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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
    Neighborhood:
    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/
  • 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
  • "I took my friends whom I had not seen in thirty yrs for brunch followed by Lion King! The place looks as though it is not set as a restaurant. Tables were not made and the atmosphere was not warm. Food was setup in the kitchen! Dessert and omelette service was in the main room by the front entry! Dessert was always empty and had to ask for it. Not a place I would spend $ 40.00 p/p for brunch!"
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Went for Sunday brunch to celebrate a 60th Birthday and found the variety of food outstanding. Just a little surprised the food was set up and displayed in the restaurants kitchen area,going through what seemed more like a cafeteria style set up, where one had to trek to fill ones plate, instead of having it arranged in the dining room for easy access by patrons. Also shocked with the 23.00 parking charge! No parking validation available here."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Such a huge disappointment. our food was disgusting, lobster tail was way over cooked in the risotto and the fries that came with the steak were not only cold but soggy as they were soaked with cooking oil. Wish we would have gone to the cafe.. that looked amazing."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "We have been here many times and find it the most convenient for dining before a show at the Kennedy Center. The food is ok, not fantastic, and the service is good, so you can get in and out in an hour if necessary--we took 1 1/2. This time, the veal sweetbreads were quite good, but the asparagus soup was just so-so. The lamb chops were surprisingly un-lamby, more like beef, so if you like lamb, a disappointment. The lobster risotto was tasty. The wines at the restaurant are all overpriced with the cheapest red wine at $44. The Louis Martini which sells for $11.59 at Costco goes for $48 at the restaurant. That said, it's convenient, pleasant and easy for dining before a show."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "My husband and I dined at the Terrace Restaurant before seeing The Lion King for our anniversary. The view is lovely (except when seated the shrubbery precludes seeing the cityscape!) and it is, of course, extremely convenient to the shows at the Kennedy Center. My husband was quite satisfied with his dinner (salmon), but for the price I found my Maryland crab cakes uninspired. If one is trying to figure out why they charge so much, it has got to be for the convenience and view, as the food did not compete with many other good restaurants around DC, let alone the city's many fine dining options. Would I recommend it? Yes, for that convenience and view, just don't expect a great meal, just a good one."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "A bit big and impersonal feel to the restaurant. Nothing special, other than dining at the Kennedy Center."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "In this special location my expectations were high. I was not disappointed. The food was excellent and our party of five had great service."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "Had dinner at the roof terrace after a performance at the Kennedy center, and it was very mediocre. The food was just ok, service ok. I would not go back and it was overpriced."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "The wait staff seated us right away at a table with a nice skyline view. The placement of the food in the kitchen seemed a bit odd but it was presented nicely. The eggs Benedict was delicious! The selection of chocolate desserts was very nice with a cup of the great coffee. My only complaint would be the price, just too expensive. It would be nice to be able to choose from a menu."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "We went here before our show at the kennedy center. The place was very pricy; food was not tasty at all and service was very slow. We had to keep hunting our waiter multiple times."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "We went here to eat dinner before we saw The Lion King. It was a great decision, food and service was great."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Wonderful service, attentive and efficient; gets you to the show on time, happily full and unrushed. Nice by-the-glass wine list so you can explore by the course. The salmon is delicious and very well cooked, some of the best I've had. Gazpacho was refreshing and tasted like summer in a bowl, also enjoyed the tuna tartar on a previous visit. They move a remarkable number of people through to meet various show times, yet manage an unhurried atmosphere and very pleasant, "special" dining experience."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "VERY disappointing experience. Had to ask for children's menu they were not offered.....Martini was served on a champagne glass.....Asked for a glass of wine, $14 and received what it would a 1/4 of a glass.....my server agreed that it was a very stingy pour.....he could not do anything about it. I spent $140 with tip for 2 children menu and 2 appetizers. I will never recommend the Roof Terrace. I remember how it was MANY years ago and now is below average."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Four of us had an outstanding dinner before the show at the Kennedy Center. The food was terrific, the service helpful and attentive, and the view outside the windows is spectacular."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "The perfect place to have a lovely dinner prior to a show at the Kennedy Center. Food was quite good. The entire meal was perfectly paced to enjoy at a leisurely pace without fretting about getting to your seat on time. It's a big space with not much atmosphere, except for the wonderful views."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "Dinner before a show. Very good service. Food good but very expensive considering portions. Nice experience overall. Would definitely go back."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Nice, relaxing buffet brunch before an afternoon show on Sunday. Good food, good service. Nothing to write home about be a nice option when attending a show at the Kennedy Center."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "It was a birthday and the server gave the birthday girl a free dessert. Not expected, pleasant surprise. Service was good but had to ask for coffee refill several times."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "The advantage to Roof Terrace is proximity to the theater. Lamb chops were excellent but the lima beans were undercooked. The trout arrived tepid -- obviously sitting too long waiting for delivery. The service was slow, although the waiter quickly replaced the trout when told that is was cold. There is no ambiance when seated behind a partition. All-in-all: a disappointment."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "First of all the service was not that great, no one refill the drink or ask if we want a refill. We order PEI mussel as appetizer and many mussels were unopened. The Lobster Risotto was a joke. Really?? $40?? Really?? It was salty and not worth $40. The Seared Rainbow Trout was dried."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "I don't normally take the time to do restaurant reviews but I wanted to confirm that the experience was not worth the money. We chose the Rooftop Restaurant for a romantic dinner before seeing a show at The Kennedy Center. The food and ambience were only average with tiny dining tables and our waiter went missing several times throughout the evening. He also neglected to mention that non-alcoholic beverage refills were not free but refilled both of our drinks twice. The atmosphere was stuffy and lackluster and the meal was way too expensive. The appetizers (tuna tartare and asparagus soup) were good but our meals (scallops and chicken with ratatouille) were just ok. This definitely was our first and last experience there."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Good food, great service highly convenient and recommended before a show"
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "I read several reviews on this restaurant after I made the reservation. They were mixed at best, but we went regardless because of the convenience of it being located at the Kennedy Center. We were attending a show after our dinner. I was pleasantly surprised. I had the beef tenderloin and my friend had the lobster risotto. both were excellent. The service was prompt, knowledgeable and friendly. Would definitely do this again."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Third time dining here prior to a show and service at the restaurant and bar are amazing. Especially if you are running a little behind and want a quick bite to eat, they have tried to expedite the food so your not late to your show. All the food my girlfriend and I have tried have been spot on. With a nice view of DC on top of the Kennedy Center that you are able to walk around makes for a great date night. Would definitely come again."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Extremely friendly, prompt and courteous service. We had 6 pm dinner reservations and 7:30 tickets to the Opera House. Our server and the kitchen seemed able to move at a much quicker pace than many restaurants, without our feeling rushed. We (party of 4) had ample time for a drink, salad, entree and dessert with 15 minutes to spare. The food was excellent and the martini was perfect."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Fantastic place for a special night out, they make a great margarita and the food does not disappoint. I had the Branzino and it was delectable. Two thumbs up"
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "The food is pretty good, although overpriced. We had great service and everyone understood that we were there to eat before going to see the Lion King performance at 7:30. Our reservation was at 5:45 and that gave us plenty of time to enjoy the dinner and a bottle of wine and still be in our seats by 7:20."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "We made a 5:30 PM reservation to have dinner before a 7:30 performance. We were seated immediately when we arrived at the restaurant. Our server appeared as soon as we were seated to take our drink orders. Bread and butter were delivered within a couple of minutes. Our food was delivered within 20 minutes of being ordered. We were able to enjoy a leisurely meal and dessert with plenty of time to stroll to the Opera House for our show. The food was very good, the service was very good. If you're going to a show at the Kennedy Center, the Roof Terrace Restaurant is a good choice for dinner."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "The views from the restaurant are beautiful. We had a nice table not too close to other diners. service at times seemed a bit rushed. My Ice Tea that I asked for with my meal came when I was almost finished eating. The Kir royal was among best I've had. The food was very good, hot with nice presentation. Too full for dessert but they looked beautiful as they passed to others. Was a nice location for a meal before the show. Much better than rushing through traffic at the last minute. All in my party really enjoyed their entire evening."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "I made brunch for a large party at the end of July and appreciated the attentive service of the management and hostess staff. I would dine here again."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "This place used to be great for brunch not so much anymore!!"
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "The food was outstanding and the plethora of choices was incredible!"
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "Excellent food selection. Brunch was excellent something for everyone and more"
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "Service was fantastic, food was excellent and the views were wonderful."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "We have eaten pre-show meals at the Roof Terrace Restaurant before and our experience has been wonderful. The service during this dinner left much to be desired, so indifferent that it was just barely rescued by the quality of the food. The wine list was acceptable but cocktails were exceptional! This is a convenient location to dine and catch a performance or show at the Kennedy Center and we are willing to give it another try."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "I got to restaurant early evening and it was not crowded, allowing the service to be quick and very good. The food was very good, but not the best I've had. I got the salmon and in my opinion was slightly overcooked. The seasoning on the salmon was very good, as well as the side dishes and salad. The food portions were just right and I was too full for dessert. The ambiance was good, although I would not say it was an intimate setting. The tables were in an open space so there isn't a lot of privacy. The background music was soothing and not too loud. In the early evening the view was obstructed with curtains that were drawn to keep sun glare out. Expensive but nice for the special occasion of going to a show!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "The restaurant is in major need of a facelift. The menu is hasn't changed in a least 2 years. It is not a destination restaurant. If your at the Kennedy center it manages."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Lovely view, mediocre food, outrageous prices. Our server was delightful, personable, and attentive."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "We went with our 3 1/2-year-old daughter before a performance of "The Lion King." While the Roof Terrace is not known for being incredibly kid-friendly, they did have a special kids' menu that was tied to the show. My daughter enjoyed her pasta/marinara sauce and chocolate brownie/cake/cookie dessert (which was actually pretty amazing). My wife had the beef tenderloin/frites (very tender and flavorful) and I had the rainbow trout with fingerling potatoes and chorizo, and an amazing sauce vierge. The fish's skin was nice and crispy, and the potatoes and chorizo formed an upscale hash that gave the dish a homey feel. My wife had a generous creme brulee for dessert, and I had the Cote D'Ivoire, a chocolate lover's dream come true."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "I always loved coming here before a show but it seems to get worse everytime. The food was still good and quite elegant. The service was horrible, I felt like I was bothering my waiter, who was slow when we weren't being ignored. The new furnishings belong in a hotel breakfast room, not this beautiful building. Such a shame, I would recommend going somewhere else before the show :("
    Dined on 7/23/2014