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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
  • "Power place, power food, appropriately brusque staff."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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 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
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "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
  • "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."
    Dined on 1/14/2014
  • "It's an old school restaurant with good food and wonderful service."
    Dined on 1/13/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 12/19/2013
  • "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."
    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..........."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 12/23/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 12/18/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 12/17/2013
  • "The Monocle had always been a favorite traditional DC restaurant. It's cozy, food is good and Nick makes you feel welcome."
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 11/18/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 11/15/2013
  • "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)."
    Dined on 11/14/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 11/12/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 11/8/2013
  • "Overall, an excellent experience ... price accordingly. Service was terrific"
    Dined on 10/21/2013
  • "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"
    Dined on 10/18/2013