The Florida Avenue gastropub has come a long way since a tumultuous start in 2011, when the city ruled the then-owner was unfit for an alcohol license. Under new ownership, Shaw’s Tavern is the kind of place you can perch with a book on a Sunday afternoon, or meet a friend for a beer on Tuesday. The patio’s Christmas lights invite you to sit outside on temperate fall nights, and you can play trivia on Mondays and listen to live bluegrass on Fridays.
The tavern, named for abolitionist Col. Robert Gould Shaw of “Glory” fame, hits just the right note of causality with a menu that has more than the standard club sandwich. Look to the blackened catfish sandwich with Cajun seasoning, brown-butter mashed sweet potatoes and mac and cheese with peas and bacon. And it wouldn’t be a true neighborhood asset without a strong weekend brunch, including a $12 bottomless mimosa special on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
— Margaret Ely