Photos By Nicholas Karlin, Words By Brandon Wetherbee
Farmers & Distillers is big. It’s one of D.C.’s largest restaurants. It bucks the trends of smell menus. It’s opening at an odd time. Most things about it don’t fit D.C. dining trends. But on the same block as RPM, it belongs.
Located on the corner of 6th and Massachusetts, Farmers & Distillers is technically in Chinatown. That’s why there are Chinese characters below the English sign. But across the street is Mount Vernon. And the other end of the block is Mount Vernon. It’s in two neighborhoods while not feeling like a neighborhood restaurant. It’ll primarily serve the tourists staying at the nearby hotels, the office workers in the large building above it and D.C. residents with visiting families. It’s big enough to serve everyone. It will serve lots and lots of large groups.
Farmers & Distillers knows its role. This is a good thing. For the nearby office workers and the commuters heading to the Chinatown or Convention Center Metro stations, stop in for a donut (they’re made in house and moist and what you want in a donut) and special-t0-Farmer’s Compass Coffee First Bake Blend. It’s hard to go wrong with fresh donuts and Compass Coffee.
Farmers & Distillers, 600 Massachusetts Ave NW, is open from 7 a.m. to midnight everyday. They accept reservations.
The restaurant is geared towards large groups. It can handle them. And if someone in your group can’t find something on the menu, they don’t eat. There are over 100 options on the lunch and dinner menus. That’s a lot. There may be 200 but we lost count after 100. This is a family restaurant.
For our readers, the other two reasons you may want to give Farmers & Distillers a visit is their happy hour and brunch. The details of the happy hour are still a work in progress but the drinks are solid. The Suffering Candidate is particularly nice and something you can only make at home if you have Founding Spirits liquor. Made with FF Rye Whisky, FF Gin, ginger, lemon, cane syrup, served on pebbled ice with mint and candied ginger, it has a nice peaty flavor without scaring away non-Scotch drinkers. It’s also great for groups. If you’re more interested in a lighter group cocktail, there’s the Bubbles & Berries with FS Vodka, blackberry, lemon, Curaçao, cognac, Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut.
The restaurant will host a buffet brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Farmers Market Brunch can handle large brunch group. Young people, old people, large families and small groups will be able to sample 39 different offerings. That’s a lot of options. They range from donuts to Chinese “Take Out” Riblets to Southern Fried BBQ Chicken to pizza. This really is a family restaurant.