Spark

4.5
131 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Caribbean
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About

Providing a modern take on traditional Caribbean street food and BBQ dishes, Spark brings a unique communal dining experience to the Bloomingdale neighborhood. Housed in the historic Engine Company 12 firehouse, guests are invited to enjoy our sumptuous appetizers and bar snacks and then build a feast to share from our jerked and smoked meats. Each item on our menu is meticulously created from scratch by Executive Chef Peter Prime. Craft cocktails and surprising desserts all offer a little spark of their own. Dinner at Spark is an unparalleled dining experience in Washington, DC!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Caribbean, Barbecue, Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Brunch
Sat, Sun 11:00 am–3:00 pm
Dinner
Tue–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(202) 299-9128
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Peter Prime
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Private party facilities
Host your next event at the firehouse! Whether you are hosting a corporate meeting, experiential marketing event, fundraiser or your wedding, the Engine Company 12 event team is ready to make your event unforgettable. Visit our private events website: www.enginecompany12.com
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Special events & promotions
Host your next event at the firehouse! Whether you are hosting a corporate meeting, experiential marketing event, fundraiser or your wedding, the Engine Company 12 event team is ready to make your event unforgettable. Visit our private events website: www.enginecompany12.com
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 131 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.1
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

3 of us in our party were celebrating birthdays. The waiter was especially warm and engaging and the food, generally delicious and in generous portions, was served promptly. Our soup was salty and the waiter and the chef responded promptly when we brought it to their attention. It was a fun, casual, dining experience with many wonderful choices on the menu. I look forward to my next visit!

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OT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great restaurant

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Great food! Service was a little slow but still really enjoyed the food and will go back.

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TN
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food. Would definitely return.

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k
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food. Avocado beignets, smoked brisket, fried snapper. Yummy!

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AR
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a hidden gem, management very customer oriented! Can't wait to go back for some more Fry Bread.

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LS
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing. Everything our waiter recommended, we ordered and was very satisfied. The service was above average as well, he took his time explaining the entire menu to us.

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DS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were really surprised at how great this was. I hope people go

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ZD
Washington DC
30 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I don’t know what’s better - the customer service or the food. This is my/our new favorite. Great for foodies who love flavors, presentation and plethora of choices.

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PG
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

My wife and I were pleasantly surprised by Spark. We like to try new resturants regularly to change things up. Sometimes we have a good meal, sometimes we are disappointed. At Sparks, we were not disappointed. The food was great, the service was knowledgeable of the menu and made great recommendations. The appetizers were flavorful and the serving size was enough for two. They were also good enough to be a meal on their own. The entrees were also big enough for two along with the sides that outstanding (highly recommend the greens). Lets just say, we walked away stuffed and satisfied.

Only negatives, it was cold outside and the door does not close on its own so the cold air kept coming in making it hard to get comfortable. Also, they can expand their bar a little more. Not everyone is into beer.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing. I ordered Jerk Wings, ox tails, bone marrow & coconut greens. This had me craving hard. Everything was super delicious!!!!! Sparks rated my favorite restaurant. I hope for many more years in biz!!!!

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N
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed the entire evening. Always have to have jerk wings, which were great. But loved the smoky TILLAMOOK (a fan) cheese Mac/Cheese, the lacquered chicken and don't leave without the fresh baked cookies. Seriously, everybody needs to feel like a kid again sometime.

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FM
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is delicious regardless of what you order. The servers are attentive. The music is great. Goes perfectly with the wonderful food. When we wet they were playing calypso/soca music.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food here is ah-MAZZING! The service, however, left me wanting. We got complimentary desserts to make up for it, so, bottom line: I will definitely be coming back despite the slow service.

I came here with 3 friends; we had a reservation for 8:30pm. We arrived about 10 mins early and they told us it would be a 5 min wait because the chef’s family came in and they had to accommodate them last minute. They invited us to wait in the lounge area and order drinks—problem, we were early anyways.

While waiting in the lounge area, it took quite some time for someone to help us. We all ordered cocktails, which also took awhile before we got them (I tried to order wine, but they were out of about every single wine I wanted).

After about a half an hour, we are seated (not a 5 min wait at all)! We were eager to order, so we went a little crazy with 2 appetizers, 4 entrees, and 3 sides. Needless to say this was A LOT of food for the four of us.

Appetizers: Fry Bread-this was a modern take on Trini “doubles”; 4-6 pieces of bread with chickpeas, cucumber, and pepper sauce, I loved it! Jamaican Jerk wings-a bit spicy, but delicious.

Entrees: Lamb, Fried Chicken Curry, Brisket, Ox Tail. Honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the entrees. I personally did not care for the Ox Tail but everyone at the table said it was their favorite entree. The lamb was fall off the bone DEE-LICIOUS. The brisket was also melt in your mouth (cooked perfectly). The chicken, was a bit over cooked and did not come in a curry sauce like I expected, instead the sauce was served as a side and tasted almost like gravy.

Sides: Mashed Potatoes, Mac & Cheese, and Stewed Cabbage. The mashed potatoes and mac $ cheese were great. The Mac had a smoked flavor to it, which I really enjoyed. I could have done without the stewed cabbage.

DESSERT: This was complimentary due to our long wait time: cheesecake, which I highly recommend, and some type of fudge cake, which was OK.

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N
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Second time dining at Spark and it does not disappoint. Perfect place to bring a small group of friends. You can’t help but to order multiple dishes for sharing since you’ll want to try them all!

Personal faves: fry bread, oxtails, and jerk wings. I also liked the mac and kale! I’m sure that I’ve had all of the cocktails too!

Street parking isn’t the worst I’ve encountered but you may have to walk a block.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

The restaurant was freezing and there was no explanation what was wrong with the heat and no apology given. After being sat and given water by the hostess, we sat for 7 minutes without anyone asking if we needed anything. During that time I saw 3 servers take a selfie together. I asked for coffee, the machine was broken. I had to ask my server to explain the menu, since it was our first time dining there. We were the only table there for a while (no surprise after my experience). All of the servers were next to my table, talking and ignoring us. I had to loudly ask my server for sauce because my “inside voice” wasn’t loud enough over 5 people talking to each other. The food was good, however, our food quickly became cold because the restaurant was freezing.

I asked to speak to the manager and saw her pass my table on the phone. When she finally came to my table, I explained to her my experience. While talking to her, not only did her phone ring, but she looked at the phone while I was talking to her. She explained she was on the phone with her boss, which is sort of amazing to be a guest and told the owner takes precedence over people that provide your business with revenue.

I’m a server. I have a lot of patience and sympathy for fellow servers especially if the effort is there. There was no effort at all. No one cared at all. Save your time and your money. Don’t go to Spark.

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D
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the vegetarian options. Service was excellent. All staff were friendly! We will definitely be back and recommend to everyone!

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B
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the French toatsticks, fried bread, smokehouse bacon and the banana cake! Everything was delicious!! We will be back 😁

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M
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This is a must-visit. Food is excellent (we pretty much tried everything on the menu) and the RUM PUNCH is AMAZING! GO GO GO !

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JM
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Nice Caribbean inspired cuisine. The oxtail was great as were the jerk chicken wings. Will be back!

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service

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OT
Miami
12 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brought my bf after raving about it and he also loved the food and drinks

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CS
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Fun and very enjoyable dinner with family.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 3

We got our food an hour and a half after we sat down. Service was extremely slow. Unfortunate because the food was delicious.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

The snapper and the jerk brisket is very good!! I like that they give you the bottle of champagne for the mimosas, but the menu is a bit pricey for brunch.

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m
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Service staff was over-exuberant in clearing dishes even though we had not finished.

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RM
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Spark is a great addition to the neighborhood. I have been a few times now and I have yet to be disappointed in anything that I have tried. It is great for both dinner and brunch (it is not your typical brunch fair, however). The space is also beautiful. Definitely check it out!

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DG
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service! We have been trying every item on the menu =)

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the most delectable meals! We started with the jerk wings served with a honey mustard dipping sauce - the flavors truly complemented each other. For our entrees, we had whole fried red snapper (which you could swirl in what tasted like a light salsa verde) and the jerk brisket. Both dishes melted in our mouths!!!
Absolutely amazing menu with perfectly paired flavors! Thank you for a wonderful experience!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I loved the laidback feel of the restaurant, the food was great and our server even more so.

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ML
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Unique slant on Caribbean restaurant. Whole Snapper was tasty but overpriced. Oxtail abd madged potatoes were both perfectly cooked, tasty and priced Right. Bone marrow did not make the grade. Worth a second visit and I suspect it will gradually overcome the few shortcomings.

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TA
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service! Food was very flavorful! I look forward to eating here again!

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SK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome, unique menu offerings. Fun and polite service. We've now been for dinner and brunch, and both have exceeded our expectations!!

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JH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great food, great customer service. Like the family style—sharing dishes approach. Would def recommend to others.

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AP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went there for a brunch to celebrate my birthday. The food was great! The service was even better as I felt like I was a regular there. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good, affordable brunch. I plan to return within 30 days. :-)

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T
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Service was great! Our server Felix was very attentive and made great suggestions for menu selections. Oxtail was "melt in your mouth" delicious. Will definitely recommend to folks and will DEFINITELY go back.

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G
Washington DC
38 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I live nearby and wasn't even aware that the old restaurant closed and that a new one opened in the firehouse. I decided to go and was presently surprised at how good everything was. The meat was so tender it could be picked with a folk. I hope these guys stay around for a long time and keep up the quality of the food because we'll need them in the neighborhood.

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T
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great cocktails. Unique delicious food choices. Can’t wait to come back

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CS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food! Great atmosphere! Super service! We met friends there and had kids with us. Everyone loved the food. The atmosphere is cool and rustic. You can sit outdoors or in. Great place for two or for a big group. The food is so tasty and creative.

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AN
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I truly enjoyed my dining experience at Spark @ 12! The staff is so welcoming and the food is delicious. My only critique is that it was a bit difficult to get our waiter to come check on us during our meal which made getting our check a hassle. A good experience overall and I would definitely recommend dining here.

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