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Photo: Courtesy Cedar Restaurant

Meats Gone Wild: These Restaurants Got Game

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Most people are accustomed to going to restaurants and ordering the standard barnyard animals: pig, beef, lamb, and chicken. If they're a little bit adventurous, they order duck. But with more people becoming conscious about the leanness of the meat they eat, its environmental footprint, and other factors, less conventional types of meat are coming to prominence. In other cases, some meats traditional to international cuisines, but less common in American cuisine, are showing up on international-leaning menus.

Those who idolize Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain can put put their adventurous eating chops to the test at these restaurants around town.
—Jamie Liu

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Acadiana

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901 New York Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001
(202) 408-8848
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Acadiana uses Eastern Shore snapping turtles for its signature turtle soup. It's a classic New Orleans favorite started by searing it off and braising the meat, putting it in a roux with veggies, and topping it off with sherry and chopped hard boiled egg.

2. Bayou

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2519 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20037
(202) 223-6941
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Gator is common in Cajun cuisine. So it's no surprise that on Wednesdays Bayou serves up an alligator special that might come in the form of chili, etouffee, and other traditional Cajun dishes.

3. Bistro Cacao

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320 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington DC, D.C. 20002
(202) 546-4737
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It's not a surprise that a French restaurant would feature a wide variety of game and other creates. At dinner, Bistro Cacao offers a pheasant pate with cornichons. Or stop by at lunch to try grilled quail with goat cheese potato cake and red wine sauce.

4. Bistrot Du Coin

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1738 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009
(202) 234-6969
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Some people may find rabbits too cute to eat, but for those who have no problem with it Bistrot du Coin offers a rabbit casserole with a creamy mustard sauce with carrots, onions, mushrooms and pasta.

5. Cafe Mozart

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1331 H St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20005
(202) 347-5732
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Among the various wurst and schnitzel found at Cafe Mozart, there's a venison steak with lingonberry sauce on the menu. And don't neglect the selection of German chocolates and sweets on the way out.

6. Cedar

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822 E St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20004
(202) 637-0012
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The slightly rustic menu at Cedar features a wide variety of wild meats. Currently on the menu are a grilled cervena venison with gnocchi, split peas and ham, as well as wild boar with sweet potato tart and bacon vinaigrette, or a choice of elk or rabbit sausage.

7. Compass Rose

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1346 T St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009
(202) 506-4765
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The international menu of Compass Rose includes a mixed grill platter of quail, beef and chimichurri, and wild boar ribs with slaw.

8. Dino's Grotto

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1914 9th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001
(202) 686-2966
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Dino's Grotto serves up a variety of dishes featuring wild boar. Start with a wild boar pate with pistachios and mustard, move on to a wild boar papardelle with cream, tomato, onion and pecorino, and go for the gusto with a three-rib wild boar chop.

9. Four Sisters Restaurant

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6769 Wilson Blvd
Falls Church, VA
(703) 538-6717
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Grilled and roasted quail are common in Asian cuisine. Find two Vietnamese preparation at Four Sisters, a roasted appetizer with lime dip or an entree size roasted quail on rice.

10. Grill from Ipanema

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1858 Columbia Rd NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009
(202) 986-0757
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They say gator tastes like chicken, so whatever way to have it than in fried form? The Grill from Ipanema serves jacaré ao pantanal, fried alligator with a spicy honey mustard sauce on the side.

11. Mitsitam Cafe

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950 Independence Ave SW
Washington DC, D.C. 20560
(202) 633-1000
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With Mitsitam Cafe specializing in the cuisines of the Americas, it's easy to find game meats. The menu rotates seasonally, but grilled bison loin with seasonal fruit, buffalo chili, buffalo and duck burgers, and buffalo chili fries are always on the menu. Depending on the season, elk and pheasant can also be found on the menu.

12. Rocklands Barbeque & Grilling Company

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3471 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 528-9663
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Each March, all Rocklands locations host Grills Gone Wild. Previous years have featured wild beaver sausage, and muskrat stew. And for those who have ideas for other "wild" animals, let Rocklands know and it might be featured next March.

13. Russia House Restaurant & Lounge

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1800 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009
(202) 234-9433
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Elk is a part of Northern Russian cuisine, and there is plenty of elk on the menu at Russia House. Find it in elk and cherry sauce, pan-roasted elk paired with sausage, or pancetta-wrapped elk with cauliflower, and kabocha squash.

14. Sei

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444 7th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20004
(202) 783-7007
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Gator isn't just for folks in the Gulf Coast. SEI does an Asian take on alligator by crisping them up with a spicy soy glaze.

15. Steel Plate

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3523 12th St NE
Washington DC, D.C. 20017
(202) 290-2310
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Steel Plate is the newest restaurant to open in Brookland. And along with cozy new space, it's the only place in town to offer camel in the form of a house made summer sausage.

16. Sur la Place

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5105 MacArthur Blvd NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20016
(202) 237-1445
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Game animals find their form in sausages at Sur la Place. Choose from wild boar and cranberry, pheasant or venison sausages.

17. Thunder Burger & Bar

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3056 M St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20007
(202) 333-2888
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Along with boar, buffalo and elk burgers on the regular menu, Thunder Burger has a reputation for meats on the wild side. Check its Facebook page for its Wednesdays specials like antelope tamales, kangaroo Swedish meatballs, and ostrich sliders.

18. Vidalia

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1990 M St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20036
(202) 659-1990
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Vidalia has a regularly rotating menu, but at the moment there are two dishes with wild meats. There's a hearty braised bison short rib with hominy grits, bison heart, zucchini and chow chow. Or go for the bacon-wrapped rabbit loin with grilled fig, carrot puree and basil arancini.

19. Westover Market Beer Garden

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5863 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22205
(703) 536-5040
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Head over to Westover Beer Garden for their rotating daily wild burger. In the past this has featured options like kangaroo, elk, camel and yak. Enjoy it in the beer garden with one of six drafts, and when grab some unique meats supplied by Fossil Farms to take home.

20. Zentan

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1155 14th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20005
(202) 379-4366
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Japanese robata grills have always had a variety of meats and cuts like chicken skin and gizzards. At Zentan, get a marinated half quail from the grill as one of many grilled meat selections.

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1. Acadiana

901 New York Ave NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20001

Acadiana uses Eastern Shore snapping turtles for its signature turtle soup. It's a classic New Orleans favorite started by searing it off and braising the meat, putting it in a roux with veggies, and topping it off with sherry and chopped hard boiled egg.

901 New York Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001

2. Bayou

2519 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20037

Gator is common in Cajun cuisine. So it's no surprise that on Wednesdays Bayou serves up an alligator special that might come in the form of chili, etouffee, and other traditional Cajun dishes.

2519 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20037

3. Bistro Cacao

320 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC, D.C. 20002

It's not a surprise that a French restaurant would feature a wide variety of game and other creates. At dinner, Bistro Cacao offers a pheasant pate with cornichons. Or stop by at lunch to try grilled quail with goat cheese potato cake and red wine sauce.

320 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington DC, D.C. 20002

4. Bistrot Du Coin

1738 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20009

Some people may find rabbits too cute to eat, but for those who have no problem with it Bistrot du Coin offers a rabbit casserole with a creamy mustard sauce with carrots, onions, mushrooms and pasta.

1738 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009

5. Cafe Mozart

1331 H St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20005

Among the various wurst and schnitzel found at Cafe Mozart, there's a venison steak with lingonberry sauce on the menu. And don't neglect the selection of German chocolates and sweets on the way out.

1331 H St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20005

6. Cedar

822 E St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20004

The slightly rustic menu at Cedar features a wide variety of wild meats. Currently on the menu are a grilled cervena venison with gnocchi, split peas and ham, as well as wild boar with sweet potato tart and bacon vinaigrette, or a choice of elk or rabbit sausage.

822 E St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20004

7. Compass Rose

1346 T St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20009

The international menu of Compass Rose includes a mixed grill platter of quail, beef and chimichurri, and wild boar ribs with slaw.

1346 T St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009

8. Dino's Grotto

1914 9th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20001

Dino's Grotto serves up a variety of dishes featuring wild boar. Start with a wild boar pate with pistachios and mustard, move on to a wild boar papardelle with cream, tomato, onion and pecorino, and go for the gusto with a three-rib wild boar chop.

1914 9th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001

9. Four Sisters Restaurant

6769 Wilson Blvd, Falls Church, VA

Grilled and roasted quail are common in Asian cuisine. Find two Vietnamese preparation at Four Sisters, a roasted appetizer with lime dip or an entree size roasted quail on rice.

6769 Wilson Blvd
Falls Church, VA

10. Grill from Ipanema

1858 Columbia Rd NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20009

They say gator tastes like chicken, so whatever way to have it than in fried form? The Grill from Ipanema serves jacaré ao pantanal, fried alligator with a spicy honey mustard sauce on the side.

1858 Columbia Rd NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009

11. Mitsitam Cafe

950 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC, D.C. 20560

With Mitsitam Cafe specializing in the cuisines of the Americas, it's easy to find game meats. The menu rotates seasonally, but grilled bison loin with seasonal fruit, buffalo chili, buffalo and duck burgers, and buffalo chili fries are always on the menu. Depending on the season, elk and pheasant can also be found on the menu.

950 Independence Ave SW
Washington DC, D.C. 20560

12. Rocklands Barbeque & Grilling Company

3471 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Each March, all Rocklands locations host Grills Gone Wild. Previous years have featured wild beaver sausage, and muskrat stew. And for those who have ideas for other "wild" animals, let Rocklands know and it might be featured next March.

3471 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

13. Russia House Restaurant & Lounge

1800 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20009

Elk is a part of Northern Russian cuisine, and there is plenty of elk on the menu at Russia House. Find it in elk and cherry sauce, pan-roasted elk paired with sausage, or pancetta-wrapped elk with cauliflower, and kabocha squash.

1800 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009

14. Sei

444 7th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20004

Gator isn't just for folks in the Gulf Coast. SEI does an Asian take on alligator by crisping them up with a spicy soy glaze.

444 7th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20004

15. Steel Plate

3523 12th St NE, Washington DC, D.C. 20017

Steel Plate is the newest restaurant to open in Brookland. And along with cozy new space, it's the only place in town to offer camel in the form of a house made summer sausage.

3523 12th St NE
Washington DC, D.C. 20017

Related Maps

16. Sur la Place

5105 MacArthur Blvd NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20016

Game animals find their form in sausages at Sur la Place. Choose from wild boar and cranberry, pheasant or venison sausages.

5105 MacArthur Blvd NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20016

17. Thunder Burger & Bar

3056 M St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20007

Along with boar, buffalo and elk burgers on the regular menu, Thunder Burger has a reputation for meats on the wild side. Check its Facebook page for its Wednesdays specials like antelope tamales, kangaroo Swedish meatballs, and ostrich sliders.

3056 M St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20007

18. Vidalia

1990 M St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20036

Vidalia has a regularly rotating menu, but at the moment there are two dishes with wild meats. There's a hearty braised bison short rib with hominy grits, bison heart, zucchini and chow chow. Or go for the bacon-wrapped rabbit loin with grilled fig, carrot puree and basil arancini.

1990 M St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20036

19. Westover Market Beer Garden

5863 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22205

Head over to Westover Beer Garden for their rotating daily wild burger. In the past this has featured options like kangaroo, elk, camel and yak. Enjoy it in the beer garden with one of six drafts, and when grab some unique meats supplied by Fossil Farms to take home.

5863 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22205

20. Zentan

1155 14th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20005

Japanese robata grills have always had a variety of meats and cuts like chicken skin and gizzards. At Zentan, get a marinated half quail from the grill as one of many grilled meat selections.

1155 14th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20005

Related Maps