Policy Restaurant and Lounge, is quickly establishing itself as a staple on DC’s up-and-coming U Street corridor. In a city filled with politicos and election prose, its name alone shouldn’t be misleading — visiting patrons certainly won’t have to worry about encountering boring talks of lame duck sessions and filibusters in this dining oasis.
Serving up new American fare using seasonal and local ingredients, Policy offers craft beer, and potent elixirs for brunch, dinner, and happy hour. The modern and spacious locale features a rustic and diner-esqe atmosphere and an upstairs lounge that comes alive when the sun goes down.
I was lucky enough to taste some of the new and festive dishes that Policy has whipped up to compliment my favorite season: fall!
As I entered the restaurant, I was greeted by lively music, tastefully painted graffiti-laden walls, and glamorous chandeliers. The front of the restaurant features a handful of floor to ceiling windows so plenty of natural sunlight can sneak in just before evening falls, giving happy hours and early dinners a romantic feel. (I should also mention that it’s perfect for watching people hustle by on 14th Street).
My waitress recommended we start out with a couple of cocktails (it was a Friday night, after all!)
I first decided on the “Kentucky Ninja” which featured Woodford bourbon, vanilla syrup, ginger beer, and lime; and the “Beekeeper”, which was made with Stoli citron vodka, St. Germain, fresh lemon, fresh honey, and champagne. These were perfect cocktails to cleanse our pallets and prepare me for the feast to come!
While I sipped my heavenly concoctions, the waitress brought me a couple of Policy’s most popular appetizers to nibble on: the “Quinoa and Cheese Fritters” and the “Grilled Potatoes & Avocado Buttermilk Dressing”.
Fried to golden perfection and placed over a pool of creamy roasted corn emulsion for dipping, the appetizer was the perfect size for a starter dish. (I can best described the little nuggets as fancy hushpuppies but so much more sophisticated).
The crispy potatoes with the creamy avocado buttermilk dressing drizzled over top:
Next up were the main courses. I ordered the “Spaghetti Roasted Squash” with smoked chili sauce, giant lumps of creamy ricotta, and candied pecans; and the “Chorizo on Baguette” with pork sausage, chimichurri, red cabbage slaw, and served with a side of thick cut steak fries.
The spaghetti squash dish literally tasted like fall in a bowl! The flavors of the ingredients together – sweet, salty, and smokey – was a killer combo.
What I loved the most about the chorizo sandwich wasn’t just its juicy cut of meat, but its colorful and flavorful presentation. The slaw was crunchy and fresh, while the lightly salted fries were the perfect pairing to the chorizo’s mild spice (especially since they were served with house-made ketchup that came in a tiny mason jar!)
I decided to order one more round of cocktails to have with the final course: the “Peruvian Propeller”! This model cocktail was made with Macchu pisco, St. Germaine, fresh lime, cucumber, blueberry preserves, and simple syrup.
Last but not least came the dessert(s) – and yes, I do imply that there was more than one! (Stressed spelled backwards reads “desserts” and I am not ashamed to take that literally).
The “Fried Dough Balls” were the dessert of choice, dusted with cinnamon, sugar, and roasted coconut, and served with a tiny mason jar filled with milk chocolate sauce. Next up was the “Coconut Sorbet” with carmelized bananas, diced pineapple, pecans, and caramel sauce.
When I say I saved the best for last, I mean it. The consistency of the dough balls made them taste like fluffy pillows of heaven, while the chocolate dipping sauce added a the perfect creamy component.
The sorbet was refreshingly cool with a slightly sweet flavor that wasn’t extremely overwhelming when paired with the saltiness of the pecans and coconut. The dish reminded us of a deconstructed pina colada – a flawless summer staple!
To experience many of these delicious bites and sips mentioned above, Policy DC is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 pm to 11 pm, Thursday from 5 pm to 12 am, and Friday and Saturday from 5 pm to 3 am. They also serve a tasty weekend brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 3:30 pm, and offer happy hour specials Tuesday-Friday from 5 pm to 7 pm (specials include appetizers for as little as $4, and beer, wine, and speciality cocktails between $4 and $6).
Don’t wait to book your reservation for a tranquil meal after a stressful work day, or a lively night out on the town on the weekends. When you do, don’t forget to tell them East Coast Contessa sent you!