Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Daily Feed

Food Tweet of the Week: Boxcar Tavern


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 MalonesLola’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.
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Food and Drink, The Hill, We Love Food

First Look: Boxcar Tavern

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.

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Downtown, Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features, The Hill

Restaurants Here and On The Way

Courtesy of Tricia Barba

It seems like there’s never a shortage of restaurants opening up in DC.

To finish out 2011, Xavier Cervera plans to open his fifth Capitol Hill restaurant, Boxcar Tavern, located in the old Petite Gourmetspace on 7th St. SE right next to Tunnicliffs. The staff is currently in training mode, and it sounds like the plan is still to open by the end of the month. The Eastern Market Metro Community Association has a pic of the inside.

Places that are open 24 hours a day always excite me. Case in point: The Hamilton located in downtown DC (same block as another Clyde’s Restaurant group favorite, Old Ebbitt Grill) opened up to the public just this week. The restaurant and live music venue comes to us from Clyde’s Restaurant Group. The 37,000 square foot space has two floors, four bars and four dining rooms. Where else can you get sushi, charcuterie, and seasonal and regional American fare? For more information and a slide show check out Washingtonian’s Best Bites. Continue reading

Food and Drink

First Look: Senart’s Oyster & Chop House

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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, but as you can imagine, that’s hot property during the spring and summer.
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Food and Drink

One Year Later: The Chesapeake Room

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.

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

This Week in Food

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’
On their way

Prince of Petworth has some good food news for us. If signs speak the truth, King of Kabob is taking over the old Bao Restaurant & Lounge at 1018 Vermont Ave. Also, if you love your seafood and need something more than a truck, PoP hears that Luke’s Lobster Shack is coming to Penn Quarter at 622 E St, NW. Luke’s currently has 4 locations in New York City. With seafood rolls and brisket (Hill Country) now available in PQ, I might have to move there.

The name reminds me a little too much of those books we all read in elementary school, but this is good news anyway! The Hill is Home updates us on BoxCar Grill (just a working name for now), which will be Xavier Cervera’s fifth (sixth if you count Pacifico) establishment on the Hill. The Hill is Home says BoxCar will be an upsale place with an in-house charcuterie, cheeses, and a large wine selection.

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Lola’s on 8th Street To Bring Games Your Way


Photo Courtesy Lola's Barracks Bar & Grill

If you’re a regular at Lola’s Barracks Bar & Grill, known for its exposed brick walls, good service, and slightly older crowd, you might not have to be cramped into the narrow first floor much longer.

That’s because pending construction permits, the bar might soon be two floors taller and more fun. The second floor will have a 30-foot-bar and the third floor will be a game room. They’re brainstorming games right now that include at least one pool table, darts, shuffle board, foosball, and ping pong. I vote ping pong.

Shawn Case, one of owner Xavier Cervera’s employees, tells me that part of the left wall could be torn down for the staircase, but that the look will stay the same. He says the “change” will be one welcome by regulars, but he also hopes it will also bring new customers into the bar.

“Xavier really sees the need for something like this on the Hill,” says Case. “We want people to keep coming here after work, relax some, and play pool.”

If you’re on the Hill and looking for a good game room right now, try The Pour House at 319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.

Lola’s Barracks Bar & Grill is located at 711 8th St. SE. The closest metro is Eastern Market Station (Blue/Orange Lines). For more information, call 202-547-5652.

Food and Drink, History, The Daily Feed, The Hill

Senart’s Readies for Spring Opening


Photo Courtesy Tricia Barba

Xavier Cervera’s Pacifico might still be working to get a liquor license, but Senart’s Oyster House, the restaurateur’s fourth Barracks Row location, looks more and more like a restaurant every day.

When I was putting together my list of 2011 Restaurant Openings, I noticed that Senart’s was originally “aiming” for a December 2010 opening. Of course, with the snails-pace that is DC sometimes, a “missed” target date is always expected. Still curious, I spoke with Shawn Case, one of Cervera’s right-hand-men. Continue reading