The Monocle
The Monocle

The Monocle

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.themonocle.com/
  • Phone: 2025464488
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Friday: Lunch 11:30am to 3:45pm, Dinner 5pm-10pm and Bar service 11:30am until closing. Open weekends for special events.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Steak, Seafood, American
  • Executive Chef: Hector Toyos
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wine
  • Special Events: Soft Shell Crab Festival...coming soon later in April. Local Soft Shell Crabs prepared three ways. with rocket salad, as a sandwich with chipotle mayo or pan roasted with pinot grigio & citrus butter sauce-toasted sliced almonds.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: First and D Street, NE, Capitol Hill
  • Public Transit: Union Station (Red Line)
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Valet Parking at lunch $7 with validation and street parking in the evening after 5:30pm.

A word from The Monocle
The closest restaurant to the Capitol building,United States Senate and Union Station, The Monocle is not only known as a Washington institution, but also for its fine American cuisine. You can always count on being served great crab-cakes, grilled fresh fish, steaks and chops, while enjoying the powerful political scenery. The private room upstairs is a Washington classic for private parties and political fundraisers. More than 6 please call 202-546-4488 since NOT accepted by open table reservations.
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The Monocle reviews from OpenTable diners
39 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for lunch (19)neighborhood gem (15)special occasion (11)good for groups (7)fit for foodies (7)romantic (4)great for brunch (3)notable wine list (2)vibrant bar scene (2)Show More
  • Valentines Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Had great dinner. Staff very friendly and knowledgeable. Food was very good. Good menu diversity. We were not rushed on busy night. Second time eating here and both times we had very enjoyable experience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • always dependable
    dclingVIP
    Dined on 2/11/2014
    It isn't a tourist spot ---- but a great place especially if you have a reason to be near the Senate. Dependably good food and service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Great Place for Power Lunches
    BethesdaBusinessman
    Dined on 2/5/2014
    Everyone who's been around Washington DC for any length of time knows that The Monocle is the place to go for important lunches. The service staff is older and bespeaks a more elegant era when local luxury dining featured more traditional American fare. The menu is good and, for those looking for gluten-free dining, they are very accommodating. I have been there many, many times during the last 20 years and have never regretted anything about the experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Still a great lunch spot...
    TinaB
    Dined on 2/4/2014
    The Monocle continues to deliver good food and great sevice for the Capitol Hill lunch crowd. Even when att heir busiest, they provide personalized service and a great dinng experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Service
    WhitneyG22
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    The staff is very kind and helpful. They are used to politicians so we were a different sort of animal! The food was delicious, the wine was delicious and the manager was very sweet. I would definitely dine here again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Kudos Restaurant Week Service
    hillfoodloverVIP
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    We went to the Monocle on a Friday night, on an impulse, because it was Restaurant Week and we like the Monocle. Staff were all very pleasant, and the place had a festive mood. Congress was out of session, and many tables were occupied by young couples, or older friends, or young families. The food was lovely. Service was occasionally a tad slow, but generally very good. The positive attitude of the wait staff helped make the evening a happy and comfortable one.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • a unique Capitol Hill restaurant
    GaryVIP
    Dined on 1/16/2014
    The Monocle is a welcoming restaurant with good food, friendly staff and the chance to people watch the many senators who eat there, or at least look at their pictures on the walls.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Luncher
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 1/16/2014
    The lobster bisque is excellent. And of course, the rosemary bread. I always have to take home half of my entree because I love the appetizers and the bread.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find!
    becjex
    Dined on 1/14/2014
    We tried this out as part of Restaurant Week and were very happy with our find. The ambiance is nice- quiet enough to have a conversation, the food was great- perfectly cooked steaks, and the service was spectacular. We will definitely add this to our rotation of restaurants and recommend this for a great night out.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth a visit
    Dree
    Dined on 1/13/2014
    It's an old school restaurant with good food and wonderful service.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food is horrible
    DontaeVIP
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Listen to me please, do NOT go to this restaurant. It's a whole in the wall and nothing is special about it. We ordered two steaks and they both were just "ok", also the taste had the burned grill taste, you know the taste. The sides are not big sides they are very small, it's not like when you go to Morton's/ Ruth Chris, etc where they give you sides to share. The service was good, but yeah.... No. I'm being honest, I've been to many restaurants, I'll go to Applebee's before I go here and I hate applebees. Oh as far as noise? They had Beyoncé and drake playing in the background...........
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • One of the best nights ever!
    Damo
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Our visit to the Monocle was better than we could have imagined. We arrived early as we had to get to Ford's Theatre for a show. We were met by the manger who made a fuss over every part or our dinner. We starrted in the lounge and had a cocktail while the staff was getting their assignments and going over that evening's specials. The bartender was funny and engaging and quick to talk about the history of the place. Our wait satff was wonderful and they catered to our every need. What a truly wonderfull experience.
    Special Features:
    romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A Capitol Hill Institution
    41142hltVIP
    Dined on 12/23/2013
    I had lunch there on a completely dead "The Monocle" day. It was December 23 and the place was virtually empty. I was very, very impressed, however, that we didn't get treated like a nuisance given the dead days of Capitol Hill this time of year. The owner/maître d' made us feel like we were special, and the service was as if they were just opening. The food was terrific. I had the short ribs (I always do) and my lunch companion had an entrée salad. The meal was fantastic as lunches go and the service was impeccable. I almost felt like I was being treated like a Capitol Hill regular, which, thankfully, I am not. I'd give this place a very solid "A". Well done...........it is an institution in DC and is deserving of that title.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Washington hot spot
    Gamechanger
    Dined on 12/19/2013
    Intimate family run eatery for Washington insiders. Walls are filled with signed pictures of congressmen, senators, etc. with quotes from famous political figures. Had long conversation with owner, met his son. Made you feel like part of the family. Food was excellent and the service was superb. Great restaurant if you want great food and to dine like a Washington insider. Will likely be dining with Washington politicians. Former U.S.Senator and her husband were dining there the night we were there.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, Service & History
    vicseeley
    Dined on 12/18/2013
    The restaurant has a great feel when you walk in, it's vibrant and has a nice layout. The staff was friendly and accommodating right from the start as well. We were seated immediately. The owner (I believe second generation, his father opened the restuarant), came over and was telling us about the restaurant. The fact that his father was instrumental in launching John McCain's political career (well sort of) and we were sitting in the booth that he made the decision. Our server was knowledgeable and nice, he recommended a few dishes, more or less what I would expect from a place like this. Our main dishes we excellent and had tons of flavor. The dessert was awesome as well. It really is a restaurant with history.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Staff needs an overhaul
    dcfoodieVIP
    Dined on 12/17/2013
    The food is good, the location is convenient to the Hill, and on a typical day you'll likely spot a DC power broker. However, the staff at The Monocle is in need of a major overhaul. The maitre d' is condescending and the impatient wait staff seem bothered to serve you unless your name begins with Senator.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special but comfortable
    DCwoman1
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    The Monocle had always been a favorite traditional DC restaurant. It's cozy, food is good and Nick makes you feel welcome.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overrated!!
    CNB1VIP
    Dined on 11/18/2013
    Disappointing. Had salmon which was okay--overcooked and over sauced. Veggies looked and tasted like they were frozen and reheated. Not the elegant lunch-with-friends I envisioned. I will not be returning.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A Reliable Old Friend
    Mercuryprez
    Dined on 11/15/2013
    The Monocle is exactly what it should be--a great place for a Capitol Hill meal. On this day, I was dining with clients before a meeting with Congressional staff. The food, both off the regular menu and the list of specials, was cooked and presented well and the service was friendly and sure-handed. I had the fluke special, which was wonderful. The room was bustling but, rare among DC restaurants, there is sufficient sound absorbing material on the walls and floor such that we could all hear each other in conversation. In short, everything went well, as it always does at this well-managed, reliable Hill favorite. As I have a thousand times, for everything from quick solo lunches to large fundraisers upstairs, I shall return.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Location, location, location
    Washingtonian
    Dined on 11/14/2013
    The Monocle is a veteran dining venue between the Senate's Hart Office Building and Union Station. Glasses of wine at $9 are overpriced, service could be more attentive, and the ambient noise level with a full house makes it somewhat difficult to pursue a conversation, but the menu is good, the ambience unique, and it remains a reliable choice for an evening out, especially with visitors. (Note that streetside parking is available from 6:30 pm).
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Monocle
    lynnick
    Dined on 11/12/2013
    We went with people from abroad to show them a little "inside" Capitol Hill life. The Monocle is an old Hill hangout--and indeed there were lots of Hill people there. Cosy atmosphere on a grey day--excellent attention to valet parking and service. Food is simple but good.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent service
    FoodieLadyVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2013
    Service was excellent from start to finish. I was greeted warmly as soon as I walked in. My waiter, Marino, was very friendly and recommended a nice port to go with my creme brulee. A very nice evening.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall, an excellent experience
    Robby
    Dined on 10/21/2013
    Overall, an excellent experience ... price accordingly. Service was terrific
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • "Only in DC" Ambiance
    PJLikesit
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    This has been one of my favorite restaurants in DC since my first meal there more than 20 years ago. The menu is not huge, but the offerings are all what you would expect at a fine restaurant in this city. It's not a chain, and could be in no other place. Photos of current and past Congressmen and women surround the dining area, with memorable quotations etched in the ceiling's molding. I almost always have the crabcakes and they never fail to be perfectly prepared. Salads are simple, but fresh; soups are great too. I am most always too "full" to have dessert, but again, the selections are traditional and tempting. Tour books say it's fairly expensive - but compared to other DC restaurants of this caliber, it's reasonable.In
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Monocle Still Reigns
    LisaMVIP
    Dined on 10/8/2013
    I hadn't been to The Monocle in many years and was pleasantly surprised that the food had gotten better and the ambiance remains one that is great for people watching, energetic, yet you can still carry on a conversation. Seems that no matter how many years it's been, John and Nick still know you and treat you as an important guest. The seafood shared appetizer was excellent and everyone at our table enjoyed their main courses .. Filet of Beef, Lamb Chops and Salmon. While the Congress may be in disarray, The Monocle is clearly at the top of its game and remains a fun destination on The Hill.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent lunch on Capitol Hill
    LunchDiner
    Dined on 10/2/2013
    in my opinion this is the best place for lunch on Capitol Hill
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Restaurant
    rwmurph
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    The ambience and service were excellent. My calves liver was dry -- a little overcooked, but not bad.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/25/2013
    As always, it is hard these days to find a restaurant that gives you both good food and good service. The monocle provides both. Moreover, the sound level is low so you can actually hear your dining guests. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A MUST
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/19/2013
    There is a reason why The Monocle is still going strong after 50+ years. Were there for lunch but loved it so much we went back for dinner the next night! The food is an amazing value....one of the best steaks I've ever had and I've eaten at the best and the service is professional, unpretentious and prompt. The roasted oysters and crab appetizer is a must as well as the steaks and daily specials. Politician sightings is always a treat. This is a definite must do when in Washington and especially on the Hill!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • it's gone downhill
    HarryVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2013
    The restaurant seems like a gentlemen's club, at least at lunchtime -- filled with men in suits, 90% white. The waiter sneered, very definitely showing disdain to my mixed race party of two women. My Ceasar salad entree was delivered undressed, no dressing on the side or on the table. The waiter disappeared without checking to see that everything was in order. I had to wave vigorously for several minutes just to get his attention. He was unapologetic about the naked salad, but eventually brought oil & vinegar after I begged for it. The salad was the worst Ceaser I've ever had in DC -- primarily because the chicken served with it was like shoe-tongue. Easily the worst food for the price in the entire city. Close to the worst service ever.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The attraction for going here
    awseattleVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2013
    The attraction for going here was how close this was to the US Supreme Court and after touring the area all day, this was a nice respite. The waiter provided great service and offered excellent recommendations. Too bad the matire d was a little unwelcoming - perhaps we were not dressed up enough - oh well. I am glad we stayed despite the cold shoulder.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • business lunch
    JSKCap
    Dined on 6/28/2013
    Great spot to get together with friends or for business near the Capitol
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place for a quiet business
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 6/25/2013
    Great place for a quiet business or romantic lunch. Excellent service. Great food.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not A Good Value
    Bandl
    Dined on 6/12/2013
    The thing that was most disappointing was serving one of us an iceberg lettuce salad, even tough it was supposed to be different greens. Iceberg lettuce is for fast food joints, etc. and is not worthy of a restaurant where you are paying big bucks.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The "only DC" romanticism
    BusinessDiner
    Dined on 6/6/2013
    The "only DC" romanticism of the Monocle restaurant as a watering hole for movers and shakers on the Hill is always fun. Some of the food is fantastic, some of it is lacking. I've always found that waiter opinions help shepherd orders in the best direction.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It's a classic
    ChaseVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2013
    The food didn't bowl me over but it's a really good place. If you're visiting Washington it is worth dining at this Senate-side institution. You'll be dining where a lot of untold unscripted US legislative history has occurred. And the lunch prices are pretty reasonable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Recommendation
    MazandDave
    Dined on 5/2/2013
    We were advised by regular Washington travellers to try The Monocle .... We made a reservation for my birthday night but it didn't seem like it was necessary. About six tables at seven pm on arrival ... Increasing to ten during the evening. Mostly men which fits the profile for where the restaurant is ( walking distance to the Capitol building ) ... Very friendly staff, maitre d was amazing, chatty, knowledgeable and helpful. We were never rushed, water was plentiful, wine list very good and food superb .... I was even given a candle on my desert to recognise my birthday celebration......a very nice, highly appreciated gesture. A definite when in Washington.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Liver lovers
    daytripperVIP
    Dined on 4/24/2013
    Whenever my wife and I visit DC we come here for the calves liver. Go figure ... a room filled with big shots and all we care about is the liver.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Left with a smile and full tummy
    Groo
    Dined on 4/24/2013
    We had reservations for 6:30 for the day that we arrived in Washington DC. However, our hotel room was not avaiable to us until 6:30. Therefore, I called and asked if we could come in earlier and was told that they could accomodate us. Although we were in "traveling clothes," they did not make us feel under dressed and were very welcoming. The staff were attentive and the food was very good. The location to the Capitol and the history of the building and restaurant enhanced our experience. We certainly hope to return on future visits to Washington DC.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Everyone in my party really
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 4/17/2013
    Everyone in my party really enjoyed the choices on the menu options for lunch time meals and knowing that such a great restaurant is within walking distance from our office.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate