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Woodward Table

Restaurants, Contemporary American Penn Quarter
4 out of 5 stars
Woodward Table

Woodward Table, helmed by Jeffery Buben of Vidalia and Bistro Bis, serves up casual American cooking with French flair and a Southern accent. Nevermind the dining room. Not that the leather banquettes aren’t comfortable, or that the restaurant’s autumnal palette isn’t inviting, or that the orchestra of chefs toiling in the huge exhibition kitchen don’t offer plenty of action for guests to muse over. Nevermind all that. At Woodward Table, sit at the bar—its wraparound streetscape views offer some of the best people watching in the area, especially during a weekday happy hour. (Sorry to say, the place is a No Mans Land during the weekend.)

The crowd inside is well-heeled and good-looking. They are educated, shop at organic markets, but still have a keen eye for a designer lapel. Skip the cocktails and instead order from the wine list, which is long. Flatbreads here arrive on a paddle; they are thin and crispy, yet delicate on the tongue. We’ve all had Buben’s shrimp and grits before, but at WT he enlivens the belly-warming dish with Tasso ham bits, a touch more spice, and there is a hint of barbeque on what is a very generous serving of shrimp. The gulf snapper is pleasantly lightweight, and the lamb chop is tender to the fork’s touch, its rosemary undernotes marrying well with the red pepper marmalade and broccoli rabe. For dessert, warm bourbon-soaked bread pudding is the perfect vehicle for mopping up house-made butter pecan ice cream and caramel sauce. If you’re looking for a tasty power lunch but don’t care to dine in (read: your boss wants edits before his 2 o’clock tee time), ignore Buben’s unfortunate acronym and order your dish to-go from WTF (Woodward Table Food), Woodward Table’s cheaper, on-the-go option which is available until 4pm.


Venue name: Woodward Table
Address: 1426 H Street
Washington D.C.

Cross street: between 14th and 15th Streets
Opening hours: 11.30am–2.30pm, 5.30–10.30pm Mon–Fri; 11am–3pm; 5.30–10.30pm Sat, Sun
Transport: McPherson Square/Farragut North Metro
Price: Main courses $18-$38
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