1110 Vermont Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Washington, DC 20005
This is probably our first blog on a restaurant in DC, not in VA, and unfortunately this was not a positive experience. Not that there is a shortage of excellent restaurants in the District. Lincoln is just not one of them.
To begin with, the main room was so noisy during lunch time on a Thursday that we had to request to be seated in the back room, where we could have a conversation without having to scream over the noise and strain to hear each other. Reservations are highly recommended because for some strange reason, probably a relative shortage of decent business lunch locales in this particular area, many tables, at least in the main hall, were filled.
When we sat down, a staff person silently poured what seemed to be filtered tap water into empty jelly jars, yes -those that are sold in grocery stores filled with marinated or otherwise prepared preserves, and also sometimes used for storage of food, or nails in a garage. These empty jelly jars were also suspended from the ceiling at varying height for what passes as decoration in this establishment. The water was room temperature, but there was no ice in our jelly jars - ice had to be requested separately and seemed to have taken some time to obtain.
The menu offers an upscale American cuisine (yes, there is such a thing - funnel cake and all). No bread or anything of that sort was placed on the table. In fact, the service, or rather the hospitality, was rather scarce, but I will get to that shortly. Our appetizers included a butternut squash soup in a noticeably oversized white dish and macaroni and cheese in what seemed like a miniature skillet in which it was baked. They were nothing short of, well..... average. People, really, it's macaroni and cheese.
For entrees we both had chicken pot pies. My first reaction was that - hey, this is not a pie! The baked dry chicken-vegetable mixture was topped with a overly crispy puff pastry that shattered all over the table when poked with a fork. It looked as if someone dropped the rock-hard empty puff on top of the baked meal. As my friend noted, they served us the airplane-size version of a meal, where not only was the dish tiny, the bread was stacked on top of it to save space. Where is the golden crust baked around a savory juicy mixture that IS the chicken pot pie? Not here! It tasted...well, again, average, but the presentation lacked appeal and if you've ever had a great chicken pot pie, this was a major disappointment.
On to the dessert. We shared a funnel cake, which again.... average and overpriced. The tiny portion came with strange unsweet, tasteless sauces on the side. Sauce with funnel cake? Seriously? How pretentious can you make a funnel cake??? It too, was consistent with the rest of the meal - blah.
The service was as disappointing as the taste and the presentation of the food. Several waiters came up to us to take our order, tried to give us the wrong food, and the wait staff in general seemed disorganized and confused. Maybe there was confusion over who takes care of the customers seated in the back room. Besides us there were several other tables with people, and perhaps the problem was that this was during a busy period - lunchtime.
I would like to say one last thing about this restaurant named after President Lincoln, okay maybe two more things. One: without getting too much into it, I would like to point out that the floor, and I think several walls or something like that, were lined with pennies. Now, I understand that pennies don't present much value anymore and there is talk about the Treasury Department discontinuing minting pennies. But nonetheless, pennies are money. Come on people, lining the floor with MONEY? Yes, yes, I realize that Lincoln is on the penny. I am thinking the way the devaluation of the U.S. Dollar is moving, the trend is toward renaming this restaurant Washington within say, a few years, and wallpapering it with dollar bills? Just a thought.
Two: In third world countries, in fact in most of the world, including the United States of America, jars are used for storing food, not for serving it. Glasses are an accepted vessel to deliver drinks. If we have extra jars in our midst, it would be best to either re-use them for food storage or recycled into other glass items that may be in higher demand than storage vessels. But even in third world countries, it would be an insult to serve someone any drink in a jar. There are drinking glasses for that.
Lincoln disappointed from every aspect. The jars added insult to injury.