Atmosphere: Capitol Hill converted townhouse.
Hours: Monday through Friday, luch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner from 5:30 to 11 p.m.; Saturday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 5:50 to 11 p.m.; Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 P.m. and closed for dinner.
Price range: Salads, sandwiches and chili, $1.95 to $3.95; entrees, $4.95 to $7.50.
Reservations: Yes for dinner; for lunch, only until noon.
Credit cards: Accepts major credit cards.
Special facilities: Easy on-street parking around 6:30, but you'll have to circle for a space after that; like most restaurants in converted townhouses, front steps and interior staircases make accessibility difficult for the physically handicapped; children's menu available.
Our children were entranced: With a name like Man in the Green Hat, how could a restuarant go wrong?
The name, it turns out, was the nickname of a famous and well-connected bootlegger who thrived on Capitol Hill during Prohibition and who served, or so the menu says, both Republicans and Democrats, Congress and the White House.
When we arrived at 6:30 on a Monday evening, the bar was lively and crowded. The maitre d'greeted us warmly and showed us up a beautiful wooden staircase framed with a highly polished brass bannister. The upstairs dining room wasn't nearly as crowded as the downstairs bar.
We were seated on cane and bentwood chairs at a table set with a white starched cloth and fresh flowers. The wide planked wood floors had been stained dark, waxed to a sheen and covered with Oriental rugs.
Our waitress, who was courteous and pleasant, told us about the day's specials (tomato soup, swordfish, broiled salmon and a variation of Welsh rarebit). She left us to study the regular menu and a version "For the Kids."
Our son, 10, took one look at the offerings on the latter - peanut butter and jelly sandwich, 85 cents; chicken, $1.50; hotdog, 95 cents, and hamburger, $1.75 - and announced, "This isn't a children's menu, it's a toddler's menu."
What caught our eyes first was the "Our Own Breads" selection. There was an Irish soda bread or a braided white bread glazed with honey and toasted almonds, 75 cents a piece. We ordered one loaf of the white.
The menu offers light and full dinners. On the light side, there were hamburgers and sandwiches for $2.85 to $3.25, soup and salad combinations, $2.85, and chili at $1.95 for a bowl, $1.15 for a cup. The salad section offered chef salad, $3.95: crabmeat salad, $4.75; spinach salad, $3.25; fruit salad, $3.25, and spring salad, $2.75.
The entrees weren't numerous but they all sounded good. In addition to the swordfish at $4.95; the salmon at $6.25, and the rarebit dish at $7.25, we could choose steak, $7.50; veal gruyere, $5.50; scallops, $6.50; shrimp and scallops en brochette, $5.75, or chicken Albemarle, $5.25.
Our waitress told us that each entree came with two of four side dishes: Green Hat potatoes, baked potatoes that had been quartered, deep fried and sprinkled with parmesan cheese; cabbage and apples, the special hot vegetable, bean salad or Green Hat salad. (The restuarant was out of the bean salad that night.)
Our son chose swordfish, potatoes and salad; our daughter picked veal gruyere, potatoes and salad. My husband decided to try the salmon with potatoes and cabbage, and I took swordfish with cabbage and salad.
In addition to the usual lettuce and cherry tomato, the Green Hat salads were sprinkled with sunflower seeds, chick peas, pimiento and raw mushroom slices. The house dressing was a creamy bacon concoction that added a nice zest.
Our main courses were as good as the salad. The fish entrees were well prepared and nicely flavored. Cabbage and apples weren't the perfect accompaniment - they were a bit strong for swordfish and salmon - but they were certainly interesting: highly spiced and hot.
The veal gruyere, which we all tasted, won the highest ratings. It came with a rich brown gravy, tomato, cheese and mushrooms.
We also liked the sixe of the portions. They were just the size to leave room for the side dishes and, if we wanted, dessert.
Our waitress assured us the desserts were "made right here," including walnut pie, chocolate mousse, orange and strawberries with sabayon sauce, German chocolate cake and a special of the day, brandied pumpkin pie.
Our son chose the pumpkin pie, and the rest of us shared walnut pie, very similar to pecan pie, and German chocolate cake, which was big enough for three people and light enough to be nearly perfect. The desserts were $1.50 to $1.75 a piece.
Our tab came to $30.50, including a glass of wine, a mug of beer and coffee.