It's always nice to hear something good about our area. The New York Times, in a recent article on the DC restaurant scene, singles out Petworth Citizen and Crane and Turtle for praise. The article starts like this:
WASHINGTON — On a scrubby block in a working-class neighborhood east of Rock Creek Park, plopped down among cheap hair salons, a dry cleaner and a sad-looking liquor store, the future of dining in Washington, D.C., has arrived.The article's argument is that DC restaurants are getting good and are moving into residential neighborhoods, but that's not exactly accurate: Upshur Street, where those two spots are located, has long been a commercial strip, albeit small. And that's not much different from New York, where restaurants pop up on side streets. A much better example of this would be the new restaurants on 12th Street NE in Brookland like Brookland's Finest, but even that is still a commercial strip.
On one side of the street is Petworth Citizen & Reading Room, a warm little haunt with schoolhouse-style light fixtures and Art Deco wallpaper, where old-fashioneds, complete with a ground sugar cube, are mixed for $4 at happy hour
On the other is Crane & Turtle, a sewing-box-size Asian-influenced spot where an adventurous bouillabaisse with pan-roasted cobia and a delicate maitake-mushroom tempura dish are cooked by a former sous-chef from the soon-to-close CityZen, one of the city’s most upscale restaurants.
The article continues with the rest of the New York Times dining bingo -- expense account steakhouses and the like, and mentions places like Rose's Luxury and Little Serow that are definitely not in residential areas -- Barracks Row and the 17th Street strip, respectively. Kapnos, Mike Isabella's Greek spot at 14th and V (again, not residential) is also mentioned in the accompanying photo gallery.
In fact, I was going to make a joke that the article sounds like it belongs on the @NYTOnIt Twitter, but they beat me to it:
GUYS, apparently there are restaurants in that little town we all know as Washington DC. The Times is ON IT. http://t.co/xXsgoqAmb3
— The Times Is On It (@NYTOnIt) October 22, 2014
That said, it's nice to get a shout out for our area (and the restauranteurs behind Crane & Turtle, Petworth Citizen and Room 11) and of course, the Times did call 11th Street the "Hip Strip" back in 2011 when they wrote about Room 11, Wonderland and BloomBars. I do like Petworth Citizen, and Crane &Turtle sounds awesome, though I haven't had a chance to visit yet.
Photo by Michael K. Wilkinson