I love the history, what a place. But, at least the night we were there, Saturday, March 14, early virus hysteria, the food was forgettable. Very sad. I've had excellent food there in the past. But on 03/14 my family and I had an entirely mediocre, if expensive, dinner.
Always have a good meal here. Classic traditional DC vibe.
So good. Great experience.
Great meal before the National Theatre show. Highly recommend for an outstanding meal.
My server was really rude. Didn’t bring us bread yet brought to other tables. His colleague told him we had asked for something. Our server, on his way walking towards us, rolled his eyes and sighed. The food was honestly was not good either.. For the value, I could go somewhere else with better service. Great ambiance, just had my mood ruined
Tasty food. Convenient to the theatre. We will be back!
Service was great. Our waiter was charming, funny and knowledgeable. The food was fresh and perfectly prepared.
Had fabulous meals for lunch. We all did specials, shrimp por’ boy was great! Restaurant wasn’t too busy, maybe 1/3 full. Service was OK but not as attentive as expected. Spoke to manager, very appreciative of feedback, definitely will return.
Upon my initial review management was quick to contact my to resolve the issue. I was very impressed with their willingness to reach out and apologize and this quick effort will keep me coming back as a regular patron which makes me happy considering the food is so good.
Pros - Food and atmosphere
Cons - Service. Our server (an older Italian man) was very blunt and crass. He was incredibly slow in taking our drink orders and delivering them. However the most disappointing part of the night which really ruined my experience was when I ate a dish he told me was “very spicy” during the order process and when it came very bland I asked him why and he said “Oh yeah I noticed that they didn’t add the pepper to it and I asked and they said they were out of it”. So I responded “well why didn’t you tell me that before delivering the dish I would’ve ordered something else”. He then said “uh, yeah sorry”. Then he had the audacity to charge me for the dish on my bill!! I really want to like this restaurant but unless I hear back from management I doubt I’ll be back again.
We went for our 40th wedding anniversary. I ordered the Norwegian salmon which was so so. My husband had the French onion soup and roasted bobo poussin which he enjoyed. The wine was good. The dessert was a linder torte which was pretty heavy and very average. There were free refills on the lemonade. No mention was made of our anniversary and nothing special was done.
The food was terrific. But the side did not arrive on time. The manager took the cost off the bill. This was a gracious act. Our server was in training. He had difficulty answering questions about the food. Would have been better if he just honestly said "I haven't tried that, but I can get more information for you.". Overall, it was a good experience!
Had a great time! The food was so great!!! Definitely will go back. It is a little pricy, so definitely not a regular night out, it has to be for a date, occasion, etc.
Service was great, a little slow for an early dinner but very professional. The ambiance was great, with photos and portraits covering the walls. The food was unremarkable with fairly small portions on the fixed price menu, but it was fresh and well prepared.
This spot is classic! Our waiter was so friendly and attentive and of course the food was delicious. We got the pre theatre menu and it was perfect.
Took an awfully long time to get our food but otherwise the food was good.
the waiter who offered to validate our parking did not disclose that a fee would be added to the bill. He also was careless and didn’t put the full stamp on our parking ticket (a key piece with a number was missing) so the valet refused to honor it. So beware! Parking came to $38 with the $10 bucks added to our bill plus full cost of valet
The crab soup was flavorful and devine. The ravioli very good, but not as eye-watering as the soup - as the soup knocked me over with its flavor. The service and ambience superb.
Service was not at the expected level. New York Streep was excellent
Service was good and atmosphere was nice but food quality was only fair. Expectation was much higher than provided.
Sadly, I would not recommend this restaurant for Valentine’s Day. The menu was prefix. I like having more choice. And, our experience was that service was extremely slow. Indeed, we had to ask multiple times for assistance, bread service, drinks, order taking, etc. In someways, it appeared we were forgotten. And, for at least two courses, we received the wrong dish. The prefix menu was $100 per person. That cost is high considering the service. Our past experiences have been outstanding. That is why we chose this restaurant. additionally, our advice is to reserve seating in the main dining room on the ground floor. The Valentine’s Day seating was on the second floor and packed in tightly. Thank you.
Fantastic meal and service!
Came here for Valentine’s Day and it was great
Great Valentines Dinner! For a last minute reservation the Occidental was great! Great setting, amazing food, awesome service! Thanks!!!
Slow service. Undercooked meat!
Most of the complaints about the Occidental on this and other sites seem to focus on weak service. Our experience mirrored that. We were seated quickly, and found the restaurant clean, comfortable, and pleasantly-appointed. The photos of various customers from over the decades gave us a fun pass time of playing “who is that?” Our server was an older fellow with a distinctive mustache, a jovial manner, and an accent that may have been Italian. We ordered wine, and it was exceptional, and worth the not-inconsequential price.
We placed our orders, and the appetizer arrived, was enjoyed, and its remains taken away.
Then we waited. And waited some more. The server did not come by to explain or even notice that our food was so long in coming.
Eventually, the food was served; it was cool, which makes me think that the kitchen had finished it in a timely fashion, but the waiter had forgotten about it. Our entrees were still delicious, despite being less-than-hot, but the fries were stone cold and inedible. We got the attention of another server (ours was missing in action, as per usual), and they quickly got us some hot fries.
At the end of the meal, our waiter delivered the bill, and a final insult: inverting the wine bottle to dump the dregs in my glass.
It is a shame that a restaurant with such excellent food and wine allows such incompetent servers to undermine the experience.
Service was terrible. Food was delayed. Side dishes not served until the entrees. Drink order we had to wait for 10+ minutes after being seated. Table location was jammed in a corner that made it difficult to get out of the chairs. I’ve never had a disappointing experience there like this. Very out of character but this was substandard service all the way.
Food and service were amazing
Good service. Great food in a relaxed seating
Some dishes like the scallops and crab cakes were tremendously good. The pineapple cheesecake was terrible. Bitter. The short ribs were very good the sauce on the pork chop was really off. Limited menu selection. The service was below average; they paid attention at all the wring times. Have been coming here once or twice a year for many years. It has emotional meaning for me but there are much better ways to spend $100+ per diner for a meal. I am sorry to say I won’t be going back.
Beautiful atmosphere. Small booths. Server never arrived so we flagged someone down and he was reluctantly transformed into our server because the other was tied up. Slow to get drinks, slow to get food. My friend had ordered the french onion soup, but was brought the same appetizer I'd ordered, the ravioli. It was delicious, but hadn't been their choice. Their salmon was under-sauced/dressed so it tasted fishy and not very special, but no problem getting more sauce brought out. My scallops were delicious but the lentils they were served over were a bit undercooked. Delicious pinot gris. For the money, I'd make another choice next time.
The ambiance is fun, and the location is excellent -- very close to National Theater. The food was tasty and well-prepared, but the service was surprisingly slow and inattentive.
PreTheater Dinner, which they did not have on Saturday. The experience was a C-, or D. Shocked!
Food is very good. My wife and I had dinner at the Occidental twice in three days.
My recent experience at the Occidental was much improved--a different and more appealing menu and excellent/fantastic service by Chanel!
Business lunch upstairs in the bar area was fantastic!!! Perfect spot to get together with ample space. The food was amazing...one of the best seared tuna dishes I’ve had in DC. Josh the beverage director really knows his stuff and was great at curating the experience with some spot on wine choices. Especially loved the Mondavi Napa cab. Can’t wait to bring my clients back for a dinner or happy hour. Don’t miss this place if your in town or a local looking for some good food/wine.
Dining at The Occidental was an extremely memorable experience because of the great service and the excellent food offered. The ambiance was very nice and a place I would like to return to very soon. On the menu, the restaurant offered octopus which initially would have been a concern, but it was very tasty and the presentation was done well. I enjoyed this restaurant very much.
We made the booking.
The Occidental is one of the classic historical restaurant in this Country. I have been eating there since 1961. It is our favorite place to take out of town guests (even locals who have never been there who, without exception, enjoy the experience. The photos on the wall present a historical picture of the US and create a test for history buffs to identify whose picture it is.
The cornbread, in lieu of, a typical bread basket is one of the best. Our most recent guest, who is a lover of cornbread, said it was the best he had ever had. Another guest (from one of the embassies in the US) who never had cornbread became an aficionado of it and could not stop eating it.
Haven't been there in 30 years and was not disappointed. Great atmosphere, the food was sensational, and the service was excellent.
Staff was friendly and fun. The ambience is semi-formal without being too stuffy.
We enjoyed our meal!! Been a while since we visited Occidental and the food is still delicious