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District Winery Customers Are Crazy About Crab Beignets

The Navy Yard newcomer is drawing crowds

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A view of the river from District Winery.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

District Winery is Navy Yard’s weeks-old, 17,000-square-foot vino playground that features a regionally inspired restaurant, wine making facility, tasting area, open-air patio, and cavernous private event space.

Since wine takes one to three years to produce, shipments of Brooklyn Winery-made product stock shelves and fill glasses for now in D.C.

Ana, the 180-seat restaurant planted on the lower level, is co-led by chef Michael Gordon, an alum of recently shuttered Bouley in New York, and local hospitality vet Benjamin Lambert (701 Restaurant). Appetizers range from lamb-laced cucumber soup to rutabaga pierogi. Featured entrees include broccoli steaks, pan-roasted Atlantic cod, Amish chicken, and pastrami-spiced monkfish.

Read on to hear what the customers are saying.

The Opening Act News: TripAdvisor’s @hynesdd started with the “standard tasty, small cocktails. Criollo margarita was the prettiest/tastiest ($12). Appetizers included grilled octopus which was perfectly cooked and tender ($15) and rutabaga pierogi ($14) — three pierogi with tasty sauce and bits of bacon.” [TripAdvisor]

The Beignet and More News: Facebook user Ellen Ing says to “Try the crab beignets. You may want a double order. The space is just gorgeous and full of light.” Facebook user Sharon Bilott says, “The crab beignets are so fun and delicious that you keep wanting more. We all wanted to lick our plates clean of the pineapple sauce on the grilled octopus dish.” [Facebook]

A Taste of The Tastings News: Yelper Steph K. says, “The tasting was fine. For $12 you get to taste 5 wines of the wine makers choosing (there were three options). The guy pouring was super nice but I wish he explained more about the wine.” Facebook user Susan Dailey won’t be back. “In the afternoon, there is no food available. If you do get a glass or bottle you are kicked outside, because inside there is little space, and no chairs,” she warns. Yelper Adam M. takes issue with the pricing. “Go for the tasting and tour for sure, but maybe think twice before plunking down for a bottle,” he advises. [Yelp]

The Portion Control News: Yelper Kendra S. says, “A bit pricey for small portions but definitely a nice environment to be in.” Yelper Bree K. says the “only negative ... is that the food portions do run small. Food is fantastic just main courses come the size of apps. Recommend the crab beignets, Brussels sprouts and duck.” [Yelp]

The Growing Pains News: Yelper Bob G. says the “wine tasting area is too small and not able to accommodate the number of patrons interested in tasting. There was a 20-30 minute wait the entire time I was there. Ditto for the main bar in the restaurant.” Yelper Rose D. endured the same. “When we inquired, we were told that it would be a two hour wait for a tasting,” she says. [Yelp]

The Wine & Co. News: TripAdvisor’s @DRur62 notes the “fun staff. Three wine flight menus — seasonal, Select, and Custom. Love the Rose.” Yelper C J. hails the “Amazing decor! Staff are extremely knowledgeable and friendly! I loved the wine.” Instagrammer @districtwedding says, “Tonight was fabulous and your space is gorgeous! We can't wait to come back and eat #familystyle soon again.” [TripAdvisor, Yelp, Instagram]