Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill has a lot going for it. The space is deceiving, both smaller and larger than you’d think. It feels like four distinct spaces in one. It’s in a historic building but doesn’t feel old or stuffy. It’s playing with new food trends that are actually old preservation techniques. It has outdoor space in the shade. The biggest issue with Dyllan’s is it’s front door location.
Dyllan’s Raw Bar’s address is 1054 31st St NW. Put that in Google Maps. Look at it on street view. You do not see Dyllan’s Raw Bar. It’s location inside Canal Square makes it something of a hideaway. Unless you’re familiar with the Square thanks to neighbor Hill and Dale Records, it’s pretty easy to miss Dyllan’s.
Once you find Dyllan’s, it’s a choose your own seafood adventure. If you want to eat at the raw bar, eat at the raw bar.
If you’re looking for a casual space for drinks with colleagues, move on to the next bar.
If you prefer an outdoor table on the C&O Canal, take a seat. Once the canal has water in it again it’ll be even prettier.
If you want a more romantic evening near a fireplace, there’s that room too.
In a few weeks another space that’s ideal for large groups (hey businesses currently looking to book a holiday party space, I may have found your holiday party space) opens. Like I said, this place is surprisingly large without feeling large.
We alluded to a food trend*. For Dyllan’s, it’s tinned fish. We sampled the tinned mussels and we wholeheartedly recommend ordering it. It’s not cheap, or at least what you’ll think is a fair price for tinned fish, but at $24, it’s roughly the same you’d pay to have the mussels shipped from their origin in Spain.
If you’re not a fan of mussels in oil (and if you’re not, reconsider, tinned fish is overlooked and under-appreciated in this country, more restaurants should be doing this), options like the steamed mussels in Thai coconut lime broth and linguini and clams are well seasoned, hearty and at very reasonable prices.
Dyllan’s opened this week. It has the potential to be a go-to spot for date night, happy hour (which launches soon, we’ll let you know once it does), company outings, business meetings and a comfortable neighborhood restaurant. Somewhat hidden places in Georgetown tend to work (The Sovereign, one of the best bars in D.C. happens to be in Georgetown and happens to be somewhat hidden) and owners Amy and Donald Carlin have years of experience in hospitality opening restaurants and hotels on the eastern seaboard. Based on their first restaurant, they appear to have opened a restaurant Georgetown residents will love.
Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill, 1054 31st St NW, is open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner. They’ll open for lunch and brunch soon.