Photos by Armando Gallardo, Words by Hanna Hultman
You no longer have to travel to H Street to get a mussels fix. Hawthorne, formerly Newtown, has finally started evening service. The four-story American bistro and bar located on 14th and U St. features a menu that exclusively includes sustainably raised, locally sourced ingredients concocted by Chef Dot Steck. Chef Dot is well-known in the D.C. area. She’s invested close to 30 years in the restaurant industry at spots including Jaleo, El Camino and Mission; needless to say, she not only knows what works in a restaurant but has created a mussels’ menu that will have lunch guests coming back for dinner.
The menu features eight different varieties of steamed mussels, from Cajun-influenced to Asian-inspired, served with duck fat fries, bread and garlic aioli for $20, also offered at half price every day during happy hour. For those not so keen on seafood there’s a variety of dinner entrées, ranging from a classic steak frites to garlic braised chicken, truffle cheddar cheeseburger and the most delicious lamb sandwich with pomegranate BBQ sauce. Vegetarians have not been forgotten, the menu also offers four cheese pasta, roasted vegetable salad and more.
Hawthorne’s four-floors setup makes it ideal for those cold days when one doesn’t feel like bar crawling or constantly changing venues. The location offers the ability to come in for dinner, then head to the bar and finish the night on the upper floors, dancing to the beats of well-known local DJs. Dinner is currently served on the first floor, but you don’t want to miss the bottomless brunch on the rooftop starting this spring. Until then, you can enjoy the rooftop bar with retractable glass and an incredible 360-degree view of the D.C. skyline.
Hawthorne’s cocktail menu features the Rosemary Gin Fiz, made out of Hendricks, house-made rosemary simple syrup, freshly squeezed lime juice and topped with soda and the Hawthorne Smash, a signature cocktail made with Old Forester 86, a splash of simple syrup and a choice of two fruits, all of it, smashed, shaken and strained over ice.
You can get dinner at Hawthorne between 5 and 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and happy hour everyday between 5 and 7 p.m. featuring mussels for half price, $5 craft beer of the day, $6 glasses of wine and $7 cocktails.
Hawthorne is located at 1336 U Street, a few steps away from the 14th and U Street intersection.