A meat-focused restaurant from the group that brought us Birch & Barley and Red Apron Butchery, what's not to love about this, I say nothing, it's no secret I love me some meat. The Partisan in Penn Quarter is the latest installment from Neighborhood Restaurant Group, helmed by Chef Ed Witt and Nathan Anda.
As an upscale casual dining spot, I found it to be a great place for a celebration - my birthday - what else? From the outside the restaurant is a tad unassuming, you're initially drawn to the store front of the butcher shop which is part of the concept, but once inside you can see the touches and attention to detail that we're used to seeing from the other NRG outposts around town; dimly lit interior, stenciling on the walls and the abundance of beer taps. There is plenty on the menu to satisfy the meat hungry amongst us; a pork kimchi sausage, bolognese with guanciale (Italian style cured pork) and heart ragout- these were my personal favorites, and the table was more than impressed with the whole roasted rotisserie chicken which was broken down and deep fried served with a hot honey sauce. I highly recommend this.
The charcuterie is ordered a la sushi style, pencil down on a menu what you want and how much of it then pass it off to your server, there are plenty of meats to choose from and they are all served with a tigelle, I won't go into detail of what that is because if you're as food obsessed as I am you'll have already read about those and realized it is the latest food trend to hit DC.
However, this Friday night during lent there were fewer items to satisfy our observant dining companion, at least when it came to fish that was actually cooked with heat. The citrus cured cod was a touch overbearing from the tart of the grapefruit, and as a smaller portion made it less than satisfying on this unusually cold evening in March (I'm holding out for temps above 60 for this one.) The carrot fusilli was exceptionally spicy, in a way that made me reach for my glass of wine more than once, not that this was a bad thing, we all know I like my wine. Surprisingly, one of the stand out dishes was the roasted mushroom and kale salad which was a hit amongst everyone at the table, so don't be afraid of all the meat, give the place a try even if you are one of those pesky vegetarian folk.
The Partisan, 709 D St, NW, Washington DC (closest metro: Gallery Place or Penn Quarter)