The Heights is Hopping

The Heights, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I can’t believe I haven’t read more about this. The Heights is located at 3115 14th St., NW right in the heart of Columbia Heights. I remember this area so well before it was built up and all I can say upon encountering the Heights was that it was like a mirage. It also reminded me a bit of Europe with the cool Stella Artois umbrellas and relaxed atmosphere. And the food was fantastic.

I had a mustard crusted tuna with mashed potatoes that was pretty killer. One of the unique features of this place is that you can get a glass of wine or a glass and half of wine. I’d never seen that before. Also before they take your order they ask if you are allergic to anything that I also thought was pretty wild. I wanted to tell them that I was allergic to bee stings but I didn’t see how that concerned them. So one of these days I am bound to give a bad review but the Heights was absolutely fantastic. I’d say the service needs to speed up a tiny bit but our waitress was lovely and very attentive. (Although for some reason she did clear the bread plates very quickly.) But I am quibbling.

I was grinning ear to ear the whole time I was eating because I just couldn’t believe how fantastic this place was…and it was right in Columbia Heights. Just a few years ago I would have had to drive downtown or crosstown to experience anything like this. You know I had been hearing that we were going to get places like this for so long, it is almost surreal to me that they actually exist now. It is a bit pricier than Red Rocks but not super expensive. So next time you feel like living up it like our friends with a 35 hour work week and 12 weeks of holiday and you want some super good food (or are tired of pizza) head on over to The Heights, you will not be disappointed.

22 Comment

  • I have to agree, although have only been there once for brunch (food and service were both very good, especially liked the mimosa that was more shampagne/sparkling wine than juice..).

    The patio is great too. Yep, have to go back soon!

  • I agree… I was quite pleased with the way it turned out. The bar is gorgeous and the food was quite good. Although, it did feel like a total copy-and-paste job from their other place (Logan Tavern). That’s not a bad thing, really, but hopefully over time, the Heights will develop more of a unique vibe.

    Still, that’s a mild criticism. I remember that block from before, with the Tivoli being a forgotten wreck behind barbed-wire fences (and the Giant was so charming when it was on 14th — more rats than people)… So this is a crazy improvement.

  • I think the development at CH metro is a great thing, however as a planner I wish several things could have been done differently – actually it’s not too late to change…but I digress because that is not the topic of this string….

    Not to be a sally stick in the mud but, while I think that the vibe and look of The Heights is killer, I can’t help but be disappointed that the owners basically took the Logan Tavern menu and plopped it down as The Heights menu. The menu’s are virtually the same, which is a shame because I think they missed a great opportunity not only for culinary creativity, but at making a The Heights more of a draw for people outside the area. I think it’s important that more than just nearby residents frequent the businesses in our area because making CH/Petworth a destination for all District residents is key to continued growth and sustainability. Why go to The Heights when you can have the same menu just a few blocks down the street?

  • Ugh. I HATED that Giant on 14th. They never had anything I wanted and the service was awful and slow. I guess the service isn’t that great at the new Giant either, but at least they have everything I want.

    I agree about the Heights as well, although I wasn’t wowed by the food to be honest. It was just OK. Still, to have that option within walking distance of my home is great. Things have improved quite a bit over the past several years.

  • The entrees may be expensive, but they have about the best happy hour specials in DC. Appetizers and drinks for around $2-$3. And very delicious!

  • I am curious as to what the “anonymous planner” thinks should be done differently. It’s always interesting to hear insight from people “in the know.” I’m sure many of us have been somewhere and asked the question “why did/didn’t they put this here or there?”

  • I find the whole thing sad. It doesn’t ring true — it’s K street or Clarendon. Another spot for yuppies to have their happy hours. It seems very inauthentic. I’m glad that they’ve added density. But it’s definitely not my scene and there I don’t see myself reflected in the environment. It screams: places to avoid.

  • DC 1974, what would you like to see?

  • I agree with the comment that the owners missed an opportunity to create a new menu. Funny thing is, they basically took Logan Tavern’s menu, REMOVED the few things I liked, and called it “The Heights”. I understand the concept of sticking with what you do well, but what is making this restaurant original if it is an exact copy of one just a few miles down the road?

  • Here’s my problem with DC1974’s comments.

    First, it looks and feels NOTHING like K St. It does have a slight Clarendon feel, which isn’t great but I’ll take it over what was there. Regardless, after investing in the neighborhood (and I mean that in more than just a money standpoint) and moving my family here, I am happy that I now have decent restaurants, bars and other businesses within walking distance. And while the development might not be perfect, why don’t you take a walk further north on 14th. Are any of those the types of establishments you want to frequent? I’m guessing no.

    I hate to be so negative on a great blog that strives to point out the positive in everything, but I’ve grown painfully tired of the self-righteous folks who feel the need to boohoo about everything without adding any constructive comments that might help make the community better for everyone.

  • Pauper, largely agree, except that there are actually couple of pretty decent and authentic latin places up on 14th, and with Red Derby hopefully opening soon, its getting better too.

  • What’s Red Derby?

  • OK, I’ll give you the few places with authentic latin grub and I don’t want to take anything away from the Rib Pit, which I love, but all in all, it’s just not the nicest stretch. And by that, I mean that except for a few places, most businesses seem to not care what condition their stores are in. I just wish people would have some pride in their homes, businesses and community as a whole.

    I’m whining too much…I’ll stop

  • Pauper, we are in full agreement. 🙂


    Red Derby is a small bar/pub coming to 14th and Quincy St. NW. The owners (very nice people, have met them a couple of times) used to have a place in Adams Morgan and have apparently been fighting with red tape etc. to get the place opened. They should also serve some pub food and have describe the objective being creating a “high end dive” :). I’ve peeked inside the space they are renovating and could turn out quite nice. You can read a bit more about it here:

  • Richard Layman published a link to the “Walk Score,” which takes your address and calculates how “walkable” your neighborhood is.

    I was surprised to rank only a 65 out of 100, but the calculation system didn’t include some of our new businesses which are an easy stroll away. (My last apartment in DC scored 97 of 100.)

  • i tried going on wed night, but there was a 30 min wait…i also went to red rocks and there was another 30 min wait….damn, we were starving so we ended up at rumberos. really good food there too….dont forget the places that have been holding on strong for a few years.

  • Pauper: While I don’t agree with the “inauthentic” dig (what? empty rat-filled blocks are “authentic”?), the thing that drove me out of CH is that much-loved density – and my fear of what is to come once the Target opens. I much prefer my lazy corner of PW where it is so quiet at night I can hear the trees rustle. You can have CH. If I am never again awakened by some drunken frat boy barfing up his guts on the sidewalk 5 floors down I’ll live a happy life. I’m happy to visit 14th Street and then leave.

  • Oden, I actually live in Petworth, but I’m walkable to the development. That’s the beauty of it. I can walk there, enjoy what it has to offer and escape the madness back to my nice quiet block!

    The other thing I’ll say is that you live in the city. City pretty much equals high density, doesn’t it? But lucky for us, we’ve got our oasis in the high density jungle.

  • Pauper: very true. And I totally agree with you about a lot of the belly-aching regarding development. It goes back to that re-occurring theme on this blog and other places where “new” and “old” residents sometimes feel conflicted about the changes.

    Sometimes it’s hard to just say that the changes are for the better. But while some of the new eateries aren’t very inviting to everyone, are often cost-prohibitive, and (frankly) not always as tasty as their decor would presume, they are also sometimes miles better than their “authentic” precursors.

    Honestly, some of places I’ve been in DC that claim “Mexican” fare are just awful and should not be allowed to utter the words “Mexican” or “Texmex” without being fined (yes, I’m looking at you Mixtec).

  • i was there in the week it opened and i found the place to be quite boring. the food was ok, but nothing special. the service was ok, but didn’t have the neighborhood feel of places like wonderland or domku, and the feel of the place was just bland, the typical washington dc cut and paste design, again not as interesting as local places like temperance.

    the problem with that part of columbia heights i find is that the intersection between park and kenyon is horrible looking with all the rubble and really is in need of some landscaping, and the building the heights tavern is in is just ugly. all of this make neighborhood places like red rocks and domku all the more interesting.

  • Sidenote PoP: any restaurant worth it’s salt should ask if you have food allergies. They don’t want to accidentally give you peanut sauce, or use a meat stock in a vegetarian dish.

    And I liked the restaurant – great bloody mary’s.

  • People without fail decry new places as inauthenic,like “urban disney” or Clarendon etc. But brand new places are going to be…brand new. It takes years and decades and centuries for places to develop a patina. Those great old authentic buildings we all love in Europe etc were brand new once as well.

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