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The Monocle
The Monocle

The Monocle Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.themonocle.com
  • Phone: (202) 546-4488
  • 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: American, Steak, Seafood
  • 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 & Promotions: 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.Continued
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Diner Reviews
  • "'The Mon' can't be beat for location and convenience on the Senate side of The Hill, but the food and service, while passable, leave room for improvement. On the plus side, I like that the management is always on duty, and quick to greet and seat you. Started with the Paradise Salad, which I enjoy, but get the dressing on the side, as it's otherwise drenched. Also had what was essentially chicken picatta, which was fairly tasteless and dry, served with a strangely gigantic side of arugula. Salads for others at the table were drenched in oil. Service was ok, but mechanical, and it was difficult to understand the waiter as he explained the specials."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "Wow! After finding this restaurant by searching online for highly recommended places in DC, we booked a dinner reservation. It was quiet when we were there at 7:30 on a Friday night because the "boys on the hill" weren't in session. The food was amazing and our server incredible!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "The Monocle is a favorite lunch spot for D.C. lobbyists, hearkening back to the grand old days when things were more civil on Capitol Hill. A friend and I enjoyed a lovely, leisurely lunch there recently. The food is consistently good, the service gracious. Strongly recommended for anyone who prefers timeless quality to trendy cuisine."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "John Valanos and his restaurant team provide a phenomenal experience for restaurateurs. I contacted the restaurant to let them know that I would be bringing my wife into DC for my birthday. The Monocle made the experience something she will never forget. The special touches and great service made my birthday celebration special. The food was prepared perfectly. The history associated with the restaurant is very obvious with signed pictures and "wall" quotes."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "All aspects of the restaurant were very good with the exception of the food which was unremarkable"
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "I met two folks who work on Capitol Hill at the legendary Monocle. The restaurant is a Capitol Hill landmark, and you can feel the Washington political history as you walk in and eat there. Maître d’ Nick Selimos does a phenomenal job making every guest feel important and welcomed. They had terrific seafood options that evening, and their signature steaks as always. We had a couple of the fresh and crisp salads. The New York steak was phenomenal. Wine by the glass is reasonably priced and good. Service was very friendly and professional. But they also had the good sense to allow us to chat. It is a terrific place, and if you find anything about the Washington DC political scene interesting... this is a must try place. Check it out!"
    Dined on 5/19/2014
  • "It is always a treat to return to the Monocle. The staff is "over the top"."
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "I have been to this spot many times over the years. It is a well known political destination. Our experience was adequate but the menu and everything else had a weary feel to it. We are not likely to repeat."
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "I last dined at The Monocle back in 1973. Can't remember what I ordered back then. Had the Crab Conrad this time which I will certainly remember; a generous serving of crab chunks on a portobello mushroom with pancetta and spinach. My wife had the lamb which was also very tasty. Service, like the food, was excellent. This is a very popular restaurant and a reservation is a must. If I am back in DC, I will certainly go back to The Monocle."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "Dining at The Monocle is always a special experience--great steaks, seafood, homemade soups, and specials all served in a cozy setting with outstanding service. The political memorabilia and photos on the walls help to explain why it is such a popular restaurant on Capitol Hill. Located within walking distance of Union Station, it is conveniently located near the Capitol and Senate office buildings. The staff is unfailingly courteous, friendly, and professional. I especially enjoy bringing good friends and relatives there for lunch. Highly recommended at the top of my list of favorite and distinctive restaurants for a memorable dining experience."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "I have visited The Monocle on a number of occasions when I have been able to combine my trips with business on The Hill and pleasure in The City. Each lunch/dinner has been outstanding in terms of food choices/taste, wines, ambience and service. Everyone has demonstrated a professional approach coupled with a great personality (and sometimes a bit of humor!!) when dealing with their customers. Try it, believe me, you will like it!!!!"
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "Well known restaurant lives up to its billing....I had heard of The Monocle as an upscale steak place where people like to congregate, and with an 'A' list of political patrons. After a humorous semantics episode with the taxi driver (who said he knew exactly where The Monocle was....then proceeded to drop me off at The Monaco Hotel!!), I had enjoyable 15 minute walk to the restaurant. The friendly staff also had a good laugh, saying that this happens often.....so beware, and ensure that the taxi driver really knows where he's going!!!! The service was great....friendly and knowledgeable....and the food was top notch (notably the Wedge salad and the large Rib-eye steak). Overall, I can see why so many folks recommend The Monocle."
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "The food and service were both some of the best in DC. The only problem was the noise--a boisterous table of staffers near us loudly laughing and joking about all the Kennedy deaths, affairs, etc. Their loudness and comments were totally unwelcome and they should have been asked to tone it down. We will definitely make this restaurant our must dinner places when in DC. It was our anniversary and our waiter made us feel very special. "
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "Everything was spectacular. Staff extremely helpful and vibrant. You could just feel the history of the place. Had a great time and will go out of our way to get back to the restaurant. Fun bar/lunch menu which they let my kids order from so they felt a welcomed as well. "
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "I needed a nice, easy place to take my father and elder brother for dinner during their visit, and since they were staying near the Capitol, I wanted to stay within an easy walk to their hotel. The Monocle had never been on my radar before, but I was very pleased with the food, and the service was beyond impeccable. We felt like we were the only people in the place, but there were groups all around us. I would definitely return. The only challenge was that my father was so busy looking at all the photos upstairs, when he went to the restroom, that he missed the arrival of his food. His own fault, but if you have an "easily distracted diner", advise them not to go upstairs when you think the food is about to arrive. "
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "Power place, power food, appropriately brusque staff."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "This place might be a good option on a weekday but not for a Friday night. The place was empty and the food wasn't great for the prices that we paid."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Excellent service and food. Great history and the Owner and Maitre De spent time visiting with us in an unobtrusive manner. Thoroughly enjoyed the evening."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Where every restaurant scene in Scandel ought to be filled"
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Consistently the most reliable restaurant on Capitol Hill for good food, great service and a lively political crowd!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "I have lunch here about 4 or 5 times a year. It's convenient to the Senate side of the Capitol. It doesn't pretend to be fine dining. Occasional glimpses of pols & other VIPs. This time the old staple of crab cakes were not up to par. Overdone on the outside. Quite edible, but not what this restaurant is famous for. Service is very attentive. Done by professionals who are pleasant, attentive, but not the kind of "Hi, my name in Steve" kind of servers. Businesslike. Other entrees ordered by my guests provced to be better choices."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Our steak salad and burger were outstanding, and the service was superb as always!"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "The historic building and interior ambience did not disappoint. After that, it was all downhill. The service was terrible; our attendant was not competent. We would not return nor recommend to anyone."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "The Monocle is a shining star on Capitol Hill. The quality of the food and the service are consistent and dependable. The menu, while not voluminous, offers good variety for everyone. In something of a rarity for Washington DC, the price point is also very reasonable."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "John, Kiki and Nick, as always, were exceptional hosts as was the food and service."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "It seems that on prior visits the welcoming attitude and food were better. I had a Greek salad, quite expensive, and left most of it. And on the way out we asked for a cab to be called and were told to wait outside and a cab would come without being called. That did not happen and we remained outside in the cold for 20 minutes."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "This family restaurant is by far the best place for a really good meal. The owner, matre'd and all of the wait staff are absolutely superb in their efforts to accommodate and to make you feel special. I have not had a bad meal yet. I love the place and Highly recommend it."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "Overall experience was wonderful - as it always is. I only come back to DC a couple times a year, and Monocle is always one of my "must visit"."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "Excellent chicken entree and burger at lunch, and outstanding service as always."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Stick to steak and burgers....and you will enjoy this splace and its history...dont be surprised if you see Kevin Spacey and Claire Underwood in this place lol jk"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "My wife and I were looking for a fun Valentines day. We had not been to the Monicle in a whileso, back we went and it was exactly as expected, We both enjoied our meals. The service was as expected. The Monicle was a go to resturant for us, andit lived up to the expectation once again."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The coat check lady was polite and very helpful, our table was ready, the service outstanding and the food was delicious. The only negative was that two waiters got into a loud argument over who had our table but I guess it's better than getting ignored!"
    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."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/5/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/16/2014