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The Atlas Room: A Hidden Star in DC

28 Aug

Pork Has & Eggs at The Atlas Room

Do not let the bars on the windows turn you away, The Atlas Room on H Street (1015 H Street)–open for less than a year–is one of the up and coming restaurants in the DC area.  A major part of the resurgence of H Street NE, The Atlas Room should appeal to food lovers across DC area.  Chef-Owner Matt Cordes and Chef de Cuisine Bobby Beard have impressive resumes ranging from Vidalia to 701 to Gerard’s Place to Kinkead’s to Citronelle.  The previous experiences of Cordes and Beard shine through in dishes at The Atlas Room.

The unimpressive barred windows and blue awning outside give way to a nicely decorated, if dark, inside.  The small restaurant features seven closely placed tables lining both sides of the wall at the front with a bar and bar seating towards the back.  The entire restaurant fits less than fifty people, so on weekend nights you would be wise to call ahead (they only take phone reservations, unfortunately no Open Table).  If you don’t make a reservation, you can usually get a table during the week or on the early side during the weekend.  Tables on the left hand side of the restaurant have chairs on the outside and covered bench seating on the inside, while tables on the right hand side only have chairs.  The entire restaurant features a dark color scheme with dark wood floors and lights hanging down from the ceiling.  Large pictures and maps hang from the wall on both sides. Continue reading

Brunch at The Argonaut: Great Drink Deals, Less Exciting Food

25 Jul

The Outside of the Argonaut

Most of the new investment on the east end of H Street ends at 14th street, and, for the most part, the remaining block until H Street intersects with Maryland Avenue and Bladensburg Road has not been affected by the recent development nearby.  However, if you continue to walk east on H Street past 14th street, you will run across one of the original businesses in the revitalization of H Street: The Argonaut Tavern.  Begun in 2005 by H Street pioneer Joe Englert (Rock and Roll Hotel, The Pug, Sticky Rice, Granville Moore’s, and H Street Country Club among others), The Argonaut advertises itself as “the grandfather” of the Atlas District and an “old English-style tavern.”  The servers all wear black, pirate themed t-shirts that claim The Argonaut has “The Best Booty in Town.”  Recently The Argonaut has undergone extensive renovations after a fire last year burned down its kitchen.  The Argonaut also added an outdoor patio in the last several months to allow guests to enjoy a drink or a meal outside when weather allows.

While the outside on H Street is somewhat foreboding, the inside has a friendly feel.  The inside of the restaurant is fairly dark, but mirrors all along the wall and the open kitchen give the inside bar and dining area character.  The upstairs section was not open during brunch.  Unfortunately for the middle of the summer, there does not seem to be any air conditioning, and the restaurant becomes quite warm despite several fans.  While recently far too hot to eat outside, the patio looks quite pleasant for an evening dinner or brunch in the fall. Continue reading

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