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Occidental Grill & Seafood

1475 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (15th St. NW) Send to Phone
202-783-1475
A DC dining institution basking in its former glory with today's upscale menu --- and those famous photos from a bygone era.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Cuisine
Open
Lunch & Dinner daily
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Occidental Grill & Seafood Restaurant Review

: Chef Rodney Scruggs has returned to the home of his early kitchen training, having worked here in the 1980s during the glory years of Jeff Buben, now owner of Vidalia, Woodward Table and Bistro Bis. Scruggs updated the kitchen in a redo of the facility, leaving the front of the house alone with its quintessential Washington power-dining room décor. Scruggs is an accomplished culinary technician, keeping the crab cakes full of jumbo lump meat and letting the twist come with the fresh aïoli that he can change seasonally, such as his version with tomato-saffron accents and the gently bitter frisée. He does the classic brining of his birds, giving the roasted duck breast a plump, tender freshness. Once again the sizzle comes with the tang of the added dried sour plums or a pomegranate sauce. Thanks to pastry chef Casper Gibson, desserts feel carefully executed. Apples for the crisp are caramelized to melt into the pastry crust; crème brûlée is of classic design. You may find that service is inattentive, but don't worry: while you wait for your glass of wine, amuse yourself by studying the restaurant's numerous photos of DC politicos and VIPs. You can even ask to be seated at the table where ABC-TV newsman John Scali met with a KGB agent to help settle the Cuban missile crisis. The wine list and cocktail beverage service lack creativity and depth when compared to the top rooms in the District, yet Occidental commands the same top dollar.

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