I started with a glass of champagne and was disappointed to see there really weren’t that many options by the glass, but I settled in with a glass of the Chandon Brut and was a happy camper. I noticed that the restaurant was pretty empty, however the few tables that were full seemed to be spillover from the large events taking place at the convention center. Based on 901′s location they will likely benefit from convention traffic as well as corporate events because of their ability to handle large crowds and private spaces.
The menu is split into six sections labeled as: sharing, salads, sandwiches, by land, by sea, and pastas. The waiter highly recommended that my friend and I try the lump crab pinchos appetizer under the “sharing” portion of the menu. We decided to trust his guidance and I give him an “A” for a job well done. The appetizer was great and was similar to a bruschetta with small pieces of sun-dried tomato bread topped with lump crab, roasted red bell pepper cream cheese, tomato, basil, and sprinkled with a balsamic vinaigrette. I thought the meal was off to a good start and we both decided to order the pan seared scallops for our main course. The scallops were served on top of polenta cakes in a brown butter sauce that missed the mark in my opinion. There was a bitter flavor from the sauce that just didn’t tie it together and I found myself disappointed and wishing I had ordered a burger or the filet.
Bottom line is that 901 has some good things going on, and although my meal wasn’t perfect, I would like to go back for a second try and do my best to sample many of the other options on the menu. If the space was smaller I’d be hopeful that it has the chance to improve and find its footing, but because of the size I worry they might not be able to make changes fast enough. I wish them the best, and hope that my next experience there is a great one because the atmosphere has a lot going for it.
901 Restaurant & Bar
901 Ninth Street NW
Washington, DC 20001