Dupont Circle has wonderful welcoming restaurants...go anywhere else!
Arriving at opening to beat the crowds, our family of five was told that we needed to wait because there were no suitable tables ready. The restaurant was empty except for two tables and bar. Waitresses put two tables together at a long rear banquette in a narrow passageway to the kitchen. Family sat down, crayons were given to our quiet 5-year old girl who started to draw. We settled in to enjoy the fabled ambiance of a DC institution and I noticed that we had the only tables that faced three utilitarian bathroom doors, cutlery sorting bins, kitchen and back room doors, and the beverage/ice station. All of the above immediately became busy...loud clanking of loads of cutlery, loud filling of ice, kitchen work. I told the waitress that I have problems hearing when there is such kitchen noise, and she replied that the rest of the restaurant would be noisy from music and the chatter of customers when they arrived. Finally she took me to a table in front, (oddly large enough for five!) and said that she could move us if I really wanted. I went back to the family, who indicated that since our five year old was settled with her coloring, we should stay.
I also hesitated to speak up because I know what happens in restaurants when a party asks to change tables and the staff who seated a party in very undesirable tables for no reason decides to continue the same kind of welcoming treatment throughout the meal. I would not say that our service was inattentive, but after being pushed to order, "I will come back when you make up your minds" was followed by a15 minute wait while the waitress disappeared outside to chat. When she finally reappeared, she asked "Have you had enough time to make up your minds yet?"
The kitchen staff who brought out our food and kept the soft drinks and water refilled were very attentive and very friendly. Our waitress did not serve the food. The restaurant filled up but no one was seated even close to our lovely spot by the time we ate and received our check. As I sat talking, the waitress did reappear to ask whether I had any problem understanding the bill! I guess we were not moving fast enough to suit! Our family group included six Masters degrees and a PhD university professor and a very well-behaved five year old. Oh, we did understand, completely.
Oh, as for the food, read the local reviews.
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