Compared with other bars in Foggy Bottom, Marshall's Bar and Grille has two things going for it: The long, slender bar -- reminiscent of pubs in England -- is comfortable and atmospheric. And more importantly, it's a neighborhood place -- not a student bar -- with good food and a low-key vibe.
Walking into the main floor of this split-level row house, it's easy to see the English influence: lots of wood, mirrors lining the walls behind the bar, high stools and tables. Settle down at the bar and try the rotating beer of the month, which is always $3.25. This is one of the few area bars with a good selection of Samuel Smith's beers, imported from England, but you'll pay close to $7 for one 18-ounce bottle.
Despite the George Washington and Georgetown banners hanging from the ceiling, Marshall's doesn't attract a very young crowd. There are no $1 drinks or even $2 drinks here to attract thirsty students; on one Thursday happy hour, the loudest voice in the bar belonged to Tom Brokaw -- on television, of course.
Featuring half-price appetizers, the happy hour attracts a professional, after-work crowd. You'll find more young people on weekends, though, when there are drink specials ($3 Bass, for example), and Mondays, when burgers are half-price after 5.
Downstairs, the restaurant specializes in seafood, salads and pastas, although all the food is available in the bar as well. The salad menu is particularly worthy of an examination, although the idea of eating leafy greens while quaffing beers sounds a bit strange. Then again, so does the idea of a student-less neighborhood pub in Foggy Bottom.
-- Fritz Hahn