Hi Readers! I can’t remember the last time I wrote a blog post within 24 hours of going somewhere, let alone the same night! (Though this is posting the next day.) I’m in the DC area for the week for business and pleasure and had the opportunity to stay in the city which I used to call home (and love and miss dearly!). Staying in the city made it quite easy to meet up with one of my favorite roommates who still lives in the city. After work, she met me near my hotel south of Dupont Circle and we headed north to the U Street area to one of her favorite restaurants in the area: Ulah Bistro.
The restaurant was hopping tonight! When we walked in, there was one table available for two (yay for not having to wait!). It’s a bit of a crowded restaurant (I felt like I was on top of my neighbor’s table when I tried to get into the booth section). We were about halfway into the restaurant so this picture shows just the back half of the restaurant. I liked the vibe of the restaurant – it seemed like a place I would frequent if I lived in the area.
Tonight, they had a special of a 3-course menu for about $30, a 4 glass wine flight for $16, and $2.50 margaritas (I believe that was the drink). We turned down the specials and contemplated for a while over the menu. Our waitress was super patient as we were busy catching up (haven’t seen my friend in a year!) in between trying to figure out what to order. As we contemplated, she brought us a basket of soft, doughy bread and olive tapenade. (It looks like pizza but it’s not!)
Once we finally decided to what to order, we each started with a glass of Sonoma Junction Chardonnay. I haven’t quite trained my palate to note strong differences in a single type of wine but my friend noted that there was a slight oakiness to this wine. We both enjoyed it and ordered another while we chatted after our meal
I share with your their draft beer menu – looks like a good one to me! They also had a good handful of bottles to choose from.
My friend recommended a handful of items on the menu to include the Carnivale Pizza, the crabcakes, and the burger. She ended up with the burger tonight and I snagged a fry or two
There was mac n cheese on the menu so you can guess what I had! Smoked Gouda Mac n Cheese which was aged, smoked gouda and pecorino romano cheese, orecchiette pasta, chopped bacon, and homemade cornbread. It’s actually on the appetizer menu which I think is the perfect size. I enjoyed the dish and the different kind of pasta. It wasn’t my favorite, but I do recommend it. The cornbread was good in my standards, but keep in mind that I don’t generally like cornbread. This version was very moist and sweet. Yum!
Along with the mac n cheese, I ordered the Bistro House Salad – field greens, candied walnuts, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a sherry shallot vinaigrette. I forgot to order the dressing on the side (something I try to do as many restaurants put way too much dressing on!), but the ratio of dressing to salad was quite reasonable on this dish. It was a nice balance to the mac n cheese as well.
Overall, this was a great, casual meal with good service. Our waitress was attentive and understanding (seeing us as girls busy catching up). Although we were each only enjoying a glass of wine after dinner, we didn’t feel rushed at all or pressured to order anything else. This seems like a great neighborhood bistro with a handful of reasonably priced, flavorful menu items.
As a side note to those of you, like me, who haven’t spent much time in DC recently but used to in the past- apparently the U Street corridor has grown a lot in popularity. Definitely give it a shot the next time you’re in the area and drop any preconceived notions you had!