Nestled among some of D.C.’s most beloved restaurants–and right in the thick of it on 18th Street–lies the newly renovated Carriage House, a rustic restaurant with a penchant for American cuisine with a twist.
“With very thing we do here, we’re true to ourselves,” manager Jonathan Askarinam mentions. “We want you to feel comfortable here. If you come here with a date or just yourself or with a couple friends, we wan you to feel at home.”
And comfortable it feels. From an ornate couch perched by one of the spot’s three bars to windows dotted with charming flower pots, Carriage House maintains an air of quaintness in a modern upscale-casual restaurant.
If the name Askarinam sounds familiar, it should. One of D.C.’s most longstanding independent restaurant families, the Askarinams breathed life into Adams Morgan’s 18th Street stretch with establishments like The Brass monkey and Spaghetti Garden–who better to cater to the busy street’s clientele with a new restaurant?
“I grew up in the neighborhood myself,” Jonathan says. “I used to play basketball at the park down the street. We are the neighborhood, in a way.”
While the original Carriage House was one of the first restaurants on the block (and originally a true carriage house), they stress that the renovation and revamp is something new to Adams Morgan. The team does everything themselves, whether it’s butchering their own meat, making their own dressings and sauces, or filleting their own fish. For Bloody Mary bar, they make their own mixes. In fact, the mint for the mojitos comes from Jonathan’s own backyard garden.
The final dishes on the menu are equally thoughtful, taking items people will recognize then utilizing the freshest ingredients and serving it to them in an unexpected way. Their brick oven plays an especially important role, crafting bread, fresh pizza, brick oven chicken, and even brussel sprouts. (And yes, they’ll be serving brunch within the next two weeks, incorporating BRICK-OVEN OMELETS onto their menu.)
“Our focus here is that we’re not trying to please everyone,” Jonathan tells me. “We’re just an American restaurant with a twist.”
We couldn’t resist trying their pork loin with homemade maple sauce (that is just the right amount of sweet sweet), served with buttery, creamy garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed fresh spinach and tomatoes. (And we’re positive the marinated beef skewers with homemade peanut sauce wll be killer before a meal or during a round of trivia.)
Fans of daily specials have a slew of reasons to get excited. Not only does the new spot plan to start that aforementioned trivia upstairs along with a customer loyalty program; it offers $6 mussels (!!!), cheap wine, late-night happy hours and more:
As of now, Carriage House is only open for dinner; keep a sharp eye out over the next few weeks, however, when you’ll eventually be able to grab a spot on their sunny patio and people watch through brunch, bottomless mimosa in hand.