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photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

exterior of das ethiopian
8.4

Das Ethiopian

Ethiopian

Georgetown

$$$$Perfect For:Fine DiningDate NightVegetariansImpressing Out of Towners
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At first glance, Das Ethiopian looks like any other fancy Georgetown restaurant. Lobbyists and lawyers you’d expect to find in Nancy Pelosi’s dining room sip on honey wine from crystal glasses as busboys swap doro wot stained tablecloths with pristine white ones. Waiters with wicker baskets of injera scan the room ready to pounce at the sight of an empty plate. 

Despite the formality, Das remains true to its roots—and DC’s only-fine dining Ethiopian restaurant is committed to serving simmering platters full of bold colors and perfectly seasoned tibs. And as soon as the food arrives, all things formal go out the window. 

When the vegetarian sampler hits the table, guests roll up their button-down sleeves, ready to grab handfuls—literally—of orange lentils, red beets, and brown berbere-covered cauliflower. 

Elbows and wrists contorted at 45 degree angles make it painfully clear that most of the people in the room aren’t accustomed to eating with their hands. Diners drip lamb tibs onto their birthday outfits, tear off pieces of injera far bigger than they can chew, and try to impress their partner's parents while awkwardly ladling scoops of diced tomatoes and shrimp. 

While it might seem inelegant to the untrained eye, it’s a reminder that good food is worth an extra trip to the dry cleaners.  

Georgetown’s only Ethiopian restaurant proves you don’t need an Emily Post’s place setting to give diners an intimate, fine-dining experience. It might just be the only place in Georgetown where you can charm your date and embarrass yourself, all in one fell swoop, and that’s what makes Das so special. Regardless of the glitz and the glamor, the restaurant stays true to the basics of Ethiopian dining—transforming the formal restaurant into a family dinner—stained shirts and all.  

Food Rundown

Shrimp Tibs

This appetizer is meant to be eaten in one bite, but you’re going to want more. Luckily, they also offer the berbere-covered shrimp as an entree. It’s served with sauteed onions, peppers, and garlic on pillowy injera.

Tomato Salad

Though it’s listed under the salads, this dish is more of an appetizer and like the Shrimp Tibs is meant to be eaten in small bites. It’s so bright and fresh, you can feel the crispness as you chew the chopped tomatoes and bell peppers drizzled in lemon dressing.

Vegetarian Sampler

If you’re indecisive (or just want to try a little bit of everything), get the vegetarian sampler. It includes six different dishes including the shiro wat, red lentils and cabbage tossed in ginger and garlic.

Lamb Tibs

The lamb tibs are the best in the city. Lightly seasoned cubed cuts of lamb, tossed with onions and bell peppers, feel like they were meant to be wrapped in spools of injera and plopped in your mouth—because they were.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

Suggested Reading

The Best Ethiopian Restaurants In DC image

The Best Ethiopian Restaurants In DC

DC is home to the largest Ethiopian community in the country.

Letena Ethiopian Restaurant image
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