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The Early Word on Sixth Engine in Mt. Vernon Square

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R. Lopez

It was just a couple of weeks ago that Sixth Engine opened its doors to the public in a slickly designed historic firehouse in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood — an area that was happy to have another option for post-work boozing and dining. Though it's owned by the folks behind Town Hall and the Dubliner, Sixth Engine aims to be more restaurant than bar, with a modern American menu from former Town Hall chef Paul Madrid. It seemed like a lot of people were eager to get in the doors here, but how is it all shaking out so far? Here's the early word:

The Good News: All the Foursquare tips are positive, and this one in particular: "This place is friendly, warm and cozy. Great eclectic menu, awesome barkeeps, and involved (but not hovering) owners." [Foursquare]

The Good Cocktail News: Going Out Guru Fritz Hahn paid an early visit to Sixth Engine and notes his approval of the cockails: "At just over $12 each, the cocktails are priced to compete with Buddha Bar across the street, and they’re pretty good: The Jalisco Razor Blade, a sharp mix of tequila, cayenne pepper and house-made agave syrup, and the sweet, full-bodied Road Runner (rye whiskey, applejack, elderflower liqueur, sweet vermouth and bitters) are the highlights." [WaPo]

The Bad Food News: We Love DC was a big fan of the service and the dessert, but was disappointed in much of the meal: "What I had noticed by this point is that all the dishes looked beautiful, garnering a wonderful grade in presentation, but the taste never truly matched the look. The Pot Roast looked quite appetizing, but was again bland and dry. The carrots were actually more flavorful than the beef, which was again severely overcooked." [We Love DC]

The Terrible News: One Yelper found a lot to dislike about Sixth Engine: "Very limited menu. Outrageous prices compared to quality of food offered. Service lacking in all areas. Will not visit again (and I live across the street)." [Yelp]

The Norovirus Recovery News: On the mend from an attack of the norovirus, another Yelper tried out Sixth Engine and observed: "the food was ok to pretty good. Nothing really blew me away. The 3 stars was also in part from the noise and the crowd. Modern Industrial is the new trend of DC, which means when this place is crowded it's really loud. Also, the crowd was belligerent." [Yelp]

The Great Design News: Though she found the prices a little high, this Yelper liked the food and especially the design: " I LOVE the decor. The lights are dimmed and it has a cozy, upscale gastropub feel on the inside. Obviously, it's cool that it's set in an old firehouse. The inside doesn't necessarily feel like a firehouse, but it still feels "American-current" (is this a term for decor, or am I just sounding pretentious?)." [Yelp]

The Great News: The bloggers over at The Triangle got an early taste of the menu and loved the beef Rossini: "The delightful dish is tournedos of beef tenderloin, foie gras pierogies, & black truffle madeira jus. The quality of the beef cut was sublime and medium rare I requested was executed perfectly. The foie gras adds a tasty and unique dimension to the pierogies." [The Triangle]

The Over the Top Rave: There are quite a few over-the-top five-star reviews for Sixth Engine over on Yelp, this heavily exclamation pointed one being among them: "The appetizers were very yummy - must haves; Shrimp and Oyster dishes. The onion rings were flakey and flavorful. For dinner the Chicken Pot Waffle and the Scallops were very tasty! Finally, the encore to a thoughtfully crafted meal were the Apple Fritters, which literally melt in your mouth AMAZING, especially with the homemade whipped cream...YUM YUM!!!!" [Yelp]

Sixth Engine

438 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001 202 506 2455 Visit Website

Sixth Engine

438 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC