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The Early Word on Scarlet Oak in Navy Yard

"I expected it to be good, and it was MUCH better than I expected!"

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Scarlet Oak
Scarlet Oak

The team behind Southern Hospitality opened Scarlet Oak in Navy Yard last month. Chef Leo Garcia, a veteran of Proof and Red Hen, is leading the kitchen and offering a large menu of varied dishes like pasta, pizza, salads, fried chicken, steak and seafood. They're also serving cocktails, beer, and wine. The restaurant already has 19 Yelp reviews with an overall rating of four stars. Read on for the early word on Scarlet Oak:

The Great Addition to the Neighborhood News: Most Scarlet Oak diners seem to be neighborhood residents, and they're happy with this new restaurant option. Twitter user @KatyOToole calls it "a great addition to the neighborhood" and Yelper Bill T. writes, "I am thrilled they are in the neighborhood, and they have set a high bar." Yelper Susan G. also says Scarlet Oak is going to be their new favorite neighborhood restaurant. [Twitter, Yelp]

The Exceeding Expectations News: For reasons unknown, many diners had low expectations for Scarlet Oak. But the restaurant managed to exceed them. Yelper Ryan B. writes, "I expected it to be good, and it was MUCH better than I expected!" Yelper Lillian L. also writes, "I was surprised by the quality of the food the first week, so much so that I went 3 times in the first 3 days it was open." [Yelp]

The Sleeker-Than-Expected Decor News: In the same vein, diners were generally expecting a casual interior, so they're by the decor that features cushy booths and large wall canvases. UrbanDaddy calls it "sleeker-than-expected," while Yelper Kitty W. writes, "the decor was nice and fancier than expected." [UrbanDaddy, Yelp]

The Melt in Your Mouth Short Ribs News: Yelper Wouter W. says the short ribs "melt in your mouth" and Yelper Lillian L. says exactly the same thing. Yelper Ashley B. says they are "delicious," but the polenta served with them was extremely under seasoned and the worst she’s ever had. [Yelp]

The Dreamy Pappardelle News: Yelper Lillian L. still dreams of the homemade pappardelle with pork ragu, and Yelper Rachel L. calls it "tasty." An Open Table Diner also "absolutely loved" it. [Yelp, Open Table]

The Best Octopus in the World News: Yelper Krista O. says the grilled octopus with mango salad and romesco sauce is "sooo good!" and Yelper Michael G. calls it "great." Yelper Amanda F. says, "Everyone else ADORED the octopus appetizer…Apparently, it's like the best octopus in the world or something." [Yelp]

The Best Pizza in the Neighborhood News: Yelper Eric K. says, Scarlet Oak has "the best pizza in the neighborhood and closest to real Neapolitan." Yelpers also seemed to like the various toppings. Yelper Krista O. calls the four cheese "yummy," and Yelper John S. says the spicy sausage is "solid." Yelper Ryan B. also says the margarita is "delicious." [Yelp]

The Super Awkward Seating News: Diners had some problems with the restaurant's seating layout. Yelper Rachel A. writes, "the communal table is super close to the bar, so there's not much standing room."  Yelper John S. also says some of the tables were too close together. He writes, "Several times the tables would stop their conversations and look at us because they thought we were talking to them and vice versa. It was super awkward." [Yelp]

The Happy Hour Prices News: Opinions vary on Scarlet Oak's happy hour pricing. Yelper Rachel A. writes, "I like the happy hour prices ($4 drafts and house wines if I remember correctly)…" but Yelper Michael G. says, " My biggest complaint is the happy hour price- $6 dollar rails is not a happy hour." Twitter user @LesleyBMossion is loving it though, especially because Four Roses was the rail bourbon one day. [Yelp, Twitter]

Scarlet Oak

909 New Jersey Ave SE, Washington, D.C. 20003 (202) 780-0140