30 Jul Old Is New at Iron Gate Washington DC
As I have been working with some Greek wines of recent, I took note when I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about Greek wines. What surprised me all the more was that two of the restaurants quoted (Iron Gate and Zaytinya) were Washington DC restaurants. So, when work took me to DC, I made a point of checking out Iron Gate and headed there for dinner with a couple friends.
Opened in 1923 by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Iron Gate held the title of the oldest continuously open restaurant in Washington DC until it closed in 2010. Then, in 2013, the Neighborhood Restaurant Group and Executive Chef Anthony Chittum reopened Iron Gate, featuring a Mediterranean menu inspired by Greece and Italy.
Located off Dupont Circle, Iron Gate sits among houses and house-turned-office buildings. In fact, the space that Iron Gate is located in was initially the carriageway and stables for a Calvary officer in the Civil War (prior to the purchase by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs). The candle lanterns out front lead the way to the large, heavy iron gates in front of the doors.
Inside there is a long bar and indoor seating (this was where the carriageway was located).
As you pass through the bar, there is an open courtyard covered by a hundred year old wisteria tree and grapevines and with the twinkle lights, the space is both charming and romantic. The kitchen and warm and cozy dining room, which were the former stables, are just past the courtyard. In the dining room a 4 and 6 course tasting menu is offered but on the patio and in the bar, there is an a la carte menu.
The menu is a seasonal mix of dishes offering meats, seafood, and vegetables that are Italian- and Greek-focused and use local ingredients. Most of the dishes on the menu are meze style (small plates) but there are four meat choices served family style, with sides, if you want more. We stuck with the meze plates as it is my favorite thing to try lots of different dishes and enjoy a variety of flavors.
Shell Bean Hummus, Sumac, Fennel Seed Crackers
Imported Burrata, Strawberries, Vin Cotto, Olive Oil
Grilled Sourdough, Ricotta, Torn Mint, Spring Peas
Charred Feta Stuffed Squid, Currants, Pinenuts, Mustard Cream
Deviled Blue Crab Bruschetta, Bird Chilies, Ciabata
Castle Valley Farro Salad, Dried Cherries, Feta, Pinenuts
Black Pepper Gnocchetti Sardi, Wild Boar Ragu, Pecorino
Pastitsio Arancini, Beef Ragu, Buccattini, Béchamel
And of course we couldn’t pass up dessert!
Crispy Greek Yeast Doughnuts
We ended up ordering almost half of the menu and left happy and satisfied. Whether looking for a romantic location for dinner or a place to go with friends, Iron Gate is a great option.
Iron Gate Restaurant DC
1734 N St NW, Washington, DC