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.
Case assured me that Senart’s would open in early Spring 2011, and I can’t wait to see the distinguished 50-foot-long bar. With so many restaurants popping up on Capitol Hill, it will be nice having another with a nice local tie. Senart’s is named after another oyster house at the same location open between 1913-1939.
The 80-seat restaurant will have a New Orleans vibe and serve various oysters, gumbo, and possibly even dry-aged chops, an idea Cervera is still throwing around. It will also serve more bar food than Cervera’s Chesapeake Room. The menu is still under works, and decisions on dishes & final assembly haven’t been made yet. So if you have a suggestion, get it in now!
Case tells me that as diners walk in they will see four gorgeous chandeliers over-hanging the 50-foot dark, walnut bar covered in white Carrara marble with a very tall back bar, as well as numerous flat-screens along the left. The first 12 feet will be a raw bar, where the oysters will be shucked and prepped. For you history buffs there are also two fireplaces at Senart’s, both resurrected from the previous oyster bar. And make sure to check out the old “ghost mural” on the side, which will be restored thanks to a government grant.
I hear Senart’s might even open before the spring. Most of the time I agree with the motto – “the more options, the better,” and in this case I’ll add “the sooner, the better” as well. Few things beat sitting on a patio in the spring…
Side notes: If you are following Cervera’s Pacifico, still currently Capitol Video Sales (514 8th St. SE), the Latin tapas restaurant is trying to work out a voluntary agreement with the ANC. Two other restaurants to keep an eye out for on the Row? Nooshi and Moby Dick, depending on politics. EMMCA has the details.
Senart’s Oyster House will be located at 520 8th st SE. The closest metro is Eastern Market (Blue/Orange lines).