A nautical-themed replacement for longtime Dupont Circle Irish bar James Hoban’s surfaced last week, bringing the happy hour nexus a new option for oysters on the half shell, lobster rolls, and a few Southern dishes like beignets and ribs in peach barbecue sauce.
The Admiral started serving its full menu the day after Christmas, which means the 6,500-square-foot venue is now running on all cylinders. Instead of the enchiladas and tacos that chef Roberto Hernandez makes for Mission Group’s pair of Mexican restaurants in Dupont Circle and Navy Yard, he’s focused on American eats at his newest venture.
Three types of oysters (White Stone, Chincoteague, Rappahannock) are delivered daily and priced half-off at happy hour. Hernandez drew from his experience opening The Smith in Penn Quarter, a high-volume business with a big seafood focus, while creating the all-American menu for the Admiral (1 Dupont Circle).
“This is our brand new baby. We wanted to develop something for everyone — meat eaters, vegetarians,” he says.
He put lots of thought into the lobster roll, asking for honest feedback from friends and family planted across Maine and Massachusetts.
“People are very particular about their lobster rolls. We decided to go very straightforward,” he says. He builds his on a New England potato roll with a heaping helping of butter-poached Maine lobster and celery salt. There’s also a lobster linguini with mushrooms and brandy.
Despite being “a monumental production task,” fries are made on-site using potatoes that’ll swap out season to season. The spears are served a la carte and come alongside the lobster roll, with steak frites, or with two types of burgers. A burger called “the One” features a dry-aged chuck blend, bacon jam, and gruyere cheese on a brioche bun. Patties are cooked on the griddle, not grill, to produce a “nice crust” and lock in flavor, Hernandez says.
Starters include a vegetable pancakes with creme fraiche and eponymous Admiral chicken wings with a bourbon barbecue dry rub. Jumbo lump crab dip served in a skillet employs lavash as dipping vessels.
While Mission makes churros, the Admiral’s sharable dessert is chocolate chip cookie “sticks” served with rotating dipping sauces.
The menu’s Southern roots will grow will the addition of Jambalaya and hush puppies soon.
Early ideas for bottomless brunch dropping in late January include shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and a New Jersey favorite: pork rolls.
For now, the Mission Group is prepping for its citywide New Year’s Eve party at all of its locations (Mission Dupont and Navy Yard, Hawthorne, and the Admiral), with the same plan at each: an open bar, DJs, and apps from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are around $100.