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16 Great Nostalgic and Retro Dishes Around D.C.

Mother could have made these dishes at home, but restaurants have put their own spin on things.

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classics week logoD.C. has a surprising wealth of old school dishes being served around town. Some play on nostalgia, from mac and cheese to homemade pop tarts. Others feel like nods to decades past, including Baked Alaska and Floating Island.

Just in time for Classics Week, Eater has updated our guide to retro dishes with a modern flair.

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    1905 Restaurant

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    There's hardly a dish more classic that southern shrimp and grits. But at this Shaw restaurant, the classic comfort food is given a twist with a bit of squid ink blackened bread crumbs.

    Crane & Turtle

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    Carpaccio is a classic dish with a bit of a retro feel. But made from sea trout and topped with avocado mousse makes the ordinary extraordinary.

    DBGB Kitchen and Bar

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    The Baked Alaska at the new DGBG in CityCenter is a show-stopper dessert.

    Duplex Diner

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    The Adams Morgan hangout is popular with the gay and straight community alike. The dish they're most known for? The meatloaf. The classic dish is served with a side of green beans and chunky tomato sauce.

    Equinox

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    don't take a bite of a truffle

    without permission.

    Et Voila!

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    Et Voila! puts its own spin on Floating Island with the ile flottante. It features a meringue floating on a vanilla custard cream.

    Nothing quite summons up thoughts of childhood like grilled cheese. GCDC is devoted entirely to the classic sandwich. Give one of their new spins, like the French onion grilled cheese, a try.

    Kapnos gets more love for its modern Greek fare, but it also has a way with diner classics. Find spanikopita on the menu every day, and sample moussaka on Mondays.

    Le Diplomate

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    This restaurant made a splash when it opened, and people are still clamoring for tables. It may be because of the restaurant's legendary steak frites, a classic combo.

    Mari Vanna

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    While Mari Vanna's beef stroganoff may be reminiscent of the home-cooked variety, eating it while someone's playing the accordion is not something most people experience at home.

    Mintwood Place

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    Escargot is a dish with a retro quality to it, but Mintwood Place makes it new with their own spin: escargot hush puppies.

    NURISH FOOD & DRINK

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    When was the last time you had pigs in a blanket? Probably in middle school. At Nourish in the Anacostia Arts Center, the pigs in a blanket come with sage sausages and whole grain mustard.

    Ted's Bulletin

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    Hello childhood. It's the restaurant's take on pop tarts that keeps everyone talking. But there are other things to order at this diner. Just don't forget the pop tart. And even the Maryland burbs are getting in on the action with an upcoming Ted's Bulletin coming to Gaithersburg.

    The Coupe

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    Typically brought to church socials, company picnics or after finding all the Easter eggs, the Coupe in Columbia Heights makes sure eaters can enjoy deviled eggs any day of the week. The formerly 24/7 diner adds a bit of lox to give the typically boring deviled eggs a bit of panache.

    The Grill Room

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    Nothing takes a diner back like dishes prepared tableside. The Grill Room, now under the direction of chef Frank Ruta, prepares tartare this way.

    The Source by Wolfgang Puck

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    It's taken Scott Drewno 10 years to perfect his take on the Chinese classic Peking Duck.

    1905 Restaurant

    There's hardly a dish more classic that southern shrimp and grits. But at this Shaw restaurant, the classic comfort food is given a twist with a bit of squid ink blackened bread crumbs.

    Crane & Turtle

    Carpaccio is a classic dish with a bit of a retro feel. But made from sea trout and topped with avocado mousse makes the ordinary extraordinary.

    DBGB Kitchen and Bar

    The Baked Alaska at the new DGBG in CityCenter is a show-stopper dessert.

    Duplex Diner

    The Adams Morgan hangout is popular with the gay and straight community alike. The dish they're most known for? The meatloaf. The classic dish is served with a side of green beans and chunky tomato sauce.

    Equinox

    don't take a bite of a truffle

    without permission.

    Et Voila!

    Et Voila! puts its own spin on Floating Island with the ile flottante. It features a meringue floating on a vanilla custard cream.

    GCDC

    Nothing quite summons up thoughts of childhood like grilled cheese. GCDC is devoted entirely to the classic sandwich. Give one of their new spins, like the French onion grilled cheese, a try.

    Kapnos

    Kapnos gets more love for its modern Greek fare, but it also has a way with diner classics. Find spanikopita on the menu every day, and sample moussaka on Mondays.

    Le Diplomate

    This restaurant made a splash when it opened, and people are still clamoring for tables. It may be because of the restaurant's legendary steak frites, a classic combo.

    Mari Vanna

    While Mari Vanna's beef stroganoff may be reminiscent of the home-cooked variety, eating it while someone's playing the accordion is not something most people experience at home.

    Mintwood Place

    Escargot is a dish with a retro quality to it, but Mintwood Place makes it new with their own spin: escargot hush puppies.

    NURISH FOOD & DRINK

    When was the last time you had pigs in a blanket? Probably in middle school. At Nourish in the Anacostia Arts Center, the pigs in a blanket come with sage sausages and whole grain mustard.

    Ted's Bulletin

    Hello childhood. It's the restaurant's take on pop tarts that keeps everyone talking. But there are other things to order at this diner. Just don't forget the pop tart. And even the Maryland burbs are getting in on the action with an upcoming Ted's Bulletin coming to Gaithersburg.

    The Coupe

    Typically brought to church socials, company picnics or after finding all the Easter eggs, the Coupe in Columbia Heights makes sure eaters can enjoy deviled eggs any day of the week. The formerly 24/7 diner adds a bit of lox to give the typically boring deviled eggs a bit of panache.

    The Grill Room

    Nothing takes a diner back like dishes prepared tableside. The Grill Room, now under the direction of chef Frank Ruta, prepares tartare this way.

    Related Maps

    The Source by Wolfgang Puck

    It's taken Scott Drewno 10 years to perfect his take on the Chinese classic Peking Duck.

    Related Maps