It is sort of shocking to walk into P.J. Clarke’s on the corner of 16th and K and come to the realization that it is the newest restaurant on the D.C. scene. Is it just me, or does this place scream old school Washington? The dark paneled walls, red and white checkered tablecloths, and the masculine steakhouse vibe is a throwback to the traditional spots around town that once fed the city’s most important power players (and in many cases still do). The place has only been open a few short weeks but my experience today proved it to already be a staple lunch destination as it was bustling with important Washingtonians.
The menu is robust and is filled with hearty American favorites such as braised short ribs, french onion soup, crabcakes, burgers, and today’s special which was the lobster macaroni and cheese. There is also a nice list of a la carte sides to choose from that include mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, and onion strings. Today I ordered the rotisserie chicken with spinach which was juicy and nicely sauced with some butter and seasonings. The chicken had a lot of flavor and it was as healthy as it gets when ordering at a place like this. My client ordered the short ribs with glazed root vegetables and horeradish served over pasta. It looked delicious– and exactly the right thing to order at an establishment such as P.J. Clarke’s.
The downstairs is the part of the restaurant they refer to as Sidecar which provides a more upscale dining experience. However, it is the upstairs that will continue to be a mob scene during lunch on the weekdays because of its downtown location and the traditionally satisying food that they deliver. I guess I should be saying “welcome to the neighborhood” to P.J. Clarke’s… but it sort of feels like it’s been here for years already. Or at least it should have been since it fits in so well.
1600 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006