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
37 reviews since June 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for lunch (18)neighborhood gem (16)special occasion (10)fit for foodies (9)good for groups (7)romantic (5)vibrant bar scene (3)notable wine list (2)great for brunch (1)hot spot (1)Show More
  • The staff was very attentive & fast
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    It was a very quiet night and the staff was very attentive and let us eat at our own pace.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • CeCe
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Great bread and the food was sooo good. The liver and onions was good. The cheesecake was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall Great Restaurants in DC
    Springle
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    Top political hangout in DC. Great food, service, etc. People really care for the diners.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not worth the price
    Luckycharms412VIP
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    While the service was great and the food was fine, it was not worth the price. I had the short rib and my husband had the Delmonico steak and we were both underwhelmed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Superb dining experience. Food quality was excellent and the service was impeccable.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Thoroughly enjoyed it
    Gardensgirl
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Received a gift certificate from the restaurant itself for a prior reservation misshap. It was no big deal to us, but definitely placed The Monacle above and beyond with regards to customer service. Unbeknownst to us, we were there on the last night of restaurant week. Unlike other restaurants, they pretty much let you pick anything off the menu and the serving portions are regular size. Another big kudo! The food was very good and filling; the waiter was outstanding (I think he was giddy for having the next two weeks off!). Street parking was readily available and FREE! I would recommend this restaurant for the novelty of it (being on Capitol Hill) and the customer service. Food is good too. Great dining spot for business
    Special Features:
    romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    Krivas91
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Place definitely has an older air to it, but is cozy. We started with some awesome, fluffy bread. Had the grilled shrimp over pesto beans (decent) and calamari with red-pepper aioli (classic, very good) for appetizers. For our entrees I had the Crab Conrad and my husband had the Filet Mignon- we were very pleased with our tasty dishes, and we both agreed when heating up the leftovers for lunch (there was plenty) that they were just as good the second time around. Dessert - we both had to have the creme brulee - also an excellent classic that was delicious! Service was good; our waiter was pretty funny and easy-going. Definitely recommend checking this place out, although we checked it out during Restaurant Week (awesome prices).
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Monocle delivers
    RayG
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    A very pleasant dinner out. Food was very good and we will go back.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love the monocle
    lindsaysarahVIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Love the monocle, hope it never changes!! Always so welcoming.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • KV413
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    We went for restaurant week and everything was absolutely fantastic. The server recommended a lemon pie for dessert and I usually hate anything lemon flavored but i ended up trading desserts with one of my girlfriends bc it was so good! The service was excellent and the decor was nice and inviting. A great find!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Old Washington institution
    KittyVIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    The food was very good. I would recommend the filet. The seafood bisque was outstanding. The only downside is that we were swatting fruit flies the entire time which was a bit annoying.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pretty good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Food was delicious. Air conditioning was unsatisfactory, as it was not comfortable. Too warm!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Business lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    '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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A favorite!
    Loraa444
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A DC Classic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    WE WERE FOUR GUESTS AND THREE OF US ASKED FOR THE LIVER (TWO DEDIUM RARE- ONE MEDIUM DONE) uNFORTUNATELY, ALL WERE OVER DONE BUT THE MEDIUM DONE AND WHEN RETURNED, THEY ADVISED US THAT THERE WERE NO MORE FOR US TO HAVE... THEY HAD RAN OUT OF LIVER. THEN ONE PERSON HAD CHICKEN THE OTHER THE SHRIMP PASTA. BUT IT WAS NOT WHAT WE WENT THERE FOR. IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY AND I HAD SUGGESTED THIS RESTAURANT TO MY FRIENDS THAT HAD NEVER BEEN THERE... A FAILURE. HOWEVER, THE RESTAURANT GAVE US ONE DESSERT ON THE HOUSE...
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Monocle is not to be missed
    Mythoughts
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 20 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 407 reviews are from the The Monocle reviews archive.
  • Unremarkable
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    All aspects of the restaurant were very good with the exception of the food which was unremarkable
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delish Dinner at legendary Monocle
    MSE1210VIP
    Dined on 5/19/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always welcoming
    peggy
    Dined on 5/13/2014
    It is always a treat to return to the Monocle. The staff is "over the top".
    Special Features:
    good for groups, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Had a tired feel
    Econmaine
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great DC restaurant!
    ImpressedVIP
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Elegant Dining, Distinctive Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Special for business/pleasure lunch
    Tommy
    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!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JAM1210
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • excellent food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wow
    jk23VIP
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Experience
    DinneroutVIP
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What you'd expect
    12345
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    Power place, power food, appropriately brusque staff.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Avoid weekends
    Cenador
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Birthday Dinner
    David
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Monocle is the Capitol
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    Where every restaurant scene in Scandel ought to be filled
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Capitol Hill Restaurant
    John
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    Consistently the most reliable restaurant on Capitol Hill for good food, great service and a lively political crowd!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oldie but sitll goodie
    BonVivant
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our steak salad and burger
    SwitzerlandVIP
    Dined on 3/20/2014
    Our steak salad and burger were outstanding, and the service was superb as always!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The historic building and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 3/18/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Monocle is a shining star
    Capitol
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A returning customer
    whatsforeat
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    John, Kiki and Nick, as always, were exceptional hosts as was the food and service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I remember it being better
    Sgb1
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The Best Little Secret on the Hill
    MattindcVIP
    Dined on 2/25/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, late-night find, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet