The Oval Room

4.5
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2523 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
The Oval Room is a critically acclaimed restaurant serving modern American cuisine. Located steps from “The Oval Office,” a virtual “Who’s Who” of Washington politicians and media dine here; that is why The Oval Room is one of Washington’s Power Restaurants. Its seasonal contemporary American cuisine has charmed critics & connoisseurs alike. USA Today said The Oval Room's flower-bedecked patio is one of the best outdoor dining experiences in the United States. Executive Chef Bryan Moscatello and his team are serving some incredible, seasonal dishes and would love to see you at The Oval Room soon!
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What 2523 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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k
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So many good things about this place: Superior service. Adnan is wonderful but so is every person on the staff. I love that you can have a private conversation at Oval -- tables are not "zero-lot-line" as often happens. Menu is small but beautiful -- always fresh, always unique options, wonderful array of healthy choices.

CA
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I try to dine at the Oval Room each time I visit DC (I lived there 46 years and now in Florida). This recent visit was excellent, as usual. The waiter was good-humored, knowledgeable, and efficient. The Maitre 'd helpful with the extensive wine list. A pet peeve of mine: it is nice to find a wine list with reasonably-priced quality wines as well as more expensive ones.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good and quiet

m
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Lovely restaurant. The food was incredible. Deceived on a tasting menu paired with wine. It was wonderful. The service was very good - a few times the food cane out after the wine and vice versa. But all and all a wonderful evening dining before the ballet.

AM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience3

The entrees were cold. Lobster was undercooked (which is hard to do!) and tough.

J
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best restaurant on planet Earth.

KH
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service, provided in a classy and quiet environment. A dining room where conversation and dinner can mix! Nice.

JR
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The prix fixe lunch menu at $35 was very good value and the food was delicious with a good choice. Service was attentive without being overbearing and it was great to go to a restaurant where you could have a conversation without raising your voice. Tables were nicely spaced too.

L
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and fantastic food. A jewel in DC

AD
Charleston
162 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I went to The Oval Room for lunch alone. I had two beautiful, delicious dishes: salmon and octopus. Both were wonderful. Very nice, professional service too.

D
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, service, and ambiance, but small portions for the price.

OT
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Engaging staff, wonderful food

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KL
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Overall, our experience and quality of food was fair for the price. The presentation was superb, very colorful and vibrant. However it didn't meet the visual expectation for the price. The Restaurant Week pricing was better suited for the quality.
The service was good but quick and awkward as we were sitting in a very quiet section of the restaurant, and we could literally hear everyone's conversations, even the servers. It felt like we were in an addition to the main dining area. Had we been sitting in what looked like the main dining area, the ambiance would have been better.
The wine selection was extensive and the Sommelier was very helpful. She helped us choose a very good wine but we later learned the price was marked up 6 times the retail price. The wine was good but not good enough to be over $100

DC
Washington DC
36 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

In the Oval Room it is unfortunately possible to walk in and be assaulted, even in mid-January mid-week, by the noise of fifty conventioneers pressing toward the bar. Once one has followed the hostess and struggled through the throng, however, one enters a room of moderate distinction and near-calm by contemporary standards. Staff are exceptionally well-trained, as Washingtonians have learnt to expect in Mr. Bajaj's restaurants. Pacing was well-judged. Squash and lobster bisque and roast lamb were delicious, and the wine list full of interesting choices by the bottle, but rather pedestrian by the glass, a situation one may hope will be remedied by a new sommelière who came on board early January 2020. Expense-account prices are worth it for a special occasion.

RM
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful and unobtrusive service. The food was excellent. One of the few places one can dine and have a real conversation.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

The food was just okay. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, but nothing jumped out at me as something I couldn’t just make at home. The short rib was really good, but the lobster bisque was strangely sweet, and the passion fruit custard was almost unbearably bitter. The service was really good, however. Definitely worth using valet as well.

OC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience3

The locatuon of tables is too closer, but the good and service are good.

CP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best restaurant in town, the food, the attention and the drinks where amazing. A must go definitely.

Mejor restaurante de la ciudad sin duda alguna, la comida, las atenciones y los tragos fueron increíbles. Definitivamente un toque de queda en D.C.

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d
Washington DC
73 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Never eaten here so thought I’d check it out during restaurant week. The service was professional if business like. The man who greets guests is efficient and unsmiling. If you just walked in to get a table, he can seem a bit intimidating. But understand this is more of a political dining spot do the regulars would not be turned off. My server got friendlier as my meal ended.

The menu options were good. My soup though was not as tasty as I’d hoped - lacked some seasoning- and the chicken breast was filling but again, not as unique or tasty as I was hoping given that Tom Sistema from the Washington Post said this was one of his top favorite restaurants. I guess even at a top restaurant, you need to know what to order. They’d run out of the pork dish so that might have been more to my liking. The dessert was very tasty however.

I will probably try this place another time. Oh, there’s a risk you will be seated next to loud foreign reps making a pitch for aid from the IFC, World Bank, or IMF for an hour.

OT
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

After reading nice things about The Oval Room in the Washington Post, we thought we would check it out during Restaurant Week. We went for lunch had a wonderful experience. The food was really excellent and the presentation lovely. Service was friendly and attentive. We will definitely return.

T
Washington DC
146 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We went for Restaurant Week, which made the Oval Room a better value. The food was superb, and the service very good. Only drawback was I'd asked for a quiet table, and ours wasn't. There are two rooms, and the one to the right of the entrance might be quieter.

r
Washington DC
50 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food tastes even better than it looks. A special restaurant that continues to deliver after over 25 years.

KH
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a lovely lunch with excellent service, food, and cocktails.

R
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Better food than the Bombay Club, in fact, food here is equal to the fabulous Rasika. Came during restaurant week, and WILL return during the year, because we were so impressed with the excellent food. All three courses were delicious, not average or very good. No. Actually DELICIOUS. It is unusual to find a reasonably priced D.C. restaurant with EXCELLENT food, but we have found one here.

BT
Washington DC
30 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

There were three of us who ordered three different meals, and none of us were impressed with any parts of our meals. And to add to that, the service was extremely slow! It’s no reason why our lunch should have taken 2 hours! But my friend that was with me said, the time in between each course was a part of the experience...well it negatively impacted our experience. All three of us said we will not be back!

SC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Wonderful as always! The Crispy Skin Branzino with pork belly, pomegranate, rosemary, and lentils Barigoule was exceptionally delicious. And I always love the passion fruit custard.

a
Central Coast
61 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a lovely dinner... delicious octopus! Service was wonderful.

EC
Buckinghamshire
4 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The lunch was for my partner's birthday. The staff did wish him a h'birthday but we were a little surprised not to have a very small acknowledgement of that in the form of a small dessert or a glass of something as we have had in other restaurants. However, we will continue to return as the food is so special and the bar menu exceptional.

j
New York Area
41 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food, very friendly and thoughtful service, comfortable environment - a lovely way to spend an evening! A great start to the new year.

b
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Been going for years and have never been disappointed

OT
Guadalajara
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excelente atención, servicio y comida.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Did the prix fixe Christmas Eve Dinner and it was wonderful. My only complaint is that of the three dessert dishes, there were no gluten free options, so my mom ended up with some anti-climactic sorbet for here dessert.

OT
Washington DC
87 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful way to enjoy a Christmas eve dinner. Everything was outstanding - the food, the service, the ambience.

JH
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Good food and good service - atmosphere similar to Equinox. The seating ranges from great window-side tables with a view to tables in a dark corner staring at a wall. Some great wines and some peppery wines bordering on undrinkable. There are better options in DC to consider in the same price range (Mirabelle, Plume, Prime).

NW
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The quality of service was excellent. The offerings were aesthetically presented, delectable to the palate, and excellent in quality. I have dined in many 5 star restaurants in multiple countries. I found the food and service at the Oval ROOM to be as high a quality as offerings from other outstanding restaurants in Florence, Italy; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Toronto, Canada; and New York City!

j
Washington DC
46 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful holiday dinner here. Everyone was particularly pleased with their meal, especially the poached lobster and the skate. Excellent service, tasty cocktails and champagne. Beautiful setting and excellent value for money. Will come again soon.

S
Salt Lake City
26 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was wonderful. I had the 3 course price fixed lunch / loved the squash and lobster soup, the main course salmon was done perfectly and the lemon tart, light and tangy! We both had the sparkling rose which was also delicious.

The server was friendly and personable - knowledgeable too.
It was a great afternoon celebration.

N
Washington DC
61 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

When we visit restaurants of this caliber, we hope to receive an superior experience. Unfortunately this night we did not. In the Open Table reservation we requested a quiet table for my wife and I. When the maître D called to confirm our reservation I reminded him and was told, well, we have a full house and we will try. Ok, was a bit off putting but we kept an open mind.
Table was ok and after being seated we waited a bit long for our drink orders to be taken. We were hoping to have a pre-dinner cocktail and then have dinner. Once we gave the order, my wife’s wine was delivered and but not my Vodka martini with no vermouth… after asking multiple times it arrived - 20 minutes later. Then the mix was wrong. Clearly a miscommunication between the waiter and bar tender. We sent it back. Not a big deal. Maitre D came over but by then we were ready to eat and didn’t want to wait for a martini.
It was one of those occasions where perhaps it was an off night, perhaps they had short wait staff, but things did not improve. In all fairness we were each offered a glass of wine as an accommodation. When I said I don’t drink wine, the head waiter poured for my wife and shuffled off. – Wait – nothing else? Not a big deal.
The food also took a while but was quite tasty. Unfortunately, it was not really the right temperature. Warm as in tepid and not hot. This was our disappointment but after the drink mistake, we were really afraid to send back the soup or the entrée. It just got cumbersome and we think at this price point things should work reasonable well the first time.

E
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A great place for a Christmas lunch with some office colleagues. Great atmosphere, excellent service, interesting and delicious food. And low enough noise levels so people can speak and be heard. Always happy to eat here.

MH
Miami
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience2

The portion size very small, way over price for the value. Chicken was way overcooked.