Honestly, the British Gastropub trend sounds so unappealing, doesn’t it? I’ve heard it called “awful” and “tired” recently, and I gotta be honest: eating something called Mushy Peas, Black Pudding or Bubble and Squeak is not first on my list when I think of a delicious night out. It doesn’t speak to me the way “rack of lamb with cranberry coulis and yukon gold potatoes” speaks to me. That is, until I actually tried Againn.
Over on New York Avenue (sort of tucked away on 11th, really) – Againn is homey while still being trendy (the details are flawless), British without being flavorless, and a great happy hour spot to boot. And ya’ll, the Bubble and Squeak? More like a delicious savory potato latke with some veggies thrown in, than the weird swamp-creature vision I had in my head. Even better? Wesley Morton, Executive Chef of AGAINN, and partners Mark Weiss and Bahar Makinaci put a strong focus on serving sustainable seafood, organic meats and sourcing from select local farms for produce.
Standouts in my mind? I loved the cornish fish soup, served with thinly sliced bread serving as croutons to spread with a saffron mayonnaise and dip in your soup. The pork belly with brussel sprouts and cracklin’ was also a winner. But the real superstar? Toffee Pudding. The bar is also a great place to be, the genius who designed it should win an award or something for creating my ideal bar situation. A few feet from the bar proper, they’ve placed a few small little stands to set your drink on, with hooks all around the stand leg. Hang up your purse, your coat, and set your scotch down for a minute. Grade A in my book, I hate hanging on to my purse and coat while trying to unwind from my day.
Againn is located at 1099 New York Ave., NW, a few blocks from Metro Center’s 11th street exit.