The following review appears in The Washington Post's 2017 Fall Dining Guide .
After "What's your favorite restaurant?" (see everything above and below this paragraph, which is also recommended), the second most-asked question I field is "What's good and quiet?" Sadly, the ability to hear one's thoughts in a dining room has become a precious commodity, like bipartisanship. 701 to the rescue. Always appreciated for its genteel supper-club look, the modern American restaurant, a pioneer in Penn Quarter, acquired a new chef in May. Bryan Moscatello continues the tradition of his predecessors, offering dishes that are at once familiar and fashion-forward. Roast chicken, crisp of skin and moist of flesh, would be good on its own, but silken garlic custard and supple chicken liver ravioli nudge the entree into let's-come-back territory. Same for the chef's chilled corn soup, electrified with pickled kernels and poured over a clutch of pink shrimp set off with serrano ringlets. Sit in the right spot and you catch a view of a fountain outside. Belly up to the bar for an all-day hamburger. Show up before a performance and you can take advantage of a three-course dinner for $35. Drop in on Friday or Saturday nights for live jazz. Come to think of it, 701 could just as easily go by 911 for all the emergencies it can cover.
2 1/2 stars
701: 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-393-0701. 701restaurant.com.
Prices: Mains $20-$38.
Sound check: 65 decibels / Conversation is easy.