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  • wood grilled hen is amazing. i love walking by and smelling the wood fire smoke outside the restaurant. an amazing addition to the neighborhood.

  • I can never get in so it must be good!

  • That menu is a bit out of date. Had two different Crostini. The Ricotta one listed which was fine but forgettable. The cherry tomato one was out standing but tomatoes are outstanding right now so hard to screw up. Had a wheat berry salad that was decent but wouldn’t jump at ordering it again. I had a great pasta. Black cavatelli with squid little necks and bread crumbs. The clams and pasta itself were great. The squid was overcooked a bit and so chewy. Good glass of wine although the are almost exclusively imports. Long wait.

  • So did you like it or not?

  • It is a pretty nice place. Nice to see something in that building that was empty for so long, the food is good, as is the service, and the atmosphere is nice (I suppose all restaurants should be that way though).

    Businesses are about making money, so all of its downfalls are understandable if you look at it that way.

    It is the kind of place that, as a general rule, you will see more plate than food when it is brought to the table, portions are small by any measure. It is not “averaged priced” you will spend 50+ per person for an average meal unless you plan to leave hungry. It is not the kind of place in a small neighborhood that people can visit often, unlike all of the other restaurants in the neighborhood. I mean you will never have a satisfying meal for $12 or under there. (for those of you who have never been, nothing comes on the plate but a spoonful of the entree you ordered, no side of any kind, you have to purchase those extra)

    To recap with all things considered, it is a nice place and better than nothing, but not as nice an addition to the neighborhood as it could be, to those who live there. Bloomingdale is very limited on space for new businesses so having businesses that can cater to many around it would be the best case scenario. I mean this is not 14th street where you have 50 options with plenty of new places opening every day. It is not a bad place by any count, but will not be as good a neighbor as Boundary Stone, Rustik Tavern, Aroi, and others. (Not as bad a neighbor by any means as the convenience store next to it lol).

    So it is all a matter of perspective.

  • @ Anonymous 1:07 — I disagree that space is limited. It may be limited on 1st St NW, but there are ample store fronts on either side of North Capitol. Once the Firehouse Restaurant opens (this IS still happening, right?), it will anchor other businesses around it. I’m hoping that the pop-up next to the market on N. Cap still plans on opening a wine/cheese spot. Maybe an actual bakery in the currently vacant storefront on N. Cap and R? There’s quite a bit of potential here.

  • novadancer

    I wanted so much to love it, but have only been once and haven’t yet found an overwhelming desire to go back. I know there are some in the neighborhood who rave about it. But as an almost vegetarian with a nut allergy there isn’t a whole lot on the menu to choose from. Almost all the meat free items have nuts 🙁 I had the fusilli but really, a small plate of pasta with some olive oil? I can make that at home for alot less than $15!

  • The beet salad is amazing, as is the octopus (if it’s still available). The fried artichokes are also wonderful. No, it’s not inexpensive, but the food is quality and it’s a nice upscale option. I find seats at the bar are readily available, and the bartenders are very knowledgable about both the food and drink menus.

  • I ate there last night! Thought it was delicious – I had the sausage rigatoni, and both the tomato sauce and sausage were good. My only complaint was that everything was bit oversalted, but that’s a common issue with restaurant preparations.

    Not sure I understand the complaints about cost. The neighborhood has a mix of incomes, and now it has a mix of price points for dining. I’m sure that there are any number of people living within walking distance that would have no trouble dining at Red Hen every week if they so desired.

  • Are they still doing the crostini+pasta+glass of wine for $22 late night Saturdays?

  • Regarding the price point, as a resident of the neighborhood, I’m thrilled to have a “special occasion” or “date night” sort-of restaurant in the neighborhood. Though my wife and I couldn’t afford to eat at the Red Hen weekly, we will be dining there occasionally and are so happy to be able to walk to such a place. Just about everything we’ve ordered has been good or great. My favorite dish to date has been the veal sweetbreads. The staff was knowledgeable and friendly. Yep, very happy to have the Red Hen in our neighborhood.

  • You are right, but many years down the road. There is a LOT of funk that needs to get cleaned up on North Capitol before it can be used lol. The Firehouse will anchor it, but will be several years at best before that happens. I am speaking of choices for the near future. There is one store front left in the Theater and that is about it for the heart of Bloomingdale. We do have Costa Brava and the Firehouse to look forward to though!

  • All it is just another DC restaurant with higher pricing. I was not impressed the first time and still not impressed after going back. The plates are too small and some of the food just did not live up to my expectations. I am giving props to the wine list and the place does look decent on the inside and outside. It would be an amazing addition to the hood, if it would not be so pretentious and prices would be just a bit lower.

  • I live a few blocks away, and have quickly become a regular. Lots of friends in the neighborhood have, too.

    Upfront: other commenters are right that Red Hen is not cheap and the portions are on the small side. But I’ve never left feeling less than great about the meal I had.

    Loves: artichoke appetizer, asparagus soup, sausage rigatoni, gnocchi, lamb sandwich. The smoked ricotta crostini is unbelievable.

    Ordered and probably wouldn’t repeat the scallops. Ditto on the two desserts I’ve tried.

    I’ve had dates at Red Hen, drinks and apps at the bar, a couple of group dinners, and even a semi-tipsy bar invasion with friends after the Pride parade. Service has been universally wonderful, even on the two nights I was there that Pepco knocked their power out.

  • I agree with having a nice place for occasional date nite, and think it will feel more like that once a few more places open to off-set the current feelings about it. I think the Firehouse will be more my style. The menu looks a little mid to up scale with decent prices (I am assuming) and lots more space. I could see going there twice a week possibly if the menu supports it. Once this is going, the angst of walking by Red Hen and only being able to smell it won’t sting so bad lol! : )

  • This place is FANTASTIC. The black linguine with clams is a knockout.

    As for Anonymous 1:07’s complaint, well, you moved to a neighborhood with fewer options, and you have no right to expect that every option is going to try and satisfy every single person in the neighborhood, though I don’t really understand your complaint against Red Hen.

  • @ Anonymous 1:22 – Interesting you mentioned a bakery for the space on N Cap and R. I recently talked to an older gentleman who grew up in the neighborhood. He said that space used to be a Hungarian bakery back in the day.

  • Mmmmmmm. The artichokes… YUMM.

  • I love it! It’s so wonderful to have a restaurant that specializes in chicken, that isn’t a fried chicken restaurant!

  • Overpriced … but the service is good. Food is “meh”

  • Great place that will hopefully get even better with a few tweaks. I realize it’s not as affordable as most restaurants in this part of the city, but we need a few more upscale options. I don’t understand the complaints about portion size. This is rich food – I want the portion sizes to be small, because I would rather not weigh 250lbs.

  • It’s good but not great. Like others I haven’t felt a strong need to get back there. Priced a little above where it should be for the quality.

  • Best restaurant to open in the city this year. Not cheap but reasonable; not exotic but much more than run of the mill.

  • I think it is great, and I judge harshly as someone who worked in restaurants for several years. The crostini are very good and the scallops are among the best I have ever had. The meat ragu that comes on the pasta is outstanding. Interesting wines not as overpriced as downtown. Overall, a fantastic addition to the neighborhood, and to the city!

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