Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Dogwood Grille & Spirits

1731 W. Main St. (S. Allen Ave.) Send to Phone
Good-to-great American food with a Southern flair in an atmosphere trapped in limbo between retro and refined.

Dinner Tues.-Sat.
  • Dress code: Casual
  • Full bar
  • Reservations suggested

* Click here for rating key

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Dogwood Grille & Spirits Restaurant Review

: There is little about the outward appearance or décor of the Dogwood Grille to distinguish it from the dozens of restaurants that make The Fan district the most diverse and sophisticated area of Virginia's capital city. A bar with a glowing but silent TV occupies one side of the narrow dining room while tables and booths line an exposed brick wall decorated with local art. What makes Dogwood different can be glimpsed through a copper-bordered hole in the rear wall, where chef-owner David Shannon is elevating neighborhood fare a notch. Night after night Shannon, a protégé of Patrick O'Connell at The Inn at Little Washington, proves he isn't afraid to experiment, concocting appetizers such as Tuna2, tartare and carpaccio with soba, papaya and wasabi topped with saké; and a grilled Caesar salad, charred romaine topped with white anchovies. His take on surf ‘n’ turf is grilled sirloin with Champagne-curried blue crab while his Southern mooring is reflected in pan-roasted Creole quail with andouille sausage, sherried crayfish bisque and pickled okra. Shannon and his partner and front-of-the-house manager, Roger Lord, can get frivolous in naming some of the offerings, but neither words nor music, which gets louder as the evening goes on, can detract from the artistry brewing in the kitchen.


GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Awards honor America's best chefs, as well as promising newcomers and a top restaurateur.