale beer permeating the walls. Yet, in true DC fashion, Post Pub isn't a real dive bar, like those found in South Philly or Queens. For one, the bathroom is clean enough to actually not mind using and carnations brighten up the restroom and entryway. The regulars are Washington Post staffers, certainly more elite than you average dive bar denizen, but football and hockey do play on the TVs and there is a jukebox, with no wait. No matter what, you're bound to meet an interesting character or two, have a few laughs and pretend you're not in DC, if only for the moment.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Post Pub
It's called the Post Pub because, duh, it's right across from the Washington Post. And presumably journalists go there to unwind after (or during) a day of exposing political scandals and newsroom scuffles. But one day, in the not too distance future, some digital native will look up from his mobile device into the regular world, and ask himself why this dive has such a meta name. And on that day, all the op-eds and quote-acrostics will spontaneously burst into flames--and we'll only be left with tinyurls and the BBC... BOO! But namesake aside, the Post Pub is a solid bar of booths, mirror beer signs, and dim lighting. In a neighborhood of upscale clubs and lounges, it's perfect for folks who love well-done burgers and pitchers. Also, your Droid can't produce the smell of stale beer.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

DC Coast
In honor of its 12-year anniversary, upscale seafood restaurant DC Coast is offering its patrons a wonderful gift: a dozen oysters for $12. The fat, beautiful molluscs are served on the half shell with ginger, chives, basil, and cucumber. They're on ice, of course, accompanied by lemon halves covered in muslin so that your precious bivalves don't get any seeds in them. The deal is only available this month during happy hour, though--weekdays from 3-6 pm and every day 9:30-close, at the bar. But just to sweeten the deal, happy hour also offers a number of half-price appetizers and drinks, including the highly recommended Kennebec frites (with parmesan and truffle oil) and the 1401 Gibson. You'll never feel so decadent being cheap.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Nellie's Sports Bar
Brunch, that laziest of meals, owes much of its popularity to bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys. Hair of the dog (that bit you) promises to ease Saturday night's lingering headache and questionable decision-making. Well, why stop there, friends? Nellie's--DC's only gay sports bar--offers a Sunday afternoon beer blast with $2 brews from 3-8 pm. Factor in its rooftop patio, and Nellie's soars to the top of any daytime drinking list. And if your cumulative weekend blood alcohol content gets too high, a full menu of bar food (wings, burgers, quesadillas, and the like) is available and well recommended.



Posted By:  Rachel Tepper
Photo:  Rachel Tepper

EFN Lounge
Now there's a way for Washingtonians to get high...without psychedelics. EFN Lounge hosts Flavor Tripping events, which involve the consumption of a berry called synsepalum dulcificum that temporarily rewires the way in which the eater perceives taste. According to Flavor Tripping DC, "once the tongue starts tripping, lemon wedges become candy canes, hot sauce becomes donut glaze, goat cheese becomes cheesecake, bottom-shelf tequila becomes Patron, and Guinness Beer becomes a chocolate milkshake." The directions for eating the berry were actually fairly complicated, and I'm not sure I tripped completely correctly. The spread of foods provided was impressive, but only some produced the promised effect. Strawberries and kiwis were extraordinary to trip on; they tasted overwhelmingly sweet and juicy. The mustard, vinegar, soy sauce and hot sauce...well...tasted like mustard, vinegar, soy sauce and hot sauce. However, I must give the Flavor Tripping DC staff props for successfully convincing an entire nightclub full of people to drink shot glasses full of condiments. The event was moderately priced, and definitely worth a trip. Pun intended.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

The Passenger
The Warehouse has always been one of the most underappreciated spaces in the city. As a venue which willingly hosted illustrated talks by comic-book artists, shows by local stand-up comedians, and *ahem* my band, you would think it would be poised for greatness. And yet it never seemed to receive the popular, gushing reverence that would ensure sold-out shows and a heaving bar. Rather, the adjacent bar/cafe was often empty, unevenly stocked, and staffed with laconic, slow-moving folks that may or may not have had a bottled beer or panini to offer you. All that has changed with the Passenger, though. This dipsophilic venture comes from brothers Derek Brown (the Gibson) and Tom Brown (Cork), and the old Warehouse bar/cafe has been reborn. On a recent visit, I enjoyed a flavorful, strong ginger shanty made with Haitian rum. (Drink with purpose.) I sat in a comfy booth, was attended to by kind and good-looking wait staff, and listened to lots of Nirvana. I finished out the night with a kimchi hot dog, Chesapeake crab Route 11 potato chips, and a half-sour pickle spear. Not a bad afterlife, I must say.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Againn
Fish and chips, shepherd's pie, and scotch eggs are not exactly upscale dishes. But at Againn, the contemporary British bistro I was reluctant to like, these dressed-up versions of comfort food favorites completely won me over. Sitting on the corner of New York Avenue and 11th St NW, just north of the Chinatown/Penn Quarter hubbub, the restaurant has plenty of windows and an elegant (but cozy) dining room full of leather and dark wood furniture. The servers are attentive, and the atmosphere is perfectly completed by a British soundtrack of the Smiths and New Order. If I can munch on pork belly and grits while Morrissey croons, then consider me satisfied. Finally, in addition to their fine beer list and mind-boggling menu of scotches (and scotch lockers!), there's one not-to-be-missed feature on this menu: banoffee pie. Why this British dessert has not made a worldwide sensation is beyond me. Fancy some pudding?



Posted By:  Rachel Tepper
Photo:  Rachel Tepper

The Gibson
Not so very long ago, I was taken to a rather unassuming corner of 14th and U Street. I was led to an industrial-looking door which opened into a nondescript hallway guarded by a lone bouncer. This somewhat frightening entrance was actually my gateway to The Gibson, a swank lounge rife with throwback charm. A quick knock on an interior door, and I was whisked into a dimly lit bar swathed in black wood and filled with hushed tones. Inside, the atmosphere was impossibly cool. I wouldn't have been surprised to find Don Draper brooding into a glass of scotch beside me. The cocktails offered are all original to the 1920s and perfectly transporting. The drink menu varies, and bartenders are happy to make you a custom drink based on your likes and dislikes. Some food is served courtesy of next door Marvin, which shares owners with both The Gibson and Eighteenth Street Lounge. In keeping with its secret speakeasy vibe, the main entrance is hidden, the lounge has no online presence and its patrons find their way in by word of mouth. It's a fun place that can't help but seem special.



Posted By:  Jade Floyd
Photo:  Jade Floyd

Policy Branding Clothing Co.
The Pink Line Project and Policy Brand Clothing Co. are showing neighborhood love this Friday with a trunk show happy hour presenting Policy's newest collection of DC inspired t-shirts, bags and retro jerseys with "Love Thy Neighbor." The second of Policy's trunk shows, the FREE event takes place from 6 to 10 pm with DJs Obeyah and Small Axe on the turntables all night long. Love Thy Neighbor honors neighborhood gentrification and is housed at a abandoned warehouse at 9th and North Streets with a chop-chop food bar by Chix and happy hour specials for guests. Additionally, Policy is going green with a new branch of the company called, Green Diamond Vintage. This collection will focus on the beauty of vintage baseball jerseys from years gone by. Beer and wine specials from $2 to $3 and all jerseys, t-shirts and handbags are on sale on site from $15 to $30. So if you dig your neighborhood, come snag a jersey and represent.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Great Wall Szechuan House
I have a terrible and obnoxious tendency to stop eating the foods of countries I've visited. So after I returned from India, a lot of the Indian restaurants in town seemed overpriced, flavorless, and just not up to the standard of Madurai street food. And after I came back from China, I just couldn't stomach the sesame chicken that I had once loved so much. Again, it seemed flavorless and gelatinous, instead of spicy and crispy. There's no doubt I was just processing my post-vacation sadness into being snotty, and that I was probably going to the wrong places. But then I went to the right place: Great Wall Szechuan House. This tiny spot in Logan Circle doesn't look like much, but inside they are cooking a variety of tasty "ma la" dishes--with a spicy kick that numbs your mouth in the most delicious way. It was kinda like drugs for my mouth, and just one taste got me hooked. For those who are not dependent on heat though, there’s also a regular menu of Chinese classics.



Posted By:  Jade Floyd
Photo: 

Source Theatre
This Wednesday is the 5th Installation of Art Buzz presented by The Dunes, LLC., Senate Realty, DC This Week Blog, and benefiting the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative. Fly over to the Source Theatre for "Fully Fhotographic at Fourteenth & T" where six of DC's most well-known and creative photographers will showcase their newest "fhotographic" works. Appetizers, fine wines a music soundscape provided by DJ Will Eastman is all included in the $15 admission fee, and I speak from experience when I say the wine flows freely and continues all night long. The event begins at 6:30 and concludes around 9:30 and the first 100 people through the door receive an ART BUZZ mix CD of the soundscape provided by the DJ. Benefitting the DC Collaborative all proceeds go back to the non-profit as well as 30% of sales from photographs that night. Noted photographers displaying their works include Patrick Ryan, Kelly Thornton, Nicole Wolf, Ernesto Santalla, Liliane Blom, Mary Clark Gaston, and Katharine Hauschka.



Posted By:  Glory Edim
Photo:  Glory Edim

Rue 14
My roommate, Alida, is a fashion maven and brilliant problem-solver. When faced with dilemmas like "Should I wear red or green tights with my little black dress?" Her response is "Neither, try a textured pattern." Needless to say, she always has the perfect solution. Recently, while hunting for an outfit for a dinner date, Alida casually suggested Rue 14. I obliged. Like most fashionistas, Alida was absolutely correct. Rue 14 is a tiny boutique with plenty of style. It carries dozens of young and contemporary designers for men and women, including BB Dakota, Free People, and James Jeans. The prices allow you to splurge on shoes and accessories too. I was pleased with my shopping experience and my date was thrilled with my high-waisted skirt. Now, that's always a win-win situation.



Posted By:  Glory Edim
Photo:  Glory Edim

Green Pets
During my brief stint of unemployment I explored non-traditional career options: palm reader, secret shopper and dog-sitter. I found watching fox-trot terriers and labradors the most lucrative and highly entertaining. Dogs listen to exaggerated break-up stories and watch reality TV with you void of judgment. The only draw back was scooping up poop. My favorite four-legged friend was a British bull terrier named Max. Because of his apt listening skills, I often treated Max to longer walks and tasty tidbits from "Green Pets," a pet store featuring all-natural foods and supplies. Located in the vibrant U Street Corridor, the premier pet store features Pet Nutritional Counseling and a wide selection of pooper scoopers and healthy pet treats. The staff is super helpful and there treats for every animal--cats, birds, and hamsters too! So, on your next long walk with Lassie, Bubba, or Spike stop by Green Pets. Max loved me for it and so will furry companion.



Posted By:  Jade Floyd
Photo:  Billy Colbert

Long View Gallery
Longview Gallery will launch its next exhibit this Friday with Love is Losing Game by Billy Colbert. Colbert's sculptures "metaphorically speak of modern day relationships by using helmets that serve as the strategic offensive and defensive ways that we deal with relationships and the game of love," according to the artist.  And seeing as we've all been through relationship battles don't be surprised if a head bunting match breaks out in the middle of the gallery at half-time. Friday night you can view a variety of old school football helmuts sculpted and configured with everything from deer antlers to live video feeds and neon signs. With a bit of bubbly to go around the opening night reception will run from f6 to 9 p.m and is open to the public with an after party around the corner at The Space. Let the games begin. Show Dates: March 27 - April 24. Gallery Hours: 11 am to 7 pm.



Posted By:  Glory Edim
Photo:  Glory Edim

Warehouse Theater
A long loooonngg time ago (let's say the '90s) before iPods and instant downloads were the norm, I was a mixtape maniac. I would press stop and record over and over again until my Michael Jackson tape was absolutely perfect. It was a labor of love that I cherished...celebrating my completion with my best moonwalk impression. When it was all said and done I just wanted to dance. Fast-forward a decade later and cassette tapes are obsolete but the dancing continues. Let the rhythm take you to the Warehouse Theater for the "Mixtape" alternative dance party on the 2nd Saturday of each month. The self-proclaimed "ass-shaking dance party for queer guys and gals and their pals," DJs Matt Bailer and Shea Van Horn spin an assorted blend of Iggy Pop, Run DMC, Donna Summer, and Rich Medina and of course Michael Jackson too...trust me, you'll dance your heart out. It's the most fun you can have (legally) for four bucks. It all goes down this Saturday at The Warehouse Theater, March 14 from 9:30 pm to 2:30 am.



Posted By:  Jade Floyd
Photo: 

Long View Gallery
DC has an endless array of gallery's sprayed across the city yet Long View Gallery stands apart and recruits some of the most ingenious artists in the country. Situated at the corner of 9th and N Long View is a sign of true gentrification that has erupted in this area. This Saturday, DC-based artist Anna U. Davis brings her provocative work to Long View with an opening night show and reception taking place from 6 to 9 pm. Davis' paintings are created by applying thousands of glossy 2 x 2 inch paper squares creating the scenes for her Frocasian (a mold of "Afro" and "Caucasian") figures. The show runs February 21 to March 21. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm.



Posted By:  Jade Floyd
Photo:  Jade Floyd

Mio
I've dined all over the city and continue to be wowed, but when I stepped into Mio, owner and restaurateur Manuel Iguina greeted my friends and me himself. That was the first sign we were in for a treat. We started off with warm Peanut Soup and Stuffed Calamari. Next up was the most amazing risotto I've ever had outside of my trips to Europe (and yes, there've been many)--a Carnaroli Risotto with Bartlett pears and Grayson cheese. Finishing off with a Roasted Blue Ridge Mountains Lamb you would think our gluttonous ways were done. But no. Because executive chef Nicholas Stefanelli (who is some serious eye-candy) came to visit our table and suggested we try the Rice Pudding with Bourbon for dessert and he also sent us over these delightfully sinful Ricotta fritters whipped up by pastry chef Tom Wellings. The wine completed the entire night as the table shared a bottle of Massaya, a Rhone Blend from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. I've been back twice since this visit to Mio and it’' taken over as my dinner power-hour hot spot with some incredible art to please your eye, food to please your palate. Certainly makes you appreciate fine DC dining.




Posted By:  Rin-rin Yu
Photo:  Rin-rin Yu

Commissary
Situated across from Whole Foods, this neighborhood bar/eatery may be the most environmentally-friendly block in all DC. As a proud member of the Green Restaurant Association, it uses wind energy credits and furniture of recycled materials. The restaurant is also extremely proud to be American, or to be located in DC, judging by the number of American flags in the restaurant and Web site. Its menu lists the most American dishes possible, in a font simulating a very neat, fifth grader's handwriting for a very homestyle, fresh-from-the-farm sort of feel. The food is comforting and delicious, but as America goes, there's still a melting pot of cuisines on its menu: a croque monsieur, chicken dumplings, and huevos rancheros with beans and tortillas featuring a few of what makes up true American food. There's also a coffee and wine bar, and free Wifi to encourage people to linger. While the Web site conveys the image of amber waves of grain and purple mountains, the restaurant itself is not necessarily so bright and outdoorsy--more dark and lounge-like, with essence of Old Glory bearing down as you dine.




Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Acadiana
And I've tried it. So I can personally aver that this is the truth. Acadiana is in the same family as DC Coast, TenPenh, and Ceiba, who all share the same owners. Each of these restaurants offers high quality food and an elegant dining experience (and accompanying price tag), but each embraces its own particular style. In the case of Acadiana it pulls its menu selections from Lousiana, "serving up the rich and complex flavors--the roux, the remoulades, the bisques, and the etouffees for which the region is known and savored." You meal could begin with the trio of deviled eggs (featuring crabmeat ravigote, pickled shrimp, and duroc ham), followed by the practically filler-less crabcake, and finished with the warm raisin bread pudding covered in a butterscotch sauce. Or try the jalapeno cheese grits (as a side or with veal), they're nothing like your Aunt Betsy's, but in a very good way. Entrees run in the $25 range, and the atmosphere will make you want to tuck your shirt in.





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