Six Months In: Our Conversation with Driftwood Kitchen

18 Mar
driftwood brussels

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts at Driftwood Kitchen


Approximately six months ago, Driftwood Kitchen opened at 400 H Street.  Their space has a large (dog friendly!) patio, first floor bar and dining area, and a large second floor with retractable doors for when it is nice outside. We enjoyed our early taste of the restaurant, and recently caught up with Eric Tollar, General Manager of Driftwood, to ask about the first six months of service.

District Cuisine: What has been the most popular dish so far?

Eric Tollar: Our gnocchi, caramelized brussels, and mac and cheese with house cured tasso ham have been very popular in regards to our smaller plates. For our larger plates we find that our guests absolutely love Chef James Duke’s bourbon glazed beef ribs, served with turnip greens and house made corn bread. People are also raving over our house made Honey Cheesecake from our pastry Chef Carrie Jenkins. (You can view the dinner menu here).

Bedrock Ribs with Greens and Glazed Onions at Driftwood Kitchen

Bedrock Ribs with Greens and Glazed Onions at Driftwood Kitchen

DC: I noticed that the menu has changed a good bit since opening day, how frequently do you plan on changing it?

Eric: Chef James is tireless in trying to always peruse the freshest seasonal ingredients and really likes to change our offerings frequently.  We always change with the season because it speaks to the quality of the product we use to make our food.

Enjoying a Beer on Driftwood Kitchen's Dog-Friendly Patio

Enjoying a Beer on Driftwood Kitchen’s Patio

DC: How is brunch going so far?

Eric: Brunch has been a real pleasure. It’s so great to rub shoulders with our neighbors, and I’ve been really pleased that so many families choose to dine with us.  The pork belly benedict is a personal favorite, and $15 bottomless mimosas don’t hurt either.

DC: Has anything surprised you?

Eric: I’ve been most surprised at how much people love our happy hour. We wanted to make something that was affordable but still fun. We just put a house ground burger and gourmet Thai chili wings on the menu, and it’s really well received. With $4 can beer, $5 mixed drinks and house wine, you can’t go wrong.

Mac and Cheese with Tasso Ham at Driftwood Kitchen

Mac and Cheese with Tasso Ham at Driftwood Kitchen

DC: When are you most busy?

Eric: Like most restaurants, Friday and Saturday are your nights of controlled chaos, but we have a Neighborhood Night the second Thursday of every month, as well as a number of other regular meet-ups that already happen here regularly. We offer a really fun happy hour, so both bars are usually full for those.

DC: Anything upcoming that you’d like to highlight?

Eric: By demand, we will be really stepping up our game in our wine program. I’ve been working the last month on curating a brand new wine program, so keep your eyes peeled. I’ve selected some really fantastic stuff. Other than that, we are just counting down the days until spring is here and we can open up the glass windows on the second story balcony and the first floor patio!

DC: Anything from the first couple of months that you would like to highlight?

Eric: We were recently nominated by Washington City Paper Reader’s Poll as one of the three finalists for the Best New Restaurant Category. Fingers crossed for a win!


2 Responses to “Six Months In: Our Conversation with Driftwood Kitchen”

  1. Islanddyeshstdc March 22, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

    This is an all around great place. The food, environment, staff, and prices make this a regular stop for me a few times a week.

  2. G March 27, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

    looks closed?

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