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Ratings and reviews

Travelers' Choice2022
RATINGS
Food
Service
Value

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Location and contact

Downtown
0.6 miles from Smithsonian American Art Museum
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MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

The once-mundane Blagden Alley now teems with exciting culinary gems, including The Dabney. Entering this spot is like finding the end of a rainbow—ima...
Read more on MICHELIN Guide
One MICHELIN Star: High quality cooking, worth a stop!
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Dinner
CUISINES
American
FEATURES
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (303)
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295 results
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LanguageEnglish
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Traveler rating
212
52
18
7
6
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All reviews sweet potato roll scallop crudo catfish country ham roasted carrots black bass maryland crab sliders bread shishito peppers blue crab rock fish ice cream duck open kitchen michelin star wood fire
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Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

Unfortunately we were not able to experience dining at the Dabney due to the sudden passing of my father at Christmas. We cancelled the reservation within 48 hours notice as we needed to cancel our trip and head back home to be with my family....When we followed up with the Dabney regarding the credit card charge, we were told that the charge was non-refundable regardless of the traumatic circumstances. It is obviously very disappointing that the Dabney is so inflexible and lacks even the most basic level of empathy. Needless to say, while we visit DC several times a year, we will not be rebooking with an establishment that is this cold and unfeeling!More

Date of visit: December 2022
Helpful?4  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed December 28, 2022 via mobile

We visited DC and were lucky to get a reservation at The Dabney. The staff is completely in sync with each other and nothing is overlooked. We were able to watch the meal being prepared from where we sat. From start to finish, everything was...perfect. Well worth the price as it was a complete dining experience. Everything brought to the table was a work or art which the server explained in detail. Tip- add the white truffles! If you are lucky enough to get a reservation- don't miss it.More

Date of visit: December 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed November 15, 2022

My first time at a Michelin star restaurant and it exceeded my expectations. It started with a table right next to the kitchen, where we could see all the chefs at work. My wife, who worked in restaurants for a long time, said it was...rare to see a kitchen where everyone seemed like they got along and were having fun. The chef's table menu was terrific. Highlights for me were the sweet potato rolls, duck confit popsicle, and the fluke. The waiter told us great stories like how meticulously the chefs make sure the crabmeat has no shells in it. The wine pairings were very thoughtfully done (and really good). It's in a charming little alley in DC. What's not to love?More

Date of visit: November 2022
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Reviewed October 23, 2022 via mobile

The Dabney is right near the convention center in Shaw so I made sure to swing by for some bar bites and refreshments after a conference I went to. Tried the Alma Ata, the catfish sweet potato roll, and the country ham. The cocktail was...just ok, not anything that I felt was memorable. The catfish sweet potato roll is a must. It is sooooo good, I could probably eat 10 of these. The country ham was also very delicious. The service was kind of lacking. I didn’t have a reservation but there were seats available at the bar. I sat there for a solid 10 min with zero acknowledgement and no offering of a drink menu. I know that people are busy but it takes only a second to say hi, how are you, I’ll be with you in a few minutes, etc - especially at a place like this. Hopefully it was an off night or something. I would love to return for their pre-fix meal (which is not offered at the bar). Also, check out the beautiful LOVE mural in the Blagden alley.More

Date of visit: October 2022
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Reviewed October 21, 2022

I am just glad that I didn't pay. My friends took me here because they lost a bet. It is a fine dining like restaurant with below average quality. The ambience is the only good think I guess. Do not order steak or any dish...made with beef or you will be very disappointed.More

Date of visit: November 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed October 12, 2022

Nothing to remind you the USA bad service to almost every hotel or restaurant or public service in the Country. Really English style time accuracy, French wines and Swiss food and beverage service. Perfect in all aspects, very gourmet with American terms. Well done!

Date of visit: October 2022
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Reviewed August 28, 2022 via mobile

This restaurant was really incredible. Watching the chefs cook on the open wood fire was amazing. The food was spectacular. Highly recommend!

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed July 25, 2022

We use to love this place and the variety pre -Covid. I loved the variety of the a la carte menu, the staff, and the overall buzz of the place. I was excited when it reopened post-Covid and was willing to be patient with it....When it first opened up post-covid, there was a 4-course tasting for $75. I was okay with that, and given all the uncertainty etc post Covid I thought the price was reasonable. The food was very good and overall I was pleased with the variety. Now that same $75 4-course is $110. I get there's inflation, etc, but I just don see the value anymore. And I've heard that they're now planning on moving to a model where there's only a 6 course price fix for around $150-$160 a person. I was hoping that they'd eventually return to their roots and revert to the a la carte model, but now it's going in the opposite direction. I was willing to go there several times a year (and did!) pre-covid. It wasnt cheap but I felt the quality and the variety and high level of service were well worth it. I'm definitely not convinced anymore and would be very reluctant to return at this point, I'm sorry to say. Excellent memories of better times will persist, however.More

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed July 24, 2022

This is one of the very best dining experiences my wife and I have ever had, and we've been to some big-name celebrity chef establishments. The drinks are incredible, and perfectly balanced to whatever is on the menu. My starter Purdie Shuffle was made with...a hint of house-made rhubarb cordial, just fantastic. My glass of montepulciano was equally good, and my wife singled out her pinch of salt cocktail as excellent. The menu is a four-course meal, with all the appetizers then a pick of one of three choices for the rest of the meal. First is an oyster with an incredible sweet cherry mignonette, a zucchini fritter, and a charred eggplant spread. My wife then had the scallop crudo, a fantasy of cucumber slices on top, while I had the locally made pork sausage, which was very well sauced. Next, my wife had the black bass, which she absolutely enjoyed, while I had the Rohan duck, among the best I've ever had. With that came a "bloody butcherer" corn bread with a sorghum butter that defied description-- served in a hot small fry pan, it kept changing in texture and flavor, a triumph. At the end we had the fat cat cheese plate, which had slightly under salted crackers, and it was hard to pick up the smoked olive oil, a tiny quibble. In all, this was as good or better as some meals we paid a lot more for. Plates are $110.00 a night, a bargain for the experience, plus drinks. Staff is smart, attentive, and willing to share knowledge. We'll be back.More

Date of visit: July 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed July 17, 2022 via mobile

Another great visit to the Dabney last night, this time as a drop in. Was pleasantly surprised we could be accommodated in their bar and still share a fantastic meal via the ala carte menu. Each course was creative, fresh and involved a wonderful mix...of flavors. Staff are very friendly and knowledgeable. Amazing recommendation on an Italian White blend I hadn’t tried before. Don’t pass up a chance to have a meal here!More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed June 23, 2022

The entrance is in an alley. The inside dining area is small but spread out. You can see the whole bustling kitchen from the dining room. It's a very inviting setting. The staff was hardworking and accommodating. That was great. The food is great. Maybe...I'm not just not used to fine dining but I feel the Dabney just falls short of give it 5 stars.More

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed May 11, 2022 via mobile

The food was outstanding. You choose from a 4 gang menue. All dishes were special and had spectacular taste surprises. The wines are mainly from Europe which is a reduction of 1 star for me. As the quality was okay but not what Europe can...offer. Same with the Amaro to finish, was good quality but the price would have offered the expectation much hihgher. Tip check the Amaro from Nonino.More

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed May 10, 2022 via mobile

The Dabney thinks too highly of itself. We’re not as price sensitive as we should be, but our recent dinner for two, with tip, was over $450. That did include a couple drinks (modest pours) and a delicious 2018 Pattes Loup Chablis ($120, about 3X...the average retail price), but very modest decor, no white table cloths, and rather mechanical service. The open kitchen with large wood-fired grilling is impressive and produced the high point of the evening: “Ember Roasted Carrots (poached in apple cider, we were told), Ricotta, Smoked Honey and Chili Crunch”. If only, the music continued. But, unfortunately, the $95 prix fixe entrees disappointed. The “Golden Tilefish” lacked a voice and the “Grilled Amish Chicken” would have disappointed the Amish. The daily typeset menu is impressive and wonderful in hand. Unfortunately, we won’t be holding it again.More

Date of visit: May 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed April 23, 2022

If you want to experience flavours that are sourced from seasonal and organic farms, cooked by chefs who temper heat from hot coals, the Dabney delivers this and more. The staff are so passionate and demonstrate this when they explain how the meals are prepared...and where the ingredients are sources. One price for 4 dishes , great value for the quality of meals you have. All dishes were delicious.More

Date of visit: April 2022
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Reviewed April 7, 2022 via mobile

A great venue. You got 3 things as an amuse bouche - the tuna was divine. You then chose from menu your starter main and dessert. It was really terrifically presented and tasted great. The staff were also very pleasant. I liked the open kitchen...so you could see the chefs cooking.More

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Questions & Answers
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Jim G
May 31, 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Linda6062206 | Reviewed this property |
Anything goes but smart casual works.
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Talentisageless
May 20, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from RonFG | Reviewed this property |
Menu is changed frequently, depending on availability of ingredients. Maybe check on-line?
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THE DABNEY, Washington DC - Downtown - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about The Dabney

The Dabney is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4