NFT Washington DC The Hill

The Hill

Essentials
Few make it to the top, and when you get there, you're broke -- unless you're a lobbyist. This area is home to an eclectic collection of folks and the burgeoning district known as Atlas. Here international moguls and hill staffers mix with rowdy interns and working stiffs to create an atmosphere that is uniquely DC. The controlling political party may change, but the charm of this historic neighborhood never will.

Sundries/Entertainment
Wine connoisseurs dine at Sonoma, the hip crowd catches a show at the Rock & Roll Hotel, Hill staffers drink martinis at The 201 Bar, and interns take advantage of happy hours at Capitol Lounge. Don't underestimate a night out on the Hill. Here the best places to eat and drink are the real hot-button issues, because those who work hard, play hard, too.See more.




         



On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

St. Joseph's on Capitol Hill
St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Capitol Hill was built in 1891 and still stands across the street from the Congressional buildings, a place of worship for our nation’s political leaders and neighborhood residents. The beautiful building with stained glass windows provides tranquility and faith, in a part of town rooted in good intentions, but oftentimes adulterated by political maneuvering. St. Joseph's helps its members focus on helping through volunteering in the community. Members of the administration are among the church's parishioners, but the church itself is a source of comfort for even this non-believer. On weekdays St. Joseph's consists of empty pews, peace and quiet, a reminder that such exists in the political epicenter that is Washington D.C.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Dangerously Delicious Pies
An export from Baltimore's Federal Hill, Dangerously Delicious is a pie shop offering savory and sweet slices, plus quiche. A relative newcomer to the Atlas District, the shop has a few tables for dine-in, a weekday delivery service, and crucial late-night hours (midnight during the week, 3:30 am on weekends, and 10 pm on Sundays). And while it might seem like a culinary gimmick, there is nothing dishonest or ephemeral about crust this buttery, flaky, and moist--or about fillings as mouth-watering as SMOG (steak, mushroom, onion, gruyère), Baltimore Bomb (an adaptation of the Baltimore Berger cookie), or spinach and goat cheese quiche. Get yourself a slice of the pie!



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Taylor Gourmet
In only a couple of years, the demand for Casey Patten and David Mazza's Philly-style hoagies has steadily grown, ultimately leading to three Taylor Gourmet locations (others are K Street and Bethesda Row) and a population of ravenous diners foaming at the mouth for more spicy meatballs. All three sandwich shops have quick-moving lines serving the masses what they most desire: bread shipped in daily from Italian American Sarcone's bakery, home-roasted pork, Boyland fountain soda, and decadent fried risotto balls--all in an industrial-chic space. It's divine satisfaction for $7...and they deliver!



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Folger Shakespeare Theatre
How to describe Arcadia? On the one hand, it is straightforward enough: a Tom Stoppard play currently being staged by the Folger Theatre. It is set in Sidley Park, an English country house, and concerns the people who live in it--alternating between 1809 and 1989. So okay, enough literature deals with the relationship between the present and the past. This should not confuse us. And fundamentally Stoppard's work is about order versus disorder, and how we come to know "truth." (Maybe I already lost you.) But what if I told you that Arcadia addresses these themes through landscape architecture, fractals, romanticism, classicism, pet turtles, chaos theory, determinism, Lord Byron, hermits, and hunting grouses? Would your head spin off your neck? As per usual, Tom Stoppard's work is challenging, hilarious, and clever as hell--but at its core it is a highly energetic, extremely entertaining mystery. Whether you care to consider entropy or not, you will find yourself on the edge of your seat, wondering what will be uncovered, who will sleep with whom, and what will become of these adorable British brainiacs. Now extended through June 21, only limited seating is available, but once all seats for a performance are gone, 10 standing room tickets will be sold an hour beforehand.



Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Sonoma
Sometimes you just want to get a little fancy. And if you're on Capitol Hill, Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar is just the place you're looking for. Swanky, upscale, and with lighting low enough to make everyone look just a little more attractive. If you are with a group that just feels like nibbling, create your own cheese and charcuterie boards, mixing and matching meats to compliment your wine selection. Or go crazy and get the "pipe dreams chevre" and the "duck salami" regardless of whether they really go with a fruit forward red. If you're just in the mood for a drink grab a seat at the bar, and try one of wines on tap. With 40 wines by the glass to choose from, you can sample the night away (being a snob about it: optional/recommended).




Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Courtesy of Rock & Roll Hotel

Rock & Roll Hotel
Damn you, Hump Day--why must you be the stupidest and catchiest term ever? Perhaps we should start nicknaming Wednesdays Not Dead Yet night, in honor of the Rock & Roll Hotel's plea to get trashed during the work week. Festivities begin at 8 pm, with a $6 shot of Jager that grants you free rail liquor for an hour. Then you get $3 Miller High Lifes and champagne splits for the next hour, and then a $2 shot at last call. That's the challenge, friends. It's like an alcoholic obstacle course, and your gold medal is yellow eyes.



Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Palace of Wonders
I get it all the time: "Where can you see a good vaudeville or burlesque show in this town?" And I always respond, "Why, at the Palace of Wonders, of course!" Located on the slightly difficult to get to H Street NE, it's a short cab ride from Union Station. Now seven days a week you can get your fill of sideshow acts, burlesque dancers, and live acts of a variety of styles and tawdriness. As if the action on stage couldn't be enough to keep your attention, the second floor's decor of "oddities, specimens, artifacts and homages to the great dime museums of the past" are on hand to entertain and get a conversation going. "Oh hi there, I just noticed you noticing that mummified merchild... can I buy you a drink?" Perhaps you'll even find love amidst the fire eaters and acrobats. If so, maybe you'll consider the Palace of Wonders for your wedding ceremony. They do weddings, especially the odd or Elvis variety.



Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Sticky Rice
Sticky Rice is quirky. Like sushi-with-a-side-bucket-of-tater-tots quirky. Like a-gong-in-the-middle-of-the-bar quirky. It's a bar/restaurant with a case of multiple personality disorder. On Mondays it's a half-priced sushi place, on Tuesdays a karaoke bar, Wednesday it's a 25 cent wing place, Thursdays a Blingo (yep, we spelled that right, apparently it's like Bingo) joint, Friday & Saturday a hopping DJ and drinks bar, and on Sundays a place to do trivia. It's hard to wrap you head around, but that's part of its charm. And if you fall for the charm hard enough, you can work your way onto the menu, becoming part of the enigma that is Sticky Rice. The Sticky Rice 30 day challenge double dog dares customers to eat there for 30 days in a row, in order to win bragging rights, and a sushi roll that the 30-day-eater names and designs to be placed on the menu for six months. Oh, Sticky Rice, whatever will you come up with next?



Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Riverby Books
There's something comforting about Riverby Books. The easy chairs by the window, the oriental rugs on the floor, the shelves of books stacked to the ceiling, make it feel as if a bibliophile has welcomed you into his home, and is encouraging you to rummage through his collection. From gently used hardcover novels, to collectible old books, to thoroughly broken in paperbacks, this bookstore offers a myriad of used books. There's always a dollar book bin by the front walk, luring customers in to more treasures inside. And while the newest releases can't always be found here, there are consistently good reads on the shelves (and a very helpful and friendly staff to guide you to something good) at a fraction of the cost of what they'd be at a chain bookstore. If you're looking for political writings and history-related texts, you're in luck, Riverby Books keeps on a good selection for the DC crowd. And stop by at 4:30 pm sometime, for the daily tea time and cookies.



Posted By:  Jade Floyd
Photo: 

Dissident Display Gallery
When Adrian Loving, Eric Brewer and Ayodamola Okunseinde opened Dissident Display Gallery in DC's beaming Atlas District a new breath of artistic air swept over H Street. This Friday they welcome DCers to the opening of New Beat From Brain: Digital Pop Surrealism by Brad Ulreich from 7 to 11 pm. Ulreich's work is "defined as the "hypnagogic" state--that uncertain place between awake and sleep that breeds the most vivid of dreams." A victim of a violent attack that left a deep psychological scar, Ulreich looked inwards to questions about the horror and inhumanity of the event. His perceptions take us to a blast from the past as the vivid images recapture his real-life tragedy turned into opportunity. Posters, shoes, and skateboards with artist prints will also be available for sale to the public. This event is free and wine is provided at $2 a pop. The exhibition runs until November 11.



Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Folger Shakespeare Library
The Folger Shakespeare Library is easy to overlook. It's another marble structure, smaller than most, overshadowed by the nearby buildings of the Library of Congress. Hill staffers may know it best for its Elizabethan Garden, which is a nice place to grab a bench and eat a sandwich in the summer months. At its peak the garden gives off a lovely fragrance of lavender and thyme, two herbs popular in Shakespeare's plays and lifetime. Wander in to the library's Great Hall and experience the breathtaking interior, with sixteenth-centuryesque high ceilings and wood paneled walls. Within the Great Hall you'll find the latest free exhibit, currently (and going through January 2009) a look at "Renaissance Journalism and the Birth of the Newspaper." Though not free, plays at the Folger showcase some of Shakespeare's greatest works, and are enhanced by being performed in the intimate, but impressive, Folger Elizabethian Theatre. Oh right, it's a library too, home to "world's largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials."



Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Good Stuff Eatery
Good Stuff Eatery is up and running on the Hill, and so far the PR has worked... perhaps too well. During its first week the line during the hours of twelve to two has made Good Stuff Eatery look more like a hot new club than a tasty new burger joint. Salivating interns, Hill staffers, business people, and tourists alike have come out in droves to see what Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn is cooking up. A few days after Good Stuff opened I headed over at what I hoped was the tail end of the lunch rush. No such luck. After a half hour in line and a half hour waiting for my order I finally had my lunch: the Colletti's Smokehouse burger. It was delish, though that may have been the hour wait talking. The tangy BBQ sauce, crunchy onion rings, crispy bacon, and melted cheese all worked really nicely together on the burger. It probably would have gone well with one of the Good Eats milkshakes (made with their homemade ice cream) but I resisted, unlike every other customer who came in (and they all looked pretty pleased).



Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Pete's Diner
There are a lot of excellent restaurants in DC, but Pete's Diner isn't exactly one of them. It's small and cramped and its menu is an odd mix of diner and Chinese food. But for what it's lacking in space and sophisticated dishes, it more than makes up for in charm, warmth, and character. The waitresses are friendly and efficient; learning regulars' names, while making sure their coffee never gets too low. And while the food is simple, it's satisfying. Pete's serves up a mean grilled cheese with curly fries, and their French toast with bacon makes my mouth water just thinking about it (a meal made better only by the fact you can talk them into making it even at one in the afternoon). In a time when franchises and chains outnumber mom and pop joints ten to one (at least), it's nice to have a meal at a local spot. Pete's patrons might claim they're coming for the food, but they're really coming for the feeling.



Posted By:  Alyssa Kim
Photo:  Alyssa Kim

Granville Moore's
Granville Moore was a community doctor whose patients were mainly the Atlas District's poor and underprivileged. Now, in the good doc's former office, executive chef and co-owner Teddy Folkman is looking after Washingtonians' tummies by serving savory Belgian mussels and fries, and of course, beer. Granville Moore's goes through 500 pounds of mussels and 1200 pounds of potatoes every week. Try the excellent Moules Navigateur if you like you some spice; you can really feel the heat from the roasted Serrano in the broth. The kitchen is tiny given the size of the restaurant; there are only four burners to cook the endless orders of mussels! Luckily the wait isn't long. There are beers for every budget, the most expensive a 750ml bottle of DeuS at $50. At least 40 types of bottled beer are offered at any given time, and another four are on tap. Specials are offered Monday through Thursday, the best being Monday’s $10 mussels. Check it out before Food Network worshippers start packing the place. Teddy recently defeated Bobby Flay in a moules frites Throwdown with his specialty, Moules Fromage Bleu (bacon, shallots, spinach, and of course, blue cheese).



Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Good Stuff Eatery
It's not yet open, but there's already a buzz about a new restaurant on the Hill: Good Stuff Eatery. The owner, and presumably the menu-creator as well, is Spike Mendelsohn, a recent contestant (though not the winner) on the latest Top Chef season on Bravo. His new joint is located on Pennsylvania Avenue, and is poised to satiate the palates of Hill staffers, interns, and maybe even a few members of Congress. The menu sounds like it will offer sophisticated takes on the tried and true basics. For example, according to the website there won't just be burgers, there will be "hickory bacon burger[s] dripping with Vermont cheddar." And regular fries? Ha! How about "fresh cut fries seasoned with rosemary and thyme"? But the Eatery may really outdo itself with its shakes. They're made from homemade ice cream and will come in flavors like toasted marshmallow, sour sop hop strawberry, and Milky Way. The grand opening can't come soon enough!



Posted By:  Elisabeth Grant
Photo:  Elisabeth Grant

Wellness Cafe
Eating at the Wellness Cafe on Capitol Hill gives you the experience of what it would be like to dine in the vitamin aisle of a health food store. The cafe has the dimensions of a FEMA trailer, long and narrow, and has walls lined with shelves of vitamins, tea, and other organic goodness. Order food at the back of the store, and if you're lucky grab one of the three two-person tables at the front. Lunch goers are better off calling ahead and taking their buffalo burgers, gorgonzola paninis, and lentil soups to go. But whether you dine in or out make sure you partake in the Wellness Cafe smoothie experience. Made with fresh fruit and "no additives or syrups" they're addictively good for you. And you can even ramp up your nutritional content by adding in protein powder, bee pollen (maybe it gives you a buzz?), and multivitamins to your smoothie. Or, just order the "Source of Life" (fountain of youth qualities not guaranteed), a smoothie which comes packed with "vitamins, minerals, enzymes and green fruits and vegetables." Mmm. Taste that wellness.



Posted By:  Megan Parry
Photo:  Megan Parry

First, let me just say that this is in no way an endorsement for the band, Lincoln Park (or is it Linkin?). I seriously hate that band, but I do love this park. I love this park because it has so many freaking cute ass dogs. Every time I’ve visited to read magazines and be near some trees, I end up quietly stalking a number of normal people out with their abnormally adorable dogs. I don’t own a dog–allergies and landlords and such–but my god is it fun to hang out in the grass at Lincoln Park and play with the fur balls. I haven’t figured out the reason for the high ratio of cute dogs per square foot at this particular park, as I will also occasionally visit Dupont Circle or any number of other grassy, frolic-inducing park types, and they have never produced the sunshine and rainbows that Lincoln Park does. So, if you too are a poor soul without some precious puppy to play with, I suggest frequenting Lincoln Park.



Posted By:  Craig Nelson
Photo:  Craig Nelson

Kenny's Smokehouse
I never knew protesting a war could drum up such a huge appetite. But after “marching” (more like a very slow crawl) from the White House to the Capitol Steps, I was starving. Luckily my trusty NFT pointed me in the direction of Kenny’s Smokehouse located in a quiet neighborhood behind the Capitol far from the chaos of the protest. Seeing the White House did not fill me with American pride, but sitting down at Kenny’s certainly did. Every neighborhood in the good ol’ US of A should have a low-key, great tasting bbq spot like this. Tender ribs, succulent pulled pork, and tons of tasty sides (like black eyed peas, collared greens, and yams) make this place a weekly go-to lunch spot. Plus, if you decide to dine in, they have bottles of Bud for $2.25—the perfect way to celebrate our right as American citizens to flip off spineless politicians and eat tasty bbq. God bless America.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

The Red & The Black
Football season is almost here, but that’s not the only reason to have a brutal hangover on Monday morning anymore. Why spend Sunday evening drinking tea and watching Fox when you could be pounding as many bottles of Bud, Bud Light, Yuengling, and rail cocktails as your liver can take? There’s no reason to hold back because the Red & the Black’s Sunday night special is $20 flat and spans eight—count ‘em, eight—hours. The bar itself has a great atmosphere, with wooden booths, red velvet curtains, and a New Orleans-style menu. It’s a great place for a drink regardless, but when I think about the Sunday night special my head starts to spin; maybe that’s the omen of alcohol poisoning.



Posted By:  Megan Parry
Photo:  Megan Parry

Jonathan Blum Art
While traipsing through Eastern Market one Saturday afternoon, my boyfriend pulled me aside to let me know that “The artist Jonathan Blum has his art for sale right over there…he used to live in DC and now he’s famous.” His table was piled with drawings and paintings of fanciful portrayals of dogs, cats, human heads and, you know, watermelon. Turns out the dude is famous for portraits of Sesame Street’s own Burt and Ernie in the same whimsical, slightly cartoonish style as the rest. And—turns out—Blum has had shows in DC, New York, London, Berlin, Tel Aviv, New Orlean, and even Prague. It’s obvious the guy is quite prolific, has a lot of fresh talent and a fresh perspective so it’s quite a treat for us that he’s selling on the sidewalks at Eastern Market. While we couldn’t afford anything of his at the time (prices aren’t outrageous, but you are paying for high end art), it was cool to talk to his friend who was selling the stuff about Blum’s most current work, the direction his work was headed, and the popularity of his old stuff (yes, the Burt and Ernie).




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