The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2016 Spring Dining Guide.
Looking back at my original rave gives me the chance to champion freshness dates for reviews. Recent treks to the green-and-yellow man cave named for a civic leader in the Gilded Age reveal a restaurant operating well past its “use by” date. That plank of fried chicken I once praised to the sky? The entree still spurts juices, but its biscuit is a bust, and the green beans have been replaced with boring potatoes or de-fanged collard greens. A chalkboard menu lists the names of worthy sources of food, but what leaves the kitchen tastes commercial. “Bet you didn’t expect this!” says a waiter as he deposits a bowl of clam chowder — from behind me. Both the delivery and the presentation (a fetching fan of clams and potato coins on a slick of sauce) are indeed different. And less for the salty underliner. A few pleasantries remain from the good old days, including trout moistened with brown butter, but they’re outnumbered by lackluster performances from both the cooks and the waiters, one of whom channels the Soviet era with his hospitality, takes my order without writing anything down, then forgets a third of what I request. Just two years ago, Boss Shepherd’s was one of my top 10 favorite dining destinations in the city. These days, it’s just going through the motions.
→513 13th St. NW. 202-347-2677. boss-shepherds.com.
Open: Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Monday through Saturday.
Prices: Lunch $12 to $26, dinner $15 to $30, prix fixe theater $35.
Sound check: 77 decibels / Must speak with raised voice.
Previously (2014): 2.5 stars