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The bar at Petworth Citizen
Petworth Citizen
Photo: R. Lopez

Retro Dishes Return, But With Modern Flair

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Petworth Citizen
| Photo: R. Lopez

Diners are nothing if not nostalgic. Some restaurants are capitalizing on their memories by bringing back dishes that evoke the age of Dynasty, Leave It To Beaver, or earlier. Dishes like wedge salad, tartare and Baked Alaska create flashbacks to very different eras. But restaurants are using locally-sourced ingredients and international flair to make the items a little more friendly to a contemporary palate.

Have another favorite retro dish? Share it in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ted's Bulletin

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505 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 544-8337
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It's a diner so of course its dishes will be old school. And Ted's most famous retro dish is its take on the Pop-Tart.

2. Petworth Citizen & Reading Room

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829 Upshur St NW
Washington, DC 20011

This new bar is bringing back the wedge salad. It's literally a wedge of iceberg lettuce topped with a variety of toppings.

3. M Cafe

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1634 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

It's not quite the traditional escargot. But this Logan Circle restaurant serves basil-fed snails with a provolone fondue.

4. Beuchert's Saloon

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623 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington DC, DC 20003
(202) 733-1384
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Pate evokes white table clothed tables and hushed conversations (at least, it used to). But at this Capitol Hill restaurant, the pate is made country-style with greens and tomato jam.

5. The Coupe

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3415 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 290-3342
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If late night munchies set in, The Coupe's bacon-wrapped meatloaf can satisfy those cravings. It's served as a sandwich.

6. Table

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903 N St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 852-2121
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For its special Thanksgiving menu, Waldorf salad is making a comeback at Table. But just for the holiday.

7. Ripple

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3417 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 244-7995
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Grilled cheese becomes a grilled cheese bar at Ripple. The chef works ingredients like truffle butter, gruyere and prosciutto into the offerings. Another old school dish with a modern upgrade: the isle flottante (floating island), part of the restaurant's Fall of Rhone promotion.

8. The Grill Room @capelladc

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1050 31st St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 617-2424
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Several dishes at the Grill Room evoke the past, like the tartare prepared tableside. The baked Alaska, though, is particularly hard to find around D.C., and can be ordered there.

9. Mari Vanna

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1141 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 783-7777
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In the U.S. beef stroganoff may scream 70s, but in Eastern Europe, it's a staple. Mari Vanna has a hearty version for $25.

1. Ted's Bulletin

505 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

It's a diner so of course its dishes will be old school. And Ted's most famous retro dish is its take on the Pop-Tart.

505 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

2. Petworth Citizen & Reading Room

829 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011

This new bar is bringing back the wedge salad. It's literally a wedge of iceberg lettuce topped with a variety of toppings.

829 Upshur St NW
Washington, DC 20011

3. M Cafe

1634 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

It's not quite the traditional escargot. But this Logan Circle restaurant serves basil-fed snails with a provolone fondue.

1634 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

4. Beuchert's Saloon

623 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington DC, DC 20003

Pate evokes white table clothed tables and hushed conversations (at least, it used to). But at this Capitol Hill restaurant, the pate is made country-style with greens and tomato jam.

623 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington DC, DC 20003

5. The Coupe

3415 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010

If late night munchies set in, The Coupe's bacon-wrapped meatloaf can satisfy those cravings. It's served as a sandwich.

3415 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20010

6. Table

903 N St NW, Washington, DC 20001

For its special Thanksgiving menu, Waldorf salad is making a comeback at Table. But just for the holiday.

903 N St NW
Washington, DC 20001

7. Ripple

3417 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Grilled cheese becomes a grilled cheese bar at Ripple. The chef works ingredients like truffle butter, gruyere and prosciutto into the offerings. Another old school dish with a modern upgrade: the isle flottante (floating island), part of the restaurant's Fall of Rhone promotion.

3417 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

8. The Grill Room @capelladc

1050 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Several dishes at the Grill Room evoke the past, like the tartare prepared tableside. The baked Alaska, though, is particularly hard to find around D.C., and can be ordered there.

1050 31st St NW
Washington, DC 20007

9. Mari Vanna

1141 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

In the U.S. beef stroganoff may scream 70s, but in Eastern Europe, it's a staple. Mari Vanna has a hearty version for $25.

1141 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

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