Photo Courtesy Tricia Barba
Capitol Hill’s Boxcar Tavern should really have more followers. Since the neighborhood establishment opened at the end of December, it’s tweeted 90 times and garnered 83 followers. Maybe if the restaurant tweeted a little more, it could raise that number a bit (note: this is not an invitation to over-tweet!)
@BoxcarDC only follows 7 other users, so immediately I wanted to know who they were. Unsurprisingly, the tweeters were restaurateur Xavier Cervera’s other four restaurants: Molly Malones, Lola’s Barracks Bar & Grill, Chesapeake Room and Senart’s Oyster & Chop House, plus @HootSuite, @Twitter and @BarracksRow.
While promotional, Boxcar Tavern’s tweets are funny and informative to denizens who want to know what’s on special everyday. My favorite was a tweet from Tuesday that had that mix down perfectly (and also highlighted my philosophy!) See this week’s winning tweet after the jump.
Photo courtesy of Tricia Barba
I went to Boxcar Tavern the first day (night) it opened – just two days before the New Year. When staring in from the outside it was impossible to see just how crowded it was, but upon opening the door, the excitement surrounding the new establishment was tangible. There were a lot of people (think standing room only) and it was loud and lively.
Boxcar Tavern is Xavier Cervera’s fifth restaurant on Capitol Hill. His empire includes Molly Malones, Lola’s Barracks Bar & Grill, and Senart’s Oyster & Chop House. With just one glance, those accustomed to dining on the Hill can tell whose baby Boxcar is. It has that “Cervera look.” The restaurant, situated right next to Tunnicliff’s Tavern on 7th Street SE in the old Petite Gourmet space, is long and narrow, filled with maple and marble decor. From the entrance, to your left is an elegant bar that stretches almost there entire length of the restaurant and to your right begins an endless row of small booths. Basically, it looks like Senart’s, just a bit darker.
Another similarity to Senart’s is Executive Chef Brian Klein, who is now running Boxcar’s kitchen. The menus look the same physically as well; content-wise, Boxcar actually serves a Seafood Lasagna – my favorite dish at Senart’s before, sadly, it disappeared.
Senart’s Oyster & Chop House is officially one month (and a week) old. So far the verdict is: huge success – just try getting a seat at the bar during happy hour.
But on Twitter, where you can follow the restaurant at @SenartsDC, it sadly only has 15 followers and has only tweeted 6 times! I guess this goes to show that a restaurant really can do well sans Twitter these days.
Their tweets, though few, are neighborhood-ish, informative, and fun. I wonder what they could do if they Tweeted more.
If you’re looking for some of the best oysters in DC, just head over to the ever-busy Barracks Row and walk into Senart’s Oyster & Chop House. It would have been easy money to bet that restaurateur Xavier Cervera’s new gem on 8th Street SE would be a smashing success, yet every time I walk into Senart’s I’m amazed by the fact that it is constantly packed.
Let’s start with the exterior, which was great to see being renovated during the construction period. The Senart family resided in the building between 1913 and 1939, and lived of the second floor while serving bar fare and fresh oysters on the first. Seventy years later, the place is updated and back. You can even see the restored mural on one side of the building – classy.
Walk inside and the oyster bar is narrow, but it just keeps going and going back. (I almost thought I would never actually make it to the bathroom.) It is just beautiful – marble and 50 ft. long. Personally, I’d rather sit outside on the patio under the patio umbrella very similar to the one on PatioPro, but as you can imagine, that’s hot property during the spring and summer.
Happy Cinco de Mayo. Hopeully by now you know where you’ll be heading tonight for those margaritas.
There are so many places recently open or opening soon. Senart’s Oyster and Chop House started off with a bang late last week serving fantastic oysters and a killer lobster roll. Plus there are finally signs up for Nooshi (Noodles & Sushi) and Tash (Kabob, Bread & Rice), which we’ve been hearing about for months. Also coming to Barracks Row is Spring Mill Bread Co. (bread, sandwiches and pastries) and 32 Below (Frozen Yougurt). 32 below is also hiring if you like to swirl, however “mean people need not apply.”
Speaking of that cold stuff…
Starting today at 6pm you can head Dupont Circle for some free Pinkberry (just until 10 though!). The yogurt is famous for its healthy ingredients with fruit from local farms, and will even be open until 2 a.m. on weekends.
Opening on Cinco de Mayo?
Is none other than El Centro DF in Logan Circle. Like we’ve told you, the restaurant is all about Mexican comfort food and is brought to us by Richard Sandoval and Kaz Okochi (also behind Masa 14). It opens today at 5pm for a Cinco de Mayo party — hello tequila. Read more from DC Eater.
And my favorite blog post of the week is an easy pick: “What the Heck Do I Do With . . . Ostrich Eggs?” Best Bites Blog put together a video series where they asked professional chefs “to show us how to use those crazy ingredients we normally shy away from at the grocery store.”
My favorite part of The Chesapeake Room is the decor. Everything inside looks absolutely beautiful and hand-crafted. There aren’t many bars I would call elegant, but this one is a beautiful maple color and has some of the highest and most comfortable bar stools.
When Chesapeake Room opened on Memorial Day 2010 I was there just one week later, and the place was still working out the kinks. One year later, I think some of its dishes are just amazing. The restaurant has what it calls a simple mission, highlighting products from Mid-Atlantic farms and waters, so you can taste how fresh all the ingredients are.