Making a great steak is an art, much like crafting a piece of congressional legislation that will actually pass. And while we aren’t experts in legalese, we do know when a steakhouse deserves bipartisan, bicameral support, and The Monocle is that place.
Spending a night feeling like you’re at the center of the government is one thing. But doing it with good food and stiff drinks is a completely different story. No matter how much bickering lawmakers did with the talking heads on CNN and Fox News that day, they’re all smiles when you find them in The Monocle. And whether you’re here to listen to the latest government gossip or simply enjoy some of DC’s best food, your Cheshire Cat grin will also get a workout.
Sit at the small wooden bar if you want to hear hill staffers spilling congressional secrets after one too many ginger manhattans. The tipsy congressmen and lobbyists are even more fun to eavesdrop on, and you’ll find them in the dining room peppered among the tourists settling in for a steak after a day of walking the Capitol grounds.
The menu at The Monocle is short and sweet: a few starters and salads, some steaks and sides, and a chicken, fish, and vegetarian dish to take care of anybody staying away from red meat. But it’s almost worth coming here for the shellfish bisque alone, which is the creamiest, smoothest, most flavor-packed soup in the city.
You get classic steakhouse vibes from the moment you walk in. There’s Frank Sinatra-style pop playing softly in the background and red leather booths sprinkled throughout the room. And then there’s a dash of DC. Signed portraits of government officials from the last 60 years line the walls of the dining room and the ceiling is painted with quips like “Washington is the only city where sound travels faster than light.”
It’s hard to get people in DC to agree on anything, especially members of Congress. But The Monocle is a place that no one can argue about—and that’s something we can all be grateful for.
This thick, creamy soup is full of tiny chunks of shrimp, lobster, and crab. It’s perfect for dipping the soft (and free) bread into.
The sweet spinach comes crusted under a parmesan cheese that adds little crispy chunks to each forkful. It’s our favorite side here. And just a head’s up: the sides are a bit smaller than most steakhouses (also cheaper), so you might need to order two.
New York Sirloin
You can get a juicy New York sirloin at a lot of places in DC. But The Monocle has been making steaks since before most of those places had a single nail in the dining room, and there is no substitute for experience. It’s lightly salted, perfectly seared, and better than any Fourth of July meat we could ever imagine.
All the desserts are made in house and this carrot cake is both moist and crumbly. It’s topped with layers of nutty cream cheese frosting that add just the right amount of sweetness.