Ever since I moved to New York, I have had the opportunity to travel and get to know a lot more of the Northeast. Washington D.C., being one of my favorite cities, is only 3 hours away! Recently, I have had the pleasure to stay in Dupont Circle, which is a bustling part of town with hip restaurants and bars sprinkled along Embassy row. Fun fact, in the 19th and 20th centuries, these diplomatic residents used to belong to the cities and social elites. The architecture certainly serves as a beautiful backdrop of what the city has to offer.
Sushi Taro has rapidly climbed to the top of my all time favorite sushi restaurants…EVER. I first came here years ago with my Mom where we somehow convinced them to seat us without a reservation. On that note, you have to make a reservation.
The restaurant hides on the second floor of a CVS in Dupont Circle. As you walk in, you can almost hear a pin drop of how quiet and serene it is. A small sushi bar sits on the corner as you make your way into the dining room. The room is decorated with light bamboo floors and canvas giving it a contrast of modern and traditional. Large windows fill the room with natural light and views of the tree-lined residential neighborhood.
As you know by now, I am quite the fan of Japanese fare as well as Oysters. I ordered the nama gaki aka raw oysters which were from Washington State. The meat was semi sweet and accompanied by scallion, fresh radish and yuzu which gave off a very citrus and refreshing flavor.
As an appetizer, I chose the fisherman’s Miso soup, a unique miso soup with pieces of fish and green onion. The fish elevated the flavor and made it a more hearty dish. I also had 2 pieces of uni (sea urchin) from Santa Barbara that was so buttery it melted in my mouth instantly.
The Sushi Jo set is a variety of nigiri pieces including: toro, salmon belly, ebi, yellowtail, white king salmon, mackerel and roe. It also comes with a hamachi and scallion roll which makes for a generous sized meal and great for sharing.
I am not a fan of dessert but the Green Tea Creme Brulee intrigued me. The sugar crust was perfectly glass like and had a nice crack when I dug in. The Green Tea filling was creamy and not too sweet which I enjoyed.
The Tabard Inn
I stumbled upon the Tabard Inn when I stayed at the Kimpton Hotel next door during a work trip. I was intrigued to see on the front door that it was the oldest running hotel in DC. I soon learned the name was actually inspired from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and the moment you step inside, you are transported to an old English Manor. The dark cherry wood of the drawing-room invites you to explore the Inn as you are greeted by the warmth of an open fire. Antique portraits follow you down the hall as you bask in the aroma of fresh breakfast muffins and chatter.
The restaurant was filled with locals eager to brunch. I was complimented with delicious warm blueberry muffins to hold me over (and great for 20 degree weather).
A dish that was highly recommended on Yelp were the shrimp and cheddar grits. I was surprised how meaty the shrimp were and the grits were cooked to perfection. It was also accompanied by mixed vegetables and chorizo giving it an exceptional umami flavor. The portion was so large I could hardly finish it!
Although I was full, I had to try their homemade donut with fresh cream. It was simply delightful, not too heavy and coated with sugar. The cream added to the fluffy texture and lightened the sweetness. I would recommend a latte to dip the donut in if you’re adventurous.
Everytime I visit DC I am fascinated by the pristine streets that hold so much history. Dupont Circle is defnitiley more residential and lively creating a more inviting environment than just court houses and government buildings (although they are stunning). It is an easy commute from New York and I am excited to discover more cuisines to review in the future.