36 Hours In Washington, DC (New York Times)

Culture

36 Hours In Washington, DC (New York Times)

January 18, 2018

No longer does the city dubbed “the swamp” by its inhabitant in chief have the starchy, insular appearance of a white male fiefdom. There’s a dynamism that, along with its fabled history, qualifies it as a great American city.

Those who visit the nation’s capital for the first time in a decade or so are in for a pleasant surprise. No longer does the city derisively dubbed “the swamp” by its Inhabitant-In-Chief have the starchy, insular appearance of a white male fiefdom. Overlooking (if one can) the federal government’s maladroitness, as a destination, Washington today possesses a dynamism that, along with its fabled history, qualifies it as a great American city. It’s now entirely possible to spend a couple of memorable days here without once eating a New York strip steak or darkening a marble corridor. Check those boxes on your first visit, then come back for This Town’s revelations.

A fast-developing Washington neighborhood is Brookland, dominated by Catholic University and the majestic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The city’s newest high-quality restaurant, Primrose, opened here just after Thanksgiving. Though the casual, if gorgeously appointed, French bistro serves on-target country staples like coq au vin and boeuf Bourguignon until 11 on weekend nights, Primrose is also ideally suited for nightcaps. Sitting at the bar among a diverse neighborhood crowd with one of the restaurant’s 15 wines by the glass (all from France or Virginia — several of the latter being made by the co-owner Sebastian Zutant) to accompany stout cheeses and rillettes de lapin, you would have no reason to suspect that you’re in anybody’s idea of a swamp, much less a drain-worthy one.

Among northwest Washington’s many high-activity neighborhoods — Logan Circle, Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan — the Shaw district is the latest to be lit up with clever dining spots. One of Shaw’s newest and best is Tiger Fork, a temple of Hong Kong cuisine situated in an alleyway. The eclectically red-and-bamboo Chinese interior (designed by Lauren Winter, who also fashioned Primrose) is smile-eliciting, much like its weekend “Dim Sum and Then Some” menu. Hong Kong-style French toast, Chinese bacon and creamed tofu are among the Sunday hangover remedies, best teamed with a prosecco and passion fruit liqueur-based drink known here as Bad Girl Mimi. (Brunch for two without drinks is about $70.)

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By The Streetsense Collective