As Washington, DC’s oldest saloon, Old Ebbitt Grill is filled with unexpected DC history and old fashion charm. “If the walls could talk,” reads the sign that greets you as you walk in. The saloon was first opened in Washington, DC in 1856 and the restaurant claims the guest list read like a “Who’s Who of American History.” It is said that Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt and Warren Harding were frequent visitors. Old Ebbitt Grill was moved to its current location in 1983 but the restaurant is still decorated with some of the original decor.
Old Ebbitt Grill feels very fancy with its Victorian style decor, history filled walls, and general proximity to the White House. That being said, the dress code is flexible. Stroll in wearing your favorite jeans or use it as an excuse to dress up!
We made a 1:30 reservation on Saturday thinking it might be less crowded for lunch. False. The Old Ebbitt Grill was filled with guests! Regardless, the hosts were well organized and many people had drinks while they waited.
We had high expectations for the food because Old Ebbitt Grill has been owned by Clyde’s since 1970. Clyde’s is one of our favorites places to eat crab cakes. Along with Phillip’s from one of our previous posts Boat Tour in Washington, DC – we love crab cakes! And Old Ebbitt Grill did not disappoint!
We branched out a little from crab cakes for this trip but still got our fill of crab with the Crab and Artichoke Dip appetizer. It arrived hot and delicious. It came with a sliced up baguette which was a nice alternative to the chips that normally comes with artichoke dip.
Then we ordered 2 entrees – Cannelloni di Casa and Parmesan Shrimp Caesar Wrap. The Cannelloni was stuffed with spinach, ham, and three cheeses. It was full of flavor and we would definitely order it again. The Parmesan Shrimp Caesar Wrap was exactly what it sounded like – fried Parmesan shrimp and a Caesar salad all wrapped up in a tortilla. Simple but fabulous.
The Old Ebbitt Grill is only two blocks from the White House so you are still very much in the heart of DC. However, we felt like it was slightly tucked away so you don’t feel like you are on top of the tourists. Prices are mid-range but its easy to want to order a lot of food!
The restaurant also offers number of private rooms to rent for wedding receptions and other social events. You can follow @OldEbbitt on Twitter for the latest updates or check out their snazzy, new website www.ebbit.com.
Brunch, lunch, dinner, date night, family gatherings
675 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
McPherson Square – Orange and Blue
Metro Center – Orange, Blue, and Red