Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Good Grub: Marvin's

It's been a spell, hasn't it? Let's just jump right into it.

My friend and I hoped the Metro to U street, and we emerged feeling like we just stepped into NY's Lower East Side. The vibe was very hip, very gritty, and very unlike the super clean streets scattered throughout the rest of DC. In short, I fucking loved it.

We arrived on time for our reservation, but our table was not ready yet. This very tight bistro was packed wall to wall with diners who were all enjoying their food. We went upstairs to their rooftop bar to wait for our table, and was rewarded with free drinks being  sent over to us by the various military and businessman personnel who were just chillin'. After a couple of gratis cocktails and some light, Saturday night banter with our very clean shaven, good looking, good ole' boys, we received a call from our server to let us know our table was ready.

You can find their menu here. It's fairly reasonable, and not too far off from NYC prices.

Because we were starving and already had two drinks in us, we went straight for our entrees. I ordered the skirt steak and my friend got the chicken and waffles. We each had two glasses of the Riesling with our meal. I tasted my friend's chicken and waffles. It was crunchy and tasty, since it was a boned out chicken leg (thigh and all_ which was dredged in flour and fried Southern style. The waffle tasted a little underdone to me, but with the chicken, the syrup, and the greens & gravy, it all tasted just fine. My skirt steak was cooked perfectly. Rare, juicy, and bloody. My escarole was flavorful and bitter. The pearl onions burst in my mouth with each bite, as did the cherry tomatoes. The chimichurri sauce was just right to tie it all together- garlicky and tangy in just the right portions.

Speaking of portions, I was a little disappointed when our food first came out because the portions were a little on the lean side. However, had we ordered apps or side dishes, it would have been perfect. We didn't do apps or sides, though. We shared some food back and forth and ate in near silence as our appetites were satiated with the divine meal. By the time our clean plates were taken away, we knew we had just enough room for dessert. We ordered a large carafe of coffee. My friend ordered the rhubarb cobbler with a side of strawberry ice cream. I ordered the warm toffee cake with salted caramel ice cream. Despite the words "toffee" and "caramel", my dessert was not overly sweet at all. My friend's cobbler was tart and refreshing. Again, we ate those plates clean.

I cannot say anything overly negative about Marvin's. It's busy in there. Make reservations. Get there early and enjoy the rooftop bar. It's huge and there are several bars to serve alcohol. From what I understand, it get's busy up there and there were rumors of a DJ, although we didn't see one on the night we went. Come hungry. The portions are not huge so you can get apps and sides and share with each other, without fear of not being able to handle your entree. It can happen. In fact, if I go back I'm doing the shrimps and grits. It sounds amazing! The chicken fried oysters sounds amazing, too.

Although the restaurant is a little tight, it's narrow but long, it still feels cozy without being too uncomfortable. The service is stellar. The waitress was friendly and came to check on us just enough without seeming indifferent or annoying. With a very generous tip, our bill came to about $130.00. And I was happy to pay it.

If you're in the DC area, get out of Tourist Row and hop the Metro to U Street. It's like New York but without the awesome pizza.

2007 14th St NW
(between N U St & N V St)
Washington, DC 20009
Neighborhood: U Street Corridor
(202) 797-7171

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Kat! You're back. I know of this restaurant via a buddy of mine living out there. He practically lives at that bar. I wouldn't be surprised if he was the one who bought you two drinks! What think you of DC? Shall we call a moving truck?