The British get a lot of grief for their cuisine. While it may not be the pinnacle of avant-garde, gastronomic glory, there is a place in everyone's life for the belly-warming comfort of pub fare. When the temperature drops, my desire for heartier food skyrockets. The Queen Vic on H Street NE filled the need perfectly.
Our friends M and A introduced us to The Queen Vic. They happen to be very adventurous eaters and like the parts of animals that make lots of people (including me) a bit squeamish. Always willing to try something once, I encouraged them to order the appetizers.
To start, we tried the pan seared chicken livers served on toast. Luckily, this dish tasted much more like chicken than like liver and I liked the rich, creamy flavor contrasted with the flaky bread. Looks appetizing, right? Ok, it tasted better than it looks.
To add some ruffage to the party, we tried the beet salad. A nice rendition of the classic beet, goat cheese, nut concoction that graces nearly every menu in town these days.
Back over in the "I'm going to act like a grown-up and try this" department, where we have the white anchovies on toast (left) and the beef heart tartare (right). The anchovies went down easily and I was pleasantly surprised that they weren't overtly fishy. I'd even go as far as saying I enjoyed them. The beef heart tartare is another story. Try as I might, I can't get over the fact that I'm eating raw cow organ. If you're an organ meat person, this is probably really amazing.
In his quest to eat every poor little lamb on the planet, B ordered the lamb three ways. It was a special for the evening and B loved every bite of the mutton majesty.
I ordered the fish 'n' chips which, in addition to being delicious, was HUGE. My sister (that's her hand in the photo...say hello!) and A also ordered the fish 'n' chips and it proved to be much more food than we could handle. Very delicious but probably more suited for sharing.
Not only were we treated to great food in the company of the best of friends, our Irish waiter was absolutely phenomenal. He struck just the right balance of joking revelry and good, attentive service. He also gave us free after-dinner shots of ginger ale and Jameson. Two nights later, as we had a drink at The Pug down the street while waiting for a table at Toki, we were thrilled to see him there tending bar. He remembered us (or at least very kindly pretended he did) and treated us to another round of Jameson.
I really liked the atmosphere at The Queen Vic and the food and drink selection is solid enough that we look forward to our next visit and our next chat with the affable Irishman.
Second Thoughts from B
It doesn't take too long to figure out that DC is a drinking town. Between networking socials, staffer-filled happy hours, and the great public transportation (as LA transplants, we love having the option of using Metro), folks in the district love their booze. But since a bottle of DC Brau tastes the same anywhere, a friendly beer man and quality food can make all the difference.
While I don't crave organ meats, I certainly appreciate them when prepared by a skilled chef. Who would think that a British pub cook would be that person? As for a dish that I do crave, the fish 'n' chips hit the spot. Is there a better plate of food to accompany a foamy pint? I think not. Oh, and the lamb was pretty awesome too.