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  • Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar

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Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar
Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar
  • Address:
    The John F. Kennedy Center
    Washington, DC 20566
    Foggy Bottom
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary American
    Price: $50 and over

Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.kennedy-center.org/visitor/restaurants/
  • Email: bkemp@kennedy-center.org
  • Phone: (202) 416-8555
  • Hours of Operation: Open before evening performances in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall and Opera House only. We do recommend to book your reservation 1.5 hours to 2 hours prior to the show.

    Dinner: Reservations from 5:00PM to last seating at 6:45PM, Bistro and Lounge section available with no reservations. Hours vary according to the shows.

    Sunday Brunch: Reservations from 11:00am to the last seating at 1:00pm (Hours for Special Events, such as Easter and Mother's Day may differ)
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Joe Gurner
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: On performance nights, we can host a wonderful pre-show dining experience for up to 90 people in our Main Dining Room. On non-performance nights the entire dining room can captivate up to 250 for dinner with spectacular skyline views from Georgetown to the Monuments. Smaller parties can enjoy a more personal setting in the Private Dining Room, which can seat 30. We offer three and four-course dinner menus.
  • Entertainment: Our Sunday Jazz Brunch features live Jazz nearly every Sunday from 11:00AM to 2:00PM. Our New Year's Eve dining will feature live Jazz from 5:00PM until after midnight.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Virginia Avenue NW
  • Public Transit: Foggy Bottom Metro on the Orange & Blue Lines. Kennedy Center provides free shuttle to/from Foggy Bottom Metro.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Three levels of garage parking is available under the Kennedy Center. Very limited street parking is available in surrounding area.
A word from Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar
Enjoy a fantastic culinary experience and unequalled skyline views through two-story windows high above the Potomac River. The contemporary interior features chrome, glass, suede, and wood with accents of granite. Check out the critically-acclaimed Sunday Kitchen Buffet Brunch. The Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar is located on the Roof Terrace level of the Kennedy Center above the Hall of Nations.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Diner Reviews
  • "The Roof Terrace Restaurant in the Kennedy Center had declined over the years so that the food was bland and mediocre, and the choices few. That has changed. Our dinner Saturday night was excellent. Kostas, our server, was friendly and efficient. The cocktails were perfect, and the dinner menu was extensive. My wife started with shrimp and grits; four large, perfectly cooked prawns on a bed of grits, with a little marinara sauce. I started with sweetbreads, perfectly cleaned and sauteed, on a bed of what appeared to be turnip puree, and some golden raisins on the side. Entrees: My wife had the beef tenderloin, perfectly medium rare, with steak frites; perfectly seasoned. I had pork cheeks, with grits and collard greens. Excellent!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "You can't beat the convenience of the Roof Terrace for brunch before a matinee. While there are many delicious things on the buffet the recent addition of wonderful truffles to the dessert table means I leave with an even bigger smile!"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Excellent setting for special occasions and pre-show dinner, especially for those visiting DC (like what we were). The food was close to those of high end restaurants, but more at the level of very good restaurant. The price was reasonable for the setting and food (~$50-60/person without alcohol drinks). What's striking was the mis-matched average service. The waiters were apparently not at the skill level appropriate for a very good restaurant: the pushing for alcohol drinks, the rush for ordering, the casual way of handling dishes... Overall, we enjoyed our pre-show dinner and will go again if another opportunity arises."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We've gone to brunch regularly at the Roof Terrace prior to mid-day performances. The food choices are wide and there's something available for just about any one. It's wise to arrive early--before the food line gets too long."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Table located in the center of the room in the midst of foot traffic. Service was rushed and brusque. Temperature of the food - hot food served warm. Room felt stuffy - inadequate airflow."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "I would highly recommend the Roof Terrace for dining before attending an event at the Kennedy Center. The cuisine is excellent (I recommend the duck breast), and the service is geared to getting you out in time for the curtain. Lovely views -- it's a great place to take out-of-town visitors! The wine list is a bit pricey, however, whether you want a bottle or an individual glass."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Great food, great service, lovely decor — especially with the lighting — would have liked a window-side table to see out on the DC/Georgetown skyline, but all were taken. Definitely try this restaurant if you are seeing a show in the Kennedy Center"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Very easy place for dinner, with a "postcard view" of downtown from the terrace surrounding it; ideal before the opera or ballet--but expensive and feels a bit like an airline lounge inside. Food has a few good elements (soups, dessert) but other dishes are drab and institutional. Somewhat haughty reception people. Bar is cozy and a place to eat too, but small. Consider instead the no-reservations KC Café on the other side of the same floor for a more honest and informal cafeteria with some actual panache in its offerings."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "The overall experience (food, service, general ambience) has definitely improved at the Roof Terrace Restaurant. It used to be a place that we went only when absolutely necessary (i.e. we had show tickets and one of us was using a walker post surgery) -- now we regularly dine there when we have theater or ballet tickets."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Good food and service was pleasant. Short walk distance to any theater performances."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "Roof Terrace is a bit overpriced, but the food and service were great, and the staff very efficient at enabling you to finish before show time at the Kennedy Center. It is a quantum leap above the KC cafe in terms of food and ambiance, and we would recommend it as a great place to eat before a show if you can arrive early and are not too concerned about price."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "Food was barely edible.... mushroom soup like water with some mushrooms floating around in there..."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "Braised Beef was amazing…I took a chance and ordered the Polenta, and it ended up being great as well."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Eating right at the Kennedy Center made our evening very relaxing, as we didn't have to worry about gettting to our show on time. All of our selections were excellent and our waiter did a great job of guiding us through the menu. Will definitely eat there again. Wish it wasn't quite so expensive, though."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "It's convenient when attending a performance, but I've had better meals. In fact, I've had better meals at this restaurant years ago. We were early for our reservation and they kindly sat us early, I appreciated that. Go for the convenience and speed of getting your food so you can attend a performance on time."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "After 50-75 minutes of travel time in Friday nite traffic into the city, the RTT offers a quiet atmosphere where we can unwind with a decent wine selection and generally above average food. It's an opera and theater regular for us. Generally a good idea to seek reservation 2-3 days in advance if not a Kennedy Center donor."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "A dinner here before the opera. Food more interesting than in the past. Autumn "panzanella" was nothing like panzanella bit quite good on its own terms. Sweetbreads app was quite tasty although they would have had more contrasting texture if crispy. Nice trout and exceptional lamb porterhouse well paired with herbed tomatoes and creamy polenta. Nice well-chosen selection of wines by the glass. Good service. Better than we had remembered and definitely worth a return,"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "This restaurant is fair, but it is the only one around the Kennedy Center, and therefore the convenience makes it attractive."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "The Roof Terrace could easily be a gem in Washington's dining scene, but it has a long way to go. The location and physical spaces are, of course, excellent for that pre-theater experience. The greeters were superb. After that, there wasn't too much that was impressive. The waiter was surly and not on his game--empty plates lingered on the table...he brought us the wrong check...etc; the food was bland and not creative....a nearly tasteless Celery Root soup followed by a Salmon dish...atop sweet pickles (it didn't work). My date's risotto looked more like a bowl of morning oatmeal...unadorned and unappetizing. My brunch experiences at the Roof Terrace have been spectacular but I think I'll have my future dinners somewhere else."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "This was an excellent dining experience. The Roof Terrace is located atop the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and is therefore a natural choice for an opulent meal before a concert or opera. Prices are high, but not surprising given the location and claims to product quality. The menu offerings are limited but adequate, the service is efficient and courteous (essential, given curtain times are at stake.) The ambience is constrained a bit by the large size of the dining area, although recent renovations have improved this aspect. Most notably, I found the quality of the food to be excellent--delicious and creatively presented. Portions are not large, so a large appetite might not be satisfied with a main entree alone--OK by me."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "View and ambiance - over the top. Pricey for what you get but you are paying for the location. Very convenient if attending a performance at the Kennedy Center. We were. We frequently attend performances there but seldom dine at the Roof Terrace opting instead to stop someplace enroute. Last Thursday reminded us again why. No complaints about the food. I had the beef tenderloin and my wife had the trout, both properly prepared and well-presented. Service while pleasant was often absent. We had to hail a waiter to order after sitting patiently for 10 minues and later on waited nearly 15 minutes for the check. Overall we had a fine time. Our expectations were low based on previous visits and the food, if not the service, have improved"
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "The special evening my wife and I had planned was most disappointing. Despite asking for a table near the center of the dining room, we were seated against the interior wall next to the waiter working area and kitchen entrance...so close to the entrance, waiters had to avoid our table to access the kitchen. After taking our drink orders, I was served a martini in a small champagne glass that looked as if it had come from a garage sale. And, for the coup de grace, the "fresh" trout I ordered was dry, overdone, and smelled fishy. The fish was so bad, my wife noticed it across the table. Not sure what's happened to the quality control and attention to detail at the Roof Terrace - not an inexpensive restaurant, but it needs improvement."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The Roof Terrace is a great place to have brunch: the food quality is outstanding and the variety cannot be beaten. The service staff is courteous and attentive. If you have something to celebrate I definitely recommend the Roof Terrace"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "What a wonderful way to begin a lovely evening at the Kennedy Center. Enjoy a scrumptious meal and leisurely walk down to your performance...opera, ballet, etc."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Although the food is expensive and the ambience is pleasant but not special, dinner at the Kennedy Center Terrace Restaurant was lovely and delicious. I had tenderloin with a sauce which was perfectly cooked, tender, and delicious. Others had the duck which they were equally enthusiastic about. The french fries were a hit at the whole table. We look forward to returning."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Enjoyed our meal at the restaurant before a performance..."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "The food is ok and the prices are fair given the convenience of having dinner there before a concert at the Kennedy Center. Service was efficient enough but our waiter was unsmiling and almost sullen. A better waiter would have made a big difference."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "We dine at the Roof Terrace frequently because we have season tickets at the Kennedy Center and we have had for many years. The restaurant food is very uneven--sometimes excellent, sometimes poor. Dishes at the same meal vary in quality too. We only go there because it's convenient, we only park once and we don't have to rush through a meal to make a curtain."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "When we arrived our open table reservation were confirmed right away as we were wisked right to our window view table. Our server was prompt and very knowledgable of food and wine selections. The celery soup was refreshing and comforting to the palate. Our entree's came out hot and timely. The pace of our meal was not rushed. We were able to go out and view the breath taking city horizon from all views. This was an awesome night and it all started on the roof top!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "It was good, expensive. The restaurant needs an upgrade though, looks a bit old and faded. Food was very good and the service good as well. The winelist is nothing to speak of, small selection but the wine decent. Went because of a play that my wife and I were seeing there, probably will go to Georgetown next and trek over after, restaurant is convenient for plays but I would try something else next time."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We had a play at 7:30 and our waiter was very cognizant of that and made certain we were served in a timely fashion and made our play in good time. The food was great and we plan to return soon."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "A wonderful dinner before a show at the Kennedy Center!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "There was an accident and we had difficulties arriving on time for our reservation. The staff was so understanding and accommodating. They were able to seat us late and it did not even disrupt our evening."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Good food, but very small portions for the price. Greeters and seaters much friendlier than the wait staff. Still, best place to eat before a show at the Kennedy Center."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We were hosting a small birthday brunch, and the staff was very accomodating from the hostess to the waiter -- allowing us to bring in pre-arranged birthday cupcakes. Plus they kindly arranged for the musicians to play happy birthday, very subtly. Also, the brunch is really fabulous, in a lovely setting."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "If you are attending an event at the Kennedy Center, I highly recommend dining at the Roof Terrace. Ask for a window table in your reservation, great view of the Washington monument. The service was great and the food was exceptional. Highly recommend the Duck."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "We booked this restaurant because it is in the Kennedy Center. I expected more for the prices. The service was quite disappointing. The food was only so-so."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "We enjoyed the mussels (wonderful) and a mushroom soup (a little bland) as appetizers, which arrived quickly. With the mushroom soup, they brought a bowl of seasoned french fries, which were tasty. We both ordered the beef tenderloin, and the meat was truly excellent. The steaks were served with more fries - would have preferred a different side dish for the price paid - but the meat was great with a wonderful sauce. My wife had sour apple martinis, which were *very* sour, but she asked for and received syrup to sweeten them. Service was generally good - they were a little focused on people who had earlier shows, so our second round of drinks required getting the waiter's attention. Would probably return if we were seeing another show."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The Roof Terrace Restaurant at the Kennedy Center is a an excellent place to begin an evening at the opera or the theater. I am not qualified to say whether a true foodie would be impressed, but the food we had was excellent and the wine choices were far better than usual. Our overall impression of this restaurant, however, was strongly influenced by the wonderfully warm, competent service we received both from our waiter and from the several others with whom we interacted over the course of claiming our reservation and enjoying our meal. That alone would entice us to return even if we were not attending a Center event."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "We were surprised at the rearrangement of some of the tables since we hadn't been there for a couple of months. All for the better.. Duck Breast (with chestnuts!) was particularly good, also the beet salad and the mousse cake. Though we arrived a few minutes late, our server was very attentive and got us out of there well in time for our curtain.."
    Dined on 3/5/2014