Set in a renovated Federal house in Georgetown, 1789 has always been a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Six separate dining areas are decorated in wonderful American antiques, equestrian and historical prints. My favorites are The John Carroll Room and the Pub. The John Carroll Room is decorated with Currier and Ives prints, early maps of the city, and paintings and prints of Georgetown University. A wonderful fireplace makes for a very cozy meal here. The pub has a 5 stool bar, oak banquettes, a gas chandelier, 19th century caricatures and authentic hunt prints. Both are wonderfully intimate and warm.
Tracy O’Grady helms the kitchen and comes to 1789 after owning her own restaurant and from stints at Kinkaid’s and The Watergate.
The menu changes often, but we enjoyed some staples; a plump crab cake with jalapeño creamed corn and a grilled pepper salad had wonderful flavors and just the right amount of “bite” to it. Steamed clams with Portuguese chorizo, grilled bread and basil was everything the ingredients promised it to be. I couldn’t resist a Beef Wellington special with a delicately flakey crust, flavorful mushroom duxelle, and perfectly cooked tenderloin with a burgundy sauce. A marinated rack of lamb with a lamb merlot sauce was extraordinary.
Dessert was a decadent flourless chocolate cake served with homemade coffee ice cream. All the ice creams and sorbets are made in-house. While we didn’t order it, the cheese course looked delicious.
The wine list is a Wine Spectator, Award of Excellence recipient and it is a wonderful wine list both for its selection and amazingly fair pricing. It would be worth it to come here just to drink the wines. There are about 24 wines by the glass and also about 24 1/2 bottle choices.
Service was flawless and our white jacketed waiter was pleasant and fun.
ROMANTIC QUOTIENT: High. Dark and sexy. Small dining rooms. Very intimate.
WHAT OTHERS SAY…
Diners salute the “quiet elegance” that pervades this fine-dining American in Georgetown, a “perfect mix of old-world service” and “new-world food raised to the next level” ; an “intimate, candlelit” setting and “famous guests” galore make the “expensive” price tags easier to swallow. ZAGAT