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Rose's Luxury
Rose's Luxury
Photo: R. Lopez

Ten Restaurants For the Indecisive

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Rose's Luxury
| Photo: R. Lopez

Sometimes too many choices are more of a burden than a blessing. Alternately, some restaurants out there do a few things particularly well, and that's perfectly fine. Open the menu, and a limited options are laid out on the page. For many of these focused restaurants, the selection of cocktails and drinks can be a longer list than the selection of food. Here are ten restaurants in the city where limited food menus don't mean customers should feel limited.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Boundary Stone Public House

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116 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 621-6635
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Looking for food? Or is whiskey the priority? At Boundary Stone, those are the two menus available, and the whiskey one is more extensive. When it comes to food, there's fish and chips ($16) and steak frites ($15). Fortunately, the restaurant also offers five different kinds of sandwiches, and makes a mean batch of fried pickles.

2. Corduroy

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1122 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 589-0699
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This Shaw restaurant keeps it simple indeed. For the first course, there are seven different options (they change regularly), including a wild mushroom blintz with garlic sauce or a red snapper bisque. The second course has six selections. Or diners can go all out with the "Chef's Surprise Five Course Tasting Menu". And that's about it.

3. Donburi

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2438 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 629-1047
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Adams Morgan's Japanese donburi (rice bowl) restaurant has a menu as simple as...well, rice. The restaurant has eight different donburi options with a few selection of drinks as well. Short, simple, and to the point. And with a 14-seat bar, space can be a little bit of luxury but worth the hassle for the donburi.

4. The Fainting Goat

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1330 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 735-0344
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The Fainting Goat is new to U Street, but it has people talking about its food, whether diners are looking to nibble, graze, chomp, and/or feed. Each category usually has four choices. So for those with big appetites, go for the "feed" entrees or the "chomp" sandwiches. Otherwise, "graze" and "nibble" on the other eight choices.

5. Medium Rare

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3500 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 237-1432
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With a name like Medium Rare, not much should be expected but steaks. For dinner, there's one option: a fixed price ($20) steak dinner. The hard part is choosing dessert. There are five options. And there's no need to venture to Cleveland Park for this simplicity since Medium Rare has brought its steaks to Barracks Row. Spike Mendeslohn's Bearnaise has a similar concept, but has been broadening its menu recently.

6. Mockingbird Hill

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1843 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 316-9396
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The subtitle for Derek Brown's Shaw jamon abode is "eat more ham and other things". And that's pretty true. The food menu is one page and half of that is the drink list. (That's not including the separate sherry menu.) The rest of the menu is different kinds of ham, several small plates, a selection of snacks, and three things to take care of the sweet tooth. But the focus here is sherry and ham. Don't forget it.

7. Red Apron Butchery

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1309 5th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
( 202) 524-6807
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The Union Market spot for this growing butcher-slash-restaurant keeps its eye on the meaty prize. Just look at its menu for proof. There are six sandwiches brimming with meat, and for extra pizzaz, diners can pair it with a salad and soft serve ice cream. When everything is done and gone, buy a steak to take home for dinner.

8. Rose's Luxury

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717 8th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 580-8889
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The Barracks Row bastion of food delights pleases its customers with a limited selection of goodies. Aaron Silverman and his team have three cold dishes, two warm ones, three pastas, and three "other goods" for foodies to choose from. For those sharing and caring, there are two family-style options, including a pork schnitzel and a smoked brisket.

9. Thally

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1316 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 733-3849
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Enough with the small plates already. But fortunately, Thally also has big ones. Its menu has five small plates, a few more bigger ones, and a several salads and a soup. Thally's list of drinks, especially the bourbons and whiskeys, is longer than the menu.

10. Toki Underground

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1234 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 388-3086
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Toki Underground delivers time and time again. The menu doesn't really change, and it doesn't have to since people will still wait hours to eat the ramen. Erik Bruner-Yang and his team dish out only five kinds of ramen (not including new house specials), dumplings, and a few sides. Dessert consists of chocolate chip cookies with red miso. But the sake selection is definitely extensive. And worth the wait.

1. Boundary Stone Public House

116 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Looking for food? Or is whiskey the priority? At Boundary Stone, those are the two menus available, and the whiskey one is more extensive. When it comes to food, there's fish and chips ($16) and steak frites ($15). Fortunately, the restaurant also offers five different kinds of sandwiches, and makes a mean batch of fried pickles.
116 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

2. Corduroy

1122 9th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
This Shaw restaurant keeps it simple indeed. For the first course, there are seven different options (they change regularly), including a wild mushroom blintz with garlic sauce or a red snapper bisque. The second course has six selections. Or diners can go all out with the "Chef's Surprise Five Course Tasting Menu". And that's about it.
1122 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

3. Donburi

2438 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
Adams Morgan's Japanese donburi (rice bowl) restaurant has a menu as simple as...well, rice. The restaurant has eight different donburi options with a few selection of drinks as well. Short, simple, and to the point. And with a 14-seat bar, space can be a little bit of luxury but worth the hassle for the donburi.
2438 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

4. The Fainting Goat

1330 U St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
The Fainting Goat is new to U Street, but it has people talking about its food, whether diners are looking to nibble, graze, chomp, and/or feed. Each category usually has four choices. So for those with big appetites, go for the "feed" entrees or the "chomp" sandwiches. Otherwise, "graze" and "nibble" on the other eight choices.
1330 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

5. Medium Rare

3500 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
With a name like Medium Rare, not much should be expected but steaks. For dinner, there's one option: a fixed price ($20) steak dinner. The hard part is choosing dessert. There are five options. And there's no need to venture to Cleveland Park for this simplicity since Medium Rare has brought its steaks to Barracks Row. Spike Mendeslohn's Bearnaise has a similar concept, but has been broadening its menu recently.
3500 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

6. Mockingbird Hill

1843 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The subtitle for Derek Brown's Shaw jamon abode is "eat more ham and other things". And that's pretty true. The food menu is one page and half of that is the drink list. (That's not including the separate sherry menu.) The rest of the menu is different kinds of ham, several small plates, a selection of snacks, and three things to take care of the sweet tooth. But the focus here is sherry and ham. Don't forget it.
1843 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

7. Red Apron Butchery

1309 5th St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
The Union Market spot for this growing butcher-slash-restaurant keeps its eye on the meaty prize. Just look at its menu for proof. There are six sandwiches brimming with meat, and for extra pizzaz, diners can pair it with a salad and soft serve ice cream. When everything is done and gone, buy a steak to take home for dinner.
1309 5th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

8. Rose's Luxury

717 8th St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003
The Barracks Row bastion of food delights pleases its customers with a limited selection of goodies. Aaron Silverman and his team have three cold dishes, two warm ones, three pastas, and three "other goods" for foodies to choose from. For those sharing and caring, there are two family-style options, including a pork schnitzel and a smoked brisket.
717 8th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

9. Thally

1316 9th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Enough with the small plates already. But fortunately, Thally also has big ones. Its menu has five small plates, a few more bigger ones, and a several salads and a soup. Thally's list of drinks, especially the bourbons and whiskeys, is longer than the menu.
1316 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

10. Toki Underground

1234 H St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
Toki Underground delivers time and time again. The menu doesn't really change, and it doesn't have to since people will still wait hours to eat the ramen. Erik Bruner-Yang and his team dish out only five kinds of ramen (not including new house specials), dumplings, and a few sides. Dessert consists of chocolate chip cookies with red miso. But the sake selection is definitely extensive. And worth the wait.
1234 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

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