Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Oldest Restaurants in Town


ledervin
 Share

Recommended Posts

Busch's was worth the drive to Annapolis. The first time that I was there I was floored since they gave each table-even for one person-a whole stick of butter!

On par overall with O'Donnell's of that time which was DC's best in my opinion.

I don't remember the Family Fish House but I do remember the Chesapeake Bay Seafood House. Is this what you're thinking of, Steve?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Tunni's has also been open for quite some time. In fact, according to HillZoo (don't know if this claim is correct) the place has been open since the Jefferson administration. I kind of doubt that... but it has been open for a long time.

K

I wonder if it sucked way back then, too? I keep hearing they're planning to start serving edible food and then, well...

"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't remember the Family Fish House but I do remember the Chesapeake Bay Seafood House.  Is this what you're thinking of, Steve?

No, a different place. The Family Fish House had several branches in the area. The last one I remember was in the 1776 plaza on the second level (above where the pool hall is now), there was also one in Columbia.

There is still a Chesapeake Bay Seafood House on Rt. 7 near Columbia Pike. Interesting that they always enticed people to visit by offering king crab legs. I don't think I ever head of king crabs in the Chesapeake. :wacko:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't remember the Family Fish House but I do remember the Chesapeake Bay Seafood House.  Is this what you're thinking of, Steve?

No, a different place. The Family Fish House had several branches in the area. The last one I remember was in the 1776 plaza on the second level (above where the pool hall is now), there was also one in Columbia.

There is still a Chesapeake Bay Seafood House on Rt. 7 near Columbia Pike. Interesting that they always enticed people to visit by offering king crab legs. I don't think I ever head of king crabs in the Chesapeake. :wacko:

The Family Fish House chain was operated by a parent company called Liberty Equities Corporation. Liberty Equities Corporation fizzled out and what was left became the Smithfield Foods - that's right - it evolved into the largest pork producer in the United States. I remember going to a Family Fish house in Newport News (might have been Hampton). Anyways, the reason I know all of this is because my dad worked for LEC and later, SFD.

I think the guys that ran the Family Fish House end of the operation were the ones who started the Chesepeake Bay Seafood House chain, but I'm not 100% sure.

Barry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joe: What about "upscale" dining establishments in DC circa 1960-1970? (There weren't that many -- the Senate Dining room was one.)  I remember my Dad taking me to Harvey's on one of my early visits to the city, where I consumed my first whole lobster when I was about 5.  My old man bragged on that for a long time afterwards.

La Rive Gauche in Georgetown was the first fine dining French place I'd ever been to, my parents took my then-girlfriend and me during the first of my many sophmore years at GW. I seem to remember a lobster in a delicious cream sauce, and the waiters using those little carpet sweepers to crumb the table after the main courses were cleared. I know it's fashionable to trash old school French, but I was stunned at how good the food and service were.

My girlfriend's father responded with another lovely dinner, at Lion D'Or, supposedly the first of the new generation of French. That's where I found out that there's very little lobster meat in lobster bisque. At 19 or 20 I still felt a kid that had been let in on a secret world, there in my only suit trying to guess which fork to use among Washington's most elegeant -- as I imagined -- and sophisticated diners.

I liked the Sans Souci, too, where Jack Kennedy used to dine and where they made my mom a dish of one of her favorites, potato "soufflee".

And, don't forget Tiberio, power lunchers' Italian favorite in Carter/Reagan era Washington.

Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

La Rive Gauche in Georgetown was the first fine dining French place I'd ever been to, my parents took my then-girlfriend and me during the first of my many sophmore years at GW.  I seem to remember a lobster in a delicious cream sauce, and the waiters using those little carpet sweepers to crumb the table after the main courses were cleared.  I know it's fashionable to trash old school French, but I was stunned at how good the food and service were. 

My girlfriend's father responded with another lovely dinner, at Lion D'Or, supposedly the first of the new generation of French.  That's where I found out that there's very little lobster  meat in lobster bisque. At 19 or 20 I still felt a kid that had been let in on a secret world, there in my only suit trying to guess which fork to use among Washington's most elegeant -- as I imagined -- and sophisticated diners. 

I liked the Sans Souci, too, where Jack Kennedy used to dine and where they made my mom a dish of one of her favorites, potato "soufflee". 

And, don't forget Tiberio, power lunchers' Italian favorite in Carter/Reagan era Washington.

Don't forget Cantina d'Italia. I remember, after eating there one eveing in the early 1980's, a colleague asking me the next day if I had had any garlic for dinner the evening before. The garlic bread was "powerful." The food was the best Italian I had had up to that point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember having lunch at Sans Souci with my mother and perhaps siblings when I was probably 13 or 14. That was I'm sure the fanciest restaurant I had ever been in up to that point, and I have a vague memory that the food was good. That was in the mid-sixties. Then I had dinner there, it must have been 1977 because of who I was with, and my gawd it was awful. The service was still elaborate and formal, but the muck on the plates was just dreadful. Canned asparagus! And yet so expensive that I had to sneak out, leaving my friend at the table, and drive to Arlington to get some more cash to pay the bill. (That was before ATMs and god knows no one would have given me a credit card in those days.) Sans Souci closed its doors for good not long after, I believe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After all of my hyperbole I actually started thinking about my post and noted that I had forgotten Rive Gauche! I also was really off in my time sequence. For Tiberio my primary memory is that while driving a cab in grad school I remember picking up the chef/owner. His Rolls was in the shop. I was impressed by this and convinced that I was going to school for the wrong reason. (I had MANY undergraduate years at MD, too, by the way! ((Great line-thanks!)) ) Sometime, someone should do a time line that shows the evolution of French restaurants in D. C. and the evolution of Italian. I would note here that in the '60's, living in Silver Spring, I would often take girls out on dates to downtown Washington. In fact my home away from home was the Old Stein on Connecticut avenuejust south of Dupont Circle. It was dark, had great beer and a LOT of free cheese with crackers and, in the early '60's, didn't card me. We'd also go to Trader Vic's-for drinks. The idea was to create the impression that we were going out to dinner in downtown Washington but not to spend more than, say, Pop's pizza cost in Wheaton! Anyway, I'm inclined to think that French is:

La Salle du Bois

Rive Gauche

Sans Soucie

Maison Blanche

Chez Camille

Le L'ion d'Or

Jean Louis

Le Pavilion

Gerard's Place

Citronelle

Is this right?

Italian:

Cantina d'Italia

Tiberio

Romeo and Juliet

Galileo

Il Ricchi

Obelisk

Maestro

Tosca

Hersch and "Busboy," Great Posts! Thanks.

Edited by Joe H (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After all of my hyperbole I actually started thinking about my post and noted that I had forgotten Rive Gauche!  I also was really off in my time sequence.  For Tiberio my primary memory is that while driving a cab in grad school I remember picking up the chef/owner.  His Rolls was in the shop.  I was impressed by this and convinced that I was going to school for the wrong reason.  (I had MANY undergraduate years at MD, too, by the way!  ((Great line-thanks!)) ) Sometime, someone should do a time line that shows the evolution of French restaurants in D. C. and the evolution of Italian.  I would note here that in the '60's, living in Silver Spring, I would often take girls out on dates to downtown Washington.  In fact my home away from home was the Old Stein on Connecticut avenuejust south of Dupont Circle.  It was dark, had great beer and a LOT of free cheese with crackers and, in the early '60's, didn't card me.  We'd also go to Trader Vic's-for drinks.  The idea was to create the impression that we were going out to dinner in downtown Washington but not to spend more than, say, Pop's pizza cost in Wheaton!  Anyway,  I'm inclined to think that French is:

La Salle du Bois

Rive Gauche

Sans Soucie

Maison Blanche

Chez Camille

Le L'ion d'Or

Jean Louis

Le Pavilion

Gerard's Place

Citronelle

Is this right?

Italian:

Cantina d'Italia

Tiberio

Romeo and Juliet

Galileo

Il Ricchi

Obelisk

Maestro

Tosca

Hersch and "Busboy,"  Great Posts!  Thanks.

Add Le Bagatelle on K St. to the list of French Restaurants.

Chez François was were Equinox is now.

Mark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The idea was to create the impression that we were going out to dinner in downtown Washington but not to spend more than, say, Pop's pizza cost in Wheaton!

You could have at least sprung for the price of Capri (also in Wheaton) instead of Pop's - an unforgettable spaghetti in butter sauce which was (God forgive them) ... spaghetti ... in ... butter sauce.

Actually, I went to the mildly horrific Tutto Bene this evening in Ballston, and I remember Capri as being just as good (although I was, like, 12). Of course this futile exercise is like comparing Aaron with Bonds (*). :laugh:

The Demise of Luau Hut

The Silver Spring Metro is singularly responsible for surrounding, and then annihlating, the first place I ever heard a waiter curse - the resplendent Luau Hut, famous for their Suffering Bastards and Pu-Pu Platter. Carrying a full tray of food for a party of four, this poor man let it tilt, and then everything slid off the edge and crashed onto the floor as he tried to catch the plates, and I heard him mutter, "shit." I was a young child, and this scarred me for life.

Anyway,  I'm inclined to think that French is: La Salle du Bois Rive Gauche Sans Soucie Maison Blanche Chez Camille Le L'ion d'Or Jean Louis Le Pavilion Gerard's Place Citronelle

And we can't forget Dominique's - the only place in town where you could get moose for dinner and mousse for dessert. Chateaubriand and Chateau Haut-Brion. No, scratch that: it was probably something more like Beef Wellington and Barton & Guestier. :hmmm:

(*) Joe Aaron and Jim Bonds were two little-known players in the Class D Blue Ridge League.

Auld Lang Syne,

Rocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The idea was to create the impression that we were going out to dinner in downtown Washington but not to spend more than, say, Pop's pizza cost in Wheaton!

You could have at least sprung for the price of Capri (also in Wheaton) instead of Pop's - an unforgettable spaghetti in butter sauce which was (God forgive them) ... spaghetti ... in ... butter sauce.

Actually, I went to the mildly horrific Tutto Bene this evening in Ballston, and I remember Capri as being just as good (although I was, like, 12). Of course this futile exercise is like comparing Aaron with Bonds (*). :laugh:

The Demise of Luau Hut

The Silver Spring Metro is singularly responsible for surrounding, and then annihlating, the first place I ever heard a waiter curse - the resplendent Luau Hut, famous for their Suffering Bastards and Pu-Pu Platter. Carrying a full tray of food for a party of four, this poor man let it tilt, and then everything slid off the edge and crashed onto the floor as he tried to catch the plates, and I heard him mutter, "shit." I was a young child, and this scarred me for life.

Anyway,  I'm inclined to think that French is: La Salle du Bois Rive Gauche Sans Soucie Maison Blanche Chez Camille Le L'ion d'Or Jean Louis Le Pavilion Gerard's Place Citronelle

And we can't forget Dominique's - the only place in town where you could get moose for dinner and mousse for dessert. Chateaubriand and Chateau Haut-Brion. No, scratch that: it was probably something more like Beef Wellington and Barton & Guestier. :hmmm:

(*) Joe Aaron and Jim Bonds were two little-known players in the Class D Blue Ridge League.

Auld Lang Syne,

Rocks.

Good Lord. I went to the Luau Hut as a 4th grader on a field trip aimed at studying Hawaiian Culture. It's been a long time since I thought about that place.

And Dominique's where rattlesnake pate briefly became a cause celebre. I believe they started the tradition of the Bastille Day race where waiters have to carry a tray with a full champagne flute from the White House to the Capitol and back -- now carried on by Les Halles. Had Veal Oscar there once, a classic dish that tasted pretty damn good to this (at the time) waiter at a nouvelle cuisine joint.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...