Editors' pick

Tabard Inn

American
$$$$ ($25-$34)
large-image
large-image
large-image
large-image
'

Editorial Review

2014 Spring Dining Guide

2014 Spring Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
May 15, 2014

As always, the modern American menu reads enticingly. Where else can a diner find short rib spring rolls, gumbo, a fried skate wing sandwich and Fuji apple-rhubarb tart under one roof? Unlike in years past, however, the execution here in Dupont Circle can be a mess. While generous with sausage and shrimp, that gumbo could double as a blast furnace, and the dessert comes to the table with a mere suggestion of rhubarb and dull pastry. Oysters on the half shell are still a good call, but the Asian-style duck sandwich is crazy-sweet with hoisin, the branzino sauteed to a stiff crisp and sitting on undercooked potatoes and bland fennel. Sadly, the espresso is as bitter as the family feud that saw the departure this year of everyone from the general manager to the chef to the talent behind what were once among the best desserts in town. “I recommend everything!” says the host of a gathering of suits in the clattery dining room, named for the lodging place in “Canterbury Tales.” I imagine he hasn’t eaten at the Tabard in recent months, when the service has slipped along with the cooking.

2012 Fall Dining Guide

2012 Fall Dining Guide
By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Magazine
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012

“I'll have a dozen oysters and half a dozen doughnuts," the guy next to me says to his waiter. If the order sounds audacious, you haven't brunched at Tabard Inn. The cozy, clattery American dining room with the leafy patio is one that food lovers keep in their back pocket when they're tired of the trend du jour but still want to eat well. Those oysters can be counted on to be neatly shucked, and as much as I dig the doughnuts, they have rivals in the inn's house-made bagel with cured salmon. Not every meal makes me want to zip back. I've had routine Caesar salads and a twist on a banh mi (using fresh tuna) that was undone by a squishy bun. But the rule is more like my last repast: succulent chicken jolted with olives and capers and neatly arranged with skinny green beans and fingerling potatoes, washed back with a fine white burgundy. I lack a sweet tooth, but I wouldn't dream of not ordering dessert. Be it a pie or a cake or a pudding or a cookie plate, the pleasure is all yours.